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C). These ideas were embryonic in nature laying the foundations of the modern Social Sciences. Republic was considered as a central piece of Western philosophy. Socrates challenged the pagan traditions and talked about some order in the society, however music and intoxication remained the central piece of that ideal life with a concept of providing temporary relief to the individual. The moral ideals were created through dialogue between mythos (Religion) and Logos (Logic). The responsibility to set these standards of morality lies on the philosopher. Unfortunately, Christianity came to help the down trodden of the society (plebs), instead Nietzsche thinks that the new religion became a tool in the hand of the autocrats/bourgeoisie (Durant).
Nietzsche was a rebel of his age. Using the method of dialectic he wanted to give meaning to life. He was a philologist. To challenge the Nihilism in European life and make a way out towards modernism, he had to challenge religion specially the concept of Fatalism, contemporary traditions specially Romanticism and ultimately challenge the morality/ethics. Being son of a Protestant pastor, criticizing Christianity was not a problem (Russell). His congruence of ideas with Schopenhauer was automatically instinctual; as one needs intellectual support to challenge religion in a traditional conservative society of Germany. His idea of God is Dead, argued the religious concept of fate and supporting the idea of making one's own fate. Birth of Tragedy was his first major works. It was written at a time when Richard Wagner's book Tristan and Isled was talked about. The ideals of the German composer had to be criticized to start his intellectual journey. Nietzsche criticized the Greek life and the ideas of Socrates and Plato. He used Socrates as a metaphor to show his disagreement with dictates of Roman Catholicism. He called it a tragedy; which took birth in ancient Greece.
Music and intoxication were the integral part of the life in ancient Greece. Music and intoxication were used to lessen the sufferings of the people, which had been imposed on individuals by Fate. This concept was the hallmark of European Nihilism. Music captures the soul and creates dissonance, which could be used positively as well as negatively. Nietzsche criticized music in the first 15 chapters of Birth of Tragedy; he thought that music was used negatively (Hawley). As already explained that this negativity was a combination of Apollonian and Dionysian principles. I think that Nietzsche was not against music, however, he used it as a metaphor to create interest amongst the audience towards his reformatory approach. In the last 10 chapters he talks about the use of music which can have a positive impact on the society to break the Nihilism.
Speculate on what a philosophy whose foundation rested in music or the Dionysian would be like. Who would be such a philosopher?
I think that Nietzsche is talking about the philosophers who believe on Romanticism and Liberalism to lessen the miseries of the individuals. He had criticized Kant and Rousseau as they were supporting Liberalism (Russell). Nietzsche was witnessing the post Renaissance period of Europe which in his opinion was taking refuge through the promotion of arts and music. It is also possible that Nietzsche envied the position enjoyed by Richard Wagner in the society. He knew Wagner and his wife personally. The pompous life of the German bourgeois considered music and theater a means to show their love for liberal arts; this perception was adding to the meaningless life which he called Dionysian Pessimism. In Nietzsche's views, such philosophers were not helping the society. Nietzsche was a philologist who wanted change and modernization; he had admired Voltaire for his free thinking for change.
Nietzsche was a complex personality his views changed throughout his life. Birth of Tragedy was a prelude to his journey of intellectualism.
Die stag, J.F. "Nietzsche's Dionysian Pessimism," American Political Science Review, Vole 95, No 4 (Dec2001), pp 923-937. Web
Durant, W. The Story of Philosophy, published by Washington Square Press (1974). Print
Dutton, D. Apollo vs. Dionysus, Web
Hawley, T.M. Presentation at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Western Political Science Association, San Francisco CA, Apr 1-3, 2010. Web
Russell, B. History of Western Philosophy, published by…[continue]
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