Decadence of the French Nietzsche

Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield (2006)

James Brusseau
Pace University
Decadence in philosophy means evaluating truth claims exclusively in terms of provocation, in terms of how vigorously they generate subsequent thought. The best truth/book/essay/video doesn’t settle questions, but produces still more thought, writing, production. Decadence privileges the history of thinking over the history of truth. Thought’s history runs from base servility (the best thinking eliminates the need for itself by culminating in universal truth, Platonism), to dialectical servility (the ceaseless interplay of interpretation as a verb, and as a noun, Nietzscheanism), to decadence, where thought overthrows truth’s independent value and incorporates assertions into its own expression and acceleration. Decadence is defined as truth serving thought, and practiced when the only reason we have truths is to generate more thinking. While the definition structures well historically, the claim in Decadence of the French Nietzsche is not that there are serial epochs – Platonism followed by Nietzscheanism followed by Decadence – but that an esoteric vein of decadence runs through philosophy’s history.
Keywords Gilles Deleuze  French Nietzscheanism  Postmodernism  History of Philosophy  Foucault  Bataille  Difference
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Reprint years 2005, 2006
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ISBN(s) 9780739109434   9780739118085
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