Dafato Team | May 17, 2022

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Antispheanus (between 455 and 445 B.C., Athens - about 366 B.C., ibid.) was an ancient Greek philosopher; according to a number of scholars, the ancestor and chief theorist of Cynicism, one of the most famous Socratic schools.

Antisthenes' mother was a slave, his father an Athenian citizen. This background made him, though free, an incomplete citizen of Athens, for it deprived him of his civil rights. As a young man he studied under the famous "father of rhetoric", the sophist Horgias. Later he became one of Socrates' most devoted disciples. After Socrates' death he founded a school at Kinosarga. Antissten's followers began to call themselves "Cynics" after the name of the place where the school was located. The peculiarity of their teachings was their rejection of generally accepted norms of behavior. Antisthenes believed that the goal of life is the achievement of virtue and self-sufficiency (autarchy). Only through self-restraint and renunciation of material goods did man become equal to the gods in his independence.

A disciple of Antisphenes was Diogenes of Sinope. According to some historians, the doctrine of Antiphenes was not only the beginning of Cynicism, but also influenced the emergence of Stoicism.

Antisthenes was born between 455 and 445 B.C. His father was an Athenian and his mother a Thracian slave. Such an origin made Antiphenes, though free, but illegitimate, deprived him of civil rights. Antisthenes himself, at least outwardly, was not too worried about this. According to Diogenes of Laertes, he used to point out that 'the Mother of the gods is also a Phrygian', while the Athenians, proud of their origins, 'are no more generous than snails and grasshoppers'. Antisthenes' origins influenced his teachings. His status as an inferior citizen made it easier for the philosopher to reject the social and religious norms generally accepted in Ancient Athens.

According to ancient tradition, Antisthenes spent his entire life in Athens. He left the city only a few times, one of which was to take part in the battle of the Peloponnesian War at Tanagra in 426 B.C. As a young man Antisphenes studied under the famous "father of rhetoric" and the sophist Gorgias. At this time he became acquainted with the famous sophists Prodicus and Hippius. Sophistry had a significant influence on the philosophy of early Antisthenes. He even became quite a famous rhetorician. According to Theopompus, "by the sweetness of his speech . Subsequently he joined Socrates and became both his friend and pupil. The German philosopher and historian T. Gompertz emphasized that the poverty and asceticism "glorified" by Antisphenes in no way corresponded to the testimonies about the lessons of the most dear teacher of Ancient Athens - Gorgias. Apparently, some stroke of fate turned Antisthenes into a poor man. This is when he began his apprenticeship with Socrates. This hypothetical event took place when Antisphenes was already at a mature age. Plato joked caustically about Antiphonus being a "belated" student of Socrates. According to tradition Antisphenes traveled daily about 8 km from Piraeus to Athens to listen to the philosopher. In Xenophon's Memoirs of Socrates, Antisphenes and Apollodorus are described as disciples who never strayed from Socrates. From the teachings of Socrates, Antisthenes took endurance and impassivity, the conviction that the only good in life is virtue. It must manifest itself in deeds, but by no means in words. According to Plato, Antisphenes was present at the last moments of his teacher's life.

Soon after the execution of Socrates the mood of the Athenians changed. The citizens of the polis repented of having executed one of their most famous fellow citizens: they closed the palaestras and gymnasiums, condemned the official prosecutor, Meletus, to death, and the organizer of the trial, Anita, to banishment. According to one version, Antisthenes contributed to this. A few days after his teacher's death he met some young men from afar who wanted to talk to Socrates. He not only took them to Anicius, but mockingly announced that Socrates had surpassed him in intellect and virtue. By this he achieved the indignation of those present, which led to the condemnation of Meletus, Anitus and others involved in the condemnation of Socrates.

After the death of Socrates, Antisphenes broke off relations with his mentors and comrades. He began to criticize Gorgias, Plato's theory of ideas, and the famous orator and politician Isocrates. Antisphenes opened his own school in Athens in the gymnasium of the temple of Hercules for underprivileged citizens at Kinosarga, which literally means "White or Sharp Dog". According to one version, the followers of Antisphenes began to call themselves Cynics, as they studied at Kinosarga. According to another version, Antisthenes himself called himself the Dog. The philosopher's external attributes such as the cloak he wore on his bare body in all weathers, his staff and bag, corresponded to this image. The teachings of Antisthenes began to attract the lower and disadvantaged classes of society.

