This critical survey of issues in European philosophy offers detailed accounts of crucial texts by important thinkers. Sedgwick draws key ideas from these sources, analyzing the various relationships between them and linking them to central themes in philosophical enquiry, such as the nature of subjectivity, reason and experience, anti-humanism, and the nature of language.Areas explored include epistemology, metaphysics and ontology, ethics and politics. Aspects of the work of a broad range of thinkers is considered in detail, including Descartes, Locke, Hume, (...) Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Adorno and Horkheimer, Heidegger, Deleuze and Guatarri, Levinas, Derrida, Althusser, Foucault and Lyotard. This intriguing new work presents the complex ideas of European philosophy in a straightforward manner, and will be of interest to both introductory and advanced-level readers. (shrink)
In Nietzsche's Justice, Peter Sedgwick takes the theme of justice to the very heart of the great thinker's philosophy. He argues that Nietzsche's treatment of justice springs from an engagement with the themes charted in his first book, The Birth of Tragedy, which invokes the notion of an absolute justice grasped by way of artistic metaphysics. Nietzsche's encounter with Greek tragedy spurs the development of an oracular conception of justice capable of transcending rigid social convention. Sedgwick argues that although Nietzsche's (...) later writings reject his earlier metaphysics, his mature thought is not characterized by a rejection of the possibility of the oracular articulation of justice found in the Birth. Rather, in the aftermath of his rejection of traditional accounts of the nature of will, moral responsibility, and punishment, Nietzsche seeks to rejuvenate justice in naturalistic terms. This rejuvenation is grounded in a radical reinterpretation of the nature of human freedom and in a vision of genuine philosophical thought as the legislation of values and the embracing of an ethic of mercy. The pursuit of this ethic invites a revaluation of the principles explored in Nietzsche's last writings. Smart, concise, and accessibly written, Nietzsche's Justice reveals a philosopher who is both socially embedded and oriented toward contemporary debates on the nature of the modern state. (shrink)
The paper argues for a normative rather than psychological interpretation of Nietzsche's conceptions of power and will - and hence will to power. It does so with a view to rethinking the questions of Nietzsche's relationship to Enlightenment thought. Jürgen Habermas's view of Nietzsche's philosophy of power as epitomizing a counter-Enlightenment instrumentalism is contrasted with Maudmarie Clark's attempt to divest it of its power aspect in order to place him within the tradition of Enlightenment. Both approaches, it is argued, ignore (...) the irreducibly normative basis of Nietzsche's conception of will to power. This normative basis suggests that Nietzsche's thought can in fact contribute to the reconfiguration of our concept of rationality recently urged by Habermas.In der Abhandlung wird in Abgrenzung zur psychologischen ein normative Interpretation von Nietzsches Auffassung von Macht und Willen, und folglich seiner Idee vom Willen zur Macht, vorgestellt, mit der zugleich Nietzsches Beziehung zum Denken der Aufklärung revidiert werden soll. Dazu wird zunächst Jürgen Habermas' verkürzte Deutung von Nietzsches Philosophie der Macht als eines Instruments der Gegenaufklärung mit Maudmarie Clarks Versuch konfrontiert, Nietzsches Philosophie ihres Machtaspektes zu berauben und ihn so in die Tradition der Aufklärung zu stellen. Es wird gezeigt, das beide Interpretationsversuch die nicht reduzierbar normative Basis von Nietzsches Begriff des Willens zur Macht ignorieren. Dagegen legt die normative Deutung nahe, dass Nietzsches Denken tatsächlich zur Rekonfiguration unseres Vernunftkonzeptes beitragen kann, wie sie jüngst von Habermas gefordet wurde. (shrink)
__Nietzsche: The Key Concepts__ is a comprehensive guide to one of the most widely-studied and influential philosophers of the nineteenth century. This invaluable resource helps navigate the often challenging and controversial thought outlined in Nietzsche’s seminal texts. Fully cross-referenced throughout and in an accessible A-Z format with suggestions for further reading, this concise yet thorough introduction explores such ideas as: decadence epistemology modernity nihilism will to power This volume is essential reading for students of philosophy and will be of interest (...) to those studying in the fields of literature, religion and cultural theory. (shrink)
This volume collects together for the very first time a record of the key readings which comprise the three principal traditions or methodologies of Nietzsche interpretation: the Anglo-American, German, and French traditions.
