Teachings of Diogenes

In philosophy on April 26, 2012 at 09:22

Teachings of Diogenes — Read more at David Quinn’s website

Diogenes was asked, “Tell me, to what do you attribute your great poverty?”

“Hard work,” he replied.

“And what advice can you offer the rich?”

“Avoid all the good things in life.”


“Because money costs too much. A rich man is far poorer than a poor man.”

“How can that be?”

“Because poverty is the only thing money can’t buy.”

Diogenes was asked, “What is the difference between life and death?

“No difference.”

“Well then, why do you remain in this life?”

“Because there is no difference.”

  1. This is why philosophers can be annoying.


  2. For those who care to think about things both transcendent or immanent, one of the functions of a true philosopher is to ignite thought in us, in a way that Socrates did. As you know he annoyed the hell out of people and it cost him his life. Otherwise if philosophers don’t make us think about everyday things, they are not doing their job as philosophers. Thinking can be painful and thus we tend to avoid the activity. That said, we need to force the habit of thinking in order to survive. Ayn Rand famously said that thinking is our tool of survival.


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