According to ancient tradition, the disciple of Antisphenes was Diogenes. Modern scholars doubt the validity of this statement. Thus, D. R. Dudley believed that Diogenes moved from Sinope to Athens in the 340s, that is, after the death of Antisphenes. Legend has it that the philosopher at first refused to teach Diogenes, but the latter, by his persistence, got his way. When Antisphenes took a swing at his troublesome pupil with a stick, Diogenes said: "Strike, but you will not find a stick so strong as to chase me away unless you say something." According to another legend, when asked why he had so few students, Antisphenes replied, "Because I chase them away with a silver stick," that is, I demand exorbitant tuition, and they leave on their own. Asked why he was being so cruel, the philosopher compared himself to a doctor and his pupil to a patient: "Doctors are also hard on the sick". Aristotle also mentions some "anti-Sthenes", but does not mention their names. Modern historians are not aware of specific "antisphenians". It is possible that Aristotle used this term to designate people who, although they accepted those or other aspects of Antisphenes' teachings, but refused the way of life propagated by him.

Antisphenes died, presumably around 366 B.C. According to Diogenes of Laertes, the cause of his death was consumption. According to one legend, when he exclaimed shortly before his death: "Ah, who will put me out of my misery?"  - Diogenes held out a dagger to his teacher. Antisphenes objected, "from suffering, not from life!"

A peculiarity of the teachings of the Cynics was the rejection of norms of behavior. Disregard for the appearance and opinion of the crowd became the "visiting card" of the representatives of the Cynic school. For Antisthenes and his followers, the guarantee of happiness was following the laws of virtue, which implied not only freedom from the power of the ideals and moral values of society, but also freedom from their own motives and passions. Antisphenes did not deny pleasure, but saw in the pursuit of it the main obstacle to virtue. At the same time the philosopher ridiculed and refuted the basic moral values of the ancient Athenians, such as purity of origin, religious beliefs and the foundations of democracy.

In the philosophy of Antisthenes we can distinguish five components - dialectics and logic, ethics, theology, politics, pedagogy, subordinated to the principle of radical asceticism, based on natural and natural norms.

Logic and Dialectic

In this direction, the teachings of Antisthenes represented a synthesis of sophistry and the Socratic principle of self-restraint. The logic of the Sophists was directed toward the outside world, toward convincing others, while, according to Antiphonus, philosophy should teach the individual to understand his own feelings. The logical paradoxes of Antisthenes are not related to the sophistic substitution of concepts, but to the Logos. It was Antisthenes who first defined it: "the logos is that which, explains what something is or is". According to the doctrine of the philosopher, "only one thing can be said about one thing, namely its own name alone". Polemicizing with Plato, Antisphenes denied the theory of ideas: "I see a horse, but I do not see a horse." In the same way, he questioned the presence of "humanity" in man. The denial of the substantiality of generic and species concepts leads to the impossibility of attributing a predicate to a subject, of defining one subject through another without violating the law of identity, since only a single instance of a species is perceptible, but not the "species" or "idea" itself;

According to a popular ancient anecdote, in response to the arguments of a representative of the Aelean school about the impossibility of movement, Antisphenes stood up and silently began to walk. By this he demonstrated his conviction of the superiority of sensual evidence over sophisticated arguments based on outwardly correct logical assertions.

Ethics and Politics

The foundations of Antisthenes' ethics are identical to those of Socrates. Antisthenes advocated the need to be self-sufficient, which, in turn, implied the ability not to need anything. Through self-restraint and the renunciation of material goods, man becomes equal to the gods in his independence. Only if the gods attain independence through overabundance, mortals attain independence through the lack of need for one or another good. Such external attributes as fame, prestige and luxury deprive self-sufficiency (autarky) and virtue, the indispensable prerequisites of happiness. It is in virtue that nobility and wealth, which society erroneously attributes to noble origins and the amount of money. To the question of what a man should dream of, Antisthenes replied, "The most blessed thing for a man is to die happy. Thus for the philosopher the prerequisite for immortality was a pious and righteous life.

