Friedrich Nietzsche haunts the modern world. His elusive writings with their characteristic combination of trenchant analysis of the modern predicament and suggestive but ambiguous proposals for dealing with it have fascinated generations of artists, scholars, critics, philosophers, and ordinary readers. Maudemarie Clark's highly original study gives a lucid and penetrating analytical account of all the central topics of Nietzsche's epistemology and metaphysics, including his views on truth and language, his perspectivism, and his doctrines of the will-to-power and the eternal recurrence. (...) The Nietzsche who emerges from these pages is a subtle and sophisticated philosopher, whose highly articulated views are of continuing interest as contributions to a whole range of philosphical issues. This remarkable reading of Nietzsche will interest not only philosophers, but also readers in neighbouring disciplines such as literature and intellectual history. (shrink)
This volume brings together fourteen mostly previously published articles by the prominent Nietzsche scholar Maudemarie Clark. Thus, it will allow readers to see more easily how Clark's views fit together as a whole, exhibit important developments of her ideas, and highlight her distinctive voice in Nietzsche studies.
I remember well my initial reaction when Nietzsche: Life as Literature appeared in 1985.1 I was busy working on my own book on Nietzsche and I was worried that Nehamas had already said everything I wanted to say in it. We were dealing with the same problem: the apparently problematic, even paradoxical nature of Nietzsche's perspectivism and his position on truth. And our aim was the same: to show that this position was plausible, perhaps even reasonable, and at least worthy (...) of serious consideration. So I had to consider whether Nehamas's interpretation of Nietzsche's position on truth secured it against the various problems about which we were both concerned. I ultimately decided that it did not, that his book had... (shrink)
This essay is one of ten contributions to a special editorial feature in The Journal of Nietzsche Studies 49.2, in which authors were invited to address the following questions: What is the future of Nietzsche studies? What are the most pressing questions its scholars should address? What texts and issues demand our urgent attention? And as we turn to these issues, what methodological and interpretive principles should guide us? The editorship hopes this collection will provide a starting point for discussions (...) about the most fruitful directions for Nietzsche scholarship to take and the most promising avenues for building on the best recent work. (shrink)
What does Nietzsche mean by consciousness, and does he really consider it unimportant? And if he doesn’t, why does he make so many disparaging remarks about it? In this article the author considers and rejects Mattia Riccardi’s recent claim that Gay Science (GS) 354, Nietzsche’s most important passage on consciousness, is concerned only with reflective or Rconsciousness. The article shows that GS 354 attempts to explain why mental states ever became conscious, not Rconscious. Nietzsche accepts “Sartre’s thesis” that a conscious (...) mental state is always prereflectively self-conscious, hence brings with it the potential to activate the “mirror effect” emphasized in GS 354 but missing from the consciousness of one absorbed in an activity. A conscious mental state is one its possessor “knows” from “the inside,” hence can report to self or others without further observation or inference. The resulting communication is essential to culture, hence to what is of value in human life. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Beyond Good and Evil and the “Magnificent Tension of the Spirit” The Unveiled Truth: Preface to The Gay Science Beyond Good and Evil's “Tension of the Spirit” as it Appears in Gay Science 371 and 372 Gay Science 373 and 374: Values and Intentionality Spir's Relevance to Gay Science 373 and 374 Gay Science 374, in Light of Spir The Unveiled Truth, Revisited.
Bernard Reginster's book The Affirmation of Life purports to fill a gap in our understanding of Nietzsche's philosophical project by explaining why Nietzsche regards the affirmation of life as his defining philosophical achievement. Reginster is not alone in emphasizing the centrality of life affirmation to Nietzsche's thought. What makes Reginster's book new and original is his systematic approach—his attempt to isolate a core of Nietzsche's philosophy and show how everything else, especially the affirmation of life, is related to it. This (...) article challenges the systematicity Reginster finds in Nietzsche's work; above all, it rejects Reginster's claim that what has led to nihilism is the condemnation of suffering, a view Nietzsche is said to inherit from Schopenhauer. I raise questions about how much of Schopenhauer's view Nietzsche in fact retains and about how well Reginster's account of affirmation fits with Nietzsche's account of the will to power, which, as I have argued elsewhere, has played an essential part in producing all the things Nietzsche values. (shrink)
This chapter argues against a new and perhaps more benign way of classifying Nietzsche as a political conservative. It also adds to the argument that even though Nietzsche is seen as more leftist than he appears, he is not an egalitarian. It does so by making an extended and detailed case against Julian Young’s claim that the flourishing of the community is Nietzsche’s highest value. The final section suggests that Nietzsche’s view might nevertheless be able to accommodate richer notions of (...) community value than is commonly supposed—one that, in important respects, is similar to the value that he attributes to the exceptional individual. (shrink)
We thank our four reviewers for their careful attention to our book on Beyond Good and Evil and for the high praise they bestow on it.1 We welcome especially Helmut Heit’s claim that our book “truly represents the erotic spirit of philosophical agōn” . Heit says of our book what we said of BGE, that it “challenges the readers to ‘fight back’” . We appreciate our critics’ participation in the agōn—even if we sometimes wished they were a little more erotic (...) about it!2 It is now our turn to respond to their criticisms, at least to those for which we have the space. We begin with some methodological matters raised by Helmut Heit. We offer an esoteric reading of BGE, as BGE 30 invites us to do when .. (shrink)
