Ok, so up until now, good old Aristotle has been the defacto figurehead for this group, mainly for the simple reason that he was the first one to come into my head when I created this group. I was looking at him the other day and got to wondering...is he the best example of a manly philosopher that we can come up with? I'd be really interested to hear what other suggestions you guys may have, be they ancient or contemporary.
One of the most manly quotes I can think of off the top of my head comes from a French philosopher named Voltaire goes something like this: Je ne suis pas d'accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai jusqu'à la mort pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire. English translation: "I don't agree with what you say, but I would fight to the death to defend your right to say it."
Not only was he a philosopher, but also an emperor - one who must put philosophy into action. How many philosphers do you know that have ruled great empires and led men into battle? Other philosphers only sit in rooms and talk about their thoughts, or record them for others to read later. Marcus' philosophies were recorded only in his personal journal (later written into books by others) and were directly related to his experiences as emperor.
Although he was not an "original" philosopher in the sense that his ideals where based on stoic philosophies (Epictitus,) he had many great thoughts of his own, as recorded in a book, "Meditations." I was disappointed to see that on the AoM website, "Meditations" was not listed as one of the 100 best books for men.
Essential reading for any man, from someone I consider to be one of the manliest men ever to have lived.
Joel: I don't know much about Zarathustra, but I want to learn more and I will.
Philosopher King: I don't think that leading men into battle and ruling over others automatically defaults to manliness. Domination can be obtained through unmanly ways. I do agree that putting ones words into action is definitely manly. It's just not possible to be a man without action.
In that vain, I would think that Socrates fits the bill. He was a soldier, he did go around pestering people to challenge their assumptions, and other people wrote about him. Socrates never penned his words. Negative points for being a filthy slob, tho. There's no clear "manliest". This is like Darth Vader vs. Superman; it's all subjective in the end.
I'm rather partial to Marcus Tullius Cicero. Not only was he an outstanding philosopher and one of the world's greatest orators, but he practiced great patriotism. He didn't always agree with the senate, but he certainly made sure that they knew about it. That and he was steadfastly loyal to the State.
I would say he may have been thinking of the social aspects of that tradition. If there was one thing that the Romans hated, it was novelty. At least in social customs, religion, etc. Perhaps he knew that by simply allowing these things to continue he knew he would be able to spare the social/political/economic unrest that might have followed his repudiation of the ancient traditions. At any rate, it does seem out of character for him to be go along with it, but I'm sure he had his reasons.