The book seeks to illuminate Bergson's view that philosophy is the discipline of thinking that makes the effort to think beyond the human condition so as to extend our perception of the universe. In the book I explore Bergson on time and freedom, on memory, on his reformation of philosophy in Creative Evolution, on religion, on ethics, and on education and the art of life.
_Germinal Life_ is the sequel to the highly successful _Viroid Life_. Where _Viroid Life_ provided a compelling reading of Nietzsche's philosophy of the human, _Germinal Life_ is an original and groundbreaking analysis of little known and difficult theoretical aspects of the work of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. In particular, KeithAnsellPearson provides fresh and insightful readings of Deleuze's work on Bergson and Deleuze's most famous texts _Difference and Repetition_ and _A Thousand Plateaus_. _Germinal Life _also provides (...) new insights into Deleuze's relation to some of the most original thinkers of modernity, from Darwin to Freud and Nietzsche, and explores the connections between Deleuze and more recent thinkers such as Adorno and Merleau-Ponty. (shrink)
Nietzsche's vision of the 'overman' continues to haunt the postmodern imagination. His call that 'man is something that must be overcome' can no longer be seen as simple rhetoric. Our experiences of the hybrid realities of artificial life have made the 'transhuman' a figure that looks over us all. Inspired by this vision, KeithAnsellPearson sets out to examine if evolution is 'out of control' and machines are taking over. In a series of six fascinating perspectives, (...) he links Nietzsche's thought with the issues at stake in contemporary conceptions of evolution from the biological to the technological. _Viroid Life; Perspectives on Nietzsche and the Transhuman Condition_ considers the hybrid, 'inhuman' character of our future with the aid of Nietzsche's philosophy. KeithAnsellPearson contrasts Nietzsche and Darwin before introducing the more recent figures such as Giles Deleuze and Guy Debord to sketch a new thinking of technics and machines and stress the ambiguous character of our 'machine enslavement'. (shrink)
KeithAnsell-Pearson's book is an important and very welcome contribution to a neglected area of research: Nietzsche's political thought. Nietzsche is widely regarded as a significant moral philosopher, but his political thinking has often been dismissed as either impossibly individualistic or dangerously totalitarian. Nietzsche contra Rousseau takes a serious look at Nietzsche as political thinker and relates his political ideas to the dominant traditions of modern political thought. In particular, the nature of Nietzsche's dialogue with the philosophy (...) of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is examined, in order to demonstrate Rousseau's crucial role in Nietzsche's understanding of modernity and its discontents. (shrink)
This is a lively and engaging introduction to the contentious topic of Nietzsche's political thought. It traces the development of Nietzsche's thinking on politics from his earliest writings to the mature work in which he advocates aristocratic radicalism as opposed to 'petty' European nationalism. The key ideas of the will to power, eternal return and the overman are discussed and all Nietzsche's major works analysed in detail, such as Beyond Good and Evil and The Genealogy of Morals, within the context (...) of the concerns of modern political theory. The book concludes with an assessment of Nietzsche's enduring relevance and of the insights afforded by contemporary liberal and feminist readings. This textbook will be essential for all students of Nietzsche and of the history of political ideas. It includes a chronology of Nietzsche's life and works and a guide to further reading. (shrink)
Informed by the philosophy of the virtual, KeithAnsellPearson offers up one of the most lucid and original works on the central philosophical questions. He asks that if our basic concepts on what it means to be human are wrong then, what is this to mean for our ideas of time, being, consciousness? A critical examination ensues, one informed by a multitude of responses to a large number of philosophers. Under discussion is the mathematical limits as (...) found in Russell, questions on Relativity, Kant's notion of judgement, Popper, Dennett, Dawkins and Proust. He brings into the rapport the concepts of Bergson and their explosive insights into the idea of time. (shrink)
This essay examines Deleuze’s relation to new materialism through an engagement with new materialist claims about the human and nonhuman relation and about agency. It first considers the work of Elisabeth Grosz and then moves on to a consideration of Deleuze’s own conception of a new materialism/new naturalism. I seek to show that Deleuze is an ethically motivated naturalist concerned with an ethical pedagogy of the human, which he derives from his reading of Spinoza. I seek to illuminate some of (...) the principal features of this ethically guided materialism/naturalism and show that even in his later work with Felix Guattari, which situates all life, human and nonhuman, on a plane of immanence, there remains a recognition that the human animal is ethically distinguished as the inventive species par excellence. My main claim, then, is that Deleuze’s project cannot be aligned with a new materialism that supposes a flat ontology and that does away with an ethical distinction between the human and the nonhuman. Although Deleuze bequeaths a complex legacy to post-modern thought in his thinking about the human, it should not be supposed that he has no affinities with aspects of a humanist position and pedagogy. (shrink)
