Nietzsche’s Photophilosophy

Philosophy Today 66 (3):569-586 (2022)
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In reply to Hagi Kenaan’s recent book Photography and Its Shadow, this essay argues for a theory of photography informed by Nietzsche’s perspectivism. It argues that Nietzsche’s perspectivism offers tools for a theory of photography as a way of life and for a positive conception of the inherent nothingness and artificiality of the photographic image. The first part examines Kenaan’s criticism of photography as an agent of post-modern malaise and nihilism in line with Nietzsche’s theory of the death of God. In response, the second part explores perspectivism as a visual and literary mode of thought for creating new horizons for understanding self and world, new relationships between desire and images, and a new conception of truth and falsity. The third part examines the writings of American artist Andy Warhol, who I argue exemplifies a perspectivist approach to photography and cinema in dialogue with the groundlessness and artificiality of images.



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Ian Maley
Villanova University

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