David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (2):165-190 (2011)
Despite his position as one of the first philosophers to write in the “post- Darwinian” world, the critique of Darwin by Friedrich Nietzsche is often ignored for a host of unsatisfactory reasons. I argue that Nietzsche’s critique of Darwin is important to the study of both Nietzsche’s and Darwin’s impact on philosophy. Further, I show that the central claims of Nietzsche’s critique have been broadly misunderstood. I then present a new reading of Nietzsche’s core criticism of Darwin. An important part of Nietzsche’s response can best be understood as an aesthetic critique of Darwin, reacting to what he saw as Darwin having drained life of an essential component of objective aesthetic value. For Nietzsche, Darwin’s theory is false because it is too intellectual, because it searches for rules, regulations, and uniformity in a realm where none of these are to be found – and, moreover, where they should not be found. Such a reading goes furthest toward making Nietzsche’s criticism substantive and relevant. Finally, I attempt to relate this novel explanation of Nietzsche’s critique to topics in contemporary philosophy of biology, particularly work on the evolutionary explanation of culture.
|Keywords||19th Century Philosophy Continental Philosophy Charles Darwin Friedrich Nietzsche|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John Richardson (2004/2008). Nietzsche's New Darwinism. Oxford University Press.
Jean Gayon (1999). Nietzsche and Darwin. In Jane Maienschein & Michael Ruse (eds.), Biology and the Foundation of Ethics. Cambridge University Press. 154--197.
Dirk Robert Johnson (2010). Nietzsche's Anti-Darwinism. Cambridge University Press.
Gregory Moore (2002). Nietzsche, Biology, and Metaphor. Cambridge University Press.
Marc Sautet, Patrick Roussignac & Rupert Griffin (1995/2007). Nietzsche for Beginners. Sophia 34 (2):105-106.
Matthew Caleb Flamm (2006). Santayana's Critique of Modern Philosophy and its Application to the Work of Nietzsche. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 42 (2):266-278.
S. M. Amadae (2004). Nietzsche's Thirst For India. Idealistic Studies 34 (3):239-262.
John Richardson (2002). Nietzsche Contra Darwin. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):537-575.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1997). Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. Cambridge University Press.
James G. Lennox (1993). Darwin Was a Teleologist. Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):409-421.
Stephen Houlgate (1986). Hegel, Nietzsche, and the Criticism of Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press.
Pietro Gori (2009). The Usefulness of Substances. Knowledge, Science and Metaphysics in Nietzsche and Mach. Nietzsche Studien 38:111-155.
Ted Sadler (1995). Nietzsche: Truth and Redemption: Critique of the Postmodernist Nietzsche. Athlone Press.
Added to index2011-11-20
Total downloads109 ( #12,816 of 1,681,592 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #60,297 of 1,681,592 )
How can I increase my downloads?