Among all the great thinkers of the past two hundred years, Nietzsche continues to occupy a special place--not only for a broad range of academics but also for members of a wider public, who find some of their most pressing existential concerns addressed in his works. Central among these concerns is the question of the meaning of a life characterized by inescapable suffering, at a time when the traditional responses inspired by Christianity are increasingly losing their credibility. While most recent studies of Nietzsche's works have lost sight of this fundamental issue, Bernard Reginster's book The Affirmation of Life brings it sharply into focus.
Reginster identifies overcoming nihilism as a central objective of Nietzsche's philosophical project, and shows how this concern systematically animates all of his main ideas. In particular, Reginster's work develops an original and elegant interpretation of the will to power, which convincingly explains how Nietzsche uses this doctrine to mount a critique of the dominant Christian values, to overcome the nihilistic despair they produce, and to determine the conditions of a new affirmation of life. Thus, Reginster attributes to Nietzsche a compelling substantive ethical outlook based on the notions of challenge and creativity--an outlook that involves a radical reevaluation of the role and significance of suffering in human existence.
Replete with deeply original insights on many familiar--and frequently misunderstood--Nietzschean concepts, Reginster's book will be essential to anyone approaching this towering figure of Western intellectual history.
Described by Thomas Mann as “brothers in spirit, but tragically grotesque companions in misfortune,” Nietzsche and Dostoevsky remain towering figures in the intellectual development of European modernity. Maia Johnson-Stepenberg’s accessible new introduction to these philosophers compares their writings on key topics such as criminality, Christianity, and the figure of the “outsider” to reveal the urgency and contemporary resonance of their shared struggle against nihilism. Against Nihilism also considers nihilism in the context of current political and social struggles, placing Nietzsche and Dostoevsky’s contributions at the heart of important contemporary debates regarding community, identity, and meaning. Inspired by class discussions with her students and aimed at first-team readers of Nietzsche and Dostoevsky, Against Nihilism provides an accessible, unique comparative study of these two key thinkers.
If you were looking for a philosopher likely to appeal to Americans, Friedrich Nietzsche would be far from your first choice. After all, in his blazing career, Nietzsche took aim at nearly all the foundations of modern American life: Christian morality, the Enlightenment faith in reason, and the idea of human equality. Despite that, for more than a century Nietzsche has been a hugely popular—and surprisingly influential—figure in American thought and culture.
In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America’s reception of it, to tell the story of his curious appeal. Beginning her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche read fervently, she shows how Nietzsche’s ideas first burst on American shores at the turn of the twentieth century, and how they continued alternately to invigorate and to shock Americans for the century to come. She also delineates the broader intellectual and cultural contexts within which a wide array of commentators—academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right—drew insight and inspiration from Nietzsche’s claims for the death of God, his challenge to universal truth, and his insistence on the interpretive nature of all human thought and beliefs. At the same time, she explores how his image as an iconoclastic immoralist was put to work in American popular culture, making Nietzsche an unlikely posthumous celebrity capable of inspiring both teenagers and scholars alike.
A penetrating examination of a powerful but little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American thought and culture, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our understanding of American intellectual life—and puts Nietzsche squarely at its heart.
While many acknowledge that Friedrich Nietzsche and Michel Foucault have redefined our notions of time and history, few recognize the crucial role that "the infinite relation" between seeing and saying (as Foucault put it) plays in their work. Gary Shapiro reveals, for the first time, the full extent of Nietzsche and Foucault's concern with the visual.
Shapiro explores the whole range of Foucault's writings on visual art, including the theory of visual resistance, the concept of the phantasm or simulacrum, and his interrogation of the relation of painting, language, and power in artists from Bosch to Warhol. Shapiro also shows through an excavation of little-known writings that the visual is a major theme in Nietzsche's thought. In addition to explaining the significance of Nietzsche's analysis of Raphael, Dürer, and Claude Lorrain, he examines the philosopher's understanding of the visual dimension of Greek theater and Wagnerian opera and offers a powerful new reading of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Archaeologies of Vision will be a landmark work for all scholars of visual culture as well as for those engaged with continental philosophy.
In The Art of Reading as a Way of Life: On Nietzsche’s Truth Daniel T. O’Hara traces critically the current reception and translation of Nietzsche’s corpus and then some of Nietzsche’s boldest textual experiments in the art of reading as a way of life, including those in The Birth of Tragedy, The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, The Anti-Christ, and Ecce Homo.
The shape of this critical tracing begins, however, in the middle of his career with The Gay Science andmoves on to Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which Nietzsche believed was the central work of his life. It then revalues Ecce Homo, Nietzsche’s final autobiographical statement about his life and career, and concludes with a comparative analysis of two works from the beginning and end of that career: respectively, The Birth of Tragedy and The Anti-Christ. O’Hara’s highly original study, which uses Badiou’s theory of the truth-event as a guide, will surely provoke larger conversations across many disciplines.
Jeremiah Alberg’s fascinating book explores a phenomenon almost every news reader has experienced: the curious tendency to skim over dispatches from war zones, political battlefields, and economic centers, only to be drawn in by headlines announcing a late-breaking scandal. Rationally we would agree that the former are of more significance and importance, but they do not pique our curiosity in quite the same way. The affective reaction to scandal is one both of interest and of embarrassment or anger at the interest. The reader is at the same time attracted to and repulsed by it. Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses describes the roots out of which this conflicted desire grows, and it explores how this desire mirrors the violence that undergirds the scandal itself. The book shows how readers seem to be confronted with a stark choice: either turn away from scandal completely or become enthralled and thus trapped by it. Using examples from philosophy, literature, and the Bible, Alberg leads the reader on a road out of this false dichotomy. By its nature, the author argues, scandal is the basis of our reading; it is the source of the obstacles that prevent us from understanding what we read, and of the bridges that lead to a deeper grasp of the truth.
Nietzsche's love affair with the theater was among the most profound and prolonged intellectual engagements of his life, but his transformational role in the history of the modern stage has yet to be explored. In this pathbreaking account, David Kornhaber vividly shows how Nietzsche reimagined the theatrical event as a site of philosophical invention that is at once ancestor, antagonist, and handmaiden to the discipline of philosophy itself. August Strindberg, George Bernard Shaw, and Eugene O'Neill— seminal figures in the modern drama's evolution and avowed Nietzscheans all—came away from their encounters with Nietzsche's writings with an impassioned belief in the philosophical potential of the live theatrical event, coupled with a reestimation of the dramatist's power to shape that event in collaboration with the actor. In these playwrights' reactions to and adaptations of Nietzsche's radical rethinking of the stage lay the beginnings of a new direction in modern theater and dramatic literature.
Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most widely read authors in the world, from the time of his death to the present—as well as one of the most controversial. He has been celebrated as a theorist of individual creativity and self-care but also condemned as an advocate of antimodern politics and hierarchical communalism. Rather than treating these approaches as mutually exclusive, Jeremy Fortier contends that we ought instead to understand Nietzsche’s complex legacy as the consequence of a self-conscious and artful tension woven into the fabric of his books.
The Challenge of Nietzsche uses Nietzsche as a guide to Nietzsche, highlighting the fact that Nietzsche equipped his writings with retrospective self-commentaries and an autobiographical apparatus that clarify how he understood his development as an author, thinker, and human being. Fortier shows that Nietzsche used his writings to establish two major character types, the Free Spirit and Zarathustra, who represent two different approaches to the conduct and understanding of life: one that strives to be as independent and critical of the world as possible, and one that engages with, cares for, and aims to change the world. Nietzsche developed these characters at different moments of his life, in order to confront from contrasting perspectives such elemental experiences as the drive to independence, the feeling of love, and the assessment of one’s overall health or well-being. Understanding the tension between the Free Spirit and Zarathustra takes readers to the heart of what Nietzsche identified as the tensions central to his life, and to all human life.
Nietzsche wrote in Ecce Homo (1888), "That a psychologist without equal speaks from my writings—this is perhaps the first insight gained by a good reader. . . . Who among the philosophers before me was in any way a psychologist? Before me there simply was no psychology."
Composing the Soul is the first study to pay sustained attention to this pronouncement and to examine the contours of Nietzsche's psychology in the context of his life and psychological makeup. Beginning with essays from Nietzsche's youth, Graham Parkes shows the influence of such figures as Goethe, Byron, and Emerson on Nietzsche's formidable and multiple talents. Parkes goes on to chart the development of Nietzsche's psychological ideas in terms of the imagery, drawn from the dialogues of Plato as well as from Nietzsche's own quasi-mystical experiences of nature, in which he spoke of the soul. Finally, Parkes analyzes Nietzsche's most revolutionary idea—that the soul is composed of multiple "drives," or "persons," within the psyche. The task for Nietzsche's psychology, then, was to identify and order these multiple persons within the individual—to compose the soul.