_A Companion to Nietzsche_ provides a comprehensive guide to all the main aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy, profiling the most recent research and trends in scholarship. Brings together an international roster of both rising stars and established scholars, including many of the leading commentators and interpreters of Nietzsche. Showcases the latest trends in Nietzsche scholarship, such as the renewed focus on Nietzsche’s philosophy of time, of nature, and of life. Includes clearly organized sections on Art, Nature, and Individuation; Nietzsche's New Philosophy (...) of the Future; Eternal Recurrence, the Overhuman, and Nihilism; Philosophy of Mind; Philosophy and Genealogy; Ethics; Politics; Aesthetics; Evolution and Life. Features fresh treatments of Nietzsche’s core and enigmatic doctrines. (shrink)
The work of Gilles Deleuze has had an impact far beyond philosophy. He is among Foucault and Derrida as one of the most cited of all contemporary French thinkers. Never a student 'of' philosophy, Deleuze was always philosophical and many influential poststructuralist and postmodernist texts can be traced to his celebrated resurrection of Nietzsche against Hegel in his Nietzsche and Philosophy , from which this collection draws its title. This searching new collection considers Deleuze's relation to the philosophical tradition and (...) beyond to the future of philosophy, science and technology. In addition to considering Deleuze's imaginative readings of classic figures such as Spinoza and Kant, the essays also point to the meaning of Deleuze on 'monstrous' and machinic thinking, on philosophy and engineering, on philosophy and biology, on modern painting and literature. Deleuze and Philosophy continues the spirit of experimentation and invention that features in Deleuze's work and will appeal to those studying across philosophy, social theory, literature and cultural studies who themselves are seeking new paradigms of thought. (shrink)
In this essay I explore the nature of Deleuze’s commitment to an affirmative naturalism that is based on certain Epicurean principles and insights. The essay is divided into two main parts. In the first part I bring to light some of the key features of Lucretius’s great poem on the nature of things, and I do so with the aid of Bergson and his reading of the teaching as fundamentally melancholic. In the second part I switch my attention to Deleuze (...) and show how he links together physics and ethics as a way of providing an emancipatory and affirmative philosophy of life and one that aims to defeat sadness. In the conclusion I return to the question of melancholy and indicate how the problem might be best negotiated. (shrink)
In this essay I examine the contribution a philosophy of life is able to make to our understanding of morality, including our appreciation of its evolution or development and its future. I focus on two contributions, namely, those of Jean-Marie Guyau and Henri Bergson. In the case of Guyau I show that he pioneers the naturalistic study of morality through a conception of life; for him the moral progress of humanity is bound up with an increasing sociability, involving both the (...) intensification of life and its expansion. In the case of Bergson I show that he also pioneers a novel naturalistic appreciation of morality, one that is keen to demonstrate morality’s two sources and so as to give us a firm grasp of the chances of a moral progress on the part of humanity. I suggest that of the two appreciations of morality Bergson’s is the richer since it contains a set of critical reflections on humanity’s condition that is lacking in Guyau. I conclude by suggesting that Bergson’s idea that modern humanity is confronted with the decision whether it wishes to continue living or not has lost none of its relevance today. (shrink)
This essay looks at Nietzsche in relation to the Epicurean tradition. It focuses on his middle period writings of 1878 texts such as Human, all too Human, Dawn, and The Gay Science heroic-idyllic philosophizing’. At the same time, Nietzsche claims to understand Epicurus differently to everybody else. The essay explores the main figurations of Epicurus we find in his middle period and concludes by taking a critical look at his later and more ambivalent reception of Epicurus.
In this essay I seek to show that a philosophy of modesty informs core aspects of both Nietzsche’s critique of morality and what he intends to replace morality with, namely, an ethics of self-cultivation. To demonstrate this I focus on Dawn: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality, a largely neglected text in his corpus where Nietzsche carries out a quite wide-ranging critique of morality, including Mitleid. It is one of Nietzsche’s most experimental works and is best read, I claim, as (...) an Epicurean-inspired critique of the present and an exercise in moral therapy. In the opening sections I draw attention to the wider social dimension of the text and its concern with a morality of compassion, which is rarely done in the literature. I then turn to highlighting Nietzsche’s Epicurean moment, followed by two sections on Nietzsche on the self in which I aim to bring to light his ethics of self-cultivation and show in what ways his revaluation makes central to ethics a modest egoism and care of self. In the conclusion to the essay I provide a contrast between Nietzsche and Kant and deal with reservations readers might have about his ethics. Overall, the essay seeks to make a contribution to an appreciation of Dawn as a work of moral therapy. (shrink)
Intent upon letting the reader experience the pleasure and intellectual stimulation in reading these classic authors, the How to Read series provides a context and an explanation that will facilitate and enrich your understanding of texts vital to the canon.
