Diogenes of Sinope

From Quotes
I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.
Bruce Lee
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I am a citizen of the world.

Diogenes of Sinope or Diogenes the Cynic (c. 412 BC323 BC) was the most famous of the Cynic philosophers of ancient Greece. No writings of his survive, but his sayings are recorded by Diogenes Laërtius and others.


Stand a little out of my sunshine.

Diogenes Laërtius Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, Book 6

Quotations are taken from the translation by R. D. Hicks (London: Heinemann, 1970-72) vol. 2, to which the page-numbers also refer.

  • Here is Plato's man.
    • Page 43
    • Producing a plucked chicken in response to Plato's definition of a man: "A featherless biped."

  • If a rich man, when you will; if a poor man, when you can.
    • Page 43
    • On the proper time for having lunch.

I am looking for an honest man.
  • I am looking for a man.
    • Page 43
    • When asked why he was carrying a lamp in full daylight. Sometimes translated as "I am looking for an honest man."

  • That for which other people pay.
    • Page 57
    • On being asked what wine he found pleasant to drink.

  • I am a citizen of the world.
    • Page 65
    • On being asked where he came from.

About Diogenes of Sinope

  • A Socrates gone mad.
    • Plato, in Diogenes Laërtius (trans. R. D. Hicks) Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (London: Heinemann, 1970-72) vol. 2, p. 55.

  • If I were not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes.
    • Alexander the Great, in John Langhorne and William Langhorne (trans.) Plutarch's Lives (New York: Harper, 1859) p. 469.

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