Featuring all new translations of quotations from Nietzsche's writings, Composing the Soul reveals the profundity of Nietzsche's lifelong personal and intellectual struggles to come to grips with the soul. Extremely well-written, this landmark work makes Nietzsche's life and ideas accessible to any reader interested in this much misunderstood thinker.
Christa Davis Acampora University of Chicago Press, 2013 Library of Congress B3317.A24 2013 | Dewey Decimal 193
A brilliant exploration of a significant and understudied aspect of Nietzsche’s philosophy.
In this groundbreaking work, Christa Davis Acampora offers a profound rethinking of Friedrich Nietzsche’s crucial notion of the agon. Analyzing an impressive array of primary and secondary sources and synthesizing decades of Nietzsche scholarship, she shows how the agon, or contest, organized core areas of Nietzsche’s philosophy, providing a new appreciation of the subtleties of his notorious views about power. By focusing so intensely on this particular guiding interest, she offers an exciting, original vantage from which to view this iconic thinker: Contesting Nietzsche.
Though existence—viewed through the lens of Nietzsche’s agon—is fraught with struggle, Acampora illuminates what Nietzsche recognized as the agon’s generative benefits. It imbues the human experience with significance, meaning, and value. Analyzing Nietzsche’s elaborations of agonism—his remarks on types of contests, qualities of contestants, and the conditions in which either may thrive or deteriorate—she demonstrates how much the agon shaped his philosophical projects and critical assessments of others. The agon led him from one set of concerns to the next, from aesthetics to metaphysics to ethics to psychology, via Homer, Socrates, Saint Paul, and Wagner. In showing how one obsession catalyzed so many diverse interests, Contesting Nietzsche sheds fundamentally new light on some of this philosopher’s most difficult and paradoxical ideas.
Boldly contesting recent scholarship, Sallis argues that The Birth of Tragedy is a rethinking of art at the
limit of metaphysics. His close reading focuses on the
complexity of the Apollinian/Dionysian dyad and on the
crossing of these basic art impulses in tragedy.
"Sallis effectively calls into question some commonly
accepted and simplistic ideas about Nietzsche's early
thinking and its debt to Schopenhauer, and proposes
alternatives that are worth considering."—Richard
Schacht, Times Literary Supplement
Dead Letters to Nietzsche examines how writing shapes subjectivity through the example of Nietzsche’s reception by his readers, including Stanley Rosen, David Farrell Krell, Georges Bataille, Laurence Lampert, Pierre Klossowski, and Sarah Kofman. More precisely, Joanne Faulkner finds that the personal identification that these readers form with Nietzsche’s texts is an enactment of the kind of identity-formation described in Lacanian and Kleinian psychoanalysis. This investment of their subjectivity guides their understanding of Nietzsche’s project, the revaluation of values.
Not only does this work make a provocative contribution to Nietzsche scholarship, but it also opens in an original way broader philosophical questions about how readers come to be invested in a philosophical project and how such investment alters their subjectivity.
In the essays brought together in this volume Shestov presents a profound and original analysis of the thought of three of the most brilliant literary figures of nineteenth-century Europe—Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche—all of whom had a decisive influence on the development of his own philosophy.
According to Shestov, the greatness of these writers consists in their deep probing into the question of the meaning of life and the problems of human suffering, evil, and death. That all three of them at times abandoned their probing and lapsed into the banality of preaching does not diminish their stature but shows only that there are limits to man’s capacity for looking unflichingly at reality.
Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche are united, in Shestov’s view, by their common insight into the essential tragedy of human life—a tragedy which no increase in scientific knowledge and no degree of political and social reform can significantly mitigate but which can ultimately be redeemed only by faith in the omnipotent God proclaimed by the Bible.
In all three of his subjects Shestov sees a rebellion against the tyranny of idealist systems of philosophy, as well as a recognition that the supposedly universal and necessary laws discovered by science and the moral principles for which autonomous ethics claims eternal validity do not liberate man but rather crush and destroy him. This rebellion and this recognition are often suppressed by Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Nietzsche, byt they break forth again and again with overwhelming power.
In this provocative discussion of the novels and stories of the two celebrated Russian writers and of the essays and aphorisms of the solitary German philosopher whose genius was finally extinguished by insanity, Shestov finds ideas and insights that other critics have overlooked or the important of which they have not adequately understood. The value of his achievement has been widely recognized. Prince Mirsky, for example, does not hesitate to say in his authorative history of Russian literature that, as far as Dostoevsky is concerned, Shestov is undoubtedly his greatest commentator.
The reader will find in these remarkable studies of the men who exercised the strongest intellectual influence on the young Shestov the beginnings of the Russian philosopher’s own lifelong polemic against idealism, scientism, and conventional morality, as well as the first gropings of the quest for faith in the Biblical God that was to become the leitmotif of all his thinking and writing in the last decades of his life.
In recent years Nietzsche has emerged as a presiding genius of our intellectual epoch. Although scholars have noted the influence of Nietzsche's thought on Wallace Stevens, the publication of Early Stevens establishes, for the first time, the extent to which Nietzsche pervades Steven's early work. Concentrating on poems published between 1915 and 1935—but moving occasionally into later poems, as well as letters and essays—B. J. Leggett draws together texts of Stevens and Nietzsche to produce new and surprising readings of the poet's early work. This intertextual critique reveals previously undisclosed ideologies operating at the margins of Stevens's work, enabling Leggett to read aspects of the poetry that have until now been unreadable. Leggett's analysis demonstrates that the Nietzschean presence in Stevens brings with it certain assumptions that need to be made explicit if the form of the poetry is to be understood. Though many critics have discussed the concept of intertextuality, few have attempted a truly intertextual reading of a particular poet. Early Stevens not only develops an exemplary model of such a reading; it also provides crucial insights into Stevens's notions of femininity, virility, and poetry and elucidates the notions of art, untruth, fiction, and interpretation in both Stevens and Nietzsche.
Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration provides a comprehensive analysis of the politics that are implicit and explicit in Nietzsche's work. Tracy B. Strong's discussion shows that Nietzsche's writings are of a piece and have as their common goal a politics of transfiguration: a politics that seeks radical change in how human beings live and act in the modern Western world. This edition includes a new introduction that demonstrates how the styles of Nietzsche's writings expand our notions of democratic politics and democratic understanding.
Although much has been written about Deleuze’s engagement with the arts, Gilles Deleuze and the Fabulation of Philosophy concerns the art of his philosophy. Gregory Flaxman suggests that Deleuze’s notorious rejection of representation gives rise to a singular task—to create new concepts and invent new means of philosophical expression. Tracing this task throughout Deleuze’s vast oeuvre, Flaxman argues that Deleuze’s ambition to think and write “otherwise” constitutes the fabulation of philosophy itself.
For Flaxman, Deleuze’s philosophy is organized around the notion of the friend (philos). This book dramatizes the practice of friendship in Deleuze’s intimate affairs with philosophers—including Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Kant, and Foucault—and close encounters with a range of writers, including Homer, More, Kafka, Woolf, and Borges. Flaxman traces Deleuze’s relationship with Nietzsche, the friend from whom he learned to write “in his own name,” to explain how apprenticeship becomes the initial condition of Deleuze’s philosophical method. Detailing the transformation of Nietzsche’s genealogy into “geophilosophy,” Flaxman goes on to show how Deleuze’s philosophy of the earth precipitates his return to ancient Greece and induces his resolution to overturn Platonism. In this spirit, the book demonstrates Deleuze’s evocation of the “powers of the false” by examining how, in his battle against representation, he makes fiction the basis for a minor philosophy. This first volume draws to a close with a timely elaboration of Deleuze’s avowed, if enigmatic, “style as politics” in an age when capitalism and communication challenge the claims of philosophy as never before.
A stunning and original contribution, Flaxman’s book restores the question of aesthetics to Deleuze’s thinking and writing. Gilles Deleuze and the Fabulation of Philosophy not only revitalizes our sense of the philosopher but revises the sense of his philosophy, provoking critical problems and novel possibilities with which readers will wrestle for years to come.
