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was Nietzsche a sociopath?

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    His writings seem sociopathic to me.

    How influential a writer was or is he?
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    Towards the end of his life, Nietzsche suffered from Brain Cancer
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...-syphilis.html

    Prior to this though, I think he just wanted to create a new philosophical method, rejecting reason and argument
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    Sociopathy is a bit far, Nietzsche was just a bit of a moody nobhead
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    No. He was just wrong.
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    Sociopathy specifically excludes philosophy, so I would guess not if you're basing it on his work.
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    Let me hear every single one of the people who have never even read the texts by him to say he was either moody or wrong.

    What was so sociopathic about him according to his haters?
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    (Original post by TCD23)
    What was so sociopathic about him according to his haters?
    Clearly calling someone sociopathic as a way of criticizing an entire philosophical standpoint is meaningless. I suspect it's a comforting mechanism for those that are upset by it but don't have the wherewithal to construct a more appropriate response.
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    Nietzsche is dead. - God
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    His writings were sometimes tinged with madness. Nietzsche was able to think the impossible and expand the horizon of what can be imagined, and sometimes his philosophical and litreray utterances seem to us to be completely bewildering and sometimes downright cruel. If you read Safranski's book on Nietzshe, you will see why Nietzsche thought the way he did. Nietzsche's philosophy can be summed up with one word: power. Nietzsche wanted absolute mastery over himself. That's how he went mad towards the end of his life.

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    Nietzsche is brilliant.

    All those who say he is 'wrong' obviously miss the point of Nietzsche. And I would not necessarily suggest he was about 'power'; that was one aspect of his philosophy but to summise his whole philosophy within that is negligent.

    It is no wonder he went mental. He spent most of his time alone, and was what I would suggest a complete masochist (non-sexually), drawing almost self-satisfaction from pain and suffering.

    I am probably (I use probably because I'm not a scholar, and I could well have misinterpreted him, and he was purposefully enigmatic throughout his books) a Nietzschean. Any claims to his Nazism is incorrect, in my opinion. He did not think that there was a 'right' or a 'wrong'; thus the Nazi assumption that the Jews were 'wrong' for society, or rather that there was a good society at all, is opposed to Nietzchean philosophy.
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    Nietzche broke from the metaphysical basis of prior Philosophy and adopted a empiricist perspective on human interactions. Nature possesses no moral imperatives, but delineates animals on a spectrum of increasing complexity, between predator and prey. His concept of the Superman represented, in his mind, the more 'evolved' (amoral/ambitious/unsympathetic) Man, while the Untermensch represented man's instinctive Will to Power as having been subverted by superstition, subservience, pity or general stupidity. But I think he failed to realize that empathy and pity were memes which arose from Natural Selection, in order for any herd (or society) to function as a whole ; that if everyone considered themselves to be the 'Superman', you end up with an Ayn-Randian Objectivist solipsism or Fascism, both of which are essentially collective sociopathy on a grand scale. Since Nietzsche associated strength with a lack of empathy, and weakness with the altruistic impulse, it would be fairly easy to see him as a sociopath (his hermetic lifestyle and encroaching insanity may have accelerated this). However, he was known to show kindness to members of his immediate family, had romantic infatuations and friendships, and (anecdotally) protected a horse from being beaten to death by wrapping his arms around it. He seems to have been a mass of contradictions, at any rate.
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    Nietzsche constructed his philosophy around principles that were totally radical at the time and pretty unacceptable in many ways even today. It can be like a cold shower sometimes. He encountered many troubles and difficulties in his life, and alienated a lot of people, and this doubtless will have contributed to the madness that biologically affected him in his later years. I don't think he was a sociopath; I just think he was a very freethinking individual.
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    (Original post by sao desi)
    His writings seem sociopathic to me.

    How influential a writer was or is he?
    Why would he be a sociopath, if I may ask...?

    He was very influential in his time. Dostojevski based his novel Crima and punishment on his philosphy.