Antisphenes believed that man should take his example from animals. State institutions, laws and even social conventions, such as the equality of human beings, contradict the laws of nature. Antisthenes' disagreement with the status quo led him to seek a solution in a return to primordial origins. Antisthenes contrasted the weakness and pampering of human culture with the lack of excessive needs and the endurance of the animal world. The extant treatise "On the Life of Animals" contained examples of behavior and organization of life for humans. The very idea of a return to the natural was picked up by numerous admirers of the philosopher. In Platonic philosophy, the formation of cities with their laws was seen as the self-organization of people to protect them from the wild world and injustice. The Cynics argued to the contrary that city life was the beginning of injustice; it was here that deceit, lies, and atrocities reached their peak. The more people found the means to eliminate adversity, the more complicated and dishonest life itself became. Human arbitrariness contradicts the reason of nature, for it is the source of true reason. When creation tries to improve the creator, the result is clearly the opposite.

In his dialogues Antisphenes condemned the most famous political figures. All their accomplishments, including fame, fortune, and power, were, in the philosopher's view, not merely useless, but harmful. His attitude to the Greco-Persian wars was revolutionary. Victory over a rival representing the persecuted scourge of the mob is not worthy of glorification. Since during the war with the Persians the Greeks both won and lost some battles, in general it can be compared to a confrontation between two unsophisticated wrestlers. The final victory of the Hellenes was the result not of moral superiority, but of unpredictable luck.


The religious views of Antisthenes were characterized by a combination of two seemingly opposite trends - pantheism and monism. On the one hand, the philosopher was in awe of the one god who created nature: "according to the opinions of men, there are many gods, but in nature there is one". On the other, not only did he not deny the Olympian pantheon, but he cited many examples from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Thus Antisthenes entered into an internal contradiction. Instead of rejecting the myths, Antisthenes, and after him the Cynics, began to interpret them, finding "more courage" in their interpretations than they would have if they had claimed the utter failure of ancient Greek religion.

For example, according to the Cynics, the underlying meaning of the Prometheus myth was that Zeus punished the titan not because he was unkind to people, but because he gave them culture, thereby laying the foundation for luxury and depravity. Similarly, Antisthenes described the execution of Palamedes in a new way. To this mythological hero the ancient Greeks attributed the invention of the meal, the alphabet, arithmetic, the game of checkers, etc. On the basis of an unjust and false accusation on the part of Odysseus, Palamedes was executed. Antisphenes ironically asks: "How is it possible that education and refinement of life could have borne such fruit. How is it possible that the two Atridians, who as princes and generals had derived the most from these inventions, allowed their teacher to be accused and allowed him to die a shameful death?" The event, as interpreted by Antisthenes, like the myth of Prometheus, proved the imaginary goodness of culture, for there is no nobility in it.


Antisthenes' main point about education was that virtue is the most important thing in education. This quality can be taught because virtue is identical with reason and is an essential attribute of happiness. The statement of Antisthenes "who has attained sanity should not study literature, so as not to go astray following others" has two interpretations. One suggests the harm of literacy for man, because excessive knowledge corrupts and leads astray from the right path, the other - the rejection of sophistry as a study of words. In this vein Antisphenes criticizes the most famous politicians and rhetors. He cites as an example Pericles' sons Paralus and Xanthippus. Although they received the best education by antique standards, they did not become men of dignity. The education of the sophists, according to Antisthenes, did not reach the main goal of education - to make a good citizen. As a young man Antiphonus himself had studied under the famous rhetorician Gorgias and was well acquainted with the criticized educational approaches.

Antisthenes devoted a special work in five books (Περὶ παιδείας ἢ περὶ ὀνομάτων) to a description of how education should be organized. In it the philosopher, following the example of Socrates, advises learning true virtue rather than acquiring much unrealizable knowledge in life. In general, unlike other schools of philosophy, positioning oneself as a disciple of Socrates did not imply adherence to one theory or another. The focus on virtue and the search for the right path in life became a distinctive feature of the Socratic. Accordingly, the main task of education, according to Antisphenes, was "to learn to distinguish between good and evil, useful and harmful, so as to adhere to the one and avoid the other. Learning the moral quality which virtue represents is possible, but not in the usual way of transmitting specific knowledge, but by personal effort. If we are talking about self-education, the need to personally arrive at virtue, can we talk about education as such? Philosophy, according to Antisthenes, teaches us to "talk to ourselves," how to see the best way to achieve virtue.

The goal of education advocated by Antisphenes was an alternative not only to the utilitarian paideia of the Sophists, but also to the pedagogical strategy of Isocrates and Plato. For the former, the main goal of education was its usefulness, namely, the ability to win arguments and make convincing speeches before the People's Assembly and the courts; for the latter, the main goal of education was the good of the polis, the education of a citizen willing to sacrifice himself for the common good. The ideal of Antisthenes was a self-sufficient, virtuous man who was not interested in the problems of society around him.

