Cynics / Edition 1

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"Once regarded as a minor Socratic school, Cynicism is now admired as one of the more creative and influential philosophical movements in antiquity. First arising in the city-states of late classical Greece, Cynicism thrived through the Hellenistic and Roman periods, until the triumph of Christianity and the end of pagan antiquity. In every age down to the present, its ideals of radical simplicity and freedom have alternately inspired and disturbed onlookers." This book presents the first general survey of Cynicism in antiquity for over fifty years. Drawing on a wealth of new research, William Desmond offers a comprehensive study of the most important ancient Cynics and their ideas, examining their rejection of various traditional customs and the rebellious life-style for which they were notorious. Desmond considers both the fragmentary ancient evidence on the Cynics and the historical interpretations that have shaped Cynic philosophy over later centuries.
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Editorial Reviews

Dialogue - Kelse Moen
“Provides a good starting point for interested students to gain the background necessary for contemplating the deeper ramifications of Cynic philosophy.”
Review Of Politics
“A pleasure to read.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520258617
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Series: Ancient Philosophies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,458,938
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William Desmond is Lecturer in Philosophy at the Milltown
Institute, Dublin, and author of The Greek Praise of Poverty: Origins of Ancient Cynicism.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Ancient Cynics and their times 9

2 Renunciation of custom 77

3 A life according to nature 132

4 Chance, fate, fortune and the self 162

5 Anarchists, democrats, cosmopolitans, kings 184

6 Cynic legacies 209

Glossary of names 237

Glossary of Greek terms 242

Guide to further reading 262

Bibliography 274

Index 281

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