This blog explores politics and society with a Chicago flair.
The title of the blog, Diogenes’ Lantern, is an homage to the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope, who was said to carry a lantern around ancient Athens in broad daylight in search of “an honest man.” For a blog about politics, the relevance of the name should be obvious.
Although Diogenes was a controversial figure, he was doubtless an astute observer and critic of the decadent society to which he belonged. He spared no one with his criticism, seeking to counter hypocrisy and debunk common understandings of the meaning of virtue.
Even Socrates, the most eminent philosopher of the time, was not spared from Diogenes’ criticism. When Plato offered Socrates’ definition of a man as an “animal, biped and featherless,” Diogenes burst into Plato’s Academy holding a chicken with its feathers plucked and presented it to Plato, exclaiming, “Behold, I have brought you a man!”
Plato subsequently revised his definition.
So, before I begin to sound long-winded, I’ll summarize the purpose of this blog in the following way:
I’m rummaging around Chicago, looking for an honest chicken.