I'm curious what guys have to say when I ask of a book recommendation which surrounds Diogenes of Sinope. He seems to be a truly mystical character, but there has to be a canonical representation of who he was: biography, contemporary history, and philosophy.

1 Answer 1


You might as well go to the source: most anecdotes about Diogenes are taken from Lives of Eminent Philosophers by his namesake Diogenes Laertius, who wrote about 60 pages on him. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy gives a short intro. A modern scholarly work is Diogenes of Sinope by Navia. From the publisher's abstract:

"The life and teachings of Diogenes of Sinope, the Greek philosopher who gave rise to classical Cynicism, deserve careful consideration because of their relevance to contemporary ethical issues. The task of reconstructing the philosopher's life, however, is exceedingly difficult, because in his case, more than in those of other ancient philosophers, we must deal not only with the scarcity of reliable sources and testimonies, but also with the mountains of anecdotal and fictional accounts that are responsible for the creation of a veritable literary legend around the Cynic who once lived in a tub. This comprehensive study reconstructs his biography on the basis of classical and Arabic sources, identifies the main ideas and principles of his philosophy, and shows the application of his philosophical message for our contemporary world."

  • Thank you, thank you! I believe these three sources together are exactly what I was looking for but didn't know were out there. Mar 4, 2020 at 18:15

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