Diogenes's Sayings and Anecdotes: With Other Popular Moralists: An Introduction to Cynicism and Cynic philosophy
Cynicism is a unique philosophy. You could even say that they took their principles a little too far, perhaps. Diogenes' core idea was that Man should live in accordance with nature, as simply as possible. He along with his students were missionaries of a sort, traveling city-to-city preaching about the life of simplicity. To Diogenes, material things like money and lavish accessories corrupted nature. Not only did he despise concrete things, but he also disapproved of social conventions. Like every philosopher in the Hellenistic period, Diogenes believed that virtue was the highest good. Virtue was the rejection of desires and the pursuit of goods earned by the individual, according to Diogenes. What he meant by goods earned by the individual was that things granted by other people and nature happen purely by chance. Diogenes said that everything we own should come from ourselves: confidence, happiness, et cetera. Diogenes said that everything we own should come from ourselves: confidence, happiness, et cetera. Two of the key principles of Cynicism were freedom (eleutheria, ελευθερια) and free speech (parrhesia, παρρησια). To be a Cynic, you must be free from society's and life's constraints and you must also speak without fear. Desires of wealth and reputation were unnatural and made us less human, property and social classes dehumanized us, and conventional, man-made norms limited our freedom.