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 study Daniel Conway shows how Nietzsche's political thinking bears a closer resemblance to the conservative republicanism of his predecessors than to the progressive liberalism of his contemporaries. The key contemporary figures such as Habermas, Foucault, McIntyre, Rorty and Rawls are also examined in the light of Nietzsche's political legacy. _Nietzsche and the Political___ also draws out important implications for contemporary liberalism and feminist thought, above all showing Nietzsche's continuing relevance to the shape of political thinking today.
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)
In this book, Clark attempts to reconstruct the complicated and shifting account of truth that informs Nietzsche's philosophical writings. The centerpiece of her study is a carefully documented interpretation of the development of Nietzsche's position on truth. She persuasively demonstrates that Nietzsche actually came to reject the early position on truth for which he is currently honored by postmodern scholars. Clark interprets the evolution of Nietzsche's position on truth as a sustained exercise in self correction, to which she attributes some (...) of the most significant insights of his philosophical career. (shrink)
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 Nietzschean Narratives, Gary Shapiro explores the narrative structure that informs Nietzsche's thinking and writing. Shapiro's primary aim is to show that Nietzsche's celebrated critiques of subjectivity and authority are perfectly consistent with his deployment of a unified narratology: "As a philologist, Nietzsche is always suspicious of the claims to originality, authenticity and exclusivity accompanying the grand stories or metanarratives that would provide a final accounting of first and last things. The task of the studies that follow is to show, (...) however, that such suspicion does not exclude narrative strategies, styles, or views of the world from Nietzsche's work". Shapiro proposes the narrative as an alternative to the two models most commonly invoked for Nietzsche's texts: the epistemically suspect metanarrative popularized by Heidegger, and the radically indeterminate fragment suggested by Derrida. Although the latter model is presently more influential, Shapiro takes less seriously the charge that the "postmodern" currents of Nietzsche's epistemology drown his texts in différance and discontinuity: "If one were... to read those books which [Nietzsche] published under his signature, the appearance of radical indeterminacy would be more difficult to establish". To the more serious charge that Nietzsche is a purveyor of metanarratives, Shapiro responds that "Nietzsche's path of thinking and writing maintains a constant vigilance with regard to the possibility and limits of narrative". (shrink)
In this important book, Keith Ansell-Pearson undertakes an ambitious study of Nietzsche's moral and political thought. The focus of this investigation is Nietzsche's complicated account of the crisis of modern political life. In order to secure a point of entry into this forbidding dimension of Nietzsche's thought, Ansell-Pearson deploys a novel--and highly successful-interpretative strategy. He proposes that the strengths and weaknesses of Nietzsche's critique of modernity are crystallized in Nietzsche's Auseinandersetzung with the philosopher whom he takes to be emblematic of (...) modernity, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. "Nietzsche contra Rousseau" thus furnishes a synecdochical distillation of "Nietzsche contra modernity.". (shrink)
In Nietzsche's Teaching, Laurence Lampert "attempts something that has not been done before. In setting out to follow the new route opened by Nietzsche, I retrace Zarathustra's path serially through all the events and speeches of Thus Spoke Zarathustra". For the most part, Lampert completes this ambitious project in impressive fashion: with a painstaking eye for the detail and nuance of Zarathustra, Lampert has produced a systematic, chapter-by-chapter commentary on Nietzsche's most enigmatic--and hitherto most inaccessible--work. Lampert's greatest achievement here is (...) to salvage Zarathustra from the scrap-heap of popular philosophy and make sense of the book as a coherent and original contribution to moral and political philosophy. Resisting the popular trend toward deconstructing Zarathustra and "exposing" it as radically discontinuous or anti-philosophical, Lampert renders a faithful interpretation of Zarathustra based on his careful explication of the text's unified dramatic structure. Throughout Nietzsche's Teaching, Lampert traces Nietzsche's thematic and metaphorical allusions to Plato and the New Testament, and explains Nietzsche's teaching via illuminating comparisons to the foundational projects of Bacon, Descartes, and Heidegger, thus displaying an enviable knowledge of the history of philosophy. (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)
Friedrich Nietzsche is generally received as a clever critic of metaphysics who nevertheless remained hopelessly entangled in the metaphysical tradition he sought to challenge. As a consequence perhaps of Heidegger's influential designation of Nietzsche as the "last metaphysician of the West," scholars have for the most part treated Nietzsche's critique of metaphysics as provocative and entertaining, but ultimately unsuccessful. In his important study of 1987, Eric Blondel attempts to recuperate and defend Nietzsche's immanent critique of metaphysics. The key to Blondel's (...) interpretation is his attention to the body as the central focus of Nietzsche's philosophy. For Blondel as for Nietzsche, the body stands for the "other" of metaphysics: flux, appearance, becoming, excess, incontinence, and difference. Any attempt to fix or define or stabilize the body necessarily involves its relapse into the procrustean bed of metaphysics. The central question of Nietzsche's philosophy thus becomes, How can we speak of the body without thereby violating it? According to Blondel, Nietzsche realized that a discursive account of the body is both necessary--lest philosophy degenerate into an idle exercise--and yet impossible to articulate without recourse to the suffocating categories of metaphysics. (shrink)
Platonic Writings/platonic Readings is a collection of original essays and exchanges devoted to an aspect of Platonic philosophy that has received little attention in the secondary literature: Plato's exclusive reliance on the dialogue as the preferred format for written philosophy. Charles Griswold, the editor of the collection, has solicited essays that "explore two questions about Plato's dialogues: first, 'why did Plato write dialogues?' and second, 'how ought we to read Plato's dialogues?'". As Griswold explains, the assembled authors believe that Plato's (...) reliance on dialogues is neither arbitrary nor purely rhetorical: "The presupposition of this book is that serious consideration of the twin problems of interpretation and of Plato's reasons for writing dialogues is essential to a successful understanding of his work". (shrink)