According to Diogenes of Laertes, Antisphenes' works, of which there were 74, can be roughly divided into rhetorical, natural-philosophical, logical, and exegetical ones. In them the philosopher described various aspects of his teachings and criticized his opponents. In contrast to Plato's dialogues, where the protagonists were aristocrats and philosophers, the works of Antisthenes focused on the common people - ordinary craftsmen and poor people. The poor preservation of his works is explained by the peculiarities of their content. Already in antiquity they were destroyed as undermining the foundations of public morals and beliefs.

Diogenes of Laertes cites the titles of Antisphenes' writings, grouped into ten volumes:

The same source emphasizes the multiplicity and diversity of the writings, and also cites Timon's assessment of Antisphenes: "a chatterbox of all things".

"Ajax and Odysseus

"The Ajax and Odysseus are the only works by Antisthenes that have survived in their entirety. They can be considered both as an example of sophistic and rhetorical prose of the period of Gorgias' teaching and as an example of the subsequent "Socratic" stage of Antisthenes' life. On the basis of the mythological story of the quarrel between the two heroes of Homer's Iliad, the author tried to define and describe the nature of virtue (Ἀρετή). In these writings, Antisthenes distinguished two types of άρετή - the heroic warrior and the political inhabitant of the polis.

The speech of Ajax is unconvincing, which creates the image of a verbose and lethargic man, whose virtues are proved by deeds on the field of battle, not by florid speeches. The superiority of Odysseus' performance is not in doubt. Ajax contrasts deeds with words and asks the judges to judge him on the basis of his deeds, not his speeches. In doing so, he puts himself in a knowingly losing position, since people who do not know the essence of the case make a decision on the basis of speeches. Unlike Ajax, Odysseus is calm and respectful of the judges. He bases his speech on his answers to Ajax. According to Odysseus, physical strength and recklessness on the battlefield are inherent in wild animals. Intelligence, which allows the hero to avoid many dangers and, most importantly, to achieve the result - the basis of virtue. Ajax's recklessness and uncontrollable rage are dangerous not only to his enemies, but also to Ajax himself. Here Antisthenes interprets the myth of the last day of Ajax's life, when the hero in a fit of madness first wanted to kill his enemies in the camp of the Greeks and then committed suicide. Odysseus believes that "a noble man will suffer neither himself, nor another, nor his enemies." Ajax's courage on the battlefield is aimed at self-assertion and personal glory, that is, it pursues egoistic goals. War, according to Odysseus, must first and foremost represent concern for the common good. Ajax accused his adversary of not doing anything explicitly. All of Odysseus' achievements have to do with cunning, lying and deceit. And can a liar possess true άρετή? Antisphenes himself sides with Odysseus in this case. Genuine lying is ignorance, while the ability to lie for the common good is justified and is the sign of a knowledgeable and wise man. "And wise men are at the same time virtuous."


Antisphenes introduced the figure of Hercules into the philosophical thought of the Cynics. The image of the famous mythological hero was significantly reinterpreted. Antisthenes transformed the physical strength of Hercules into moral and intellectual strength, self-discipline and movement toward a high goal. There is a debate in scholarly circles as to the number and titles of Antisthenes' treatises on Hercules. In the book "On the Lives, Teachings and Sayings of Famous Philosophers" by Diogenes of Laertes, the following works by Antisphenes are mentioned: "Heracles the Great, or On Strength", "Heracles, or Midas", "Heracles, or On Reason or Strength". The absence of "Heracles the Lesser", mentioned by Diogenes of Laertes in his chapter on Aeschines, draws attention. Perhaps, "Heracles the Lesser" is one of the titles of the treatise "Heracles, or Midas". According to another version, these three treatises were parts of one work, the main protagonist of which was Heracles.

Thanks to quotations from several ancient sources (Eratosthenes, Proclus, Plutarch, the Vatican gnomologist, Themistius, Diogenes of Laertes) modern historians have created a reconstruction of the plot and problems of the anti-Sphenos work on Hercules. It should be borne in mind that most of the statements are speculative in nature. The action unfolds in the cave of the centaur Chiron, who educates young men of virtue. Among Chiron's disciples, besides Hercules, Achilles and Asclepius are mentioned. Prometheus is also one of the protagonists of the treatise. The opposition of Hercules to Prometheus forms one of the main plot lines. The treatise concludes with the death of Chiron, who accidentally wounded himself with an arrow from Hercules' quiver that was poisoned by the poison of the Hydra of Lernaeus. According to one version, it was the Antisthenes work that influenced the appearance of the myth of Hercules' training by the centaur Chiron in later mythographers.

