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PhilosophyGround >> the Nietzschean virtue of Solitude?

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10/5/08 8:41 AM
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Joe Ray
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Edited: 10/06/08 4:43 AM
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What do all think of Nietzsche's idea of solitude as a virtue?

Nietzsche states higher men are instinctually drawn to solitude because of the following reasons: They only want the company of their equals, and being higher men those are few and far between; being solitary means they are at their most independent and thus they are in position to discharge their power in the strongest way, being part of a group restrains their natural inclination to express their power in this way.

There are other reasons for higher men desiring solitude but these are the most important I think. He also states that a mans rank can be determined from his level of solitaryness. Simply put the more gregarious one is, the more one enjoys, needs and is immersed in the company of others, the more slavish and herd-like one is, the more solitary one is the higher and stronger one is.

From what I understand, Nietzche considers solitude not merely as a characteristic of higher beings but as a virtue in its own right, like courage, to be cultivated for its own sake and for the benefits and value it brings.


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10/8/08 11:51 AM
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Joe Ray
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It should be stated that everything nietzsche wrote has to be udnerstood within the context of everything else he wrote.

Remember, the entire purpose of his writings was to awaken nascent creative geniuses and future great men from the false consciousness imposed on them by the slave moralities of present day ie. Christianity, egalitarianism, of holding altruism, compassion and selflessness as the highest ideals.

By embracing solitude as a way of life in this environment, nietzsche believed one could loosen the bonds such slave morality has over oneself and can start to, in his words, 'destroy values', namely the slave values mentioned and to create new higher noble ones in their place.

Nietzsche thinks of solitude as a way of innoculating oneself against slavish herd values, because to higher men these values are very very damaging.
10/21/08 10:13 PM
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sanguine cynic
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A few things to consider..perhaps there is some need for a justification for his loneliness, he didn't get along with other people that well and certainly not woman.

Now, on average people who are gregarious are far happier than people who aren't, there is in an innate need to be social..we are social animals like our other ape species. We aren't cats.

However, the happiest of all people..the buddhist monks often go on retreats where they spend months or even years in solitude.

Another point, as a solitary being you can't possibly hope to come up with all the information in the world by yourself, when one is connected to society and the globalization that we live under we are exposed to so many ideas and stimulus around us that this spurts our creativity.

Studies show that people living in large cities are far more creative then people living in rural areas. The inundation of ideas that comes from being exposed to so many, helps foster new ideas and new connections.
10/22/08 4:54 AM
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Joe Ray
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Edited: 10/22/08 8:15 AM
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"A few things to consider..perhaps there is some need for a justification for his loneliness, he didn't get along with other people that well and certainly not woman."

This is correct.

"Now, on average people who are gregarious are far happier than people who aren't, there is in an innate need to be social..we are social animals like our other ape species. We aren't cats."

The idea that we are social crearures and can only be happy in the company of others is what Nietzsche takes aim at. He disagrees, at least for the higher men he was writing to. I think he believes that the truly strong and healthy have no need for the company of others, for a family, or for friends even.



10/22/08 5:45 PM
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sanguine cynic
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"The idea that we are social crearures and can only be happy in the company of others is what Nietzsche takes aim at. He disagrees, at least for the higher men he was writing to. I think he believes that the truly strong and healthy have no need for the company of others, for a family, or for friends even. "

What's his evidence? (as if Nietzsche ever provided any)..does he cite any higher men who lived in solitude?

And what is his definition of a higher man?
10/28/08 11:36 PM
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thesleeper
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"What's his evidence? (as if Nietzsche ever provided any)..does he cite any higher men who lived in solitude?

And what is his definition of a higher man?"

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the answer to that question.

lol at the absurdity of requiring a positivistic framework from a genealogist.
10/29/08 5:11 AM
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Joe Ray
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I'd also note that the man who revels in solitude doesn't have to live as a social recluse, separated from all forms of social interaction.

I think you can be a strong, powerful leader and have no need or regard for friends or a family. The strongest, highest types regard their relations with others as instrumental. Other people are viewed merely as assets to assist them on their way forward, or as obstacles to be removed.

Though the only leader I can think of who was solitary figure was Adolf Hitler. LOL and he's not a very good example.
11/12/08 11:33 AM
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owlfeeder
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good thread.
i agree with neitzsche

in playing the part, and dealing with the thousands of minor variables and details necessary for maintaining a social life, energy is dispersed and floundered.

seclusion to one extent or another is necessary for one to develop great ability in any art or pursuit.

and when delving into the self, how could one get closer to this aim except alone?
11/19/08 5:03 AM
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Joe Ray
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Interestingly I was just having a look at info on solitary animals such as sharks.

Other solitary animals are eagles, mountain lions.
rattle snakes.
bears.

These animals mainly meet up with others of their kind to mate and do their hunting alone.

they are animals at the top of the food chain.

I think nietzsche was onto something

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