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)
Three essays discuss aspects of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra: the place of giftgiving in the portrayed economy, the meaning of feasting and parasitism, and references to the classical myth of Alcyone.
"... Shapiro's book is bursting with thoughts, and if one is willing to mine them, one is sure to find items of interest or provocation." —The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism Taking issue with a widely held view that Nietzsche's writings are essentially fragmentary or aphoristic, Gary Shapiro focuses on the narrative mode that Nietzsche adopted in many of his works. Such themes as eternal recurrence, the question of origins, and the problematics of self-knowledge are reinterpreted in the context (...) of the narratives in which Nietzsche develops or employs them. (shrink)
The Phenomenology of Spirit has been in rich and equal measures a source of both frustration and fascination to its readers. Coming to it from the more conventional texts of our tradition readers have been puzzled, first, by the structure of the Phenomenology. Despite his suggestions that he is following an actual historical development of some sort Hegel will pass from the Terror of 1793–94 to prehistoric religions of nature, or from Kantian universality in morality to the life of the (...) Greek polis. In addition the Phenomenology contains a vast number of allusions to particular texts and authors which seems disproportionate to its claim to have followed a necessary path to absolute knowledge. One may have the impression that the highway of despair has been so named because of its constant and confusing detours into wildernesses which have only the most peripheral connection with the promised land of spirit. All of this has prompted an amazing quantity of ingenious hermeneutical activity. The leading directions in such exegesis can be sorted out into the logical, the existential, and the poetic; each is governed by the intention of saving and preserving the integral value of the text. There is also, of course, a skeptical reading of the Phenomenology, often appealing to philological evidence, which attempts to suggest, that what we are dealing with is at best a patchwork of essays on various subjects and with different purposes, hurriedly put together to meet the demands of the printer. I regard the patchwork theory as a last resort and will pass over it in silence here, since I have not yet been reduced to its level of desperation or irony. The logical reading such as that given in recent years by Stanley Rosen claims that the Phenomenology presupposes the Logic rather than serving as an introduction to it; but Hegel repeatedly says that the Phenomenology is such an introduction or ladder to the standpoint of science. An existential approach to the text finds Hegel to have surrendered joyously to the drama and possibilities of the Lebenswelt, both contemporary and historical. As Robert Solomon puts it in his recent book on Hegel. (shrink)
Hegel introduced the Phenomenology of Mind as a work on the problem of knowledge. In the first chapter, entitled “Sense Certainty, or the This and Meaning,” he concluded that knowledge cannot consist of an immediate awareness of particulars ). The tradition discusses sense certainty in terms of this failure of immediate knowledge without, however, specifically addressing the problem of reference. Yet reference is distinct from knowledge in the sense that while there can be no knowledge of objects without reference, there (...) may be reference without knowledge. If that is the case, then the failure of immediate knowledge does not entitle us to conclude anything about the success or failure of reference. It is not surprising, then, that a few scholars have begun to examine sense certainty primarily as a thesis about reference. (shrink)
Bungay sets the tone of his study of Hegel’s aesthetics with these prefatory remarks: “Hegel is a good example of one of those Germans who dives deeper into murkier waters than the rest of us, and who not surprisingly comes up muddier. Perhaps a suitable role for an English sceptic is washing off the mud and polishing some of the nuggets he finds underneath. It is for the reader to judge whether or not the glitter is that of gold”. Hegel (...) is different from the rest of us, Bungay suggests, because of his speculative depth and hermeneutic ambitions; that is, he belongs to a different tradition than “we” do. Bungay explicitly dissociates his own approach further from that tradition by explaining that the job of the “English sceptic” is to provide a number of crisp and limited formulations of Hegelian arguments and interpretations. Above all, these “nuggets” must be compact and isolable from one another; they must lend themselves to analytical examination. It is good to have such a forthright statement of purpose and method, especially when these differ so much from Hegel’s. But it should not be assumed that this book is nothing more than an analytical dissolution of Hegel. Originally an Oxford thesis in modern languages and literatures, it brings a wide ranging knowledge to bear on its subject; Bungay makes judicious use of his familiarity with the philosophical literature on Hegel and demonstrates an impressive knowledge of many of the specific art works that Hegel discusses in the course of his Lectures on Aesthetics. This may be the only book on Hegel’s aesthetics in English that deploys such an array of philosophical, philological, and artistic learning. (shrink)
