Dog Favicon for the Cynics and Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes looking for an honest manI’ve added a favicon to (It’s the dog icon you see in the address bar.) But it’s not random and not without significance. I chose it because the word “cynic” comes from the Greek word for “dog”, and “Diogenes the Dog”, or Diogenes of Sinope, is my favorite philosopher.

Credited as one of the fathers of classical Cynicism, Diogenes is an important figure in philosophy, and definitely one of the most colorful. He’s also probably about the only person to lip off to Alexander the Great and live.

More, Diogenes is the one who coined the word “cosmopolitan”. When asked what city he was a citizen of, he responded, “I am a citizen of the world (cosmopolites).”

In the picture on the right Diogenes is searching during the day with a lantern through the marketplace for an honest man. I can’t help but think of chapter 125 of the Gay Science where Nietzsche writes about the madman who took a lantern through the marketplace yelling, “I seek God! I seek God!” and, “God is dead.” I would be truly surprised if Nietzsche had not read “The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers” by Diogenes Laertius where many accounts of Diogenes of Sinope are found.

The modern idea of “cynicism” is nothing like classical Cynicism. While I can’t really subscribe to the whole “no wealth or property” thing in the classical version, much of their philosophy is still good and relevant for today.

More on the Cynics at a later time though.


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