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)
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)
We have Nietzsche to thank for some of the most important accomplishments in intellectual history, but as Gary Shapiro shows in this unique look at Nietzsche’s thought, the nineteenth-century philosopher actually anticipated some of the most pressing questions of our own era. Putting Nietzsche into conversation with contemporary philosophers such as Deleuze, Agamben, Foucault, Derrida, and others, Shapiro links Nietzsche’s powerful ideas to topics that are very much on the contemporary agenda: globalization, the nature of the livable earth, and the (...) geopolitical categories that characterize people and places. Shapiro explores Nietzsche’s rejection of historical inevitability and its idea of the end of history. He highlights Nietzsche’s prescient vision of today’s massive human mobility and his criticism of the nation state’s desperate efforts to sustain its exclusive rule by declaring emergencies and states of exception. Shapiro then explores Nietzsche’s vision of a transformed garden earth and the ways it sketches an aesthetic of the Anthropocene. He concludes with an explanation of the deep political structure of Nietzsche’s “philosophy of the Antichrist,” by relating it to traditional political theology. By triangulating Nietzsche between his time and ours, between Bismarck’s Germany and post-9/11 America, Nietzsche’s Earth invites readers to rethink not just the philosopher himself but the very direction of human history. (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)
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)
Danto's discussion of site‐related and site‐specific art opens up perspectives on both his conception of the ethics and politics of public art and on his ultimately idealistic ontology of art. Danto's analysis of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial involves an important distinction between monuments and memorials that is highly relevant to current controversies, like those about Confederate statues. His differing responses to two site‐related public art works by Richard Serra exhibit a nuanced sensibility to the taste of the public audience and (...) the aesthetics of genius loci. Danto's enthusiastic account of several site‐specific works involving minimal interventions on the ground (some of which remained in the planning stage) disclose his inclination to reduce art to its idea, prescinding from its material presence. (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)
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.
This chapter contains sections titled: Geo‐Metrics: Man as the Measurer Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Philosophical Landscape Poem Peoples and Fatherlands: Songs of the Earth Thinking with the Earth: Toward Geoaesthetics.
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)