Cioran, Platone e la città del rancore


  • Paolo Vanini



Paolo Vanini, Cioran, Platone, rancore,


Cioran, Plato and the city of rancour

In this paper we will compare the portrait of the tyrant made by Cioran in History and Utopia with the portrait made by Plato in the Ninth book of Republic: especially we will focus on the issue of «the government of the passions». On the one side, we will underline some platonic elements which arise from Cioran’s considerations on politics and ethics; on the other side, our goal is to understand the reason why Cioran asserts the anti-platonic thesis according to which the philosopher cannot be – and will never be – a good ruler of himself. Our examination is divided into four points, concerning four theoretical aspects that can be found in Cioran and Plato: the tyrant’s unreal happiness; the metaphors of «body» and «illness» related to the structure of the soul and its passions; the similarity between «the well proportioned statue» and the philosopher’s self control; the question of the «engagement» in political life. Two very different images of «philosophy» will emerge from this analysis; both of them are “paradigmatic” answers to the platonic question: Is the philosopher the only man who can take care of himself and of others? Plato does answer affirmatively, appointing his philosopher as the only one who can rule the «multitudinous beast» of his own irrational appetites. Cioran, conversely, does assert that the philosopher is not better than any other man, by pointing out how he’s nothing but a «concoction of beast and ghost, a furious man who would live in a metaphor».