Nietzsche-Problem of Socrates
Nietzche begins discussing Socrates problems by saying that many great thinkers agree that life is sickness. Many intellectuals have taken-up similar stances with regard to life, seeing it as an unpleasant state. Christian , Buddhist, Islam have seen life as an unpleasant place that eventually leads to a better place, heaven, which exists beyond the living (in the afterlife). Nietzsche’s point is that in actuality life is not sick but the people are sick.
Nietzsche discusses Socrates face because he notes that Socrates was an ugly fellow and states that “The anthropologists among the criminologists tell us that the typical criminal is evil”(15). Nietzsche makes the analogy that criminals are both ugly and decadents. Since Socrates is ugly , he is also a decadent. According to Nietzsche, Socrates was physically ugly, and this reflects that he had a character that was less than pristine. He claims that an ugly face has an ugly soul and a beautiful face has a beautiful soul.
Nietzche says that when one engages in the dialetic method , ones must become a clown. He says that Socrates was “the buffoon who got himself taken seriously”(15) Socrates got people to take him as a clown seriously by laughing at people. Instead of people laughing at him, he laughed at the people. He used the reversal of laughter in orfer for people to take him seriously.
According to Socrates, if being alive “means being sick for a long time”, then dying is the cure. According to Nietzsche, Socrates is saying that life is some sort disease. Death is the cure because it is the end of life, the end of the ongoing sickness.