Although he finds in it an “ingenuity and daring” that is “remarkable,”1 Richard Schacht evidently does not like our book on Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. We argue for an “esoteric” Nietzsche, one who sometimes writes in a way that is deliberately misleading, hence does not mean what he initially seems to mean. It can therefore take considerable work to uncover his true meaning. Schacht appears to find this offensive, as if one does not play such games in polite society, (...) but lays all of one’s cards on the table. In any case, he spends most of his discussion objecting to this aspect of our book. He also has a number of other complaints, including that our Nietzsche is as “philosophically mainstream as can be.”2 .. (shrink)
I am going to begin by quoting something Nietzsche said about nihilism in The Will to Power, which is not a book that Nietzsche wrote. It is a set of notes, selected and arranged by his sister and her chosen editors, from the notebooks he carried with him in which to jot down his thoughts as he walked in the woods and around the lakes of the Swiss Alps. I mention this because I normally eschew use of Nietzsche’s notebook for (...) interpreting his philosophy. But in the case of nihilism, I find this impossible, or at least very difficult. The twenty-nine references to nihilism in his published work are just too sketchy and disconnected to provide an adequate basis for understanding Nietzsche’s take on nihilism by themselves.1 1 On the other hand, his notebooks contain a wealth of connected material on nihilism, material that he was clearly planning to use in something called “On the History of European Nihilism,” as he announced in GM. I therefore use this material as the starting point for my account of nihilism, but it is still Nietzsche’s claims about nihilism in the published work that I am ultimately attempting to understand. (shrink)
It's surprising that contemporary moral philosophers have not thought more about food. The rapidly expanding industrialized landscape of modern western agribusiness raises moral concerns about large-scale livestock production, the increased usage of genetically modified crops, and the effects these now common practices may have on long-term environmental and human health. Here Pence argues that biotechnology is more helpful than harmful, on the ground that it will abate world hunger. Positioning himself as an "impartialbioethicist" he sets about the task of sorting (...) through the extremism he thinks drives all environ- mental movements' opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops. His argu- ment is simple: the claim that GM foods are unsafe is the product of alarmism, not sound reason. Discarding what environmentalists have called the Precau- tionary Principle, he argues that GM foods are safe because they have not been proven unsafe. And GM foods have been tested more than many food products now on the market. (shrink)
This paper challenges a near universal assumption regarding the third treatise of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality : that its main concern is to explain the attraction or power of the ascetic ideal. I argue that GM III’s main concern is normative rather than descriptive-explanatory. An earlier paper argues that GM III’s leading question – What is the meaning of the ascetic ideal? – is equivalent to the question: What is the value of the ascetic ideal? In the present (...) paper, I interpret an aspect of GM III ignored in the earlier paper: the will to power principle of GM III 7, which seems to claim that all human behavior is to be explained in terms of the will to power. I argue that the principle’s true function is normative rather than explanatory: to indicate how philosophers are best or ideally or healthily constituted, in particular, regarding sexuality. I also offer a normative account of what Nietzsche means by ‘interpretation’ in GM III and an argument against the surprisingly well-accepted view that a Nietzschean philosopher would either have little interest in sexual activity or would resist whatever interest he or she had in it. I end with brief suggestions as to the positive contribution Nietzsche thinks sexuality makes to philosophy. (shrink)
ABSTRACT In this article, written for a panel presentation celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the publication of Richard Schacht's Nietzsche, I examine the perspective from which Schacht wrote his 1983 book. That perspective, I argue, accounts for many virtues of the book, including Schacht's convincing treatment of Nietzsche as a philosopher who deserved to be taken seriously and, in its amazing thoroughness, his demonstration that Nietzsche's thought could be organized using the sort of framework one would use for other great (...) philosophers. But it also accounts for certain commitments that differ substantially from mine; in particular, in its extensive reliance on Nietzsche's unpublished material, and in its neglect of the genealogy of Nietzsche's views and questions of his style, which I take to be more central. (shrink)
Daybreak marks the arrival of Nietzsche's 'mature' philosophy and is indispensable for an understanding of his critique of morality and 'revaluation of all values'. This volume presents the distinguished translation by R. J. Hollingdale, with a new introduction that argues for a dramatic change in Nietzsche's views from Human, All Too Human to Daybreak, and shows how this change, in turn, presages the main themes of Nietzsche's later and better-known works such as On the Genealogy of Morality. The main themes (...) of Daybreak are located in their intellectual and philosophical contexts: in Nietzsche's training as a classical philologist and his fascination with the Sophists and Thucydides; in the moral philosophies of Kant and Schopenhauer, which are the central foci of Nietzsche's critique of morality; and in the German Materialist movement of the 1850s and after, which shaped Nietzsche's conception of persons. The edition is completed by a chronology, notes and a guide to further reading. (shrink)