Nietzsche is no longer a marginal figure in the study of philosophy. This collection of specially commissioned essays reflects the emergence of a serious interest amongst philosophers, sociologists and political theorists. By considering Nietzsche's ideas in the context of the modern philosophical tradition from which it emerged, his importance in contemporary thought is refined and reaffirmed. Modern German thought begins with Kant and has rarely escaped his influence. It is with respect to this Kantian heritage that this volume examines Nietzsche. (...) These essays critically consider Nietzsche's relation to Kant and the post-Kantian tradition. In broad terms it is his relation to the domains of knowledge, ethics and aesthetics, that is through the three Kantian critiques, that Nietzsche's thought is illuminated. This allows a surprising variety of areas and questions, both about Nietzsche and about philosophy to be investigated. (shrink)
This volume aims to inspire a return to the energetics of Nietzsche's prose and the critical intensity of his approach to nihilism. For too long contemporary thought has been dominated by a depressed "what is to be done?" All is regarded to be in vain, nothing is deemed real, there is nothing new seen under the sun. Such a "postmodern" lament is easily confounded with an apathetic reluctance to think engagedly. Hence the contributors here draw on a variety of issues--the (...) future of life, the nature of life-forms, the techno-sciences, the body, religions--as a way of tackling the question of nihilism's pertinence to us now. (shrink)
This essay is an explanation of how the concept of the sublime is deployed by Nietzche in Dawn . This text represents a high point in Nietzche's thinking on the sublime. Nietzche, I show, wants us to purify ourselves of the origins and sources of our desire for the sublime because the higher feelings associated with it are bound up with humanity's investment in an imaginary world. However, he does not propose that we simply jettison the sublime but, rather, seek (...) new experiences of it and these will cenre on knowledge and our right to self-experimentation. I suggest that Nietzsche is in effect opening up new "spaces" and "times" for thinking. My interpretation aims to show in what way Nietzsche commits himself to fashioning new sublimities of philosophy, including expanding our appreciation of the beautiful. By focusing on the topic of the sublime I hope to reveal in what way Dawn represents an important moment in the evolution of Nietzsche's conception of the role and tasks of philosophy.Der Aufsatz untersucht, wie der Begriff des Erhabenen von Nietzsche in Morgenröhe verwendet wird, wo er einen Höhepunkt in Nietzsches Denken des Erhabenen bildet. Nietzsche will, so zeige ich, dass wir uns selbst von den Ursprüngen udn Quellen unseres strebens nach dem Erhabenen reinigen, weil die es begleitenden höheren Gefühle mit menschlichen Investionen in eine imaginäre Welt verbunden sind. Er will jedoch nicht, dass wir das Erhabene einfach über Bord werfen, sondern vielmehr nach neuen Erfahrungen des Erhabenen suchen, wobei das Wissen und unser Recht auf Selbstversuche dabei im Zentrum stehen. Ich meine, dass Nietzsche dadurch neue 'Räume' und 'Zeiten' für das Denken öffnet. Meine interpretation soll zeigen, auf welche Weise Neitzsche sich damit auf die Gestaltung neuer Sublimitäten der Philosophie festlegt, einschließlich der Erweiterrung unseres Gefallens am Schönen. Durch die Fokussierung auf das Erhabene hoff ich zeigen zu können, inwiefern Morgenröthe einen bedeutenden Moment in der Evolution von Nietzsches Auffassung über Rolle und Aufgaben der Philosophie darstellt. (shrink)
Throughout Nietzsche’s writings we find discussion of various human maladies and sicknesses, such as the historical malady and decadence, along withvarious conceptions of a possible cure or therapy. In this essay I argue that Nietzsche’s conception of philosophy’s therapeutic role centres on the protection and promotion of authenticity and explore his preoccupation with authentic existence in each one of his three main intellectual periods. After an opening section on therapeia and paideia in Nietzsche, I focus first on writings from his (...) early period, notably the untimelies on history and Schopenhauer; in the next main section I select Dawn from the middle period as a text that highlights Nietzsche’s continued preoccupation with authenticity; and in the final main section I focus on the late Nietzsche and note the continuities in his lifelong project of self-cultivation and emphasis on the goals of culture. (shrink)
Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most influential thinkers of the past 150 years and On the Genealogy of Morality is his most important work on ethics and politics. A polemical contribution to moral and political theory, it offers a critique of moral values and traces the historical evolution of concepts such as guilt, conscience, responsibility, law and justice. This is a revised and updated 2006 edition of one of the most successful volumes to appear in Cambridge Texts in the (...) History of Political Thought. KeithAnsell-Pearson modified his introduction to Nietzsche's classic text, and Carol Diethe incorporated a number of changes to the translation itself, reflecting the considerable advances in our understanding of Nietzsche. In this guise the Cambridge Texts edition of Nietzsche's Genealogy should continue to enjoy widespread adoption, at both undergraduate and graduate level. (shrink)
With the development of new technologies and the Internet, the notion of the virtual has grown increasingly important. In this lucid collection of essays, Pearson bridges the continental-analytic divide in philosophy, bringing the virtual to centre stage and arguing its importance for re-thinking such central philosophical questions as time and life. Drawing on philosophers from Bergson, Kant and Nietzsche to Proust, Russell, Dennett and Badiou, Pearson examines the limits of continuity, explores relativity, and offers a concept of creative (...) evolution. (shrink)