The role of the fool in philosophy


The Shakespearean fool, though not necessarily well educated and by most appearances a simpleton, is nevertheless often wiser and cleverer than, and consequently outwits, his superiors of higher standing. Presumably the fool prevails also because he judges kindness to others to be the highest moral value to be upheld. Is there a prominent role played by such a fool in any particular philosopher's works?

I suspected Nietzsche might have had something to say about this given his propensity to draw exaggerated and stark contrasts between different types of men, but apparently I was either wrong or just could not find anything relevant.


Posted 2016-06-29T22:50:54.373

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Are you trying to ask about Nietzsche in particular or philosophy in general? If the latter, "fool" is not a major concept or tool in most philosophical systems. – virmaior – 2016-06-29T23:29:11.413

The shakespearean fool, by being outside the court system, and therefore outisde of power is seen as a 'fool'; I imagine this is why King Lear had some affection for his fool. Similar marginalised figures abound in literature - Coleridges Ancient Mariner comes to mind; however being foolish isn't philosophical; even King Lears fool wasn't being a fool. – Mozibur Ullah – 2016-07-03T23:38:17.180

No answers