110+ Best Diogenes Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Diogenes, also known as Diogenes the Cynic, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. Profoundly inspirational Diogenes quotes will encourage you to think a little deeper than you usually would and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for meaningful philosopher quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound Epictetus quotes, amazing Epicurus quotes and top Friedrich Nietzsche quotes.

Famous Diogenes Quotes

Why not whip the teacher when the pupil misbehaves? – Diogenes

He was breakfasting in the marketplace, and the bystanders gathered round him with cries of dog. It is you who are dogs, cried he, when you stand round and watch me at my breakfast. – Diogenes

In a rich man’s house there is no place to spit but his face. – Diogenes

I am looking for an honest man. – Diogenes

Man is the most intelligent of the animals – and the most silly. – Diogenes

Education gives sobriety to the young, comfort to the old, riches to the poor and is an ornament to the rich. – Diogenes

A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies. – Diogenes

Even if I am but a pretender to wisdom, that in itself is philosophy. – Diogenes

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

What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others. – Diogenes

Chilo advised, not to speak evil of the dead. – Diogenes

Ability in man is an apt good, if it be applied to good ends. – Diogenes

Asked where he came from, he said, I am a citizen of the world. – Diogenes

When Alexander the Great addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, Diogenes replied Yes, stand a little out of my sunshine. – Diogenes

The great thieves lead away the little thief. – Diogenes

He has the most who is most content with the least. – Diogenes

We come into the world alone and we die alone. Why, in life, should we be any less alone? – Diogenes

We have complicated every simple gift of the gods. – Diogenes

When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man. – Diogenes

Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, Behold Plato’s man! – Diogenes

I do not know whether there are gods, but there ought to be. – Diogenes

The health and vigor necessary for the practice of what is good, depend equally on both mind and body. – Diogenes

The noblest people are those despising wealth, learning , pleasure and life ; esteeming above them poverty , ignorance , hardship and death . – Diogenes

The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man. – Diogenes

Wise leaders generally have wise counselors because it takes a wise person themselves to distinguish them. – Diogenes

Those who 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

Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience. – Diogenes

Boasting, like gilded armor, is very different inside from outside. – Diogenes

Virtue cannot dwell with wealth either in a city or in a house. – Diogenes

Young men not ought to marry yet, and old men never ought to marry at all. – Diogenes

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

Good men nowhere, but good boys at Sparta. – Diogenes

The chief good is the suspension of the judgment [especially negative judgement], which tranquility of mind follows like its shadow. – Diogenes

The vine bears three kinds of grapes: the first of pleasure, the second of intoxication, the third of disgust – Diogenes

He once begged alms of a statue, and, when asked why he did so, replied, to get practice in being refused. – Diogenes

Lust is a strong tower of mischief, and hath in it many defenders, as neediness, anger, paleness, discord, love, and longing. – Diogenes

I like best the wine drunk at the cost of others. – Diogenes

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

Fools! You think of god as a sentient being. God is the word used to represent a force. This force created nothing; it just helps things along. It does not answer prayers, although it may make you think of a way to solve a problem. It has the power to influence you, but not decide for you. – Diogenes

We are more curious about the meaning of dreams than about things we see when awake. – Diogenes

I am called a dog because I fawn on those who give me anything, I yelp at those who refuse, and I set my teeth in rascals. – Diogenes

One ought to seek out virtue for its own sake, without being influenced by fear or hope, or by any external influence. Moreover, that in that does happiness consist. – Diogenes

One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings. – Diogenes

If I lack awareness, then why should I care what happens to me when I am dead? – Diogenes

You will become a teacher of yourself when for the same things that you blame others, you also blame yourself. – Diogenes

Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself. – Diogenes

The sacrifice of Diogenes to all the gods. – Diogenes

He lit a lamp in broad daylight and said, as he went about, I am looking for a human. – Diogenes

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

One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, A child has beaten me in plainness of living. – Diogenes

It takes a wise man to discover a wise man. – Diogenes

When two friends part they should lock up each other’s secrets and exchange keys. The truly noble mind has no resentments. – Diogenes

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

The mob is the mother of tyrants. – Diogenes

Calumny is only the noise of madmen. – Diogenes

When someone boasted that at the Pythian games he had vanquished men, Diogenes replied, Nay, I defeat men, you defeat slaves. – Diogenes

