Diogenes Quotes


Diogenes of Sinope was an ancient Greek philosopher and one of the founders of the Cynic philosophy. He lived in the 4th century BCE and is known for his unconventional lifestyle and his radical ideas about the purpose of life.

Diogenes believed that the only way to live a truly happy and fulfilled life was to reject material possessions and social conventions. He famously lived in a large ceramic jar and rejected all forms of luxury and comfort. He also believed in the importance of living in accordance with nature and embracing a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle.

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Diogenes was known for his wit and sharp tongue, and he often used humor to expose the hypocrisy and pretensions of others. He was also a critic of Plato and other prominent philosophers of his time, and he believed that philosophy should be focused on practical, everyday concerns rather than abstract theories and concepts.

Diogenes is remembered as one of the most influential philosophers of ancient Greece, and his ideas continue to inspire thinkers and philosophers today.

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Diogenes is also known as Diogenes the Cynic was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. These Diogenes quotes will motivate you in life.

Famous Diogenes Quotes

1. He has the most who is most content with the least.

2. I pissed on the man who called me a dog. Why was he so surprised?

3. One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings

4. If only it was as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly as it is to masturbate.

5. It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours.

It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours. - Diogenes

6. We come into the world alone and we die alone. Why, in life, should we be any less alone?

7. In a rich man’s house there is no place to spit but his face.

8. We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.

9. Fools! You think of “god” as a sentient being. God is the word used to represent a force. This force created nothing, it just helps things along. It does not answer prayers, although it may make you think of a way to solve a problem. It has the power to influence you, but not decide for you.

10. Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings?

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11. People who talk well but do nothing are like musical instruments; the sound is all they have to offer.

12. No man is hurt but by himself. …Literally by how he interprets what happens to him. If he focusses on how it could have been better, he will be hurt. If he focusses on how it could have been worse, he will be happy. The same is true for women too.

13. The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech.

14. You will become a teacher of yourself when for the same things that you blame others, you also blame yourself.

15. Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves?

16. To become self-educated you should condemn yourself for all those things that you would criticize others.

17. He lit a lamp in broad daylight and said, as he went about, “I am looking for a human.”

18. We are more curious about the meaning of dreams than about things we see when awake.

19. Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice.

20. Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy.

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21. The mob is the mother of tyrants.

22. Education gives sobriety to the young, comfort to the old, riches to the poor and is an ornament to the rich.

23. It takes a wise man to discover a wise man.

24. When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man.

25. As houses well stored with provisions are likely to be full of mice, so the bodies of those that eat much are full of diseases.

26. The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. - Diogenes

27. To the question what wine he found pleasant to drink, he replied, “That for which other people pay.”

28. Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, “The great thieves are leading away the little thief.”

29. The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master.

30. A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.

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31. He once begged alms of a statue, and, when asked why he did so, replied, “To get practice in being refused.”

32. Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.

33. Aristotle was once asked what those who tell lies gain by it. Said he – That when they speak truth they are not believed.

34. There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool.

35. If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead?

36. Other dogs bite only their enemies, whereas I bite also my friends in order to save them.

37. I do not know whether there are gods, but there ought to be.

38. Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.

39. If you are to be kept right, you must possess either good friends or red-hot enemies. The one will warn you, the other will expose you.

40. I am looking for an honest man.

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41. We have complicated every simple gift of the gods.

42. I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

43. I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels.

I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels. - Diogenes

44. One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, “A child has beaten me in plainness of living.”

45. Aren’t you ashamed, you who walk backward along the whole path of existence, and blame me for walking backward along the path of the promenade?

46. When Alexander the Great addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, Diogenes replied “Yes, stand a little out of my sunshine.”

47. Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, “Behold Plato’s man!”

48. He was breakfasting in the marketplace, and the bystanders gathered round him with cries of “dog.” “It is you who are dogs,” cried he, “when you stand round and watch me at my breakfast.”

