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On Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy (1872), which was his first book.
What's the connection between art and society? Nietzsche thought that you could tell how vital or decadent a civilization was by its art, and said that ancient Greek tragedy (like Antigone) was so great because it was a perfect synthesis of something highly formal/orderly/beautiful with the intuitive/unconscious/chaotic. He calls these two elements the Apollonian and the Dionysian and gives a whole history of the rise and fall of ancient Greece as seen through their art. They were noble savages, but channeled their savagery in a way that formed what Nietzsche later called master morality. Whereas later, playwrights like Euripides lost touch with the chaotic side, really lost sight of themselves, and this was reflected in Western philosophy and later science from Socrates to the present. Can we stir the pot now to get a re-birth of tragedy in this awesome sense? Nietzsche was ultimately not optimistic.
The full four are rejoined by drama guy John Castro. Read more about it and get the text. If you're interested in that Nietzsche biography mentioned at the beginning of the episode, look here.
This recording concludes with a preview of the Aftershow, where we got Dr. Gregory B. Sader to come tell us how we got it wrong. PEL Citizens can get the full audio of that beamed straight to their mobile devices with our Citizen feed. Please support PEL!
End song: "Some Act" by Mark Lint and the Fake from "So Whaddaya Think?" (2000) Get the whole album free.
Nietzsche picture by Genevieve Arnold.
Geir Byrkjeland says
Isn’t downcast iOS only? Or am I completely off? Can’t find it on Google play at least.
Mark Linsenmayer says
Crap, you’re right. Not sure where I got that info.
A quick web search reveals this: http://appcrawlr.com/android/acast. Can you please try it and let me know if it’s good and works for this?
Seth Paskin says
On Android try Podcast Republic. It supports authentication to get the Citizen feed. When you add a podcast feed you’ll see a button for “Authenticate…”. Click that and select the HTTP option.
Geir Byrkjeland says
Great, the Podcast Republic one works fine.
That picture of Antigone looks a little like Nietzsche
Mark Wendland says
I recently finished reading Iain McGilchrist’s *The Master and His Emissary* If you aren’t familiar with it, this condensed lecture via RSA Animate is a good summary: http://youtu.be/dFs9WO2B8uI
The first section of the book is a revealuation of the function of the hemispheres of the brain. In the second section he goes on to name the Greek period as one of a few periods of balance in the history of societies.
I don’t think Neitzsche and McGilchrist are saying the same thing, but the concept of the proper balance between impulses is one that they share.
Peter Hardy says
I think all philosophical disputes involve such modalities or dichotomies, but I think you’re right that Nietzsche and McGilchrist are concerned with broadly the same thing there, well observed. With McGilchrist, you may be interested in how I relate this to Jesus in the last paragraph of my article on here: http://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2015/06/18/parables-as-a-guide-to-jesus-the-philosopher-pt-4-imprudence/
Thanks Peter; enjoyed reading your thoughts. Appreciate the tip on Derrida (leftbrain/logocentricism) especially.