It is a flight over the ideas of two seemingly paradoxical philosophers, but who at last present many similarities, from their methods (sarcasm/irony) to the very purpose of their thoughts. Nietzsche says there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross. Kierkegaard says that we must follow Jesus since we can follow him to heaven. There are drastic differences between authors, but the opposite is also true. Kierkegaard feeds his faith for the "creator," while Nietzsche proposes a faith in man - "Superman." Detail: the two seek the overcoming of man.
Unlike the commoner, who desperately need an identity to defending himself, Nietzsche defended himself against the morbid seriousness of the European of his time to experience intensities where identity is annihilated by a great wealth of someone who learned not to take the "I" seriously. To know to dance, to play and to laugh, are evidence of a life that was singled out for not fixing itself on social identifications. About that critics argue that wanting to be different from what one is to become what one is. It is evident that the psychological emotion experienced in these states of dissolution of identity is not contrary to what the commoner thinks a disease, but expresses a healthy nature that has earned the right not to identify with forms of nature. The ability to mutate is great health. That's why this mutant nature is incapable by existing systems of power; it is impossible to stop it in any "rational" classification. What is usually said as "true", "I," "immovable," "ideal," or, "schizophrenic," "normal," "good," "evil," are lies that the man, already captured, uses as shields against the life. This is the denunciation of Nietzsche against morality that is in the service of the cowardice.
With some exceptions (among them, especially, Espinosa), the history of Philosophy shows us what prevailed in Socrates' philosophical production to this day: depreciation of life, the need to judge it, to acquire wisdom as a shelter. It is the philosopher as an agent of the State, as a reproducer of institutionalized fallacies as a symptom of a life's weariness. Attentive to these symptoms, Nietzsche has laid bare what moves the production of a metaphysical, dialectical, philosophical system by excellence: denial of becoming the founder of moral values. At all times the great sages have always made the same judgment about life that it is not worth anything. Always and everywhere was heard the same tone coming out of their mouths. A tone full of doubts, full of melancholy, full of fatigue of life, a tone fully countered in front of it. Socrates himself said at his death: 'to live means being very sick. Socrates himself was bored with life.
To find the maximum we can of the power of the writings of Nietzsche implies seizing the region where the force gives the sense and the will gives the value to the thing. To interpret and evaluate is the task of the philosopher of the future, says Nietzsche. That Philosopher is a genealogist because he values the values and interprets the meaning of life. From the various commentators of Nietzsche, we can evaluate the use that each made of his work and interpret them along the paths that were to distinguish where Nietzsche's thinking fell into a net representative, and where openings were created that empowered his thinking. Gilles Deleuze produced an indispensable work on Nietzsche, called "Nietzsche and the Philosophy "of 1962; repeating the dose, with minor work, "Nietzsche", of 1965.
Nietzsche's criticisms of Socrates
In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche contrasts the moral significance of existence, through the emergence of the theoretical man Socrates, to the justification of existence as an aesthetic phenomenon, through tragedy, thus qualifying art as a metaphysical activity of man.
Nietzsche appropriates the symbolism of the Hellenic gods Apollo and Dionysius to expose their understanding of the tragic culture, as experienced by the Greeks at the height of their expression. The Greek tragedy is generated both by the duplicity of the two artistic impulses, the Apollonian and the Dionysian, coming from these gods of art, as well as by the Hellenic "will."
As regards the "will", it presents itself as a metaphysical act which, in its aptitude for suffering and the transfiguration of the artistic world, is seen in a more beautiful and more glorious sphere, that of the Olympic gods. Then, with the most sincere example of the wisdom of Silenus, which announces the human condition, the Greeks can face the most monstrous aspect of their existence on the condition of the mediation of the artistic world of the gods, so that the true tragedy metaphysical consolation.
Already about the two artistic impulses of nature, while the Apollonian has as comparison the dream and the appearance, because it expresses the need of the dream experience and presents the divine image of the principle of individuation, as well as the figuration of the beauty of appearance as a precondition for the plastic art, the Dionysian refers to drunkenness: it suppresses the subjective for, in the midst of self-forgetfulness and enchantment, to unite with the primordial One, which allows the un-figurative art of music.
Much has to be said about the relation of these two artistic impulses of the tragedy. In characterizing enchantment as the presupposition of all dramatic art and explaining the choir's true role in the tragedy, Nietzsche explains this relationship. Nietzsche conceives the Greek tragedy was having as the sole tragic hero in the background of all the masks the god Dionysus. However, this suffering Dionysus occurs in the Hellenic stage in various configurations but appears only in a distinctly epic way through the Apollonian who plays for the choir his Dionysian state. Even with their pessimistic consideration of the world, it was only through the tragedy that the Greeks were able to excite, purify and discharge their existence, which gave tragic art a life-transforming force.