49. The question was put to him, what hope is; and his answer was, “The dream of a waking man.”

50. On being asked by someone how he could become famous, Diogenes responded: ‘By worrying as little as possible about fame.’

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51. Man is the most intelligent of the animals – and the most silly.

52. Calumny is only the noise of madmen.

53. There is a false love that will make you something you are not.

54. When two friends part they should lock up each other’s secrets and exchange keys. The truly noble mind has no resentments.

55. The noblest people are those despising wealth, learning, pleasure and life; esteeming above them poverty, ignorance, hardship and death.

56. To arrive at perfection, a man should have very sincere friends or inveterate enemies; because he would be made sensible of his good or ill conduct, either by the censures of the one or the admonitions of the other.

57. The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man.

58. Young men not ought to marry yet, and old men never ought to marry at all.

59. The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted.

60. Nothing can be produced out of nothing.

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61. When some one reminded him that the people of Sinope had sentenced him to exile, he said, “And I sentenced them to stay at home.”

62. If your cloak was a gift, I appreciate it; if it was a loan, I’m not through with it yet.

63. The health and vigor necessary for the practice of what is good, depend equally on both mind and body.

64. Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself.

65. Virtue cannot dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house.

Virtue cannot dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house. - Diogenes

66. Let us not unlearn what we have already learned

67. No man is hurt but by himself.

68. When asked what was the proper time for supper: If you are a rich man, whenever you please; and if you are a poor man, whenever you can.

69. When the slave auctioneer asked in what he was proficient, he replied, “In ruling people.”

70. Wise kings generally have wise counselors; and he must be a wise man himself who is capable of distinguishing one.

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71. It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little.

72. Blushing is the color of virtue.

73. He was seized and dragged off to King Philip, and being asked who he was, replied, “A spy upon your insatiable greed.”

74. The chief good is the suspension of the judgment [especially negative judgement], which tranquillity of mind follows like its shadow.

75. Lust is a strong tower of mischief, and hath in it many defenders, as neediness, anger, paleness, discord, love, and longing.

76. To Xeniades, who had purchased Diogenes at the slave market, he said, “Come, see that you obey orders.”

77. Love comes with hunger.

78. I have nothing to ask but that you would remove to the other side, that you may not, by intercepting the sunshine, take from me what you cannot give.

79. The Sun visits cesspools without being defiled.

80. Those who have virtue always in their mouths, and neglect it in practice, are like a harp, which emits a sound pleasing to others, while itself is insensible of the music.

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81. I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough.

82. I am called a dog because I fawn on those who give me anything, I yelp at those who refuse, and I set my teeth in rascals.

83. Solon used to say that speech was the image of actions; . . . that laws were like cobwebs, – for that if any trifling or powerless thing fell into them, they held it fast; while if it were something weightier, it broke through them and was off.

84. Asked where he came from, he said, “I am a citizen of the world.”

Asked where he came from, he said,

85. I am looking for a human.

86. It was a favorite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend.

87. As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task.

88. Being asked where in Greece he saw good men, he replied, “Good men nowhere, but good boys at Sparta.”

89. Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.

90. Perdicas threatened to put him to death unless he came to him, “That’s nothing wonderful,” Diogenes said, “for a beetle or a tarantula would do the same.”

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91. Democritus says, “But we know nothing really; for truth lies deep down”.

92. By worrying as little as possible about fame.

93. Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad.

94. Ability in man is an apt good, if it be applied to good ends.

95. The great thieves lead away the little thief.

96. Good men nowhere, but good boys at Sparta.

97. When some one boasted that at the Pythian games he had vanquished men, Diogenes replied, “Nay, I defeat men, you defeat slaves.”

98. Aristotle dines when it seems good to King Philip, but Diogenes when he himself pleases.

99. Boasting, like gilded armour, is very different inside from outside.

100. Chilo advised, “not to speak evil of the dead.”

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