Reaction to Diogenes





Reaction to Diogenes

Diogenes is one of the renowned scholars on cynicism whose popular quote “Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings” has elicited sharp reactions from other scholars and read of his work. Much of Diogenes’ inspiration originated from the need to be acknowledged as having made a significant contribution to the field of philosophy or science in general. This is apparent in his comparison of philosophers to dogs that worked the hardest but got the least appreciation from the beneficiaries. However¸ while people are overly concerned about the nature of the language and imagery that Diogenes applies in his work, few people are willing to put themselves in his shoes. Being a cynic involves reviewing the existing and proposed ideas within the universes and detracting them aggressively. This was his way of doing just that. His quote questioning the relevance of a philosopher who was considerate of other people’s feelings was rightfully placed.

The role of a philosopher in the society in ancient times covered a wide scope. It was a lifestyle that consumed the scholar his entire lifetime. One of the major philosopher’s functions was to examine the way people live in a critical way. This probably earned him a negative reputation especially among factions that believed in the stability of nature and life itself. On numerous occasions, Diogenes made a fool out of the community by exposing their simplicity and complacency. The quote “Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings” also originated from Diogenes’ controversial conduct. In his quest to learn something new on a daily basis, he became overly obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge that he became judgmental of people who thrived on ignorance.

His approach towards acquiring knowledge is a direct reflection of George Iles, who stated that learning was a continuous process as people sought for answers and information. Failure to pursue knowledge would result in stagnation and for Diogenes “certain death”. Using this approach in life, one is bound to become a hard-line critic of nearly all the activities that the normal man partakes in on a daily basis. His insatiable pursuit for answers coupled with his character that was slightly egotistical pushed towards making dramatic yet wise illustrations of man’s nature and behavior. Diogenes believed that virtue was a practical aspect that should be evident in a man’s life. He arrived at this conclusion after noticing that many of the scholars and learners failed to implement the teachings of life, economy, and society.

Through his uncomplicated lifestyle and behavior, he condemned the social values and institutions that appeared fraudulent or misguided in their role within the community. One of his main reasons for behaving in such a savage way was possibly because he lived an anti-social life. Most of his days were spent studying, eating, and sleeping in a barrel under bridges and the marketplace. In conclusion, Diogenes was an intelligent and insightful scholar who contributed greatly towards the improvement of the study of cynicism. However, his approach towards the discipline lacked the conventional decorum that always accompanied scholars. This is not to say that his theories were in any way affected by this predisposition.

Rather than seeing him as a chaotic man, one could say that his passion to study philosophy was excessive to a point where he ceased to care about his reputation or outlook within the community. His unsociable lifestyle, arrogant character, and different worldview were partially responsible for the famous quote. However, it was his understanding of philosophy and human nature that contributed significantly towards the statement.

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