In the very place, the cave on Mount Pelion, one can trace a polemic with Plato. The image of the cave in Book 7 of Plato's The State contrasts sharply with the anti-Sphenos image. In the first dialogue, the cave represents a symbol of unenlightenment, and the truth can only be known by climbing a mountain. In Antisphenes, the cave and the mountain are located in the same place, and the truth, both inside and outside, is the same everywhere. In Chiron the image of Socrates is clearly brought out. Chiron and Socrates died of poison. Chiron, who taught the art of healing to Asclepius, the god of medicine, could not heal himself. Socrates, known for his powers of persuasion, could not defend himself in court. Achilles is portrayed by Alcibiades, Prometheus by Plato, and Hercules by Antisphenes himself. Plato-Prometheus argues about general concepts, his wisdom, although it carries "fire" and "light," is detached from reality. Prometheus himself is defenseless, while the practical Hercules not only knows how to stand up for himself and protect others, but also achieves results on the path to virtue.

In Hercules Antisphenes polemicizes not only with Plato, but also with Xenophonte and Prodicus, to whom the plot "Hercules at the Crossroads" is attributed. Whereas in Xenophon's Memoirs of Socrates effort is necessary to achieve the good, for Antisphenes effort itself is the essence of virtue.


According to modern estimates, Antisphenes is one of the creators of the literary genre "protrepticus" (literal translation from the ancient Greek - exhortation) - an invitation to the reader to engage in philosophy. However, information about Antisphenes' Protrepticus is so scarce that it is impossible to reproduce its essence. In the list of the philosopher's works by Diogenes of Laertes it is mentioned "Περι διχαιοσύνης χαι άνδρειας προτρεπτιχός πρώτος, δεύτερος, τρίτος, Περι Φεόγνιδος δ`, ε` ("On Justice and Courage, an Encouraging Speech in Three Books, On Theognidas the 4th, the 5th"). Already the name itself in the scholarly milieu causes discrepancies. It is not entirely clear whether it is two or one work of five books, where the first three are about justice and courage and the fourth and fifth are about Theognides.

The content of this work of Antisphenes is practically unknown. In Athenaeus' Feast of the Wise, there is a quotation from Protrepticus, "to be fattened like piglets. What fattened piglets have to do with justice and courage remains unclear. Also mentioned in the work is a "buzzing bowl," the so-called bombylii. Here a parallel with Xenophon's "Peer" is possible: "...if we pour much drink into ourselves at once, soon our body and mind will refuse to serve, we shall not be able even to breathe, to say nothing of speaking; but if these good fellows help us by pouring a drop at a time, with little glasses, - I will also say in the manner of Gorgias, - then the wine will not make us drunk with force, but will help us to develop a more cheerful disposition". Among the contents of the Protrepticus, the anticollectors refer to the advice to "acquire either a mind or a rope.

Antique estimates

In the figurative expression of Diogenes of Laertes: "Apparently, it was he who laid the foundation of the strictest stoic customs... He was a model of impassivity for Diogenes, self-mastery for Cratete, steadfastness for Zeno: it was he who laid the foundation for their constructions". Antique sources characterized Antisphenes as a faithful disciple of Socrates (Xenophonte), a sophist (Plato), the head of the Cynics (Athenaeus). Aristotle calls his followers not cynics, but "antisphenics". The image of the sage created by Antisphenes passed on to the Stoics, and the way of life and appearance to the Cynics. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the writings of Antisphenes became a model for the classical Attic style, on a par with Lysias and Xenophon.

