Making Knowledge the Most Powerful Affect: Overcoming Affective Nihilism

Journal of Nietzsche Studies 50 (2):210-232 (2019)

Kaitlyn Creasy
California State University, San Bernardino
In an 1881 letter, Nietzsche remarks incredulously that he is "utterly amazed" to have found in Spinoza "a precursor" with whom he shares an "overtendency [...] to make knowledge the most powerful affect."1 It is this tendency to assign knowledge and ways of knowing the functional role of an affect that I intend to investigate as a means of overcoming affective nihilism.2 In particular, it is by participating in certain practices of self-knowledge and introducing oneself, experimentally, to new sites and bodies of knowledge that one might reengage oneself with one's world and affirm life.In his work, Nietzsche describes affects as "reactions of the will", as "inclinations" and "aversions...
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DOI 10.5325/jnietstud.50.2.0210
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