Final Philos Paper

Final Philos Paper - Johansen 1 Houston Johansen Professor...

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Johansen 1 Houston Johansen May 10, 2007 Professor Jones Philosophy 157 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher during the latter half of the twentieth century. His various written works strove to call into question many of the things that had been held as true, by other philosophers. In his crowing work, The Twilight of the Idols , Nietzsche systematic rips apart almost every well-known and influential philosopher that came before him. The overarching theme of his book, is that most of the beliefs in reason and morality that society has come to embrace, are simply means for the weak to control the strong. Though Nietzsche attacks a great number of people in his book, his criticism of Socrates, and through that Plato, is of particular interest. Because Socrates was the philosopher that really jumped started the move to reason, he is in many ways at the center of all of Nietzsche’s discontents with society. Nietzsche absolute seems to hold Socrates accountable for pulling people to embrace reason, and Nietzsche absolutely hold’s up Socrates as a prime example of the weak over taking the strong. It is for these reasons that Nietzsche’s criticisms of Socrates are so interesting, and vital to understand. That said, Nietzsche’ arguments against Socrates are rather out there in nature, and at times Nietzsche really dose seem to reach for reason that Socrates was wrong. Socrates, and his views on life, are very much one of cornerstones upon which both modern philosophy, and modern societies are built. By no means has everything that
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Johansen 2 Socrates believed in or spoke about has remained a vital part of life, but his basic ideas on reason, and how one can know the world, unquestionably continue to shape the modern world. The primary ideas of his that continue to influence societies today, is what he called, “The second best mode of enquiring into cause (120).” This concept comes form the dialogue the Phaedo, and it attempts to hold reason up as the best way for a person to know the world. His argument for this way of looking at the world goes like this. Socrates holds that a person using their senses cannot perceive or detect the true form of anything. If a person looks at something that is beautiful, they are not looking at beauty the absolute, but an approximation of beauty. If this is true, and Socrates certainly believes it is, then a person exploring the world with their senses only, will never be able to truly know the world. Wrapped up in this idea, is another important idea about the existence of absolutes. Absolutes are undetectable by the senses of the body. However,
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This essay was uploaded on 04/22/2008 for the course PHILOSOPHY 157 taught by Professor Jones during the Spring '07 term at Goucher.

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Final Philos Paper - Johansen 1 Houston Johansen Professor...

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