A Tale of Two Diogenes

Vanessa Place. The Discourse of the Slave (BookThug, 2010).

At one point in this essay there is a conflation of teller (Diogenes Laertius) and told (Diogenes the Cynic). For some reason they are listed as different appellations of the same person.

Diogenes of Sinope, also know as Diogenes Laertius, and Diogenes the Cynic, carried a useless light, looking for a fiction […]

And there was the fiction just passed over that Diogenes Laertius and Diogenes the Cynic were the same person. One can however take the mistake as part of a discursive economy meant to exemplify the unavoidable errors of reiteration. Towards the end of the essay, Place writes

I am guilty of a flawed reiteration, like the game of telephone. Who knows what monstrosities are spawned by miscommunication?

Which point leads me to quote from the entry “Diogenes Laertius” in the Americana (1960)

His chief work is Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. Its 10 books are full of gossipy anecdotes and are characterized by much confusion and careless mistakes, yet, as containing a mine of information regarding the private life of the Greeks and many fragments of works now lost, they are of considerable value.

Over overdetermination.

And so for day 1155

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