In Nietzsche's "On the Genealogy of Morals": A Reader's Guide, Daniel Conway explains the philosophical background against which the book was written, the wider context of Western morality in general and the key themes and topics inherent ...
Contrary to much recent opinion, Daniel Conway argues that Nietzsche's political thinking is fully consistent with his diagnosis of modernity as an exhausted and dying epoch. In addition, he clearly shows how Nietzsche does not recoil from political life in late modernity, but articulates an ethical and political teaching that relocates his notorious "perfectionism" to the political sphere.
In this astonishingly rich volume, experts in ethics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, political theory, aesthetics, history, critical theory, and hermeneutics bring to light the best philosophical scholarship on what is arguably Nietzsche's most rewarding but most challenging text. Including essays that were commissioned specifically for the volume as well as essays revised and edited by their authors, this collection showcases definitive works that have shaped Nietzsche studies alongside new works of interest to students and experts alike. A lengthy introduction, annotated (...) bibliography, and index make this an extremely useful guide for the classroom and advanced research. (shrink)
Written by an international team of contributors, this book offers a fresh set of interpretations of Fear and Trembling, which remains Kierkegaard's most influential and popular book. The chapters provide incisive accounts of the psychological and epistemological presuppositions of Fear and Trembling; of religious experience and the existential dimension of faith; of Kierkegaard's understanding of the relationship between faith and knowledge; of the purported and real conflicts between ethics and religion; of Kierkegaard's interpretation of the value of hope, trust, love (...) and other virtues; of Kierkegaard's debts to German idealism and Protestant theology; and of his seminal contributions to the fields of psychology, existential phenomenology and literary theory. This volume will be of great interest to scholars and upper-level students of Kierkegaard studies, the history of philosophy, theology and religious studies. (shrink)
This 1997 work is a book-length treatment of the unique nature and development of Nietzsche's post-Zarathustran political philosophy. This later political philosophy is set in the context of the critique of modernity that Nietzsche advances in the years 1885–1888, in such texts as Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, The Case of Wagner, and Ecce Homo. In this light Nietzsche's own diagnosis of the ills of modernity is subject to the same (...) criticism that he himself levelled against previous philosophies; that it is an involuntary symptom of the age it represents. Nietzsche is seen to be aware of his own decadence and of his complicity with the very tendencies that he dissects and deplores. By relating the political philosophy, the critique of modernity and the theory of decadence Daniel Conway has written a powerful book about Nietzsche's own appreciation of the limitations of both his writing style and of his famous prophetic 'stance'. (shrink)
Nietzsche's use of metaphor has been widely noted but rarely focused to explore specific images in great detail. A Nietzschean Bestiary gathers essays devoted to the most notorious and celebrated beasts in Nietzsche's work. The essays illustrate Nietzsche's ample use of animal imagery, and link it to the dual philosophical purposes of recovering and revivifying human animality, which plays a significant role in his call for de-deifying nature.
Despite his attack on metaphysical speculation, Nietzsche is generally received as a closet realist who identifies objective reality with a primordial chaos. By portraying Nietzsche as a metaphysical realist, this standard interpretation attributes to him the privileged "God's eye point of view" that his perspectivism discredits. Some readers attempt to salvage Nietzsche from the scrap heap of realism by presenting perspectivism as continuous with some strain of antirealism. But these attempts often ignore Nietzsche's apparent embrace of the categories and vocabulary (...) of realism. I argue that Nietzsche is perhaps best described as an antirealist who appreciates the pragmatic advantages of realism. (shrink)
In his 2009 film District 9, Neill Blomkamp employs a handheld camera to create the effect of an embedded documentary film, which ostensibly is devoted to an objective treatment of the escalating tensions between a stranded alien race – known only as the ‘Prawns’ – and the increasingly agitated citizens of Johannesburg. Mobilizing the self-critical perspective afforded him by this mise en abyme, Blomkamp demonstrates the extent to which the presumption of objectivity allows the documentary filmmaker to frame the new (...) reality to which a reluctant populace gradually accustoms itself. As depicted in the embedded documentary, the new reality is that human–Prawn relations have been damaged beyond repair. As such, the proposed relocation of the Prawns, which initially may have been utterly unthinkable to most residents of Johannesburg, rounds into view as the best and most reasonable option for all involved. According to Blomkamp, that is, the anonymous documentarians not only report the slow, incremental embrace of genocide – represented in the film by the unseen District 10 – but also play a largely unacknowledged role in promoting this transition. (shrink)
As his ambitious title suggests, Houlgate intends his study to compare and contrast the respective critical methodologies of Hegel and Nietzsche. Toward this end, Houlgate endeavors to establish two central points. First, despite their obvious differences, Hegel and Nietzsche share as a common objective the development of a systematic critique of metaphysical speculation. They both agree that Western metaphysics largely impoverishes life by privileging the formal, lifeless abstractions of a spectral realm. Second, although Nietzsche is perhaps the more famous critic (...) of Western metaphysics, Hegel is the more thorough and radical critic. According to Houlgate, Nietzsche criticizes metaphysical abstractions as necessarily inimical to the nature of life itself, which lies beyond the grasp of human cognition. As Houlgate points out, however, any such critique of metaphysics must presuppose a fundamental metaphysical distinction between language and life: "Nietzsche seems to be employing a distinction between being-for-another and being-in-itself which in his own terms can only be called metaphysical.... This contradiction... invalidates any claim that Nietzsche might make to have produced a truly non-metaphysical philosophy". Houlgate thus presents Nietzsche's critique of metaphysics as representative of a retrograde current in German philosophy: "Nietzsche remains a metaphysical thinker because he employs a metaphysical distinction in order to reject metaphysical categories". Unlike Nietzsche, however, Hegel was able successfully to circumvent the traditional appeal to metaphysical foundations. Hegel's phenomenological method thus underwrites an immanent, rather than a transcendent, critique of modes of consciousness: "This method involves no reference to a presupposed standard of judgement.... We can thus examine how internally consistent each mode of consciousness is, that is whether each mode of consciousness is determined as it believes itself to be". Hegel's development of an immanent critique of consciousness thus distinguishes him from Nietzsche and privileges his criticism of metaphysics vis-à-vis the latter's. (shrink)
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) is widely recognized as a leading figure in the Western tradition of philosophy. Especially well known are his seminal contributions to existentialism, philosophy of religion, and cultural criticism. His novel experiments with pseudonymy, irony, satire, allegory and self-erasure have influenced the development of various strands of 'post-structuralist' and 'post-modern' thought in the twentieth century. The secondary literature devoted to his thought is consequently distributed across a number of academic disciplines, including philosophy, literature, religion, political theory and history. (...) These volumes are designed to allow current debates on key themes to be followed through in depth without having to seek additional sources, while giving readers an appreciation of the diversity of philosophical approaches and interpretive strategies which characterize recent Kierkegaard scholarship. (shrink)