Relevance of Ancient Greek cynicism to contemporary world
Prof. Vytis Valatka (Universidade da Lituania)
9 e 10 de abril
Sala 115 [9/ABR]
Sala 10 [10/ABR]
This part of the course analyses the most important and interesting aspects of the Ancient Greek Cynicism: diagnosis of the main disease of the classic Hellenic civilization and prescribed medicine for that malignant malady. Such an analysis also deals with relevance of that medicine to the modern form of above mentioned malady.
According to Cynics, civilization annihilates radical temperance – the main feature and essential virtue of human nature. Furthermore, civilization replaces temperance with surplus of pleasures, regarded as the state of dangerous disease. According to Cynics, there is only one remedy for this disease, namely, the return to the natural radical temperance. The only way leading to that is askesis, i.e. practice for both body and soul.
The hunting for pleasures is also an evident feature of contemporary civilization sunken in consumption. The qualities of this civilization turn radical temperance of Cynicism into a too bitter tablet for the unduly squeamish stomach of a contemporary man. Meanwhile, considerably milder form of temperance could become a contemporary means of prophylaxis. Similarly, askesis deprived of its radical dimension could become one of the possible ways to achieve the above mentioned sense of proportion.