Giuseppe Fornari’s groundbreaking inquiry shows that Friedrich Nietzsche’s neglected importance as a religious thinker and his “untimeliness” place him at the forefront of modern thought. Capable of exploiting his own failures as a cognitive tool to discover what other philosophers never wanted to see, Nietzsche ultimately drove himself to mental collapse. Fornari analyzes the tragic reports of Nietzsche’s madness and seeks out the cause of this self-destructive destiny, which, he argues, began earlier than his rivalry with the composer and polemicist Richard Wagner, dating back to the premature loss of Nietzsche’s father. Dramatic experience enabled Nietzsche to detect a more general tendency of European culture, leading to his archaeological and prophetic discovery of the death of God, which he understood as a primordial assassination from which all humankind took its origin. Fornari concludes that Nietzsche’s fatal rebellion against a Christian awareness, which he identified as the greatest threat to his plan, led him to become one and the same not only with Dionysus but also with the crucified Christ. His effort, Fornari argues, was a dramatic way to recognize the silent, inner meaning of Christ’s figure, and perhaps to be forgiven.
Through photographs and translations of Friedrich Nietzsche's evocative writings on his work sites, David Farrell Krell and Donald L. Bates explore the cities and landscapes in which Nietzsche lived and worked.
"A brilliant juxtaposition of life and thought. . . . The sympathy of this pictorial biography is rivaled by few books on Nietzsche."—Charles M. Stang, Boston Book Review
"[A] distinguished addition to the Nietzsche-friendly corpus."—Alain de Botton, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"An odd and oddly endearing record of Nietzsche's travels."—John Banville, New York Review of Books
Martin Heidegger and Karl Marx remain two of the most influential thinkers in philosophy, in political science and other social sciences, and in the humanities. Yet there has never been a full-length study in English of the relationship between their ideas, and there has only been one study in German (from 1966). A Productive Dialogue fills this gap and contradicts the widely held assumption that Heidegger had no significant engagement with Marx. Hemming focuses on four related areas of inquiry—Heidegger’s reading of Marx; Marx’s relation to G. W. F. Hegel; Heidegger’s disastrous political involvement with National Socialism; and the significance of Hegel, Marx, Heidegger, and Friedrich Nietzsche for the politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A Productive Dialogue explores the understanding of political processes, systems, and behavior that animates both thinkers.
Can subjective, individual taste be reconciled with an objective, universal standard? In Homo Aestheticus, Luc Ferry argues that this central problem of aesthetic theory is fundamentally related to the political problem of democratic individualism.
Ferry's treatise begins in the mid-1600s with the simultaneous invention of the notions of taste (the essence of art as subjective pleasure) and modern democracy (the idea of the State as a consensus among individuals). He explores the differences between subjectivity and individuality by examining aesthetic theory as developed first by Kant's predecessors and then by Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, and proponents of the avant-garde. Ferry discerns two "moments" of the avant-garde aesthetic: the hyperindividualistic iconoclasm of creating something entirely new, and the hyperrealistic striving to achieve an extraordinary truth. The tension between these two, Ferry argues, preserves an essential element of the Enlightenment concern for reconciling the subjective and the objective—a problem that is at once aesthetic, ethical, and political.
Rejecting postmodern proposals for either a radical break with or return to tradition, Ferry embraces a postmodernism that recasts Enlightenment notions of value as a new intersubjectivity. His original analysis of the growth and decline of the twentieth-century avant-garde movement sheds new light on the connections between aesthetics, ethics, and political theory.
Plato dispersed his account of how Socrates became Socrates across three dialogues. Thus, Plato rendered his becoming discoverable only to readers truly invested. In How Socrates Became Socrates, Laurence Lampert recognizes the path of Plato’s strides and guides us through the true account of Socrates’ becoming. He divulges how and why Plato ordered his Phaedo, Parmenides, and Symposium chronologically to give readers access to Socrates’ development on philosophy’s fundamental questions of being and knowing.
In addition to a careful and precise analysis of Plato’s Phaedo,Parmenides, and Symposium, Lampert shows that properly entwined, Plato’s three dialogues fuse to portray a young thinker entering philosophy’s true radical power. Lampert reveals why this radicality needed to be guarded and places this discussion within the greater scheme of the politics of philosophy.
In this book, one of the most distinguished scholars of German culture collects his essays on a figure who has long been one of his chief preoccupations. Erich Heller's lifelong study of modern European literature necessarily returns again and again to Friedrich Nietzsche.
Nietzsche prided himself on having broken with all traditional ways of thinking and feeling, and once even claimed that he would someday be recognized for having ushered in a new millennium. While acknowledging Nietzsche's radicalism, Heller also insists on the continuity of the story in which he does indeed occupy a central place. By considering Nietzsche in relation to Goethe, Rilke, Wittgenstein, Yeats, and others, Heller shows the philosopher's ambivalence toward the tradition he inherited as well as his profound effect on the thought and sensibility of those who followed him. It is hardly an exaggeration to say, as Heller does in his first essay, that Nietzsche is to many modern writers and thinkers—including Mann, Musil, Kafka, Freud, Heidegger, Jaspers, Gide, and Sartre—what St. Thomas Aquinas was to Dante: the categorical interpreter of a world, which they contemplate imaginatively and theoretically without ever much upsetting its Nietzschean structure.
Thus it is Nietzsche's thought, so pervasively present in the themes of modernity, that gives coherence and unity to Heller's essays. What emerges from them is that, despite his iconoclastic declarations and unorthodox philosophical practices, Nietzsche deals with the human spirit's persistent concerns. His questions remain urgent, and even the answers, in all their contradictoriness, possess the commanding force of his inquiry. An example is the incompatibility of the famous extremes, the teaching of the Übermensch and the Eternal Recurrence of All Things. These cancel each other out and yet grow from the same intellectual and spiritual roots, as is shown lucidly and cogently by one of Heller's most forceful essays, "Nietzsche's Terrors: Time and the Inarticulate." In fathoming the depth of this contradiction, Heller at the same time reveals the importance of Nietzsche for those who seek to understand the wellsprings of the epoch's disquiet, turmoil, and creativity.
In this latest book, renowned philosopher and scholar Robert B. Pippin offers the thought-provoking argument that the study of historical figures is not only an interpretation and explication of their views, but can be understood as a form of philosophy itself. In doing so, he reconceives philosophical scholarship as a kind of network of philosophical interanimations, one in which major positions in the history of philosophy, when they are themselves properly understood within their own historical context, form philosophy’s lingua franca. Examining a number of philosophers to explore the nature of this interanimation, he presents an illuminating assortment of especially thoughtful examples of historical commentary that powerfully enact philosophy.
After opening up his territory with an initial discussion of contemporary revisionist readings of Kant’s moral theory, Pippin sets his sights on his main objects of interest: Hegel and Nietzsche. Through them, however, he offers what few others could: an astonishing synthesis of an immense and diverse set of thinkers and traditions. Deploying an almost dialogical, conversational approach, he pursues patterns of thought that both shape and, importantly, connect the major traditions: neo-Aristotelian, analytic, continental, and postmodern, bringing the likes of Heidegger, Honneth, MacIntyre, McDowell, Brandom, Strauss, Williams, and Žižek—not to mention Hegel and Nietzsche— into the same philosophical conversation.
By means of these case studies, Pippin mounts an impressive argument about a relatively under discussed issue in professional philosophy—the bearing of work in the history of philosophy on philosophy itself—and thereby he argues for the controversial thesis that no strict separation between the domains is defensible.
Leo Strauss and Nietzsche
Laurence Lampert University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress B3317.L254 1996 | Dewey Decimal 193
The influential political philosopher Leo Strauss has been credited by conservatives with the recovery of the great tradition of political philosophy stretching back to Plato. Among Strauss's most enduring legacies is a strongly negative assessment of Nietzsche as the modern philosopher most at odds with that tradition and most responsible for the sins of twentieth-century culture—relativism, godlessness, nihilism, and the breakdown of family values. In fact, this apparent denunciation has become so closely associated with Strauss that it is often seen as the very core of his thought.
In Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, the eminent Nietzsche scholar Laurence Lampert offers a controversial new assessment of the Strauss-Nietzsche connection. Lampert undertakes a searching examination of the key Straussian essay, "Note on the Plan of Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil." He shows that this essay, written toward the end of Strauss's life and placed at the center of his final work, reveals an affinity for and debt to Nietzsche greater than Strauss's followers allow. Lampert argues that the essay comprises the most important interpretation of Nietzsche ever published, one that clarifies Nietzsche's conception of nature and of human spiritual history and demonstrates the logical relationship between the essential themes in Nietzsche's thought—the will to power and the eternal return.
Although Leo Strauss published little on Nietzsche, his lectures and correspondence demonstrate a deep critical engagement with Nietzsche’s thought. One of the richest contributions is a seminar on Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, taught in 1959 during Strauss’s tenure at the University of Chicago. In the lectures, Strauss draws important parallels between Nietzsche’s most important project and his own ongoing efforts to restore classical political philosophy.
With Leo Strauss on Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” eminent Strauss scholar Richard L. Velkley presents Strauss’s lectures on Zarathustra with superb annotations that bring context and clarity to the critical role played by Nietzsche in shaping Strauss’s thought. In addition to the broad relationship between Nietzsche and political philosophy, Strauss adeptly guides readers through Heidegger’s confrontations with Nietzsche, laying out Heidegger’s critique of Nietzsche’s “will to power” while also showing how Heidegger can be read as a foil for his own reading of Nietzsche. The lectures also shed light on the relationship between Heidegger and Strauss, as both philosophers saw Nietzsche as a central figure for understanding the crisis of philosophy and Western civilization.
Strauss’s reading of Nietzsche is one of the important—yet little appreciated—philosophical inquiries of the past century, both an original interpretation of Nietzsche’s thought and a deep engagement with the core problems that modernity posed for political philosophy. It will be welcomed by anyone interested in the work of either philosopher.
What, if anything, does biological evolution tell us about the nature of religion, ethical values, or even the meaning and purpose of life? The Moral Meaning of Nature sheds new light on these enduring questions by examining the significance of an earlier—and unjustly neglected—discussion of Darwin in late nineteenth-century Germany.
We start with Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings staged one of the first confrontations with the Christian tradition using the resources of Darwinian thought. The lebensphilosophie, or “life-philosophy,” that arose from his engagement with evolutionary ideas drew responses from other influential thinkers, including Franz Overbeck, Georg Simmel, and Heinrich Rickert. These critics all offered cogent challenges to Nietzsche’s appropriation of the newly transforming biological sciences, his negotiation between science and religion, and his interpretation of the implications of Darwinian thought. They also each proposed alternative ways of making sense of Nietzsche’s unique question concerning the meaning of biological evolution “for life.” At the heart of the discussion were debates about the relation of facts and values, the place of divine purpose in the understanding of nonhuman and human agency, the concept of life, and the question of whether the sciences could offer resources to satisfy the human urge to discover sources of value in biological processes. The Moral Meaning of Nature focuses on the historical background of these questions, exposing the complex ways in which they recur in contemporary philosophical debate.
In this pathbreaking philosophical work, Elizabeth Grosz points the way toward a theory of becoming to replace the prevailing ontologies of being in social, political, and biological discourse. Arguing that theories of temporality have significant and underappreciated relevance to the social dimensions of science and the political dimensions of struggle, Grosz engages key theoretical concerns related to the reality of time. She explores the effect of time on the organization of matter and on the emergence and development of biological life. Considering how the relentless forward movement of time might be conceived in political and social terms, she begins to formulate a model of time that incorporates the future and its capacity to supersede and transform the past and present.
Grosz develops her argument by juxtaposing the work of three major figures in Western thought: Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Henri Bergson. She reveals that in theorizing time as an active, positive phenomenon with its own characteristics and specific effects, each of these thinkers had a profound effect on contemporary understandings of the body in relation to time. She shows how their allied concepts of life, evolution, and becoming are manifest in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Luce Irigaray. Throughout The Nick of Time, Grosz emphasizes the political and cultural imperative to fundamentally rethink time: the more clearly we understand our temporal location as beings straddling the past and the future without the security of a stable and abiding present, the more transformation becomes conceivable.
Lou Salomé University of Illinois Press, 1988 Library of Congress B3317.A53613 2001 | Dewey Decimal 193
This English translation of Friedrich Nietzsche in seinen Werken offers a rare, intimate view of the philosopher by Lou Salomé, a free-thinking, Russian-born intellectual to whom Nietzsche proposed marriage at only their second meeting.
Published in 1894 as its subject languished in madness, Salomé's book rode the crest of a surge of interest in Nietzsche's iconoclastic philosophy. She discusses his writings and such biographical events as his break with Wagner, attempting to ferret out the man in the midst of his works.
Salomé's provocative conclusion -- that Nietzsche's madness was the inevitable result of his philosophical views -- generated considerable controversy. Nietzsche's sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, dismissed the book as a work of fantasy. Yet the philosopher's longtime acquaintance Erwin Rohde wrote, "Nothing better or more deeply experienced or perceived has ever been written about Nietzsche."
Siegfried Mandel's extensive introduction examines the circumstances that brought Lou Salomé and Nietzsche together and the ideological conflicts that drove them apart.
George J. Stack traces the sources of ideas and theories that have long been considered the exclusive province of Friedrich Nietzsche to the surprisingly radical writings of the American essayist and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Nietzsche and Emerson makes us see Emerson’s writings in a new, more intensified light and presents a new perspective on Nietzsche’s philosophy. Stack traces how the rich theoretical ideas and literary images of Emerson entered directly into the existential dimension of Nietzsche’s thought and hence into the stream of what has been considered a distinctively European intellectual movement.
Nietzsche and Asian Thought
Edited by Graham Parkes University of Chicago Press, 1991 Library of Congress B3318.O75N54 1991 | Dewey Decimal 193
Friedrich Nietzsche's work has had a significant impact on the intellectual life of non-Western cultures and elicited responses from important thinkers outside of the Anglo-American philosophical traditions as well. Bringing together thirteen internationally renowned scholars, this is the first collection of essays to address the connection between Nietzsche's ideas and philosphies in India, China, and Japan.
The contributors are Roger T. Ames, Johann Figl, Chen Guying, Michel Hulin, Arifuku Kogaku, David A. Kelly, Glen T. Martin, Sonoda Muneto, Graham Parkes, okochi Ryogi, Eberhard Scheiffele, Mervyn Sprung, and Joan Stambaugh.
"Exemplary. Its comparative approach is incisive yet accessible. I consider it a 'must read'"—Kathleen Marie Higgins, Philosophy East and West
"An excellent introduction to the broad ranging reception of Nietzsche among Asian thinkers."—James R. Watson, Canadian Philosophical Review
"The essays in this welcome collection are invariably thought-provoking and genuinely cross-disciplinary."—Kenneth Surin, Religious Studies Review
"A worthy and undogmatic introduction to several fascinating questions concerning the relations between Nietzschean thought and certain traditions of thought in India, China, and Japan."—Don Miller, Asian Studies Review
After more than a century, the urgency with which the writing of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Friedrich Nietzsche speaks to us is undiminished. Nietzsche explicitly acknowledged Dostoevsky’s relevance to his work, noting its affinities as well as its points of opposition. Both of them are credited with laying much of the foundation for what came to be called existentialist thought. The essays in this volume bring a fresh perspective to a relationship that illuminates a great deal of twentieth-century intellectual history. Among the questions taken up by contributors are the possibility of morality in a godless world, the function of philosophy if reason is not the highest expression of our humanity, the nature of tragedy when performed for a bourgeois audience, and the justification of suffering if it is not divinely sanctioned. Above all, these essays remind us of the supreme value of the questioning itself that pervades the work of Dostoevsky and Nietzsche.
Nietzsche and Music
Georges Liébert University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress ML423.N56L5413 2004 | Dewey Decimal 780.92
"Without music, life would be an error."—Friedrich Nietzsche
In his youth, Friedrich Nietzsche yearned to become a great composer and wrote many pieces of music. He later claimed to be "the most musical of all philosophers." Yet most books on Nietzsche fail to explore the importance of music for his thought.
Nietzsche and Music provides the first in-depth examination of the fundamental significance of music for Nietzsche's life and work. Nietzsche's views on music are essential for understanding his philosophy as a whole. Part biography and part critical examination, Georges Liébert brilliantly demonstrates that despite failed attempts at a professional career as composer, Nietzsche never fully removed himself from the world of music, but instead, became a composer of philosophy, utilizing the musical form as a template for his own writings and creative thought. Liébert's study surveys Nietzsche's opinions about particular composers and compositions, as well as his more theoretical writings on music and its relation to the other arts. He also explores Nietzsche's listening habits, his playing and style of composition, and his many contacts in the musical world, including his controversial and contentious relationship with Richard Wagner. For Nietzsche, music gave access to a realm of wisdom that transcended thought. Music was Nietzsche's great solace; in his last years, it was his refuge from madness.
A virtuoso exploration of this little-known but crucial aspect of Nietzsche's life and work, this volume will be of enormous value to scholars of philosophy, music, aesthetics, and literature.
From The Birth of Tragedy on, Nietzsche worked to comprehend the
nature of the individual. Richard White shows how Nietzsche was inspired
and guided by the question of personal "sovereignty" and how
through his writings he sought to provoke the very sovereignty he described.
