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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Nietzsche’s Attack On Socrates

Since Socrates identified reason with virtue, and virtue with eudaemonia (human flourishing), Nietzsche despised him. In his work on Ancient Greek thinkers, Nietzsche asserts that the truly great spirits (destiny’s children) are motivated by instinct and that the frigid, self-aware reason, which Socrates represents, was not only antagonistic to instinct but also a sign of decadence. According to Nietzsche, the teachings of Socrates (and his disciple Plato) precipitated the decay of Ancient Greece’s vibrant culture. He conjectures that Socrates may not even be a Greek, noting that Socrates was ugly and ugliness is symptomatic of a perversion; the man with a monstrous face, Nietzsche maintains, must have a monstrous soul.

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