He was incredulous as a Missouri cynic but interested.
ANTISTHENES (c. 444-365 B.C.), the founder of the Cynic school of philosophy, was born at Athens of a Thracian mother, a fact which may account for the extreme boldness of his attack on conventional thought.
Eubulides wrote a treatise on Diogenes the Cynic and also a number of comedies.
But he frequently describes an ideal character of a missionary sage, the perfect Stoic - or, as he calls him, the Cynic. This missionary has neither country nor home nor land nor slave; his bed is the ground; he is without wife or child; his only mansion is the earth and sky and a shabby cloak.
Zeno visited all the schools in turn, but seems to have attached himself definitely to the Cynics;, as a Cynic he composed at least one of his more important works, " the much admired Republic," which we know to have been later on a stumbling-block to the school.
In the Cynic school he found the practical spirit which he divined to be the great need of that stirring troublous age.
Zeno commenced, then, as a Cynic; and in the developed system we can point to a kernel of Cynic doctrine to which various philosophemes of other thinkers (more especially Heraclitus and Aristotle, but also Diogenes of Apollonia, the Pythagoreans, and the medical school of Hippocrates in a lesser degree) were added.
Reading the Ephesian doctrine with the eyes of a Cynic, and the Cynic ethics in the light of Heracliteanism, he came to formulate his distinctive theory of the universe far in advance of either.
In taking this immense stride and identifying the Cynic " reason," which is a law for man, with the " reason " which is the law of the universe, Zeno has been compared with Plato, who similarly extended the Socratic " general notion " from the region of morals - of justice, temperance, virtue - to embrace all objects of all thought, the verity of all things that are.
If the recognition of physics and logic as two studies coordinate with ethics is sufficient to differentiate the mature Zeno from the Cynic author of the Republic, no less than from his own heterodox disciple Aristo, the Cleanthes.
Zeno, we have reason to believe, adopted the Cynic Logos for his guidance to truth as well as to morality.
Epictetus, however, would have the sage hold aloof from domestic cares, another Cynic trait.
He flouted life and all philosophies but the Cynic in light compositions, partly in prose and partly in verse.
The narrative of Tacitus breaks off at the moment when Thrasea was about to address Demetrius, the Cynic philosopher, with whom he had previously on the fatal day held a conversation on the nature of the soul.
With but four drachmae in his possession he came to Athens, where he listened first to the lectures of Crates the Cynic, and then to those of Zeno, the Stoic, supporting himself meanwhile by working all night as water-carrier to a gardener (hence his nickname (1 3 p€/wrXrls).
Four distinct philosophical schools trace their immediate origin to the circle that gathered round Socrates - the Megarian, the Platonic, the Cynic and the Cyrenaic. The impress of the master is manifest on all, in spite of the wide differences that divide them; they all agree in holding the most important possession of man to be wisdom or knowledge, and the most important knowledge to be knowledge of Good.
Among these were Antisthenes the Cynic and Aristippus of Cyrene.
The cynic would read the optimist's view and say "Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe."