Nietzsche et la question politique [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 33 (2):427-428 (1979)
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Abstract

This work is haunted by an imminent contradiction. Starting from a declaration of Nietzsche’s political innocence, it nonetheless undertakes progressively and always more insistently to reveal the clarity of Nietzsche’s political wisdom. An entire emphasis is placed upon Nietzsche’s notion of the "philosopher as the doctor of civilization." This argument attains a dramatic if not historic pitch at p. 116, where Nietzsche’s immense superiority to other radicals is affirmed: "Ainsi, ni le révolutionnaire, ni le socialiste, ni l'anarchiste ne peuvent être médecins de la civilisation…" Conceded: Goyard-Fabre distinguishes Nietzsche’s metaphysical politics from genuine pratique. Accordingly, "La pensée nietzschéenne ne se developpe nullement en politologie; elle n'est pas une philosophie pratique; ce n'est meme qu'en la transposant dans un registre qui n'est pas le sien que l'on croit lire en elle les thèmes d’une philosophie opérative." Nevertheless, one may remind the author that medicine is not a theoretical science. To proceed from diagnosis is to be politologiste by necessity.

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