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Headword: *kunismo/s
Adler number: kappa,2711
Translated headword: Cynicism
Vetting Status: high
A vigorous road to virtue.[1] Also [sc. attested is the phrase], "for excellent people[2] it is necessary to be Cynics".[3]
Greek Original:
*kunismo/s: eu)/tonos e)p' a)reth\n o(do/s. kai/, kuniei=n dei=n toi=s spoudai/ois.
See also kappa 2712.
[1] This phrase reproduces, with a change of adjective, one attributed to the Stoic philosopher Apollodorus (second century BCE). See Diogenes Laertius 7.121, where Apollodorus defines Cynicism as "a short-cut road (syntomos hodos) to virtue", and 6.104. Compare also also Stobaeus, Eclogae 2.114, 24-25 (ed. Wachsmuth): "(the Stoics) say that the wise man lives a Cynic lifestyle, this being equal to remaining in Cynicism, even though the one who is wise does not start out in Cynicism". As pointed out by Pomeroy ([1999], 128, n.222), although the Stoics differed in their view of the more extreme Cynic practices, they did recognize the austere lifestyle of the Cynics. Zeno of Citium (zeta 79), the founder of the Stoic school, was influenced by the cynic Crates (kappa 2341), who was his teacher (Diogenes Laertius 7.4). But the Stoics kept and developed some of the more significant Cynic theses in their ethical theory: 1) happiness is living in agreement with nature; 2) the wise person is the only one who is truly happy and free; 3) the commonly acknowledged goods, such as wealth, beauty, health, and so on are not real goods but indifferent, and they do not contribute to happiness at all; 4) the main obstacles for attaining happiness are the passionate states or emotional disturbances, which produce false judgement. For the Stoic reelaboration of the Cynic position, see Sorabji (1993), 158-161 and for the general influence of cynicism on Hellenistic ethics (and especially on Stoicism) see Long (1996).
[2] "Excellent people" (spoudaioi) is Stoic (and Aristotelian) terminology to designate virtuous persons; cf. sigma 970.
[3] Julian, Speech 7, 225c Hertlein.
Arthur J. Pomeroy, Arius Didymus. Epitome of Stoic Ethics, Atlanta, Georgia 1999
Anthony A. Long, "The Socratic Tradition: Diogenes, Crates, and Hellenistic Ethics", in R. Bracht Branham and Marie-Odile Goulet-Cazé (eds.) The Cynics. The Cynic Movement in Antiquity and Its Legacy (Berkeley/Los Angeles/London) 1996, 28-46
Richard Sorabji, Animal Mind and Human Morals. The Origins of the Western Debate, Ithaca, New York 1993
Keywords: definition; ethics; philosophy; rhetoric
Translated by: Marcelo Boeri on 15 February 2000@10:10:02.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 22 July 2003@00:43:32.
David Whitehead (modified translation; augmented notes; cosmetics) on 22 July 2003@03:59:28.
Catharine Roth (added cross-references) on 22 July 2003@18:28:30.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 18 November 2005@10:15:49.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 22 March 2013@04:47:43.


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