>>7687729 Also, I've not read Nietzsche so this may be a foolish question, is the idea of the Ubermensch or Superman theoretical or does he believe it to be executable in life? Additionally... What exactly is the Ubermensch.
>>7687734 No, the attention he gets increases chances of me getting hired in a couple years.Any self-respecting history of phil department needs a nietzschean, just like it needs a kant guy, an ancient guy, a modern analytic etc.
>>7687739 To understand the overman, you have to understand what N thinks of Socrates. Socrates, he thinks, made himself a social ideal for the western world. He is the "theoretical man" who seeks knowledge. N says that S opened up an appetite for knowledge; one that he himself did not satisfy, thereby channeling western humanity towards the seeking of truth. He set the western world on the trajectory which led up to the enlightenment ideal. That is to say, the rational human being. One who overcomes their lower, baser instincts (remember that Socrates demosntrated he had overcome his sexual instincts by not buttfucking the hottest piece of ass in antiquity--Alcibiades--and by overcoming his life instinct/drive by willfully and courageously dying.
Along these same lines, the overman is a counter-ideal to Socrates. He is not a person per se, though people may come to embody some of the virtues. He is a trajectory for culture itself. N wants culture to seek upwards, and in order to do that, one needs CONTEMPT. One needs what he otherwise calls a "pathos of distance." This is the only mechanism by means of which one can overcome some aspect of oneself. For example, you see someone you have contempt for, and you notice that you embody similar virtues as him. The contempt you have for them make you want to rid yourself of virtues that they have. This leads to self-overcoming.
>>7687766 Look at the 5th section of the preface to Zarathustra. He chastizes modern man because he has been educated into regarding all as equal. he has been taught to not have contempt for anyone, but the only way to reach such a state of being is by seeing oneself as on the bottom. This is perfectly in line with slave morality, which equates being good, being noble, with being poor, weak, powerless. Notice that the tightrope walker falls down to the marketplace. He falls to the bottom. He is LEVELED down. The ascent requires contempt, which, once again, he otherwise calls a pathos of distance.
To clarify one more confusion. The overman is not a final end. It is not something one IS. Rather, the overman is constantly self-overcoming. It's a process. One does not merely become the child, and then rest.
>>7687778 One more thing. If you look at the modern world, you see that N was right. Today people fight over who is more diseased, who is more powerless, who is more oppressed. The white bitch who pretended to be black is a perfect example of this phenomena. When its explicitly claimed that priviledge is a bad thing and to be priviledged means to be, in some sense, a vile person, then it's implicitly also understood that to be respected one must pose as weak. One must wear one's scars and losses on one's sleeve.
THere's a lot of ground to cover here, but keep in mind that for N this is SOCRATES' ideal, and that Socrates was an ugly plebian who grew up and lived at a time when to be good mean to be literally beautiful as well as born into a noble family--to have power in other words. Someone like him could not be considered good, hence he changed the yardstick, the measuring stick for who is considered good. He introduced a new one. one which would not only measure him as good, but the best. We have inherited his ideal. Nietzsche attempts to put forth a new one in the image of the overman.
>>7687766 >>7687778 Wow, well said, man. Easy to follow and understand. Thanks for the explanation, my man. I'm actually going to be reading Ecce Homo in an ethics class I'm in very soon. Anything I should try and keep in mind before reading? Or, I don't know, any tips or pointers? It'll be the first Nietzsche I read.
>>7687783 That's really interesting. I think the idea of the Overman is unsettling to most people because, like you said, we are so obsessed with who's got it the worst. I mean, I got a newsletter from my college today and an article in it was about "misgendering" someone and what to do in that situation. The fact that this idea of misgendering is seen as such a terrible, awful issue (when in reality it is unimportant and potentially afflicts an extremely small group of people) really speaks to the idea of the sufferer being the star, so to speak.
>>7687788 Yes. Deep down Nietzsche was a philologist, and philologists will write entire books on a single word in Homer or one of the other poets. That is to say, they're extremely careful readers.
Nietzsche wrote for THOSE kind of readers. Pay special attention anytime he mentions his personal TASK, and ask yourself what he's implying about himself. What sort of person assigns this kind of task to himself.
I don't want to spell it out for you, because that'll take away from you understanding it yourself, but I'll say one more thing. First, Nietzsche's rival is Plato. Always. He is always in the background. Nietzsche is constantly, CONSTANTLY, referring to Plato. Secondly, Plato had the myth of the demiurge (look it up). The demiurge, supposedly came accross a shapeless mass in the cosmos, and further on he saw the realm of the forms (perfect, unchanging forms of things). The demiurge decided to give shape to the imperfect, constantly changing mass, by giving it the shapes he saw in the realm of the forms. This is our world. Things in our world constantly change, but for a time they resemble the forms.
