Durandus von Meissen

The Science of Cultural Criticism

Month: January, 2015

Encountering Tragedy: Thoughts on Nietzsche and Plato

Aesthetics, Tragedy, and Primordial Being


The goal of this post is to put onto ‘paper’ some thoughts regarding Nietzsche’s rendering of tragedy in The Birth of Tragedy and the way in which tragedy functions in Plato’s The Republic. I have prepared these thoughts within the context of writing a paper on Nietzsche and Bloch and preparing the syllabus for the introduction to philosophy course I am currently teaching at California State University Bakersfield. As I am now unable to produce anything like a lucid non-academic blog post, I have chosen to write this in essay format.


The confrontation Nietzsche seeks throughout his project with the figure of Socrates, I argue, is summarily available to his readers through the way in which Plato construes tragedy negatively as an inappropriately imitative form of art. My thesis is that Plato’s censorship of particular genres and modes of storytelling reflect the positive content Nietzsche locates within tragedy…

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Peter Kropotkin theorized in his classic Mutual Aid:

All species on Earth, over the course of centuries, exhibit “Mutual Aid and Mutual Support, carried on to an extent which made me suspect in it a feature of the greatest importance for the maintenance of life, the preservation of each species, and its further evolution.”


Henry A. Giroux and the Institutional Values of America