According to P. Hartlich, Antisphenes became the prototype of Eutidemus and Dionysodorus in Plato's dialogue "Eutidemus. In his works Plato, although he polemicizes with Antisphenes, nowhere, with the exception of the dialogue "Phaedon", mentions him by name. The relations between the philosophers cannot be called friendly. In "Sathon" (Σάθον) Antisphenes criticized Plato's ideas. The very name "Saphon", consonant with "Plato", denoted the male sexual organ. Apparently, Plato's reaction was to ignore his colleague and disciple Socrates. At the same time, he could not ignore the ideas expressed by Antisphenes. Their criticism is contained in the "State", the dialogues "Theaetetetus", "Protagoras", etc. So, for example, in the "State" Plato explains why, created from living by the example of animals people cannot exist. In the Sophist, Plato calls Antisphenes an "unlearned old man" who "takes pleasure in not allowing man to be called good, but in saying that good is good and man is only man." A critique of Antisphenes' nominalism is present in Aristotle's Metaphysics.

Of his contemporaries, Xenophonte describes Antiphonus in a positive way. According to scholars, the Antisphenian interpretations of Socrates' teachings had a great influence on Xenophon's own views.

The 13th Cynic Epistle, a work from the period of the Roman Empire, a fictional letter from Aristippus to Simon the tanner, contains the claim that Antisthenes' way of life, walking barefoot and unwashed, "with nits under his long nails," transforms man into an animal.

Current estimates

There are several differing views on the role of Antisphenes in the history of philosophy. For a long time Antisphenes was regarded as a second-rate philosopher, "in the shadow" of Socrates and Plato. For the first time his doctrine became the subject of scholarly research only in the mid-19th century. In 1842 Augustus Winkelmann published a monograph in which he collected all the ancient accounts of the life and teachings of Antisthenes (Antisthenis fragmenta, Turici, 1842). Hegel described the development of philosophy as a dialectical process in which the initial affirmation (I) is replaced by its negation (II) and subsequently by the synthesis (III) of the first two stages. In this context he deduced the successive line "I. Sophists → II. Socratics → III. Plato and Aristotle." According to Hegel, the doctrine of the Socratics was an important stage in the development of ancient Greek philosophy. Among this group he distinguished three schools: the Megarian, the Cyrenian, and the Cynic, whose founder was Antisphenes. Subsequently, Hegel's provisions were criticized. For example, the German philosopher Eduard Zeller singled out the Sophists in the "pre-Socratic period," followed by classical Greek philosophy based on three figures - Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. The role of the Socratics in this system was minimized, losing its independent significance. E. Zeller himself defined it in the title of a paragraph in his monograph "Essays on the History of Greek Philosophy" - "The Lesser Socratic Schools". This attitude toward the Socraticists, among whom was Antisphenes, prevailed in literature for a century. For example, Professor V. F. Asmus in "Ancient Philosophy" devoted only a few pages to the Socraticists, because he did not see in their teachings any significant contribution to the development of philosophy. Giovanni Reale and Dario Anticeri, in the first volume of the history of Western philosophy of 1983, defined them as "minor" or "junior" Socraticians, emphasizing their minor role in the line of succession "Sophists → Socrates → Plato".

The relevant assessments began to be reconsidered from the second half of the twentieth century, as the validity of the terms "Socratics" and "Socratic schools" was questioned, which naturally led to a rethinking of the role of each particular philosopher. Antisphene's doctrine is perceived as such, which foreshadowed the emergence of several philosophical systems. There is disagreement among scholars as to which of the philosophers of Ancient Hellas should be considered the founder of the Cynic school. According to various sources, Antisphenes studied under Socrates and was the teacher of Diogenes. Cratetus was the pupil of the latter, and Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, was his student. Thus, a philosophical school with a line of continuity Socrates - Cynics - Stoics emerges. Antisphenes is considered the founder of the philosophical school of Cinicism. This approach was defended by Hegel, E. Zeller, W. Windelband, T. Gompertz, and others. There is also an opposite view, according to which the first cynic was Diogenes (D. Dudley, Sayre, G. Giannantoni), or Cratete (Sayre). The very fact of the historical meeting between Antisphenes and Diogenes has been questioned. The reassessment of Antisthenes' role as "founder of the Cynic school" was facilitated by the four-volume edition of G. Giannantoni's Socratis et Socraticorum reliquiae, published in 1983 and then reprinted in 1990, and the collection of Antisthenes' testimonies and fragments, Antisthenes of Athens: Texts, Translations, and Commentary, prepared in 2015 by S. Prince. Louis Navia has suggested that Cynicism was never a "philosophical school" in the modern sense of the word. A more accurate definition for Kinism would be a "movement" with certain ideas and beliefs. It is a thankless task to look for a "first" in such terms, since the roots of cynical ideas can be identified even in Heraclitus and Democritus.


  1. Antisthenes
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