>>7687800 So a glass may seem static, but it's actually constantly changing. You, too. You are small, you get big, you shit, you piss, you eat, and then you die, turn into soil, change into something else, etc. Things take on forms for a little while then lose them.
This is Plato's myth for how the world came to be. However, Plato was a poet on top of a philosopher, and the impplicit point he makes is that HE HIMSELF is the demiurge, and his imperfect material is ATHENS. He attempts to give it a form, to mold its people, the attitutes they have, the values they possess. This is Plato's task, and Nietzsche, like I said, thinks of himself as a rival.
With that said, you need to think of Nietzsche's works as TOOLS for this endeavor. He does not write because he thinks what he writes is true. He writes because he thinks it will shape his marble the way he wants. His marble is us, the western world.
>>7687809 Consider this question: What is "truth" to a father? A friend of mine told me he had to work really hard to get his father to admit he smoked pot. Why did the father not admit it sooner? because the father sees himself as a role model. He presents an image to the son. one who is honest, straight laced, etc. Forget what the father actually is. The father's goals are to mold the son, and he does this by presenting an ideal to him. Similarly, forget what N actually was, and consider what image he presents to posterity. Here you also get a sense of what N meant by "truth" as well as what he was hoping to achieve by writing the books he wrote.
>>7687800 Okay, yeah. I'm somewhat familiar with the idea of things having forms. My professor spoke about it a bit, but it sounds like I should do a bit of my own research. Anything you'd suggest reading on the demiurge besides the Wikipedia page? (lol)
>>7687812 I'm not going to outright tell you. Instead, I'll only point you in the right direction. So pay attention. Nietzsche meant by "mask" what Plato meant by "mask," and Plato outright tells you in the last books of The Republic. Download The Republic and start ctrl-F until you find what I mean.
Second, in an early eassy on Plato's Symposium (1864, when N was only 20. You can find the essay online, though you'll probably have to pay. It's def worth it though. It's one of Nietzsche's best essays), N writes that Socrates speaks through Diotima, and says that she told him what it meant to be a philosopher. In other words, it's possible to see things from a vantage point. Socrates, N claims, does not say that he HIMSELF possesses this vantage point. Only that it is possible. N goes on to say that he MUST stay silent about whether he himself is a philosopher. Alcibiades has to come in, another character, and let everyone know that Socrates is in fact a philosopher, but even Alcibiades does not outright say it.
>>7687827 >>7687812 On second thought, that may have been too vague. Ask yourself why Nietzsche speaks through Zarathustra. Then read the first section in the preface of Ecce Homo in which he says that in that book he will be speaking in his own voice, instead of through a narrator. A careful reader will immediately realize that in all books EXCEPT Ecce Homo Nietzsche wears a mask. He has a narrator speaking. He speaks as a Psychologist, for example, or as a scholar in Genealogy, or as a free spirit, through a narrator in Zarathustra, etc.
If you're truly interested, look up Leo Strauss' The Art of Writing.
>>7687828 Not enemy. You respect your enemy. The one you have contempt for is not an enemy. YOu can only be enemies with someone you consider an equal. Hence, you want to get rid of only those virtues you share in common with thsoe you have contempt for.
>>7687836 >Not enemy. You respect your enemy. The one you have contempt for is not an enemy. YOu can only be enemies with someone you consider an equal. Hence, you want to get rid of only those virtues you share in common with thsoe you have contempt for.
Oh, I see. And once you get rid of those virtues you share in common you create your own, right? As opposed to following someone else's system, that is.
>>7687842 Okay. Let me put it this way. In the first book of The Republic, Socrates is having a conversation with this young kid, Polemachus. He is a noble. In the room there's a bunch of other noble kids. They will grow up to rule athens. What they think about justice matters because that's what they'll put into practice once they hold the reigns of power. What YOU think about justice does not matter. You're a suburban nihilist? Who gives a fuck. Kill yourself. What GWB thinks about justice, however....well, you can see how that matters.
So in this book, Polemachus says that justice means helping friends and harming enemies. Socrates asks whether its EVER justice to harm anyone whatsoever, and gives the example of a horse-trainer. He asks whether the horse trainer IMPROVES the horse by harming it. The answer is no (he says). Hence, he concludes, justice can't be any act that harms. only those acts that improve someone are just. Forget about the content of this and think about what Socrates actually communciates. He tells Polemachus to stop thinking of himself as a plebian among plebians. he tells him to think of himself as a horse-trainer thinks about his horses. In other words, the ethics that Plato presents is FOR the noble. Those who rule. THose who give shape to men's characters by instituting laws.
Similarly, Nietzsche speaks to a similar group. Not to you or me or some high school nobody. The creators of value are...well, something like one person in a millenium. They are the Napoleons, the Mohammad's...the culture creators, the people formers.
