Nietzsche

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1. WHO WAS NIETZSCHE?

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history.

Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.

Nietzsche’s body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture, and science. His writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony.

Nietzsche’s early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and his related theory of master–slave morality; his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the “death of God” and the profound crisis of nihilism; his notion of the Apollonian and Dionysian; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power. He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health.

Nietzsche’s thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics and popular culture.

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2. WHAT IS THE ESSENTIAL DIALECTIC OF NIETZSCHEAN PHILOSOPHY?

The Essential Dialectic of Nietzschean Philosophy is:

{Will-to-Power ⇆ Eternal-Return ⇅ Nihilistic-Resentment} ↻ Ubermensch

 The Essential Dialectic of Nietzschean Philosophy is the Will-to-Power, Eternal-Return, Nihilistic-Resentment, Ubermensch Dialectic because ….

3. WHAT IS THE INTERMEDIARY DIALECTIC OF NIETZSCHEAN PHILOSOPHY?

The Intermediary Dialectic of Nietzschean Philosophy is:

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4. WHAT IS THE COMPLETE DIALECTIC OF NIETZSCHEAN PHILOSOPHY?

The Complete Dialectic of Nietzschean Philosophy is:

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Martin Heidegger Basic Questions of Philosophy: Selected “Problems” of “Logic” pg43 What makes up the essence of the essence or, as we say, essentiality? Essentiality indicates what the essence as such really is, what it is in truth. It delimits the truth of the essence. We look in vain for the foundation of an essential determination – in our case, the determination of the essence of truth – if we do not truly know what in general is to be determined here and is to be founded in its determination, namely the essence itself.

Where have we arrived? Perhaps we now have some inkling of the remarkable character of the way forced upon us by the question of truth itself, if we relentlessly enough raise questions in order to create a free path for its innermost impetus. We are asking the question of truth, i.e., we are asking about the essence of truth. We are not seeking individual “truths” but the essence of truth. In the unfolding of this question we have now reached the point of having to raise the question of the truth of essence. All this is enigmatic: the question of the essence of truth is at the same time and in itself the question of the truth of essence. The question of truth – asked as a basic question – turns itself against itself. This turning, which we have now run up against, is an intimation of the fact that we are entering the compass of a genuine philosophical question. We cannot now say what the turning means, where it is founded, since we we have hardly enetered the portico of the region of philosophical reflection. Only one thing is clear: if all philosophical thought must more unavoidably move in this turning the more it thinks originally, i.e., the more it approaches what in philosophy is primordially and always thought and reflected upon, then the turning must belong essentially to the single focus of philosophical reflection (Being as the appropriating event).

Martin Heidegger Basic Questions of Philosophy: Selected “Problems” of “Logic” -pg3 “Basic questions of philosophy” – that seems to imply there is such a thing as “philosophy” in itself, from whose domain “basic questions” could be drawn out. But such is not the case and cannot be; on the contrary, it is only the very asking of the basic questions that first determines what philosophy is. Since that is so, we need to indicate in advance how philosophy will reveal itself when we question: I.e., if we invest everything – everything without exception – in this questioning and do not merely act as if we were questioning while still believing we possess our reputed truths.

The task of this brief preliminary interpretation of the essence of philosophy will simply to be to attune our questioning attitude to the right basic disposition or, to put it more prudently, to allow this basic disposition a first resonance. But, the, philosophy, the most rigorous work of abstract thought, and – disposition? Can these two really go together philosophy and disposition? The be sure; for precisely when, and because, philosophy is the most rigorous thinking in the purest dispassion, it originates from and remains within a very high disposition. Pure dispassion is not nothing, certainly not the absence of disposition, and not the sheer coldness of the stark concept. On the contrary, the pure dispassion of thought is at bottom only the most rigorous maintenance of the highest disposition, the one open to the uniquely uncanny fact: that there are beings, rather than not.

