Know your Diogeneses

Diogenes of Sinope (b. 404 BC). Also known as Diogenes the Dog, or Cynic. Philosopher, jester, public nuisance. Student of Antisthenes. Sometimes slept in an empty wine vat. Coined the term cosmopolitan, announcing “I am a citizen of the world.”

Diogenes Laërtius (3rd Cent. AD). Biographer of Greek philosophers. Author of Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers.

Diogenes of Apollonia (c. 460 BC). Natural philosopher. Observed drunks act stupid and wine is wet; concluded moisture inhibits the mind. Observed plants are stupid; pointed out plants are full of moisture. Observed infants are angry and stupid. Did you know the typical baby goes through 8 to 12 diapers a day?


  1. Which Diogenes was it who wandered the streets with a lamp trying to find an honest honest enough to admit that he liked wanking as Diogenes did (in public no less)?

  2. I don't believe babies in those times required diapers, for one reason or another.

  3. Non: That would be Diogenes the Dog.

    Lloyd: I think it's safe to say babies in those times did require diapers, because we have this sculpture of rock wrapped in a diaper in order to disguise it as a baby.

  4. As a matter of fact, the more I think about it, I wonder if there were BABIES in those times. I just can't understand how these Greeks could have possibly even had babies. Normal babies, I mean--who need diapers. (Babies with two heads, and different internal organs, maybe.) They would have had no occasion to produce them, with all those orgies going on, and all the philosophy debates about whether they themselves really existed. I think the first fully human baby was probably born around the year one, in a manger.

    Anyway, you brought it up.

  5. Reading the end of the entry, I wondered, “Does he mean a newborn (0-6 months), an infant (6 months-one year old), a toddler (one-year-old and up), or for the entire period of using diapers?”

    When I hit the link, I learned that you had the range from mother of seven Robin Elise Weiss, from, who was referring to newborns.

    Actually, as parents and other folks with lots of diaper-changing experience know, the number can go even higher than 12. If one has two or three little ones born bang-bang-bang, all of whom are still in diapers, there will be times when one of them goes twice in the same diaper, before Mama or Dada or Grandma gets to him. That’s far from ideal, of course, but it happens.

    As for babies being angry and stupid, that wasn’t the experience in this household. But certainly wet. Very wet.

    As for Lloyd Mintern’s remark, I would think that orgies would be quite conducive to impregnating women, but that was Rome. And with perhaps the exception of the Skeptics, the debate about personal existence was more a 17th century (Descartes and Locke) affair.

  6. Nicholas: Some babies fake being smart, but as Diogenes of Apollonia surely noticed if you try to discuss the thought of Anaximenes with them their idiocy is instantly revealed.

    The data on the astounding amount of moisture infants contain is much appreciated. At this point I think we can agree that D. of A.'s contentions are beyond dispute.

    Lloyd: As Mr. Stix observed, you seem to have projected Roman orgiasticism onto the Grecians.

    "Anyway, you brought it up." You got me there.

  7. Mr. Stix must be a dreadfully humorless fellow.

  8. I thought of naming my baby Diogenes, except that she was born a girl. So I named her after Carlyle. At least none of the Diogeni - unlike Mr. Stix - was a racist, a fascist, or an anti-Semite.

    (I assume. Presumably if Diogenes the Dog had wandered the streets looking for one good Jew, perhaps trying to sniff him out like Baba Yaga, we'd have heard about it.)

    You can tell Mr. Stix is a racist because he refuses to admit that his beautiful white babies are angry and stupid. Unlike mine. He probably thinks that only black babies are angry and stupid. Which makes him a racist.

    Actually, although my beautiful baby is white, angry, and stupid, I still sometimes call her a nigga. "Who's a little nigga?" I say. "Nigga nigga!" And poke her on the nose. In fact this started with Mrs. Moldbug, who once when little Carlyle was screaming said "Whea mah foo'?" Only once - but since often regretted. I haven't yet had the heart to warn her of the Occasional Discourse.


  9. That's a touching story, Mencius. I can picture little Carlyle screaming and waving her arms about while Mrs. Moldbug tries to console her. Then you walk in, screaming and waving your arms about, and Mrs. Moldbug has to try and console you.

    Your comment reminds me I just started reading "The Negro: The Southerner's Problem" by Thomas Nelson Page which you linked to. It's highly interesting.

  10. This Mencius fellow must be what we here in Western New York call a "genius." I bet he has a blog where he puts Western Civilization itself on trial, and eloquently rails against the ruling oligarchy. Hopefully he will not inflict his non-utopian politics TOO LITERALLY on his children.

  11. I thought Stix was Jewish. I suppose he could still be an anti-semite though.

  12. TGGP: Regarding the Jews Diogenes Laërtius tells us:

    "But Clearchus the Solensian, in his Treatise on Education says, that the Gymnosophists are descendants of the Magi; and some say that the Jews also are derived from them."


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