Friday
August 22, 2014

Homework Help: Type Sketch - Cynic

Posted by Jonathan on Friday, July 14, 2006 at 1:51am.

I have to do a type sketch of a cynic...but i really am running out of ideas...this is what I wrote so far but i need a couple more points. Any ideas please?
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The cynic is a person who is skeptical of life. They are weary of the motives of other people. Even the most noble of deeds can be doubted.
Cynics are often people who are displeased with life. There is typically something, which caused their critical view. They’re cynical view often causes people to dislike them.
Events during their younger years may have caused them to be cynical. Perhaps they encountered many lies or disappointments. Bad experiences with people lead to them being let down. These things may have caused them to dislike life.
They often criticize people’s intentions, thinking that they have personal or wrongly based motives.


I dont know if "weary of the motives of other people" is accurate. Cynics have little faith in the integrity, or sincerity, of others.
The second paragraph, and third paragraph sound like dime store psychological analysis, about as sound as Freud. I think I would avoid analysis.
Cynics examine the aspects of behaviour that Pollyanna failed to grasp. There seems to be a mystic veil pulled over events (War, religion, elections) in which many want us to put "faith" in the process and motivations of those who lead. Cynics look not faith, but to motivations. There, the conflict begins.
On your type sketch...I would avoid, or at least not generalize, the causal analysis offered in the last two paragraphs.
Good thinking.


Although I doubt if I can add much in the way of ideas, I thought you might like to see the "original" definition of "cynic."

"an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence"

Today the definition seems far more negative:
"a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest"

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