Ready to think like a philosopher? These Diogenes of Sinope quotes will get you thinking from a different perspective.
Diogenes was an ancient philosopher and is credited with being one of the founders of the cynic philosophy. He believed a person could experience true happiness by abandoning the traditional means of happiness that people pursue such as love, money, and worldly possessions.
Diogenes criticized the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Alexander the Great and lived mainly on the streets begging for food. While this was a rather unconventional life, his unique perspective made for some quotes that really get you thinking.
See what you think of the following Diogenes of Sinope quotes. Also, after reading his words, be sure to also check out our collection of Greek Philosopher quotes that are full of ancient knowledge.
Diogenes of Sinope Quotes on Philosophy
1. “Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards.” – Diogenes of Sinope
2. “Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings?” – Diogenes of Sinope
3. “Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice.” – Diogenes of Sinope
4. “Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy.” – Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes of Sinope quotes about friends and relationships
5. “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.” – Diogenes of Sinope
6. “A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.” – Diogenes of Sinope
7. “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.” – Diogenes of Sinope
8. “Other dogs bite only their enemies, whereas I bite also my friends in order to save them.” – Diogenes of Sinope
9. “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.” – Diogenes of Sinope
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of enemy quotes that will make you want to cut ties with your frenemies.
10. “When two friends part they should lock up each other’s secrets and exchange keys. The truly noble mind has no resentments.” – Diogenes of Sinope
11. “The great thieves lead away the little thief.” – Diogenes of Sinope
12. “The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master.” – Diogenes of Sinope
13. “Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them.” – Diogenes of Sinope
14. “Young men not ought to marry yet, and old men never ought to marry at all.” – Diogenes of Sinope
15. “No man is hurt but by himself.” – Diogenes of Sinope
Also check out these Karl Marx quotes and sayings.
Diogenes of Sinope quotes about people
16. “It takes a wise man to discover a wise man.” – Diogenes of Sinope
17. “Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad.” – Diogenes of Sinope
18. “People who talk well but do nothing are like musical instruments; the sound is all they have to offer.” – Diogenes of Sinope
19. “Man is the most intelligent of the animals – and the most silly.” – Diogenes of Sinope
20. “We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” – Diogenes of Sinope
21. “Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves?” – Diogenes of Sinope
22. “To one who asked what was the proper time for lunch, he said, ‘If a rich man, when you will; if a poor man, where you can.” – Diogenes of Sinope
23. “In a rich man’s house, there is no place to spit but his face.” – Diogenes of Sinope
24. “He has the most who is most content with the least.” – Diogenes of Sinope
25. “You will become a teacher of yourself when for the same things that you blame others, you also blame yourself.” – Diogenes of Sinope
26. “The noblest people are those despising wealth, learning, pleasure, and life; esteeming above them poverty, ignorance, hardship, and death.” – Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes of Sinope quotes about virtue and education
27. “Modest is the color of virtue.” – Diogenes of Sinope
28. “Those that 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.” – Diogenes of Sinope
29. “Poverty is a virtue which one can teach yourself.” – Diogenes of Sinope
30. “To become self-educated you should condemn yourself for all those things that you would criticize others.” – Diogenes of Sinope
31. “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” – Diogenes of Sinope
32. “Education gives sobriety to the young, comfort to the old, riches to the poor and is an ornament to the rich.” – Diogenes of Sinope
33. “Aristotle was once asked what those who tell lies gain by it. Said he – That when they speak truth they are not believed.” – Diogenes of Sinope
34. “Virtue cannot dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house.” – Diogenes of Sinope
You might also like these René Descartes quotes and sayings that will inspire you to put on your thinking cap.
Diogenes of Sinope quotes that will broaden your thoughts
35. “The vine bears three kinds of grapes: the first of pleasure, the second of intoxication, the third of disgust.” – Diogenes of Sinope
36. “I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough.” – Diogenes of Sinope
37. “There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool.” – Diogenes of Sinope
38. “It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours.” – Diogenes of Sinope
39. “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.” – Diogenes of Sinope
40. “The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man.” – Diogenes of Sinope
41. “What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others.” – Diogenes of Sinope
42. “We come into the world alone and we die alone. Why, in life, should we be any less alone?” – Diogenes of Sinope
Insightful Diogenes of Sinope quotes
43. “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” – Diogenes of Sinope
44. “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.” – Diogenes of Sinope
45. “If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead?” – Diogenes of Sinope
46. “The mob is the mother of tyrants.” – Diogenes of Sinope
47. “If your cloak was a gift, I appreciate it; if it was a loan, I’m not through with it yet.” – Diogenes of Sinope
48. “There is a false love that will make you something you are not.” – Diogenes of Sinope
49. “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?” – Diogenes of Sinope
50. “The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech.” – Diogenes of Sinope
More Diogenes of Sinope quotes
51. “Alexander the Great found the philosopher looking attentively at a pile of human bones. Diogenes explained, I am searching for the bones of your father but cannot distinguish them from those of a slave.” – Diogenes
52. “It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little.” – Diogenes of Sinope
53. “Blushing is the color of virtue.” – Diogenes
54. “When someone reminded him that the people of Sinope had sentenced him to exile, he said, And I sentenced them to stay at home.” – Diogenes
55. “Behold! I’ve brought you a man.” – Diogenes of Sinope
56. “You are a simpleton, Hegesias; you do not choose painted figs, but real ones; and yet you pass over the true training and would apply yourself to written rules.” – Diogenes of Sinope
57. “If I gained one thing from philosophy is that at the very least, I am well prepared to confront any change in fortune.” – Diogenes of Sinope
58. “But if you would only learn to live on lentils, you wouldn’t have to flatter Dionysus.” – Diogenes of Sinope
59. “The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted.” – Diogenes
60. “I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance.” – Diogenes
Which of these Diogenes of Sinope quotes inspired you to take a different look at life
Diogenes was a philosopher unlike many of the others. He was a man that chose a different lifestyle than many of the other ancient philosophers. His original way of living challenged many of the standards and gave him a different perspective on life.
Many of the thoughts above are things that can get you thinking. Don’t be afraid to challenge your own thoughts and beliefs in order to gain a better understanding. See if you agree or disagree with his statements.
And, remember to create your own original thoughts as well. As Diogenes once said, “One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings.”
Which of these Diogenes of Sinope quotes resonated with you best? Do you have any other favorite quotes to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below.