Philosophy Fun Facts II

Philosophy can be incredibly dry at times, giving it a bad name. With all of its jargon, complex theories, and intricate history, philosophy is strictly scholarly, intimidating intellectuals, scaring away laypeople, and attracting very little attention, as most people prefer to stay away from the dense topic; what people tend to overlook, though, is that philosophy is not always boring, for philosophy is filled with humorous yet interesting anecdotes concerning famous philosophers. So, without further ado, I present part two of Philosophy Fun Facts, which will be a short series of quirky but educational fun facts about philosophers and philosophy.

The Cynics

unknownThe ancient school of Cynicism was popularized by Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BCE). Diogenes was called a dog (kynikos), because he ignored social norms. He lived in a barrel, ate soup through his hands with bread, and pleasured and relieved himself in public. When Alexander the Conqueror offered him anything, Diogenes requested the general stay out of his sunlight. Diogenes’s students, Crates (365-285 BCE) and Hipparchia (350-280 BCE), learned from the best, going on to make love in the marketplace to everyone’s disgust.

The Death of Pythagoras

imagesPythagoras (570-495 BCE) was an ancient philosopher, mathematician, and cult leader, remembered most for his now-debated discovery of the Pythagorean Theorem. The school of Pythagoreanism was one characterized by great loyalty, for Pythagoras’s followers adhered to a strict set of codes, one of which prohibiting them from eating beans, since Pythagoras thought them to be the seeds from which humans are born. His death is not clear, but some say a mob chased him to a bean field where he chose not to trample the beans and therefore lost his life.



For further reading:
501 Things You Should Have Learned About Philosophy by Alison Rattle (2012)
1001 Ideas That Changed the Way We Think by Robert Arp (2013)
The Essentials of Philosophy by James Mannion (2006)
The Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche (1888)
The Dream of Reason by Anthony Gottlieb (2000)
History of Philosophy by Julian Marias (1967)


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