I actually posted this thread: >>7687609 . If you glance at what I've read and what I think, you might see how I'm absolutely fascinated by the ideas that you've discussed here: >>7687766 >>7687778 >>7687783 >>7687800 >>7687809 >>7687815 because after all the reading I've done, I've come to very similar conclusions in my head - but they're yet undeveloped.
What's the "path" to Nietzsche's work from the stuff I've already read? I'm a maths student, so all my reading takes place in my free time without any kind of guidance or structure. That's why I'm sort of getting lost.
>>7687857 by people" I mean like the jewish people, or the persian peoples, or the ancient greek peoples. They no longer exist (except jews, thinks Nietzsche). Peoples have been replaced by "the state," and Nietzsche hates the state. Its an invention of the enlightenment for him, and fighting against it, he wants to bring back "peoples."
Any talk about Nietzsche has to take this fact into account. Nietzsche hates the state and wants only "peoples," because he wants people creators. The world is a large garden, and he wants to see more cultivators. people who take up a plot of land and cultivate a certain kind of flower on it, i.e., a certain kind of people who think a certain way, possess certain attitudes, evaluate in a certain way.
Imagine you're the only adult in the island from Lord of the Flies. What character would you give those kids. Being an adult, they will listen to you. What institutions would you put into place. What would you have them believe? What would you ahve them take pride in? Shame in? Etc.
That's not really at odds with what I said though, is it? Those people who come along every thousand years aren't going to be championing some other guy's ethical theory, they're going to develop their own and push hard, no?
Also, do you know anything about Dostoevsky's influence on Nietzsche, aside from the one popular quote about how he was the only psychologist he learned anything from?
>>7687877 Alright. Essentially, I'm a maths student who's studying philosophy with no philosophy teacher or structure. I've read most of Plato's Socratic dialogues and the "greats" of modern political philosophy canon up to Rousseau.
Where do I go from here, or rather where do I start, if I have no background in ethics and I want to read Nietzsche?
>>7687875 Yea, well, the values will be new, sure. It's a 20th century dogma that says you can't invent new values, what with facticity and wahtnot. This way of thinking was new in the 19th century...introduced by this guy named Taine. Look up his stuff about mileu. It's against this douche that Nietzsche and a bunch of other Bonepartist rebelled, i..e, social determinism. They put forth Napoleon as a counter example. He was someone who overcame his time. He, a man of genius, the genius of the species in fact, invented something new.
As for Dost and his effect on N, I think it's minimal, though I have not looked too deeply into this. For what it's worth I think he's right in saying Dost was an incredible psychologist. Having said that, I think Plato is in fact the best psychologist to have ever lived. I'lll admit he's even better than Nietzsche...
>>7687886 You may want to reconsider your approach to philosophy. These guys you've read are geniuses. I cannot overemphasize this enoujgh.
IT took me a long time to understand this point, and I had to get over my modern attitude that they're not worth shit. The world they present made sense to them.To really get it, you have to treat their works like jawbreakers. That means you need to chew on it for a long long time. I hope I don't sound too patronizing, but I say this because it's a recent thing for me...something it took me a long time to come to terms with. Before that I had been programmed to regard them as ignorant jerk offs.
I think you should pick up one of Leo Strauss' lectures on Plato and others. The man has a terrible reputation nowadays because he's seen as the father of neocons, but he was a genius and an incredible teacher. The neo-cons understanding of him is like the the nazi's understanding of Nietzsche. It'll take a few more decades before people understand and appreciate Strauss.
Pick up his lecture on Plato's Symposium, and I'm willing to bet i'tll blow your mind like it did mine. Don't believe him though. He's not really doing scholarship. He's wearing the scholar's mask, and indoctrinating the reader about certain MODERN things by pretending to be merely a scholar about ancient shit.
>>7687876 Don't disregard any of it. He's good up until the very end. Even his supposedly mad letters from early days of January 1889 make complete sense and are in no way inconsistent with his earlier stuff. His 1888 books and manuscrips are some of the most lucid things he ever wrote.
I thought Strauss' relation to neoconservative was some ebin meme concocted by his opposition. Like a motivated snarl association, if you want to call it that. Grasping at straws to pigeonhole him as something deemed especially evil or foolish.
>>7687903 Honestly, thank you so much. It didn't come off as patronizing at all. I thought I was losing my mind, especially reading Locke - thinking "This is fucking retarded!"
Thank you for the recommendations too. I think I'm going to look at that Symposium lecture, and then spend a while reflecting on what I've read. After I've collected my thoughts, I'm going to pick up Leviathan again - this time with an open mind.
By the way, do you have a means by which I can correspond with you? A throwaway email perhaps?