White argues that Nietzsche is a philosopher our contemporary age must
therefore come to understand if we are ever to secure a genuinely meaningful
direction for the future. Profoundly relevant to our era, Nietzsche's
philosophy addresses a version of individuality that allows us to move
beyond the self-dispossession of mass society and the alternative of selfish
individualism--to fully understand how one becomes what one is. A volume in the International Nietzsche Studies series, edited by Richard Schacht
In Nietzsche and the Shadow of God (Nietzsche et l’ombre de Dieu), his study of Nietzsche’s integral philosophical corpus, Franck revisits the fundamental concepts of Nietzsche’s thought, from the death of God and the will to power, to the body as the seat of thinking and valuing, and finally to his conception of a post-Christian justice. The work engages Heidegger’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s destruction of the Platonic-Christian worldview, showing how Heidegger’s hermeneutic overlooked Nietzsche’s powerful confrontation with revelation and justice by working through the Christian body, as set forth in the Epistles of Saint Paul and reread both by Martin Luther and by German Idealism. Franck shows systematically how Nietzsche “transvalued” the metaphysical tenets of the Christian body of believers. In so doing, he provides an unparalleled demonstration of the coherence of Nietzsche’s project and the ways in which the revaluation of values, amor fati, and the trials of eternal recurrence reshape the living self toward a creative existence beyond original sin—indeed, beyond an ethics of “good” versus “evil.”
Bergo and Farah’s clear translation introduces this work to an English-speaking audience for the first time.
In recent years, both analytic thinkers and postmodern theorists have looked at Friedrich Nietzsche's epistemology from the perspectives of their philosophical traditions. Michael Steven Green's penetrating study tries instead to do justice to Nietzsche's views on truth and knowledge by looking at them from the perspective of his contemporaries, particularly the Neo-Kantian philosopher Afrikan Spir, whose ideas exerted a tremendous influence on Nietzsche's thought.
Despite his generally naturalist outlook, Nietzsche was committed to an antinaturalist theory of cognition inherited from Kant and Spir. Green shows how this fundamental tension in Nietzsche's thought led him to present not only the antirealism that has commonly been attributed to him in the past, but two other epistemological positions. These are a denial of the possibility of human thought entirely, and an error theory–-the argument that all of our judgments are false–-that has strong parallels in Spir's thought and Kant's antinomies.
Viewing Nietzsche's error theory in light of Kantian transcendental idealism, Green makes sense of arguments that have previously confounded Nietzsche interpreters. Green also provides the first English translations of many passages from Spir's writings and Nietzsche's notebooks.
In examining Nietzsche's thought through the lens of the philosophical influences upon him–-the philosophers that Nietzsche himself read–-Green establishes a significant new foundation from which to assess Nietzsche's place in modern philosophy and culture.
Long recognized as a masterpiece of Nietzsche scholarship, Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle is made available here for the first time in English. Taking a structuralist approach to the relation between Nietzsche's thought and his life, Klossowski emphasizes the centrality of the notion of Eternal Return (a cyclical notion of time and history) for understanding Nietzsche's propensities for self-denial, self-reputation, and self-consumption.
Nietzsche's ideas did not stem from personal pathology, according to Klossowski. Rather, he made a pathological use of his best ideas, anchoring them in his own fluctuating bodily and mental conditions. Thus Nietzsche's belief that questions of truth and morality are at base questions of power and fitness resonates dynamically and intellectually with his alternating lucidity and delirium.
Nietzsche: Attempt at a Mythology
Ernst Bertram. Translated by Robert E. Norton University of Illinois Press, 2008 Library of Congress B3317.B4513 2009 | Dewey Decimal 193
First published in 1918, Ernst Bertram's Nietzsche: Attempt at a Mythology substantially shaped the image of Nietzsche for the generation between the wars. It won the Nietzsche Society's first prize and was admired by luminous contemporaries including André Gide, Hermann Hesse, Gottfried Benn, and Thomas Mann. Although translated into French in 1932, the book was never translated into English following the decline of Nietzsche's and Bertram's reputations after 1945. Now, with Nietzsche's importance for twentieth-century thought undisputed, the work by one of his most influential interpreters can at last be read in English.
Employing a perspectival technique inspired by Nietzsche himself, Bertram constructs a densely layered portrait of the thinker that shows him riven by deep and ultimately irresolvable cultural, historical, and psychological conflicts. At once lyrical and intensely probing, richly complex yet thematically coherent, Bertram's book is a masterpiece in a forgotten tradition of intellectual biography.
Although the past several years have witnessed an outpouring of scholarship on nearly every aspect of Nietzsche's thought, a portrait of Nietzsche as author has been conspicuously lacking. Here, William H. Schaberg presents a detailed publication history and biography of Nietzsche as author and an equally comprehensive annotated bibliography of his work. Schaberg describes how and why Nietzsche's books were written, when and by whom they were published, and how many copies were printed and sold, a story set against the background of publishing practice in nineteenth-century Germany. Schaberg establishes a genealogy of Nietzsche's works and clarifies the relationships between those works, an understanding of which is essential to any informed opinion of his philosophy.
Included for the first time in any language is an extensive account of Nietzsche's finances and his relationships with his publishers. Schaberg reveals a man who was obsessed with money, fought bitterly with his publishers, complained about his readers, and all the while continued to produce more and more books that went unread. He also reveals the influential role of Nietzsche's sister Elizabeth, who provoked disputes between Nietzsche and his publisher during her brother's lifetime and deliberately falsified information after his death.
Among the most influential and enigmatic thinkers of the modern age, Nietzsche and Heidegger have become pivotal in the struggle to define postmodernism. In this work, Gregory Smith offers the most comprehensive examination to date of the turn to postmodernity in the writings of these philosophers.
Smith argues that, while much of postmodern thought is rooted in Nietzsche and Heidegger, it has ironically attempted, whether unwittingly or by design, to deflect their philosophy back onto a modern path. Other alternative paths emanating from both Nietzschean and Heideggerian thought that might more powerfully speak to postmodern culture have been ignored. Nietzsche and Heidegger, Smith suggests, have made possible a far more revolutionary critique of modernity then even their most ardent postmodern admirers have realized.
Smith contends that the influences on the postmodern in the thought of Nietzsche and Heidegger are founded in a new vision of praxis liberated from theory. Ultimately, these philosophers do transcend the nihilism often found in the guise of postmodernism. Their thought is, moreover, consistent with the possibility of limited constitutional government and the rule of law. Smith's book takes the first step toward recovering these possibilities and posing the fundamental questions of politics and ethics in ways that have heretofore been closed off by late-modern thought.
This is the first translation into English of a milestone in Nietzsche interpretation. Wolfgang Müller-Lauter examines Nietzsche's doctrines of the will to power and the overman in light of Nietzsche's philosophy of real contradictions. He shows that Nietzsche's vision of inherently contradictory "wills to power" is the source of irresolvable contradictions in his philosophy.
Müller-Lauter has remained at the forefront of German Nietzsche studies throughout the quarter century since this book first appeared. This long-awaited translation, containing two substantial subsequent essays, is a major addition to the English-language Nietzsche literature
Nietzsche and the philosopy of language have been a well trafficked crossroads for a generation, but almost always as a checkpoint for post-modernism and its critics. This work takes a historical approach to Nietzsche’s work on language, connecting it to his predecessors and contemporaries rather than his successors. Though Nietzsche invited identification with Zarathustra, the solitary wanderer ahead of his time, for most of his career he directly engaged the intellectual currents and scientific debates of his time.
Emden situates Nietzsche’s writings on language and rhetoric within their wider historical context. He demonstrates that Nietzsche is not as radical in his thinking as has been often supposed, and that a number of problems with Nietzsche disappear when Nietzsche’s works are compared to works on the same subjects by writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Further, the relevance of rhetoric and the history of rhetoric to philosophy and the history of philosophy is reasserted, in consonance with Nietzsche’s own statements and practices. Important in this regard are the role of fictions, descriptions, and metaphor.
Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most elusive thinkers in the philosophical tradition. His highly unusual style and insistence on what remains hidden or unsaid in his writing make pinning him to a particular position tricky. Nonetheless, certain readings of his work have become standard and influential. In this major new interpretation of Nietzsche’s work, Robert B. Pippin challenges various traditional views of Nietzsche, taking him at his word when he says that his writing can best be understood as a kind of psychology.
Pippin traces this idea of Nietzsche as a psychologist to his admiration for the French moralists: La Rochefoucauld, Pascal, Stendhal, and especially Montaigne. In distinction from philosophers, Pippin shows, these writers avoided grand metaphysical theories in favor of reflections on life as lived and experienced. Aligning himself with this project, Nietzsche sought to make psychology “the queen of the sciences” and the “path to the fundamental problems.” Pippin contends that Nietzsche’s singular prose was an essential part of this goal, and so he organizes the book around four of Nietzsche’s most important images and metaphors: that truth could be a woman, that a science could be gay, that God could have died, and that an agent is as much one with his act as lightning is with its flash.