Nietzsche understood the academic mode of utterance as an expression of merely reactive attitudes and feelings, their negative, repressed, and repressive character disguised behind a mask of fixity and objectivity. It was therefore the perfect form of expression for the fetishistic morality of its culture, a morality which at the level of academic exposition provided the subject matter for debate between Kantians or neo-Kantians and utilitarians of various kinds. Nietzsche in directing his aphorisms against both parties but also mocked their style and their genre. By contrast the Nietzschean aphorism is active, a place and a play of contrary forces, the medium through which a current of energy passes. “An aphorism,” Deleuze has said, “is an amalgam of forces that are always held apart from one another” (Pensee Nomade’ in Nietzsche ajourd’hui, Paris, 1973). It is in uttering and responding to aphorisms that we outwit the reactive, academic mode. And what is true of the aphorism is true in another way of the poetic, prophetic mode of Also Sprach Zarathustra. But if this is so, then certain other of Nietzsche’s works themselves become problematic by reason of their genre an none more so than Zur Genealogie der-Moral, the book which is, as Deleuze points out, neither a collection of aphorisms nor a poem but “a key for the interpretation of aphorisms and the evaluation of poems” (Nietzsche et la philosophie, Paris, 1962, 3, 7). It is in fact, as Nietzsche recognized (Preface viii), an academic treatise.
-MacIntyre, Alasdair C. Three Rivals of Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopedia, Genealogy, and Tradition pg. 39

Friedrich Nietzsche: “One should not be deceived: great spirits are skeptics. Zarathustra is a skeptic. Strength, freedom which is born of the strength and overstrength of the spirit, proves itself by skepticism. Men of conviction are not worthy of the least consideration in the fundamental questions of value and disvalue. Convictions are prisons. Such men do not look far enough, they do not look beneath themselves: but to be permitted to join in the discussion of value and disvalue, on must see five hundred convictions beneath oneself – behind oneself.

A spirit who wants great things, who also want the means to them, is necessarily a skeptic. Freedom from all kinds of convictions, to be able to see freely, is part of strength. Great passion, the ground and the power of his existence, even more enlightened, even more despotic than he is himself, employs his whole intellect; it makes him unhesitating; it gives him courage even for unholy means; under certain circumstances it does not begrudges him convictions. Conviction as a means: many things are attained only by means of a conviction. Great passion uses up convictions, it does not succumb to them – it knows itself sovereign.”

What distinguishes the higher human beings from the lower is that the former sees and hears immeasurably more, and see and hear thoughtfully – and precisely this distinguishes human beings from animals, and the higher animals from the lower. For anyone who grows up into the heights of humanity the world becomes ever fuller; ever more fishhooks are cast in his direction to capture his interest; the number of things that stimulate him grows constantly, as does the number of different kinds of pleasure and displeasure: The higher human being always becomes at the same time happier and unhappier. But he can never shake off the delusion: He fancies that he is a spectator and listener who has been placed before the great visual and acoustic spectacle that is life; he calls his own nature contemplative and overlooks that he himself is really the poet who keeps creating this life. Of course, he is different from the actor of this drama, the so-called active type; but he is even less like a mere spectator and festive guest in front of the stage. As a poet, he certainly has vis contemplativa and the ability to look back upon his work, but at the same time also and above all vis creativa, which the active human being lacks, whatever visual appearances and the faith of all the world may say. We who think and feel at the same time are those who really continually fashion something that had not been there before: the whole eternally growing world of valuations, colors, accents, perspectives, scales, affirmations, and negations. This poem that we have invented is continually studied by the so-called practical human beings (our actors) who learn their roles and translate everything into flesh and actuality, into the everyday. Whatever has value in our world now does not have value in itself, according to its nature – nature is always value-less, but has been given value at some time, as a present – and it was we who gave and bestowed it. Only we have created the world that concerns man! – But precisely this knowledge we lack, and when we occasionally catch it for a fleeting moment we always forget it again immediately; we fail to recognize our best power and underestimate ourselves, the contemplatives, just a little. We are neither as proud nor as happy as we might be.

