The role of removal and elimination in Nietzsche’s model of self-cultivation

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (1):65-84 (2020)
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ABSTRACTIn this paper I call into question the commonplace assumption in Anglophone Nietzsche scholarship that ideal psychological self-cultivation comes about solely by means of the sublimation of all of one's drives. While the psychological incorporation of one’s drives and instincts plays a crucial role in promoting what Nietzsche considers a higher self, I argue that some degree of removal and elimination of particular drives and instincts could be, perhaps necessarily is, involved in ideal cases. Yet I will suggest that we should not think of these cases as constituting ‘repressions’. I will seek to offer a better characterization of the discussions of productive removal and elimination in Nietzsche’s texts, and consider how they fit in his model of self-cultivation. Nietzsche’s texts demonstrate a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which certain kinds of removal and elimination can lead to greater integration for the would-be exemplary individual. My reading, I argue, helps to better understand the instances in the texts where Nietzsche valorizes the removal of particular drives and instincts.



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References found in this work

Nietzsche’s System.John Richardson - 1996 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist.Walter Arnold Kaufmann - 1950 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology.Paul Katsafanas - 2013 - In John Richardson & Ken Gemes (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche. Oxford University Press. pp. 727-755.
Nietzsche : Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist.Walter A. Kaufmann - 1950 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 144:467-469.
Nietzsche.Maudemarie Clark - 1999 - Routledge.

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