Expanded from a series of lectures Pippin delivered at the Collège de France, Nietzsche, Psychology, and First Philosophy offers a brilliant, novel, and accessible reading of this seminal thinker.
Once regarded as a conservative critic of culture, then enlisted by the court theoreticians of Nazism, Nietzsche has come to be revered by postmodern thinkers as one of their founding fathers, a prophet of human liberation who revealed the perspectival character of all knowledge and broke radically with traditional forms of morality and philosophy.
In Nietzsche: The Ethics of an Immoralist, Peter Berkowitz challenges this new orthodoxy, asserting that it produces a one-dimensional picture of Nietzsche’s philosophical explorations and passes by much of what is provocative and problematic in his thought. Berkowitz argues that Nietzsche’s thought is rooted in extreme and conflicting opinions about metaphysics and human nature. Discovering a deep unity in Nietzsche’s work by exploring the structure and argumentative movement of a wide range of his books, Berkowitz shows that Nietzsche is a moral and political philosopher in the Socratic sense whose governing question is, “What is the best life?”
Nietzsche, Berkowitz argues, puts forward a severe and aristocratic ethics, an ethics of creativity, that demands that the few human beings who are capable acquire a fundamental understanding of and attain total mastery over the world. Following the path of Nietzsche’s thought, Berkowitz shows that this mastery, which represents a suprapolitical form of rule and entails a radical denigration of political life, is, from Nietzsche’s own perspective, neither desirable nor attainable.
Out of the colorful and richly textured fabric of Nietzsche’s books, Peter Berkowitz weaves an interpretation of Nietzsche’s achievement that is at once respectful and skeptical, an interpretation that brings out the love of truth, the courage, and the yearning for the good that mark Nietzsche’s magisterial effort to live an examined life by giving an account of the best life.
Appearing between two historical touchstones—the alleged end of communism and the 100th anniversary of Nietzsche’s death—this book offers a provocative hypothesis about the philosopher’s afterlife and the fate of leftist thought and culture. At issue is the relation of the dead Nietzsche (corpse) and his written work (corpus) to subsequent living Nietzscheanism across the political spectrum, but primarily among a leftist corps that has been programmed and manipulated by concealed dimensions of the philosopher’s thought. If anyone is responsible for what Geoff Waite maintains is the illusory death of communism, it is Nietzsche, the man and concept. Waite advances his argument by bringing Marxist—especially Gramscian and Althusserian—theories to bear on the concept of Nietzsche/anism. But he also goes beyond ideological convictions to explore the vast Nietzschean influence that proliferates throughout the marketplace of contemporary philosophy, political and literary theory, and cultural and technocultural criticism. In light of a philological reconstruction of Nietzsche’s published and unpublished texts, Nietzsche’s Corps/e shuttles between philosophy and everyday popular culture and shows them to be equally significant in their having been influenced by Nietzsche—in however distorted a form and in a way that compromises all of our best interests. Controversial in its “decelebration” of Nietzsche, this remarkable study asks whether the postcontemporary age already upon us will continue to be dominated and oriented by the haunting spectre of Nietzsche’s corps/e. Philosophers, intellectual historians, literary theorists, and those interested in western Marxism, popular culture, Friedrich Nietzsche, and the intersection of French and German thought will find this book both appealing and challenging.
We have Nietzsche to thank for some of the most important accomplishments in intellectual history, but as Gary Shapiro shows in this unique look at Nietzsche’s thought, the nineteenth-century philosopher actually anticipated some of the most pressing questions of our own era. Putting Nietzsche into conversation with contemporary philosophers such as Deleuze, Agamben, Foucault, Derrida, and others, Shapiro links Nietzsche’s powerful ideas to topics that are very much on the contemporary agenda: globalization, the nature of the livable earth, and the geopolitical categories that characterize people and places.
Shapiro explores Nietzsche’s rejection of historical inevitability and its idea of the end of history. He highlights Nietzsche’s prescient vision of today’s massive human mobility and his criticism of the nation state’s desperate efforts to sustain its exclusive rule by declaring emergencies and states of exception. Shapiro then explores Nietzsche’s vision of a transformed garden earth and the ways it sketches an aesthetic of the Anthropocene. He concludes with an explanation of the deep political structure of Nietzsche’s “philosophy of the Antichrist,” by relating it to traditional political theology. By triangulating Nietzsche between his time and ours, between Bismarck’s Germany and post-9/11 America, Nietzsche’s Earth invites readers to rethink not just the philosopher himself but the very direction of human history.
While much attention has been lavished on Friedrich Nietzsche’s earlier and later works, those of his so-called middle period have been generally neglected, perhaps because of their aphoristic style or perhaps because they are perceived to be inconsistent with the rest of his thought. With Nietzsche’s Enlightenment, Paul Franco gives this crucial section of Nietzsche’s oeuvre its due, offering a thoughtful analysis of the three works that make up the philosopher’s middle period: Human, All too Human; Daybreak; and The Gay Science.
It is Nietzsche himself who suggests that these works are connected, saying that their “common goal is to erect a new image and ideal of the free spirit.” Franco argues that in their more favorable attitude toward reason, science, and the Enlightenment, these works mark a sharp departure from Nietzsche’s earlier, more romantic writings and differ in important ways from his later, more prophetic writings, beginning with Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The Nietzsche these works reveal is radically different from the popular image of him and even from the Nietzsche depicted in much of the secondary literature; they reveal a rational Nietzsche, one who preaches moderation instead of passionate excess and Dionysian frenzy. Franco concludes with a wide-ranging examination of Nietzsche’s later works, tracking not only how his outlook changes from the middle period to the later but also how his commitment to reason and intellectual honesty in his middle works continues to inform his final writings.
Nietzsche's Final Teaching
Michael Allen Gillespie University of Chicago Press, 2017 Library of Congress B3317.G5155 2017 | Dewey Decimal 193
In the seven and a half years before his collapse into madness, Nietzsche completed Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the best-selling and most widely read philosophical work of all time, as well as six additional works that are today considered required reading for Western intellectuals. Together, these works mark the final period of Nietzsche’s thought, when he developed a new, more profound, and more systematic teaching rooted in the idea of the eternal recurrence, which he considered his deepest thought.
Cutting against the grain of most current Nietzsche scholarship, Michael Allen Gillespie presents the thought of the late Nietzsche as Nietzsche himself intended, drawing not only on his published works but on the plans for the works he was unable to complete, which can be found throughout his notes and correspondence. Gillespie argues that the idea of the eternal recurrence transformed Nietzsche’s thinking from 1881 to 1889. It provided both the basis for his rejection of traditional metaphysics and the grounding for the new logic, ontology, theology, and anthropology he intended to create with the aim of a fundamental transformation of European civilization, a “revaluation of all values.” Nietzsche first broached the idea of the eternal recurrence in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but its failure to gain attention or public acceptance led him to present the idea again through a series of works intended to culminate in a never-completed magnum opus. Nietzsche believed this idea would enable the redemption of humanity. At the same time, he recognized its terrifying, apocalyptic consequences, since it would also produce wars of unprecedented ferocity and destruction.
Through his careful analysis, Gillespie reveals a more radical and more dangerous Nietzsche than the humanistic or democratic Nietzsche we commonly think of today, but also a Nietzsche who was deeply at odds with the Nietzsche imagined to be the forefather of Fascism. Gillespie’s essays examine Nietzsche’s final teaching—its components and its political, philosophical, and theological significance. The book concludes with a critical examination and a reflection on its meaning for us today.
“When for the first time I saw the evening rise with its red and gray softened in the Naples sky,” Nietzsche wrote, “it was like a shiver, as though pitying myself for starting my life by being old, and the tears came to me and the feeling of having been saved at the very last second.” Few would guess it from the author of such cheery works as The Birth of Tragedy, but as Paolo D’Iorio vividly recounts in this book, Nietzsche was enraptured by the warmth and sun of southern Europe. It was in Sorrento that Nietzsche finally matured as a thinker.
Nietzsche first voyaged to the south in the autumn of 1876, upon the invitation of his friend, Malwida von Meysenbug. The trip was an immediate success, reviving Nietzsche’s joyful and trusting sociability and fertilizing his creative spirit. Walking up and down the winding pathways of Sorrento and drawing on Nietzsche’s personal notebooks, D’Iorio tells the compelling story of Nietzsche’s metamorphosis beneath the Italian skies. It was here, D’Iorio shows, that Nietzsche broke intellectually with Wagner, where he decided to leave his post at Bâle, and where he drafted his first work of aphorisms, Human, All Too Human, which ushered in his mature era. A sun-soaked account of a philosopher with a notoriously overcast disposition, this book is a surprising travelogue through southern Italy and the history of philosophy alike.