Love comes with hunger. – Diogenes

Democritus says, but we know nothing really; for truth lies deep down. – Diogenes

Antisthenes used to say that envious people were devoured by their own disposition, just as iron is by rust. Envy of others comes from comparing what they have with what the envious person has, rather than the envious person realizing they have more than what they could have and certainly more than some others and being grateful. It is really just an inability to get a correct perspective on their lives. – Diogenes

Nothing can be produced out of nothing. – Diogenes

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

There is a false love that will make you something you are not. – Diogenes

Other dogs bite only their enemies, whereas I bite also my friends in order to save them. – Diogenes

It was a favorite expression of Theophrastus that time was the most valuable thing that a man could spend. – Diogenes

Being asked where in Greece he saw good men, he replied, ‘Good men nowhere, but good boys at Sparta. – Diogenes

Let us not unlearn what we have already learned – Diogenes

Blushing is the color of virtue. – Diogenes

All things are in common among friends. – Diogenes

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

I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough. – Diogenes

The sun, too, shines into cesspools and is not polluted. – Diogenes

The most beautiful thing in the world is freedom of speech. – Diogenes

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world. – Diogenes

Protagoras asserted that there are two sides to every question, exactly opposite to each other. – Diogenes

I pissed on the man who called me a dog. Why was he so surprised? – Diogenes

By worrying as little as possible about fame. – Diogenes

It is the privilege of the gods to want nothing, and of godlike men to want little. – Diogenes

On being asked by someone how he could become famous, Diogenes responded: ‘By worrying as little as possible about fame – Diogenes

To Xeniades, who had purchased Diogenes at the slave market, he said, Come, see that you obey orders. – Diogenes

When the slave auctioneer asked in what he was proficient, he replied, In ruling people. – Diogenes

We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less. – Diogenes

Aristotle dines when it seems good to King Philip, but Diogenes when he himself pleases. – Diogenes

To become self-educated, you should condemn yourself for all those things that you would criticize others. – Diogenes

To one who asked what was the proper time for lunch, he said, If a rich man, when you will; if a poor man, when you can. – Diogenes

To the question what wine he found pleasant to drink, he replied, that for which other people pay. – Diogenes

He was seized and dragged off to King Philip, and being asked who he was, replied, A spy upon your insatiable greed. – Diogenes

Most men are within a finger’s breadth of being mad. – Diogenes

Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away someone who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, The great thieves are leading away the little thief. – Diogenes

Solon used to say that speech was the image of actions; . . . that laws were like cobwebs, – for that if any trifling or powerless thing fell into them, they held it fast; while if it were something weightier, it broke through them and was off. – Diogenes

I am Diogenes the Dog. I nuzzle the kind, bark at the greedy and bite scoundrels. – Diogenes

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

Stand a little less between me and the sun – Diogenes

I am looking for a human. – Diogenes

If your cloak was a gift, I appreciate it; if it was a loan, I’m not through with it yet. – Diogenes

The Sun visits cesspools without being defiled. – Diogenes

If only it was as easy to banish hunger by rubbing the belly as it is to masturbate. – Diogenes

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth. – Diogenes

The art of being a slave is to rule one’s master. – Diogenes

There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool. – Diogenes

I am a citizen of the world. – Diogenes

No man is hurt but by himself. …Literally by how he interprets what happens to him. If he focusses on how it could have been better, he will be hurt. If he focusses on how it could have been worse, he will be happy. The same is true for women too. – Diogenes

Dogs and philosophers do the greatest good and get the fewest rewards. – Diogenes

Of what use is a philosopher who doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings? – Diogenes

The sun too penetrates into privies but is not polluted by them. – Diogenes

People who talk well but do nothing are like musical instruments; the sound is all they have to offer. – Diogenes

The question was put to him, what hope is; and his answer was, The dream of a waking man. – Diogenes

It is not that I am mad, it is only that my head is different from yours. – Diogenes

Perdiccas threatened to put him to death unless he came to him, that’s nothing wonderful, Diogenes said, for a beetle or a tarantula would do the same. – Diogenes

Aristotle was once asked what those who tell lies gain by it. Said he – That when they speak truth they are not believed. – Diogenes

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning , poverty forces us to practice . – Diogenes

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