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Socrates has undoubtedly had a major impact upon western philosophy and society in general Plato whose work is essentially an elaboration and expansion upon that of Socrates has had a similar effect Naturally these two philosophers have been subjects of immense academic interest for over two thousand years With this great interest comes both praise and criticism One of the most critical writers to attack these legendary philosophers was Friedrich Nietzsche Here I will examine Nietzsches arguments draw evidence to support such arguments and discuss his notion of Christianity as an extension of such philosophyFrom Nietzsches viewpoint Socrates and Plato were to Greek society symptoms of societal decay or as Nietzsche usually puts it decadence Nietzsche 39 In his attack on Western Philosophy throughout Twilight of the Idols he purports the main weakness of Socrates to be evident in the delivery of his philosophy or more specifically dialectics Socrates was never a rich man and belonged to the lowest of the socioeconomic classes in Athens Nietzsche claims that With dialectics the rabble gets on top the rabble in this case being Socrates Nietzsche 41 Socrates repeatedly takes on the government in various matters such as the weakness of democracy the connection of justice and holiness He uses dialectics with such techniques as elenchus to use complex arguments to loosely back up his statements or to confuse his opponent into submission Before Socrates the dialectical manner of argument was widely looked down upon The good society considered dialectics as bad manners Parents warned their children against such arguments purporting that such arguments were not to be trusted Nietzsches rationale for this mistrust was that honest things should be able to stand alone as honest without the implication of a complex argument In Athens where authority lay primarily in commands as opposed to reason and discussion the dialectician is not usually taken seriously Nietzsche 41 According to Nietzsche dialectics are such cowardly weapons that they should be
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