That the value of the world lies in our interpretation (-that other interpretations than merely human ones are perhaps somewhere possible-); that previous interpretations have been perspective valuations by virtue of which we can survive in life, i.e., in the will-to-power, for the growth of power; that every elevation of man brings with it the overcoming of narrower interpretations; that every strengthening and increase of power opens up new perspectives and means believing in new horizons – this idea permeates my writings. The world with which we are concerned is false, i.e., is not a fact but a fable and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is “in flux”, as something in a state of becoming, as falsehood always changing but never getting near the truth: for – there is no “truth”.
Friedrich Nietzsche: “The strength of those who attack can be measured in a way by the opposition they require: every growth is indicated by the search for a mighty opponent – or problem; for a warlike philosopher challenges problems, too, to a single combat. The task is not simply to master what happens to resist, but what requires us to stake all our strength, suppleness, and fighting skill – opponents that are equals.

The strength of those who attack can be measured in a way by the opposition they require: every growth is indicated by the search for a mighty opponent – or problem; for a warlike philosopher challenges problems, too, to single combat. The task is not simply to master what happens to resist, but what requires us to stake all our strength, suppleness, and fighting skill – opponents that are our equals.

Equality before the enemy: the first presupposition of an honest duel. Where one feels contempt, one cannot wage war; where one commands, where one sees something beneath oneself, one has no business waging war.

My practice of war can be supped up in four propositions. First: I only attack causes that are victorious; I may even wait until they become victorious.

Second: I only attack causes against which I would not find allies, so that I stand alone – so that I compromise myself alone. – I have never taken a step publicly that did not comprimise me: that is my criterion of doing right.

Third: I never attack persons; I merely avail myself of the person as of a strong magnifying glass that allows one to make visible a general but creeping and elusive calamity. Thus I attacked David Strauss – more precisely, the success of a senile book with the “cultured” people of Germany: I caught this culture in the act.

Thus I attacked Wagner – more precisely, the falseness, the half-couth instincts of our “culture” which mistakes the subtle for the rich, and the late for the great.

Fourth: I only attack things when every personal quarrel is excluded, when any
background of bad experience is lacking. On the contrary, attack is in my case a proof of good will, sometimes even of gratitude. I honor, I distinguish by associating my name with that of a cause or a person: pro or con – that makes no difference to me at this point. When I wage war against Christianity I am entitled to this because I have never experienced misfortunes and frustrations from that quarter – the most serious Christans have always been well disposed towards me. I myself, an opponent of Christianity de riqueur (in accordance with good manners), am far from blaming individuals for the calamity of millennia.”

Nietzsche defines nihilism as the situation which obtains when “everything is permitted.” If everything is permitted, then it makes no difference what we do, and so nothing is worth anything. We can, of course, attribute value by an act of arbitrary resolution, but such an act proceeds ex nihilo or defines its significance by a spontaneous assertion which can be negated with equal justification. More specifically, there is in such a case no justification for choosing either the value originally posited or its negation, and the speech of “justification” is indistinguishable from silence. For those who are not gods, recourse to a creation ex nihilo, whether disguised by the intricacies of the axiomatic method or onto-poetic integrity, reduces reason to nonsense by equating the sense or significance of speech with silence.
– Rosen, Stanley Nihilism: A Philosophical Essay pg xiii

“Let me conclude by summing up some primary features of Nietzsche’s hermeneutics which can be extracted from the logic of his imagery:
1. The aspects of one’s own situation that become visible from a distance are not discernaible from within one’s own horizons, having been unconsciously or deliberately covered over.
2. Only when one steps out of the horizon of one’s own situation and looks back at it from a distance can one see its overall structure.
3. Because one remains “aboriginally” bound to one’s own even after having distanced oneself from it, one is capable of a “double vision”: how one’s own shows itself and what it conceals come into view simultaneously.
4. This “simultaneous seeing” makes it possible to “evaluate” one’s own: what it shows “from itself” can be questioned from the perspective it conceals.
5. This kind of Hinterfragen presupposes not only the farness of distance (the ocean metaphor) but also the greater height of the newly achieved position (mountain metaphor), which makes the image of “perspective” more important than that of “horizon” – which is a primary concept in Gadamer’s hermeneutics.
6. The “logic” of Nietzsche’s imagery makes it clear why his primary interest does not lie with the foreign itself, in which he adopts a standpoint: his purpose is to look back at his own situation from the perspective of the foreign.
– Parkes, Graham Nietzsche and Asian Thought page 44 (1991).

