Nietzsche and Platonism

935 WordsOct 8, 19994 Pages
In Twilight of the Idols Nietzsche writes, "My objection against the whole of sociology in England and France remains that it knows from experience only the forms of decay, and with perfect innocence accepts its instincts of decay as the norm of sociological value-judgments. The decline of life, the decrease in the power to organize, that is to tear open clefts, subordinate and super-ordinate -- all this has been formulated as the ideal in contemporary sociology." (p 541). The culture of Europe at the time of Nietzsche's writing was experiencing a general decline in vitality which was exemplified in Christianity (Platonism) and anarchy or nihilism. Nietzsche saw himself as a kind of philosophical doctor, capable of diagnosing the…show more content…
The Christian is a nihilist in that they reject the only kind of life possible in the here and now, and in this rejection they undercut the possibility of the only type of meaning that ever was or ever will be available to man. They hate the world in which they are what they are, so they desire a world ruled by the mediocre. Throughout Twilight of the Idols, it is apparent that Nietzsche felt that when the weakest portions of society band together, perverting and distorting the natural order, the situation becomes nihilism. Christianity is a symptom of this tendency, but in the example of Socrates we have the typical model of the slave revolt against master morality and the most significant aspect of modern nihilism. The most important thing to know about Socrates, according to Nietzsche, is that he was ugly. This physiological fact accounts for his entire orientation towards life in the Greek Polis. He sought to take revenge upon the beautiful culture of the Greeks, and in a "masterful" departure from nature, he developed the art of logical arguments. It was in the practice of logic and argumentation that Socrates saw his opportunity to overpower the authority of those around him and to thus secure a position of moral superiority to them. Anyone can learn logic, and since logic is directly opposed to unsubstantiated appeals to authority, Socrates and his followers were advocates of a kind of a type of nihilism which invited

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