The article argues for the need for business to give a positive lead in society. There are three reasons for this. First, a large multinational can have enormous influence in a local economy, especially in the Third World. Secondly, but much more unusually, business can demonstrate how cooperative endeavour can make profits. Thirdly, business can cooperate with local or central government in education, and training. But such reasons themselves raise questions about accountability and values. The article also discusses why such (...) leadership does not happen more often, looking to the short-term practices of business as the main culprit. (shrink)
This paper offers critical reflection on the contemporary tendency to approach health care in instrumentalist terms. Instrumentalism is means-ends rationality. In contemporary society, the instrumentalist attitude is exemplified by the relationship between individual consumer and a provider of goods and services. The problematic nature of this attitude is illustrated by Michael Oakeshott’s conceptions of enterprise association and civil association. Enterprise association is instrumental; civil association is association in terms of an ethically delineated realm of practices. The latter offers a richer (...) ethical conception of the relation between person and society than instrumentalism does. Oakeshott’s conception is further illustrated by reflection on the connection between morality and religion that he explores in an early essay concerning “religious sensibility”. Religious sensibility turns on the acknowledgement of the vulnerability of the self to the vicissitudes of life. This vulnerability cannot be bargained over instrumentally without imperilling the self. Religious sensibility is thus a valuable resource for criticising instrumentalist attitudes. It allows for the cultivation of ethical self-understanding that is essential to comprehending the conditions in virtue of which genuine civil life is possible. These conditions need to be taken into account in health care. Health care is not simply about substantive wants. It also necessarily concerns the universal and constant condition of being prey to illness that is the common lot of all citizens. (shrink)
This book engages with the question of making sense of seeing in today’s technologically dominated world. It does so by exploring the notion of the ‘hypermodern’, a term which is used to capture the drive in contemporary culture to achieve ever greater speed and efficiency.
In this book Peter Sedgwick puts forward a new case for viewing Nietzsche as an economic thinker, worthy to rank alongside Marx. Analysing Nietzsche's conception of economy, Sedgwick shows how it is taken by him to constitute the basic condition under which the 'human animal' developed. Economy, Nietzsche argues, endowed us with futurity: the ability to live with a view to long-term future possibilities rather than impulsively, as do other animals. Economy, in other words, is a defining aspect of human (...) behaviour, underpinning the ways in which we estimate value, relate to others and attain self-understanding. (shrink)
Peter Sedgwick explores the relation of a theology of justice to that of human identity in the context of the market economy, and engages with critics of capitalism and the market. He examines three aspects of the market economy: first, how does it shape personal identity, through consumption and the experience of paid employment in relation to the work ethic? Second, what impact does the global economy have on local cultures? Finally, as manufacturing changes out of all recognition through the (...) impact of technology and global competition, what is the effect in terms of poverty? Drawing on the response of the Catholic Church, both in the United States and in papal encyclicals, to the market economy from 1985–1991, Sedgwick argues that its involvement deserves to be better known. Moreover, he recommends that the Churches remain part of the debate in reforming and humanizing the market economy. (shrink)
This paper explores Nietzsche’s approach to the question of illness. It develops an account of Nietzsche’s ideas in the wake of Arthur W. Frank’s discussion of the shortcomings of modern medicine and narrative theory. Nietzsche’s approach to illness is then explored in the context of On the Genealogy of Morality and his conception of the human being as “the sick animal”. This account, it is argued, allows for Nietzsche to develop a conception of suffering that refuses to reduce it to (...) modernist restitutive conceptions of well-being. Instead, Nietzsche advocates a more nuanced conception of varying degrees of health. This, it is argued, can be developed into a model that allows for a more satisfying conception of the relation between medical practitioner and patient. (shrink)
This article addresses whether Nietzsche’s naturalism is best understood as exemplifying the principles of scientific method and the spirit of Enlightenment. It does so from a standpoint inspired by Eugen Fink’s contention that Nietzsche’s endorsements of “naturalism” are best read as hyperbole. The discussion engages with Enlightenment-orientated readings, which hold Nietzsche’s naturalism to endorse of the spirit of empirical science, and an alternative view, which holds Nietzsche’s “extended naturalism” to be an informing ethos of historically aware thought rather than a (...) mere “method.” The ensuing discussion endorses the latter approach in terms that seek to take more seriously the implications of Fink’s point about the hyperbolic and figural aspects of Nietzsche’s naturalism. I argue that Nietzsche’s naturalism is indeed often hyperbolic and figural but that this exaggerated form of naturalizing thought allows insights that invite explicit theorization. Turning to an approach suggested by Adorno and Horkheimer, I argue that Nietzsche’s exaggeratedly “naturalistic” take on morality is best appreciated as a form of disturbing and disruptive political intervention in the dominant discourse of modernity in which it overtly situates itself, namely, the instrumentalizing, methodologically fixated liberal discourse of scientific Enlightenment. If we approach his thinking in this way, Nietzsche’s naturalism serves as a valuable resource for critical reflection on the hegemony of contemporary scientific culture. The context for such critical reflection is provided by Giorgio Agamben’s work on sovereign power and modernity. Nietzsche’s naturalism, I argue, is foremost biopolitical in its implications. These implications invite critical reflection on aspects of Agamben’s work; they also, following Agamben’s lead, suggest that we must step beyond the fundamental concepts of liberalism. (shrink)