Cynics (sĭnˈĭks) [key] [Gr., = doglike, probably from their manners and their meeting place, the Cynosarges, an academy for Athenian youths], ancient school of philosophy founded c.440 B.C. by Antisthenes, a disciple of Socrates. The Cynics considered virtue to be the only good, not just the highest good as Socrates had asserted. To them, virtue meant a life of self-sufficiency, of suppression of desires and restriction of wants. The Cynics paraded their poverty, their antagonism to pleasure, and their indifference to others, thereby gaining a reputation for fanatical unconventionality. After Antisthenes the principal Cynics were Diogenes of Sinope and Crates, his pupil. The Cynics, who survived until the 6th cent. A.D., influenced the Stoics, with whom they shared some philosophical objectives (see Stoicism).
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