The stories told of Diogenes of Sinope illustrate the logical consistency of his character. He inured himself to the weather by living in a tub belonging to the temple of Cybele. He destroyed the single wooden bowl he possessed on seeing a peasant boy drink from the hollow of his hands. It was contrary to Athenian customs to eat within the marketplace, and still he would eat, for, as he explained when rebuked, it was during the time he was in the marketplace that he felt hungry. He used to stroll about in full daylight with a lamp; when asked what he was doing, he would answer, “I am just looking for an honest man.” Diogenes looked for a human being but reputedly found nothing but rascals and scoundrels.
When Plato gave Socrates’ definition of man as “featherless bipeds” and was much praised for the definition, Diogenes plucked a chicken and brought it into Plato’s Academy, saying, “Behold! I’ve brought you a man.” After this incident, “with broad flat nails” was added to Plato’s definition.