This passing account (no doubt highly compressed for reasons having to do with the narrative arc of this posting) is nonetheless somewhat unfortunate in that it elides the unresolved (perennial) mystery of Socrates’ last words. Greeks would sacrifice a cock to Asclepius when they were healed from a disease. So the suggestion here is that Socrates is saying that by taking the Hemlock, and ending his life, he is being healed — a notion drenched in pathos and thus at odds with Socratic character. In the Gay Science, Nietzsche says in this statement he detects the sudden whiff of nihilism.

Following the 2016 presidential election, people seemed to be saying these words repetitively — “clearly, we’re living in dark times.”

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