60 Diogenes of Sinope Quotes that will Make You Think

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.

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration.

If you enjoy this collection, check out our inspirational quotes category page.

Diogenes of Sinope Quotes onPhilosophy

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

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4. “Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy.” – Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenesof 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

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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
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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

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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

Diogenesof 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

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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

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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

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 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.

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  1. Theo

    December 17, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    I just love the one that says ” there’s nowhere to spit in a rich mans house but his face.” He literally went to a rich mans house. the rich man said he couldn’t spit on anything that touched the floor. he spit in his face it is golden

  2. RVG

    April 25, 2020 at 2:04 PM


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