Socratic philosophy as a way of life
Despite his methodological principle of ignorance, in a practical sense, Socrates consistently adhered to a certain way of life, which later became the subject of imitation (up to extreme forms, as in Cynics). The fundamental rejection of the falsehood and general direction of the Athenian policy of the Peloponnesian War did not prevent him from fulfilling his civic duties. Constant concentration on philosophical search, readiness for dialectical conversation,
asceticism, indifference to fame - all this made him a unique representative of the Athenian culture. Socrates justified his behavior by a decree from the gods: it could be prophetic dreams sent by Apollo, or the voice of the inner spirit - daimonia. In the writings of Plato, his teacher sometimes appears as a prophet, sometimes a medium, a mediator between the sphere of gods and people.
However, the Athenian religious consciousness was distrustful of the "unauthorized" prophecy. Not belonging, moreover, to the number of "cheers-patriots" and not adhering to any of the political trends, Socrates could not but arouse suspicion on the part of the Athenian philistine. The designation of Socrates as atopic (from Greek atopfa - irrelevance, absurdity) of the sage is perhaps the most vivid expression of this philistine appraisal. The highest expression of the integrity of the character, the unity of philosophy and lifestyle became the behavior of Socrates during the trial and awaiting execution. To a certain extent, it was this event that formed the basis of the "Socratic" turn in the philosophical search, having done "nothing knowing" that did not write the scholarly treatises of the non-possessor thinker a symbol of the beginning European philosophy.
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Socratic schools, whose representatives are called sokratikami, arose after the death of Socrates (399 BC), when his students began to engage in independent philosophical and teaching activities. No doubt, the most authoritative disciple of Socrates was Plato , who founded in 387 BC. in Athens, his school - Academy. The history of the Platonic Academy will be discussed in the relevant chapter. It is worth mentioning the names of some other students of Socrates, who left a trace in the history of thought and literature. Firstly, it is the historian Xenophon (444-356 BC) , whose composition "Memories of Socrates" is one of the few sources that allow us to reconstruct the biography of Socrates, imagine his way of life and thoughts. Secondly, it's Fedon of Elis , famous for being the hero of the eponymous dialogue of Plato, whose theme is the nature of the soul. At one time, Phaedo headed his own school, which, however, did not last long. The works of Fedon, written in the form of dialogues, were not preserved, and therefore it is not possible to set out the main points of his teaching.
Traditionally, the Socratic schools include Kinic (its followers are called cynics ), Kirenskaya (her followers are called Cyrenaica) and Megarian (her followers are megarics).
The cynical school was founded by Antisthenes from Athens (between 444 and 435 - between 370 and 360 BC) , however the most famous cynic philosopher is Diogenes of Sinop (412-323 BC) .
The founder of the school Antisthenes of Athens was older than other disciples of Socrates - Plato and Xenophon. At first he studied with Gorgias and communicated with many famous sophists. Prior to acquaintance with Socrates, Antisthenes was already widely known as an orator and sophist. After the death of Socrates, Antisthenes opens a school in Kyposarges (kynosarges) - a gymnasium dedicated to Hercules and located on Kinosarg hill in Athens, where illegitimate children of Athenian citizens were practicing. Some believe that it was the name of this gymnasium that got its name from the school of Cynics: kyon, kynos - in Greek, a dog. Antisthenes himself called himself the True Dog. He followed the ethical principles of his teacher Socrates and argued that the best life is to preserve naturalness, care for one's nature and disregard the conventions formed by culture. Thus, in the philosophy of cynicism, the key question was the question of the nature of man and the ways of being human in the world. In other words, cynicism is, above all, ethics.
The principles of kinetic ethics are as follows.
1. Askesis - An exercise related to the education of the ability to self-restraint and the transfer of difficulties. Cynical asceticism was expressed in limiting its needs, and for this it was required to understand what is necessary for man by nature, and that such is not necessary.
2. Apaideusia [apaideusia] - liberation from the norms and dogmas of culture, which, according to the Cynics, hamper the free manifestation of human nature. Thus, the cynics understood the relation physis - nomos (nature - law, establishment) as an opposition, and not as a unity.
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3. Autarky [avtarkeia] - independence from anything external, self-sufficiency and self-restraint. Experiencing need, according to the Cynics, is the destiny of the weak.
As you can see, Kinich's way of thinking assumed (at least in theory) a certain practice related to the implementation of established ethical principles.
Antisthenes was famous for his literary talent and wrote many works (today we know the names of 74 of them), but only fragments have reached us.
Diogenes Laertius retained some of the sayings of Antisthenes. For example, when the latter was asked what the philosophy gives him, he replied: "The ability to talk to oneself" . On the question of which science is the most necessary, the answer was: "Science forget unnecessary" . The most desirable for a person, according to the cynic, is "Die happy" .
The same Diogenes testifies to some peculiarities of the behavior of Cynics, which can be interpreted as a manifestation of vanity. According to legend, when Antisthenes turned so that holes were visible on his cloak, Socrates rebuked him, saying: "Through this cloak, I see your vanity!" .
One of the most famous cynics was the pupil of Antisthenes - Diogenes of Sinope (circa 412-323 BC).
There is a legend according to which Diogenes somehow in broad daylight walked through the streets with a lighted lantern. Asked why he is doing this, the philosopher replied: "I'm looking for a man." When asked where he came from, they heard in response: "I am a citizen of the world". Apparently, it was Diogenes Sinopsky who first used this word - kosmopolites, cosmopolitan , or a citizen of the world. In his interrogation, he went so far as to live in pithos (a barrel for wine).
In general, we have reached quite a few names of philosophers-Cynics, preserved and fragments of their writings. In addition to the above-mentioned Antisthenes and Diogenes, it is worthwhile to name Krasta Thebansky, Enomaya Gadarsky and Dion of Prusa, nicknamed Chrysostom (Chrysostom). Among the names listed by Diogenes Laertius, there is also one female - Hypiarchy, who was the wife and student of Crateth.
According to various sources, the cynics devoted considerable attention to literature - rhetoric and literature.
Their main rhetorical genre in which they have achieved perfection is diatribe (preaching on ethical themes). In addition, the cynics widely used small forms - short sayings, the so-called hrei and apothegms. One of the cynics, Menippus Gadarsky (middle of the 3rd c. BC), is the founder of a special literary genre - mesnipal satire, which is a combination of prose and poetry. This genre became extremely popular afterwards: it suffices to say that in the form of a menippean satire is written the work of Boethius "Consolation by Philosophy".
Ironically, the Cynics were opponents of Plato. This is all the more surprising since their philosophy and the philosophy of Plato come from a common source - the wisdom of Socrates. This state of affairs probably indicates the originality of Platonic philosophy, inspired by Socrates, but developed independently of him. The so-called Socratics, and the Cynics among them, most likely were closer to the original the teachings of Socrates, than his most famous pupil, Plato.
Unlike Plato, the Cynics did not recognize the existence of ideas as essences of things. Diogenes Laertius tells this story. Diogenes once objected to Plato, that he saw the table and the cup, and there were no pregnancies and cups. To which Plato replied: "And it is understandable: in order to see the table and the cup, you have eyes, and to see dignity and chastnost, you do not have the mind" .
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