Antisthenes of Athens

Antisthenes of Athens
Birth 445 BC
Death 365 BC

Pupil of Socrates and teacher of Diogenes. Social outcast and pioneer of Cynicism, he argued that you should act according to your instincts and live a simple life, like dogs do, shaking off the shackles of cultural convention, religious dogma and unnecessary material possessions. He influenced Christian asceticism, Schopenhauer’s philosophy (the idea that life is meaninglessness) and Nietzsche (the concept of ‘the will to power’). He authored a myriad of aphorisms, including our personal favourite: ‘A beautiful wife is public property; an ugly wife is her husband’s punishment’.

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