However, giving space to the new comedy Attica, the tragedy undergoes its decline and annihilation. Euripides, the youngest tragic poet, in his most critical state, does not understand the tragedy and conceives in a new way the relation of the work of art with the public, a relationship in which the people must have the necessary clarification to understand art, already which equates understanding with creation. Euripides, believing in a more conscious art, leaves the Dionysian wisdom to place faith in another wise man: Socrates.
According to Nietzsche, the death of the Greek tragedy would have resulted from the contradiction of the Dionysian and the Socratic. The Euripidean play, with its Socratic characteristics, passes from the political insights to "cold paradoxical thoughts", leaves aside Dionysian ecstasies to give way to "ardent affections", distancing oneself from art to approach reality with it in naturalism. Therefore, it is through Euripides that Socrates demonstrates his aesthetic principles, through the maxim "Everything must be intelligible to be beautiful", eventually condemning the instinct and the inexistence of an understanding of tragic art.
To understand Socrates, whom Nietzsche blames for the new scientific consideration of the world, it is necessary to understand that the tragic understanding of existence has been demolished and that of this Socratic tendency arises a new form of existence, that of the theoretical man. Art is no longer the supreme metaphysical activity, for, from Euripides and the decline of tragedy, culture has as its supreme activity the insatiable search for knowledge, thus characterizing the core of the new civilization, science.
In his characterization of the figure of Socrates, Nietzsche not only presents the Socratic concepts to assert his critique of dialectical optimism but still discusses a Socrates very close to that of the dialogue Apology of Socrates to Plato, which at the moment of his judgment believes more intensely in its concept of justice. This is how in the Platonic text one can observe a Socrates who affirms his search for knowledge:
'In a short time, I learned from the poets that it is not through wisdom that they do what they do, but by a kind of natural gift and in a state of inspiration, as with diviners and prophets. These, too, speak many beautiful things, but without knowing what they say. The same seemed to me to be with the poets, and it was revealed to me, likewise, that by making their compositions, in all matters they considered themselves the wisest of men, which, of course, were not. So I was away from there with the conviction that I was superior to them as much as I was to politicians'. (Apology of Socrates, 22b-c).
From this Socrates, many aspects resemble Socrates presented by Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy. Socrates, who with his rationality condemns art as an irrational expression and, therefore, transforms the Hellenic form of existence into something other than tragic. In this respect, the very general meaning of the Platonic account, that is, to show the defence of Socrates during his trial, goes against the tragic meaning of life, because in his defence Socrates tries to justify and make his existence understandable.
These similarities cannot be explained only by Nietzsche using the image of the dying Socrates who in his judgment claims to hear a kind of divine voice that dissuades him, the well-known "daemon of Socrates", but mainly because, through this affirmation, Nietzsche proves how instinctive wisdom in Socrates has the inverse role of that of his consciousness, since, not only in the artistic plane, reason becomes the first condition by its very nature. On this Nietzsche states:
Whereas in productive beings, instinct is the creative force affirmation, and consciousness conducts itself dissuasively and critically, while in Socrates the instinct is what becomes critical, knowledge into the creator. We perceive there a large defect of all mysterious dispositions so that one could consider Socrates as the non-mystical specificity, in which, by superpower, logical nature developed as much as in the mystical instinctive wisdom. (NIETZSCHE, 1992, p.86)
For Nietzsche, Socrates is the progenitor of science and the prototype of general optimism that seeks, through its dialectical mechanism of concepts and deductions, to constitute a true knowledge that is not apparent and wrong. An example of this is the Socratic concept of virtue, which linked to knowledge and binding belief and moral ends up destroying the tragedy and creating a true practical pessimism. On this point is the following passage from the Apology of Socrates:
'... I will only wander in the city to persuade you all, old and young, not to worry about the body or riches, but to make every effort to improve the soul, insisting that virtue is not given by money, but the reverse: from virtue is that wealth and human goods come in universal, public as well as private'. (Apology of Socrates, 30a-b)
Nietzsche believed that, only through art, human existence could be justified and therefore revisits the heyday of Greek culture to try to explain how tragic art originated and developed. However, the tragedy has its days counted, because with Euripides and Socrates it succumbs before the attempt of understanding of the art. From there, aesthetics is reviewed by an aesthetic Socratic who tries to make all art conscious, which will not only result in an aesthetic change but also cultural.
In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche provides a very faithful Socratic figure to that reported by Plato in Socrates' Apology, in which we see a Socrates justifying his existence at the moment of his judgment and affirming his concepts, as well as his quest for knowledge, which confronts the trag...
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