Nietzsche's Kisses: A Novel
Lance Olsen University of Alabama Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3565.L777N54 2006 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Nietzsche's Kisses is the story of Friedrich Nietzsche's last mad night on earth. Locked in a small room on the top floor of a house in Weimar, the most radical and influential of nineteenth-century German philosophers hovers between dream and wakefulness, memory and hallucination, the first person, second, and third, past and present, reliving his brief love affair with feminist Lou Salome, his stormy association with Richard Wagner, and his conflicted relationship with Lisbeth, his radibly anti-Semitic sister. Here is an authoritative portrait of the Nietzsche we know and the Nietzsche we don't. His titantic ego, suppressed, squelched, and sealed up within him, all but unknown to his acquaintances, creates a maniacal and raging giant inside his own skull that is mysterious and unnerving. Both stylistically and formally innovative, the prose in Nietzsche's Kisses is surprising and rich. The result is a vivid, complex experience of Nietzsche's final hours.
Nietzsche's New Seas makes available for the first time in English a representative sample of the best recent Nietzsche scholarship from Germany, France, and the United States. Michael Allen Gillespie and Tracy B. Strong have brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines—philosophy, history, literary criticism, and musicology—and from schools of thought that differ both methodologically and ideologically. The contributors—Karsten Harries, Robert Pippin, Eugen Fink, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Kurt Paul Janz, Sarah Kofman, Jean-Michel Rey, and the editors themselves—take a new approach to Nietzsche, one that begins with the claim that his enigmatic utterances can best be understood by examining the style or structure of his thought.
Steven Hales and Rex Welshon University of Illinois Press, 2000 Library of Congress B3318.P47H35 2000 | Dewey Decimal 193
In Nietzsche's Perspectivism, Steven Hales and Rex Welshon offer an analytic approach to Nietzsche's important idea that truth is perspectival. Drawing on Nietzsche's entire published corpus, along with manuscripts he never saw to press, they assess the different perspectivisms at work in Nietzsche's views with regard to truth, logic, causality, knowledge, consciousness, and the self. They also examine Nietzsche's perspectivist ontology of power and the attendant claims that substances and subjects are illusory while forces and alliances of power constitute the only reality.
Hales and Welshon present Nietzsche's treatment of perspectivism as both more complex and more fruitful than the common view of it as a doctrine that truth is not objective. Neither a metaphor nor a methodology, perspectivism emerges as a protean concept akin to a unifying theme; an alternative to the absolutism that recurs in science, philosophy, and religion; and a technique for revealing the unimagined possibilities open to every individual.
Friedrich Nietzsche was immensely influential and, counter to most expectations, also very well read. An essential new reference tool for those interested in his thinking, Nietzsche’s Philosophical Context identifies the chronology and huge range of philosophical books that engaged him. Rigorously examining the scope of this reading, Thomas H. Brobjer consulted over two thousand volumes in Nietzsche’s personal library, as well as his book bills, library records, journals, letters, and publications. This meticulous investigation also considers many of the annotations in his books. In arguing that Nietzsche’s reading often constituted the starting point for, or counterpoint to, much of his own thinking and writing, Brobjer’s study provides scholars with fresh insight into how Nietzsche worked and thought; to which questions and thinkers he responded; and by which of them he was influenced. The result is a new and much more contextual understanding of Nietzsche's life and thinking.
Nietzsche's Revaluation of Values is an assessment of Nietzsche's challenging plan to revalue all values, including knowledge, morality, religion, art, and the state. E. E. Sleinis analyzes the success of Nietzsche's enterprise as well as its inadequacies; among the positive contributions he singles out Nietzsche's theory of value, his conception of higher-order values, and his conception of the maximally affirmative attitude as creations of enduring importance.
A penetrating study of the sister who betrayed and endangered her famous brother's legacy
In 1901, a year after her brother Friedrich's death, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche published The Will to Power, a hasty compilation of writings he had never intended for print. In Nietzsche's Sister and the Will to Power, Carol Diethe contends that Förster-Nietzsche's own will to power and her desire to place herself--not her brother--at the center of cultural life in Germany are centrally responsible for Nietzsche's reputation as a belligerent and proto-Fascist thinker.
Offering a new look at Nietzsche's sister from a feminist perspective, this spirited and erudite biography examines why Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche recklessly consorted with anti-Semites, from her own husband to Hitler himself, out of convenience and a desire for revenge against a brother whose love for her waned after she caused the collapse of his friendship with Lou Salomé. The book also examines their family dynamics, Nietzsche's dismissal of his sister's early writing career, and the effects of limited education on intelligent women. Diethe concludes by detailing Förster-Nietzsche's brief marriage and her subsequent colonial venture in Paraguay, maintaining that her sporadic anti-Semitism was, like most things in her life, an expedient tool for cultivating personal success and status.
A volume in the series International Nietzsche Studies, edited by Richard Schacht
Nihilism Before Nietzsche
Michael Allen Gillespie University of Chicago Press, 1994 Library of Congress B828.3.G55 1995 | Dewey Decimal 149.8
In the twentieth century, we often think of Nietzsche, nihilism, and the death of God as inextricably connected. But, in this pathbreaking work, Michael Gillespie argues that Nietzsche, in fact, misunderstood nihilism, and that his misunderstanding has misled nearly all succeeding thought about the subject.
Reconstructing nihilism's intellectual and spiritual origins before it was given its determinitive definition by Nietzsche, Gillespie focuses on the crucial turning points in the development of nihilism, from Ockham and the nominalist revolution to Descartes, Fichte, the German Romantics, the Russian nihilists and Nietzsche himself. His analysis shows that nihilism is not the result of the death of God, as Nietzsche believed; but the consequence of a new idea of God as a God of will who overturns all eternal standards of truth and justice. To understand nihilism, one has to understand how this notion of God came to inform a new notion of man and nature, one that puts will in place of reason, and freedom in place of necessity and order.
M. C. Dillon (1938–2005) was widely regarded as a world-leading Merleau-Ponty scholar. His book Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology (1988) is recognized as a classic text that revolutionized the philosophical conversation about the great French phenomenologist. Dillon followed that book with two others: Semiological Reductionism, a critique of early-1990s linguistic reductionism, and Beyond Romance, a richly developed theory of love. At the time of his death, Dillon had nearly completed two further books to which he was passionately committed. The first one offers a highly original interpretation of Nietzsche’s ontology of becoming. The second offers a detailed ethical theory based on Merleau-Ponty’s account of carnal intersubjectivity. The Ontology of Becoming and the Ethics of Particularity collects these two manuscripts written by a distinguished philosopher at the peak of his powers—manuscripts that, taken together, offer a distinctive and powerful view of human life and ethical relations.
Nietzsche praised Kant for having “annihilated Socratism,” for exhibiting all ideals as essentially unattainable, and for having exposed himself to the despair of truth—all essential traits Nietzsche claimed for his own thinking. At the same time, the existentialist philosopher remained highly critical of Kant.
This volume of Reiner Schürmann’s lectures unpacks Nietzsche’s ambivalence towards Kant, in particular positioning Nietzsche’s claim to have brought an end to German idealism against the backdrop of the Kantian transcendental-critical tradition. Rather than simply compare the two philosophers, Schürmann’s lectures help us to understand the consequences Nietzsche derived from Kantian concepts, as well as the wider horizon within which Nietzsche’s ideas arose and can best be shown to apply. According to Schürmann’s trenchant reading: if Nietzsche was indeed “fatal” to Western philosophy, as he claimed, he was so in large part because of the Kantian transcendental thinking from which he inherited the very elements and tools of his criticism.
Continental and postmodern thinking has misidentified the source of violence as originating from Western metaphysics. It has further failed to acknowledge the Judeo- Christian source of its ethic—the ethic of concern for victims. In this volume Duane Armitage attempts a critique of continental philosophy and postmodernism through the lens of René Girard’s mimetic theory. This critique is directed primarily at the philosophies of Nietzsche and Heidegger, both among the foremost representatives of continental and postmodern thought. Armitage argues that Girard’s engagement with Heidegger and Nietzsche radically alters many of the axioms of current postmodern continental philosophy, in particular the overcoming of metaphysics on the theoretical level and continental philosophy’s tacit commitments to (neo-)Marxism on the practical level. Detailed attention to the implications of Girard’s philosophical thought results in a paradigm shift that deals perhaps a deadly blow to continental and postmodern thinking. Armitage further argues that Girard’s thinking solves the very problems that continental and postmodern thinking sought (but failed) to solve, namely the problems of violence and victimization, particularly within the context of the aftermath of the Second World War. Ultimately, this volume shows that at the heart of postmodern thinking lies an entanglement with the violent sacred.