Nietzsche's later view of history is a critique and parody of Renan's History of the Origins of Christianity. Nietzschean genealogy places into question both the person of the historian and the apparently innocent aestheticism of the contemplation of the past. History proceeds through the categories of shock, rupture, and scandal, not by Renan's sentimental continuity and evolution. Beneath every asserted continuity is the workings of priestly-philosophical power structures. Nietzsche hopes to free man from individual guilt through the myth of eternal (...) recurrence, according to which events are so intertwined that none may be uniquely designated as cause or effect . The issue here is between Renan's narrative view of reality and Nietzsche's nonnarrative view. Nietzsche's nonnarrative "life of Jesus" is really an attack on the narrative principle itself. (shrink)
In his four Unmodern Observations of the 1870s, Nietzsche confronted early philosophical versions of positions more recentlydiscussed under such rubrics as globalization and the end of history. What he intended by marking these essays as “unmodern” or “untimely” was to designatetheir critical stance toward both the philistine self-congratulation of the era and the Hegelian philosophy with which it explained and justified itself. Basic to thisHegelian conception of history is a concept of the world-historical “great event,” a turning point that manifests (...) itself in the world of political states. The Unmodernseries broke off with Nietzsche’s essay on Wagner, where he attempted to articulate his own non-statist version of a great event. The current essay diagnoses theinterruption of this project as a failure to fully abandon Hegelian thinking, and outlines a reading of Nietzsche’s later, more compelling conceptof the great event. (shrink)
The author says that the purpose of this book is "to provide a compact overview of the whole of Hegel's system, for those who have some familiarity with Hegel's thought". The work succeeds in being compact and it certainly requires an extensive preliminary knowledge of Hegel, since Aboulafia begins immediately to use Hegelian terminology and makes only cursory references to other philosophers or schools of thought. As the title suggests, the book's focus is on the systematic structure of Hegel's philosophy, (...) following generally the structure of the Encyclopedia, although there are generous references to Hegel's other writings and to his lectures. While supposing a knowledge of Hegel, Aboulafia has deliberately omitted any discussion or mention of the literature on Hegel or the major tendencies that have developed in the interpretation of Hegel; he also says that while he has some reservations about the system he has bracketed his own criticisms because they too would detract from his primary purpose of providing a short book "to bring into focus the system as a whole". From a Hegelian point of view, such claims begin to sound like blanket denials of the necessity of mediation in intellectual matters, and one wonders for just whom the book is intended. Could it be for those who have learned the system but forgotten it? There would be a Kierkegaardian irony in this, since the system is itself a supreme act of Erinnerung which if it is really learned could not be forgotten. (shrink)
‘Every now and then a book appears which is literally ahead of its time ... The Political Unconscious is such a book ... it sets new standards of what a classic work is.’ – Slavoj Zizek In this ground-breaking and influential study, Fredric Jameson explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. A landmark publication, The Political Unconscious takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century. First published: 1983.
This book aims at establishing a view of understanding that will be free of ties to the "cultural imperialism" and "scientific-technological reductionism" which the author sees as threatening the prospects for human freedom and dignity. In the course of this attempt he surveys a wide variety of anthropological, literary, and philosophical material, always focusing on those aspects of the subject matter that suggest the limitations of a scientistic world-view. It comes as something of a surprise when the attack on scientism (...) and the praise of the rich diversity of many cultural traditions turns out to be the prelude to the introduction of a modified analogical theory based on the Thomistic tradition. The perspective which is eventually outlined seems very close to that of Paul Ricoeur's defense of analogy, from a phenomenological point of view, in The Rule of Metaphor. Unlike Ricoeur, however, Madison does not engage thinkers like Heidegger and Derrida at a deep level; he prefers a broad survey of many subject matters to the more concentrated studies of Ricoeur on specific subjects such as metaphor. (shrink)