For Nietzsche the word nihilism had a number of meanings, which I shall seek to clarify. Humanists, by and large educated, comfortably middle-class persons with rewarding lives like mine, find rapture enough in secular knowledge and hope. Nietzsche gave out never to know quite what was wrong with himself, though he suspected a hereditary problem and congratulated himself on surviving beyond his father’s age. Yet how can he not have known he had syphilis, with a scar close to his foreskin and a history, albeit brief, of treatment? In 1849, when Nietzsche was but five, his father died of softening of the brain (encephalitis or apoplexy). --- It is very possible that Nietzsche died of complications from syphilis, it is not unreasonable to conclude so. The question is did he have syphilis? More likely it was brain cancer and the story is a posthumous smear by his critics. Nietzsche had no signs or symptoms of tertiary syphilis, and the diagnosis was made in accordance with the prevailing paradigm of his time. The doctor who has carried out the study claims that the universally-accepted story of Nietzsche having caught syphilis from prostitutes was actually concocted after the Second World War by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, an academic who was one of Nietzsche's most vociferous critics. 1889: suffered a mental breakdown, never published thereafter. Nietzsche's physicians, according to Dr Sax, suspected that he may not have had syphilis, but were unable to suggest an alternative. Nietzsche (pronounced NEE-cha) was born on 15 October 1844 in the small town of Röcken bei Lützen, near Leipzig in the Prussian province of Saxony (modern-day Germany). It makes more "sense" than a random disease that can strike anyone. Nietzsche has variously been diagnosed as suffering from “epilepsy, apoplexy, hereditary mania, premature brain atrophy, paranoia, schizophrenia, and inadvertent self-poisioning”, as well as “bipolar disorder.” However, as Deborah Hayden has convincingly argued, Nietzsche was almost certainly suffering from syphilis. Nietzsche's physicians, according to Dr Sax, suspected that he may not have had syphilis, but were unable to suggest an alternative. If Nietzsche had syphilis, then it's logical to conclude that he must have been infected by someone who had it, as the story goes a prostitute. Whether Nietzsche later returned to this or similar establishments is a matter of dispute. Nietzsche had seen so much death and suffering at a very young age. Further questions then arise. Debunked: Syphilis. #1 Nietzsche was a failure during his lifetime. As Nietzsche said, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. A paper just published in Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica reconsiders the insanity and death of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who is commonly thought to have died of neurosyphilis. If Nietzsche had syphilis, then, Schain avers, "it was an acquired disease that put the stamp on Nietzsche's thought; his ideas were a consequence of general paresis" (104). Reporting his findings in the current issue of the Journal of Medical Biography , Dr Sax argues that a more plausible diagnosis would have been that the philosopher was suffering from a slowly-developing brain tumour. Many commentators think that Nietzsche died a virgin; Freud speculated that he had contracted syphilis at a male brothel in Genoa; and Thomas Mann believed it “incontestable” that Nietzsche’s madness was the product of tertiary syphilis. Many commentators think that Nietzsche died a virgin; Freud speculated that he had contracted syphilis at a male brothel in Genoa; and Thomas Mann believed it "incontestable" that Nietzsche's madness was the product of tertiary syphilis. Both Maupassant and Nietzsche had years of relapsing illnesses indicative of a severe progressing syphilis. Be that as it may, Nietzsche evidently never thought he had syphilis, and most of his life he was sexually a complete ascetic. - so says: cdc.gov, January 2014. When he was a student, Nietzsche contracted syphilis from a prostitute. Nietzsche's physicians, according to Dr Sax, suspected that he may not have had syphilis, but were unable to suggest an alternative. Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher thought to have died of syphilis, was the victim of a posthumous smear campaign by anti-Nazis, new research shows. Method: We have charted Friedrich Nietzsche's final fatal illness, and viewed the differential diagnosis in the light of recent neurological understandings of dementia syndromes. One episode on Nietzsche details his life and work. Nietzsche’s letters from 1867 until his breakdown provide a vivid account of the suffering of secondary syphilis. If Nietzsche did not have syphilis, how did that diagnosis arise, and how did it become the prevailing opinion? He complains of the pain, skin sores, weakness, and loss of vision that typify the repertoire of the disease. A cure hadn’t been discovered in his lifetime, which meant he suffered a great deal of pain throughout his life. He wasn't "driven insane" for psychological reasons, but people sure do love to think so. But syphilis will kill you, and getting it will not make anyone, not even Nietzsche, smarter, stronger, funnier, more creative, or more fun, nor will it help anyone conquer the world or write great philosophy. And, of course, there is syphilis. The problem for Schain is not that Nietzsche's oeuvre thereby becomes the manifestation of a disease but that syphilis is an exogenous disease. Nietzsche’s dementia was caused by syphilis. Was it a creation just to discredit him? Nietzsche probably contracted gonorrhea as a young man but had no clear history of primary or secondary syphilis. Nietzsche's doctors incorrectly diagnosed him with paretic syphilis, and this myth thereby persisted after his death for a long time. Seeking medical treat-ment for eye inflammation, a frequent syphilitic symptom, he consulted Dr. Otto Eiser, who reported not only Niet-zsche’s penile lesions, but that he had Hereafter he travelled throughout Europe developing his philosophy. 1900: died (unknown cause, possibly syphilis or frontotemporal dementia). Interestingly, the psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875–1961) had a considerable role in popularizing the notion that Nietzsche had syphilis (5, p 186). Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. For a century, no one challenged the assumption that Nietzsche had gone mad as a result of tertiary syphilis and never recovered. In a sentence, ... to dismiss claims that syphilis was to blame (see, e.g., E. F. Podach). Results: It is unclear that Nietzsche ever had syphilis. However, in 2003, Dr. Leonard Sax published an article in the Journal of Medical Biography that posted that, according to forensic evidence, Nietzsche did not have syphilis. There's no proof Nietzsche had syphilis--he didn't even have the symptoms. “The German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, who had syphilis, said that only a person of deep faith could afford the luxury of religious skepticism. In contrast, the authors of the new study suggest that Nietzsche died of frontotemporal dementia - a type of dementia that specifically affects the frontal and temporal lobes. The most that has been claimed is that as a student he may have visited a brothel once or twice. Symptoms of Syphilis can persist if treated incorrectly. No one knows, he was a sickly sort of lad who was plagued by headaches and other ailments for most of his life. Neurosyphilis is a life-threatening complication of syphilis and can occur at any stage of syphilis. The signs and symptoms of syphilis vary depending in which of the four stages it presents (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). 1879: Nz had to leave his post due to illness. “Extraordinarily, this single passage in Lange-Eichbaum’s obscure book is the chief foundation, cited again and again, directly or indirectly as we shall see, as ‘’proof’’ not only that Nietzsche had syphilis, but also that Nietzsche’s dementia was caused by paretic syphilis,” states Dr.Sax in his journal. Before Nietzsche had become a professor at Basel, he had become an ardent disciple of the atheist, idealist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. I aim to show that this consensus is likely to be incorrect, and will suggest a more plausible diagnosis. As Schain points out, only clinical diagnosis of neurosyphilis was possible in Nietzsche's time and neurosyphilis was clearly used as a 'waste basket' categorization of … Nietzsche had the impressive feat of … Here are the five craziest things about Nietzsche’s life from Alain de Botton’s video. In his last year, his letters give evidence of euphoria. His father was Carl Ludwig Nietzsche (a Lutheran pastor and former teacher) and his mother was Franziska Oehler, and the couple had two other children, Elisabeth (born in 1846) and Ludwig Joseph (born in 1848). terrible insight Nietzsche must have had into the devastating horror ofpox! Little did I know Nietzsche’s life was kind of a shit show. Nietzsche was way ahead of us. He surely lied to Wagner’s doctor, Otto Eiser. The second half of this article addresses these points. Speculations have been made that he had syphilis, which the philosopher may have acquired congenitally, or later in a brothel, while other scholars dispute this claim. By the time he entered school, he was already quite a serious boy. Neurosyphilis is a Treponema pallidum bacteria infection of the coverings of the brain, the brain itself or the spinal cord, that usually occurs in people have had untreated syphilis for many years. Multiple sources indicate that he was treated for syphilis in 1867 at age twenty-three. More than 60% of all inmates in Europe’s mental asylums carried that diagnosis, despite no existing tests for the condition.
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