The paper examines the relationship between ancient Cynicism and his modern counterpart - cynicism. Ancient Cynicism is a strictly ethical way of life, while modern cynicism despises all ethical values. Ancient Cynicism is said to be a 'shortest way to virtue' and is characterized by its commitment to a life in agreement with nature, radical freedom, self-sufficiency and by the absence of philosophical theory in favour of practical, lived philosophy. Modern cynicism is a result of a long lasting history of interpreting and misunderstanding of ancient Cynicism (mainly the Cynic's life in agreement with nature and his ascetic practices, which were often seen as a crude shamelessness). However, cynicism is the consequence of 'the unfulfilled promises' of Enlightenment. It is a reason turned against reason itself. The paper offers a brief history of the reception of Cynicism on its way toward the modern cynicism.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.