Mazzino Montinari University of Illinois Press, 1982 Library of Congress B3317.M59513 2003 | Dewey Decimal 193
An important figure in the development of Nietzsche scholarship, Mazzino Montinari (1928-86) dedicated himself to the detailed study of the philosopher’s writings. This lifetime of scholarship crystallized in Montinari’s work as coeditor of the critical edition of Nietzsche’s collected writings. Reading Nietzsche, now available in English for the first time, is a group of essays that grew out of this monumental work.
In Reading Nietzsche Montinari tackles such subjects as the relationship between Nietzsche and Wagner, early drafts of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and the philosopher’s reputation among the Nazis and Marxists of the 1930s and 1940s. He also deals authoritatively with a number of figures who have had an unfortunate influence upon the way Nietzsche has been understood, from the chief Nazi interpreter of Nietzsche, Alfred Bäumler, to the chief Marxist interpreter, Georg Lukàcs, to Nietzsche’s sister, Elisabeth.
The great American thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson and the influential German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, though writing in different eras and ultimately developing significantly different philosophies, both praised the individual’s wish to be transformed, to be fully created for the first time. Emerson and Nietzsche challenge us to undertake the task of identity on our own, in order to see (in Nietzsche’s phrase) “how one becomes what one is.”
David Mikics’s The Romance of Individualism in Emerson and Nietzsche examines the argument, as well as the affinity, between these two philosophers. Nietzsche was an enthusiastic reader of Emerson and inherited from him an interest in provocation as a means of instruction, an understanding of the permanent importance of moods and transitory moments in our lives, and a sense of the revolutionary character of impulse. Both were deliberately outrageous thinkers, striving to shake us out of our complacency.
Rather than choosing between Emerson and Nietzsche, Professor Mikics attends to Nietzsche’s struggle with Emerson’s example and influence. Elegant in its delivery, The Romance of Individualism in Emerson and Nietzsche offers a significant commentary on the visions of several contemporary theorists whose interests intersect with those of Emerson and Nietzsche, especially Stanley Cavell, Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zizek, and Harold Bloom.
Rousseau and Nietzsche presented two of the most influential critiques of modern life and much can still be learned from their respective analyses of problems we still face.
In Rousseau, Nietzsche, and the Image of the Human, Paul Franco examines the relationship between Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Friedrich Nietzsche, arguably the two most influential shapers and explorers of the moral and cultural imagination of late modernity. Both thinkers leveled radical critiques of modern life, but those critiques differed in important respects. Whereas Rousseau focused on the growing inequality of modern society and the hypocrisy, self-division, and loss of civic virtue it spawned, Nietzsche decried the democratic equality he identified with Rousseau and the loss of individual and cultural greatness it entailed. Franco argues, however, that Rousseau and Nietzsche are more than mere critics; they both put forward powerful alternative visions of how we ought to live. Franco focuses specifically on their views of the self and its realization, their understandings of women and the relation between the sexes, and their speculative conceptions of politics. While there are many similarities in their positive visions, Franco argues that it is the differences between them from which we have most to learn.
Schopenhauer and Nietzsche
Georg Simmel University of Illinois Press, 1991 Library of Congress B3148.S513 1991 | Dewey Decimal 193
Anticipating contemporary deconstructive readings of philosophical texts,
Georg Simmel pits the two German masters of philosophy of life against
each other in a play of opposition and supplementation. This first English
translation of Simmel's work includes an extensive introduction, providing
the reader with ready access to the text by mapping its discursive strategies.
Paul A. Cantor first probed Shakespeare’s Roman plays—Coriolanus, Julius Caeser, and Antony and Cleopatra—in his landmark Shakespeare’s Rome (1976). With Shakespeare’s Roman Trilogy, he now argues that these plays form an integrated trilogy that portrays the tragedy not simply of their protagonists but of an entire political community.
Cantor analyzes the way Shakespeare chronicles the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and the emergence of the Roman Empire. The transformation of the ancient city into a cosmopolitan empire marks the end of the era of civic virtue in antiquity, but it also opens up new spiritual possibilities that Shakespeare correlates with the rise of Christianity and thus the first stirrings of the medieval and the modern worlds.
More broadly, Cantor places Shakespeare’s plays in a long tradition of philosophical speculation about Rome, with special emphasis on Machiavelli and Nietzsche, two thinkers who provide important clues on how to read Shakespeare’s works. In a pathbreaking chapter, he undertakes the first systematic comparison of Shakespeare and Nietzsche on Rome, exploring their central point of contention: Did Christianity corrupt the Roman Empire or was the corruption of the Empire the precondition of the rise of Christianity? Bringing Shakespeare into dialogue with other major thinkers about Rome, Shakespeare’s Roman Trilogy reveals the true profundity of the Roman Plays.
Nietzsche has recently enjoyed much scrutiny from the nouveaux critiques. Jacques Derrida, the leader of that movement, here combines in his strikingly original and incisive fashion questions of sexuality, politics, writing, judgment, procreation, death, and even the weather into a far-reaching analysis of the challenges bequeathed to the modern world by Nietzsche.
Spurs, then, is aptly titled, for Derrida's "deconstructions" of Nietzsche's meanings will surely act as spurs to further thought and controversy. This dual-language edition offers the English-speaking reader who has some knowledge of French an opportunity to examine the stylistic virtuosity of Derrida's writing—of particular significance for his analysis of "the question of style."
The trajectory of Friedrich Nietzsche’s thought has long presented a difficulty for the study of his philosophy. How did the young Nietzsche—classicist and ardent advocate of Wagner’s cultural renewal—become the philosopher of Will to Power and the Eternal Return?
With this book, Laurence Lampert answers that question. He does so through his trademark technique of close readings of key works in Nietzsche’s journey to philosophy: The Birth of Tragedy, Schopenhauer as Educator, Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, Human All Too Human, and “Sanctus Januarius,” the final book of the 1882 Gay Science. Relying partly on how Nietzsche himself characterized his books in his many autobiographical guides to the trajectory of his thought, Lampert sets each in the context of Nietzsche’s writings as a whole, and looks at how they individually treat the question of what a philosopher is. Indispensable to his conclusions are the workbooks in which Nietzsche first recorded his advances, especially the 1881 workbook which shows him gradually gaining insights into the two foundations of his mature thinking. The result is the most complete picture we’ve had yet of the philosopher’s development, one that gives us a Promethean Nietzsche, gaining knowledge even as he was expanding his thought to create new worlds.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s most famous and most puzzling work, one in which he makes the greatest use of poetry to explore the questions posed by philosophy. But in order to understand the movement of this drama, we must first understand the character of its protagonist: we must ask, What Is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra?
Heinrich Meier attempts to penetrate the core of the drama, following as a guiding thread the question of whether Zarathustra is a philosopher or a prophet, or, if he is meant to be both, whether Zarathustra is able to unite philosopher and prophet in himself. Via a close reading that uncovers the book’s hidden structure, Meier develops a highly stimulating and original interpretation of this much discussed but still ill-understood masterwork of German poetic prose. In the process, he carefully overturns long-established canons in the academic discourse of Nietzsche-interpretation. The result is a fresh and surprising grasp of Nietzsche’s well-known teachings of the overman, the will to power, and the eternal return.
Why We Are Not Nietzscheans
Edited by Luc Ferry and Alain Renaut University of Chicago Press, 1997 Library of Congress B3317.P58 1997 | Dewey Decimal 193
"To think with Nietzsche against Nietzsche." Thus the editors describe the strategy adopted in this volume to soften the destructive effects of Nietzsche's "philosophy with a hammer" on French philosophy since the 1960s. Frustrated by the infinite inclusiveness of deconstructionism, the contributors to this volume seek to renew the Enlightenment quest for rationality.
Though linked by no common dogma, these essays all argue that the "French Nietzsche" transmitted through the deconstructionists must be reexamined in light of the original context in which Nietzsche worked. Each essay questions the viability of Nietzsche's thought in the modern world, variously critiquing his philosophy of history as obsessed with hierarchy, his views on religion and art as myopic and irrational, and his stance on science as hopelessly reactionary.
Contending that we must abandon the Nietzsche propped up as patron saint by French deconstructionists in order to return to reason, these essays will stimulate debate not just among Nietzscheans but among all with a stake in modern French philosophy.
Contributors are Alain Boyer, André Compte-Sponville, Vincent Descombes, Luc Ferry, Robert Legros, Philippe Raynaud, Alain Renault, and Pierre-André Taguieff.