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Lecture 8

Lecture 8 - Cynicism

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Sophie Bourgault

Nov. 28, 2013 I. Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BC)  challenge public figure, question authority  Hegel – mindless, dumb, waste of time  Diogenes – exiled from Sinope for defacing currency  Went to Athens to become a philosopher  Became friend with a student of Socrates’  Destroy political traditions, values, opinions, etc.  ^the currency he wants to alter  Similar to Socrates, be a gadfly, question everything of power and authority  The mouse – happy with crumbs; self-sufficient  Diogenes lives like the mouse – few possessions  When he died, a lot of people were upset, including Plato II. Cynicism: a short-cut to virtue and happiness (a Socrates gone mad?)  2 different routes to virtue and happiness  Long route: most clearly in Plato – flat and easy route, but takes a long time (a life time)  Short route: extremely steep and difficult – requires courage  Get the your goal quickly (virtue and happiness)  Revolt against traditional philosophy (Plato and Aristotle)  Revolt against the education proposed for the gentleman (Plato and Aristotle)  Through your senses that you get a better idea of what is true, rational, and how you should live  Trust your senses and nature as a guide to virtue  This cynic revolt against traditional philosophy  The goal of cynic philosophy is to discipline our bodies  Achieve clarity of mind and appropriate use of our reason  Happiness comes down to tranquility of mind – spiritual peace, detachment from all possible sources of suffering, kind of apathy and indifference to pain  This detachment allows us to be perfectly free  What should we do to get rid of stress, anxiety, depression, etc?  Get rid of material possessions  He would seek every means to accustom himself to hardship  You train to build up resistance to pain  Live in the most frugal way possible  Living on the bare minimum  There’s no need for the superfluous goods provided by civilization -cutlery -couch/tv  A le
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