Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Did Nietzsche lose his sanity from thinking too much or from syphilis?

I know Syphilis can make you go mad if never treated, but having read all his works he seems to feel that the more you see reality for what it is, the more you lose yourself.

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher thought to have died of syphilis caught from prostitutes, was in fact the victim of a posthumous smear campaign by anti-Nazis, according to new research.

    A study of medical records has found that, far from suffering a sexually transmitted disease that drove him mad, Nietzsche almost certainly died of brain cancer.

    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 World War II by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum, an academic who was one of Nietzsche's most vociferous critics. It was then adopted as fact by intellectuals who were keen to demolish the reputation of Nietzsche, whose idea of a "Superman" was used to underpin Nazism.

    The new research was carried out by Dr Leonard Sax, the director of the Montgomery Centre for Research in Child Development in Maryland. Dr Sax made his discovery after studying accounts of Nietzsche's collapse with dementia in 1889. He was admitted to an asylum in Basel, Switzerland, and was initially diagnosed as being in the advanced stages of syphilis.

    According to Dr Sax, however, Nietzsche's notes show no signs of the symptoms that are now regarded as evidence of this disease, such as an expressionless face and slurred speech.

    "Nietzsche exhibited none of these symptoms," Dr Sax said. "His facial expressions remained vivid, his reflexes were normal, tremor was not present, his handwriting after his collapse was at least as good as it had been in previous years - and his speech was fluent."

    Dr Sax said that in the late 19th century more than 90 per cent of those with advanced syphilis rapidly declined and died within five years of diagnosis. Nietzsche, in contrast, lived for another 11 years.

    Source(s): Study could free Nietzsche of syphilis scourge The Age, newspaper article, May 6 2003
  • guru
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago


    Spend 8 hours alone and thinking and see the result. This is also why solitary confinement is considered torture.

  • 1 decade ago

    EXACTLY- i strongly agree. the more you come to the truth, the more insane you get... =] yess, i stated that in one of my questions =]

  • 1 decade ago

    What do you expect of someone who says GOD is dead just to

    be able to make love to his sister.

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