Socrates on Stage
Lecture by Martin Puchner [CV]
Among Nietzsche’s adversaries (and who had more adversaries than he?) one stands out: Socrates. This secret collaborator of Euripides and despoiler of tragedy stood for everything Nietzsche was not. It was against him that Nietzsche created a philosophy of the body, of nerves and passions, a philosophy born from the theater and perfect for it. Through his enmity with Socrates, Nietzsche became the theater’s greatest philosopher and enthusiast, praising both its tragic truths and light-footed pleasures.
But Socrates was not so easily banished to the wings. Again and again he appears in Nietzsche’s writings in various guises and masks, most intriguingly as “music-making Socrates.” This figure is no longer Nietzsche’s enemy but now appears as a precursor and ally, not an enemy of the body but a guide to a different understanding of theater. Where does this music-making Socrates lead us? Straight into the lion’s den of Platonism. Could it be that even Plato, of whom Nietzsche had so very little good to say, might turn out to be a strange kind of thespian?
Led by Arno Böhler, the PEEK-Projekt „Artist Philosophers. Philosophy AS Arts-Based-Research“ [AR275-G21] is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) as part of the programme for artistic development and investigation (PEEK). Research location: University of Applied Arts Vienna. Brought about in national and international cooperation with: Jens Badura (HdK Zürich), Laura Cull (University of Surrey), Susanne Valerie Granzer (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien/Max Reinhardt Seminar), Walter Heun (Tanzquartier Wien), Alice Lagaay (Universität Bremen). Postdoc: Elisabeth Schäfer (University of Applied Arts Vienna). The lecture series was produced in collaboration with: Institut für Philosophie [Arno Böhler und Institut für Theater- Film- und Medienwissenschaft der Universität Wien [Krassimira Kruschkova], University of Applied Arts Vienna.
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