    (Original post by tjf8)
    Nietzsche constructed his philosophy around principles that were totally radical at the time and pretty unacceptable in many ways even today. It can be like a cold shower sometimes. He encountered many troubles and difficulties in his life, and alienated a lot of people, and this doubtless will have contributed to the madness that biologically affected him in his later years. I don't think he was a sociopath; I just think he was a very freethinking individual.
    Nietzsches übermensch =/= Hitlers Übermensch

    According to Nietzsche, an Übermensch was just an above potential human regardless of race, nationalisty etc. (In fact, Nietzsche was against nationalism).
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    (Original post by player19)

    Nietzsches übermensch =/= Hitlers Übermensch

    According to Nietzsche, an Übermensch was just an above potential human regardless of race, nationalisty etc. (In fact, Nietzsche was against nationalism).
    Yes, I know. Nietzsche also hated anti-Semitism and believed the German race to be comparatively weak.

    He was very influential in his time. Dostojevski based his novel Crima and punishment on his philosphy.
    Really? Crime and Punishment was published before any of Nietzsche's major works.
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    (Original post by Martyn*)
    His writings were sometimes tinged with madness. Nietzsche was able to think the impossible and expand the horizon of what can be imagined, and sometimes his philosophical and litreray utterances seem to us to be completely bewildering and sometimes downright cruel. If you read Safranski's book on Nietzshe, you will see why Nietzsche thought the way he did. Nietzsche's philosophy can be summed up with one word: power. Nietzsche wanted absolute mastery over himself. That's how he went mad towards the end of his life.

    No, it wasn't his philosophy that drove him mad, it was syphillis.
    All historical figures in history went mad from syphillis.
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    (Original post by MrApikoros)
    Nietzche broke from the metaphysical basis of prior Philosophy and adopted a empiricist perspective on human interactions. Nature possesses no moral imperatives, but delineates animals on a spectrum of increasing complexity, between predator and prey. His concept of the Superman represented, in his mind, the more 'evolved' (amoral/ambitious/unsympathetic) Man, while the Untermensch represented man's instinctive Will to Power as having been subverted by superstition, subservience, pity or general stupidity. But I think he failed to realize that empathy and pity were memes which arose from Natural Selection, in order for any herd (or society) to function as a whole ; that if everyone considered themselves to be the 'Superman', you end up with an Ayn-Randian Objectivist solipsism or Fascism, both of which are essentially collective sociopathy on a grand scale. Since Nietzsche associated strength with a lack of empathy, and weakness with the altruistic impulse, it would be fairly easy to see him as a sociopath (his hermetic lifestyle and encroaching insanity may have accelerated this). However, he was known to show kindness to members of his immediate family, had romantic infatuations and friendships, and (anecdotally) protected a horse from being beaten to death by wrapping his arms around it. He seems to have been a mass of contradictions, at any rate.
    That's a very good answer
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    (Original post by Jam198)
    No, it wasn't his philosophy that drove him mad, it was syphillis.
    All historical figures in history went mad from syphillis.
    Ever read Richard Schain? He refutes Nietzsche's madness was attributed to syphillis. Personally, I would put it down to meningioma and schizophrenia.
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    (Original post by tjf8)
    Really? Crime and Punishment was published before any of Nietzsche's major works.
    Well, now... I admit I might go to far...

    But, it is true that the works has similar idea like Nietzsche. For example, when Raskolnikov was caught by the police and when the detective asked him why he did that than he started to exaplain that he had to kill the old woman because it was necessary since she prevented that other people gain more success.

    But, at the end, Nietzsche was the one who refused his philosophy. When he was dieing he wanted a priest which was in contrary about what he preached.
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    (Original post by player19)
    Well, now... I admit I might go to far...

    But, it is true that the works has similar idea like Nietzsche. For example, when Raskolnikov was caught by the police and when the detective asked him why he did that than he started to exaplain that he had to kill the old woman because it was necessary since she prevented that other people gain more success.

    But, at the end, Nietzsche was the one who refused his philosophy. When he was dieing he wanted a priest which was in contrary about what he preached.
    The similarities are on account of the fact that Nietzsche was influenced by Dostoyevsky. You had it the wrong way around. The former said the latter was the only psychologist from whom he had anything to learn.

    Nietzsche spent his last decade in a state of madness, perhaps because of syphilis. At the start of this period he wrote letters to his friends exhorting that the German emperor go to Rome to be shot, and said "last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner." I wouldn't be surprised if he broke his principles in all sorts of ways before he died. I doubt he called for a priest though, given that he had at least two major strokes before he died that rendered him unable to talk or walk.
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    Read Bertrand Russell's account of Nietzsche in 'The History of Western Philosophy' (basically that Nietzsche's amoral cruelty is an outgrowth of his personal self).

    i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XkjI8IZNww

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