Might all quantities not be signs of qualities? A greater power implies a different consciousness, feeling, desiring, a different perspective; growth itself is a desire to be more; the desire for an increase in quantum grows from a quale, in a purely quantitative world everything would be dead, stiff, motionless. – The reduction of all qualities to quantities is nonsense: what appears is that the one accompanies the other, an analogy-

3 (1962)
Quantity and Quality: Forces have quantity, but they also have the quality which corresponds to their difference in quantity: the qualities of force are called “active” and “reactive”. We can see the problem of measuring forces will be delicate because it brings the art of qualitative interpretations into play. The problem is as follows:

1) Nietzsche always believed that forces were quantitative and had to be defined quantitatively. “Our knowledge, he says, has become scientific to the extent that it is able to employ number and measurement. The attempt should be made to see whether a scientific order of values could be constructed simply on a numerical and quantitative scale of force. All other ‘values’ are prejudices, naiveties and misunderstandings. They are everywhere reducible to this numerical and quantitative scale” (VP II 352/WP 710).

2) However Nietzsche was no less certain that a purely quantitative determination of forces remained abstract, incomplete and ambiguous. The art of measuring forces raises the whole question of interpreting and evaluating qualities. “Mechanistic interpretation’: desires nothing but quantities; but force is to be found in quality. Mechanistic theory can therefore only describe processes, not explain them” (VP II 46/WP 660 – for an almost identical text cf. II 187). “Might all quantities not be signs of quality?…The reduction of all qualities to quantities is nonsense” (VP II 343/WP 564).
Is there a contradiction between these two kinds of texts? If a force is inseparable from its quantity it is no more separable from the other forces which it relates to. Quantity itself is therefore inseparable from difference in quantity. Difference in quantity is the essence of force and of the relation of force to force. To dream of two equal forces, even if they are said to be of opposite senses is a course and approximate dream, a statistical dream in which living is submerged but which chemistry dispels.5 Each time that Nietzsche criticizes the concept of quantity we must take it to mean that quantity as an abstract concept always and essentially tends towards an identification, an equalization of the unity that forms it and an annulment of difference in this unity. Nietzsche’s reproach to every purely quantitative determination of forces is that it annuls, equalizes or compensates for differences in quantity. On the other hand, each time he criticizes quality we should take it to mean that qualities are nothing but the corresponding difference in quantity between two forces whose relationship is presupposed. In short, Nietzsche is never interested in the irreducibility of quantity to quality; or rather he is only interested in it secondarily as a symptom. What interests him primarily, from the standpoint of quantity itself, is the fact that differences in quantity cannot be reduced to equality. Quality is distinct from quantity but only because it is that aspect of quantity that cannot be equalized, that cannot be equalized out in the difference between quantities. Difference in quantity is therefore, in one sense, the irreducible element of quantity and in another sense the element which is irreducible to quantity itself. Quality is nothing but difference in quantity and corresponds to it each time forces enter into relation. “We cannot help feeling that

mere quantitative differences are something fundamentally distinct from quantity, namely that they are qualities which can no longer be reduced to one another” (VP II 108/WP 565). The remaining anthropomorphism in this text should be corrected by the Nietzschean principle that there is a subjectivity of the universe which is not long anthropomorphic but cosmic (VP II 15). “To want to reduce all qualities to quantities is madness…”
By affirming chance we affirm relation of all forces. And, of course, we affirm all chance all at once in the thought of the eternal return. But all forces do not enter into relations all at once on their own account. Their respective power is, in fact, fulfilled by relating to a small number of forces. Chance is the opposite of the continuum (on the continuum cf. VP II 356). The encounters of forces of various quantities are therefore the concrete parts of chance, the affirmative parts of chance and, as such, alien to every law; the limbs of Dionysus. But, in this encounter, each force receives the quality which corresponds to its quantity, that is to say the attachment which actually fulfills its power. Nietzsche can thus say, in an obscure passage, that the universe presupposes “an absolute genesis of arbitrary qualities”, but that the genesis of qualities itself presupposes a (relative) genesis of quantities (VP II 334). The fact that the two geneses are inseparable means that we can not abstractly calculate forces. In each case we have to concretely evaluate respective quality and the nuance of this quality.