>>7687898 Big questions. The problem with the death of god can be otherwise understood as the same problem as the disenchantment of the world. There is no meaning. Recall the image of the size of earth next to stars, and even bigger stars, etc. It was not a simple error in reason that made human beings conceive of the universe as revolving around the earth, and things in the universe as occuring as a consequence of human actions.
We NEED to matter, and so we construct worlds in which we matter. Science, with its destructive will to truth (not will to life) has destroyed all these narratives that grant us meaning (though they're scientifically laughable). Eternal return is an ingenius solution. It's quasi scientific, in that it's POSSIBLE, so science will not be able to dismiss it outright in the way it has dismissed other worldviews within which people matter.
Secondly, Nietzsche seems to think that if we think of time as circular, then we will live more energetic, more fulfilling lives. I need to qualify what I mean by this, though. THink about your belief that time is linear. When do you ever become conscious that you believe this about time? Almost never. Only when the topic is brought up. Other times, the belief is in the background structuring your experience as well as your pespective, and your actions. The belief in linear time, or any kind of time, is effective in the background. It affects you without you knowing it. It'll affect you even if you never even become conscious that THAT'S what you think about time. Nietzsche wants to replace that background belief with eternal return, because by thinking this (in the background), we will want to spend each moment in such a way that we would want to relieve it for all eternity.
Is it actually true? Who fucking cares. It's believable (and not refutable by science) and if believed, it will affect people in a way Nietzsche thinks is beneficial.
>>7687916 I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to stay anonymous. I start these Nietzsche threads every once in a while.
If you get a chance, download Nietzsche's Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks. It's an early manuscript. Read only the two prefaces and the first 4 sections. You can read the rest if you want, but I recommend the first part because of how N casts philosophy. He says that what's important when looking back in history at these philosophers is NOT their systems. He says that their philosophical systems were "true" only for them, and that they were a "series of errors" for lesser minds (like scholars), and "one big mistake" for other genuine philosophers (there is a big difference between philosophers and scholars. the same kind of difference that exists between musicians and professors in colleges who teach about music).
What's important about these guys, N says (and I agree), is THAT THEY LIVED; that they ATTUNED to the world as they did. The same note on a musical instrument will make a different sound if it is tuned differently. Similarly, the same human being will experience the world differently depending on how they are attuned to it. So, what's important about these philosophers from the past is that they attuned themselves differently. They saw and described the world in a way that made sense to them, but to get it you must attune yourself to the world as they did. It's the only way.
Think of how you must be tuned to be able to make sense of the world as Heraclitus did? Ultimately, we can ask what's the point of this, and I think that the point is that we'll have a repertoire of different goggles with which to see the world. We'll be like a radio that can pick up many channels. Philosophy, I've come to believe, is a life long process. It's not a topic one can pick up and memorize and recite. It's fun that way though.
>>7687948 Look back at my post about the story I told about the father and truth. A good father is one who LIES to his son. He tells him stories of what he did when he was young, he DOESN'T tell him other stories which would encourage the son to do some things, he tells him how responsibly he acted when he got into a car accident, he tells him myths with some kind of moral, he tells him to watch some show, not watch another, etc...all in order to shape the sons character. That's the goal. Are these stories true? Once more: who fucking cares? The father doesn't, that's for sure.
Nietzsche, as well as all genuine philosophers, see themselves as TEACHERS for mankind. In other words, they want human beings to think and behave a certain way. The way they achieve this end is by writing philosophy in books.
Scientists and philosophical hacks can postulate theories about reality (that it is this or that way) and this shit will be debated in academic circles, but a genuine philosopher does not care about these circles. He wants to affect humanity, not academia. And so, whatever a genuine philosopher writes, it is in order to shape his marble. Eternal return is crafted by Nietzsche in order to elicit a kind of attitude, a kind of belief, a kind of behavior.
>>7687977 Nuh son. I'm a grad student from a shitty university. I grew up poor and began to be interested in philosophy late in my community college career, so my choices were limited after graduation. I used to be a pothead and a gamer and jock loser, and there's been countless times when I'll be writing on the whiteboard and catch myself....It'll be as if I'll be seeing myself from the eyes of 17 year old me doing what 28 year old me is doing now...how the fuck did I get here.
>>7688026 i read the world as Will... before getting into Nietzsche and reread it afterwards. it's not required reading and doesn't add anything to understanding of Nietzsche but it's a fulfilling read on its own.
>>7688013 I'm basically a devotee, man. I agree with everything. Let me put it this way, since the obvious objection will be that, hey, shouldn't I go my own way in order to be a good Nietzschean? The answer is yes, but what young people (am i allowed to say that being 28yo) need to begin to understand again is the importance of APPRENTICESHIP.
Story time I was once in this coffee shop because the library was closed and in the table next to me there were these young hipster douches talking. They struck me as Argentinian for some reason. Anyway, among them was this young kid who dominated the conversation, and there were a couple more guys, and two cute girls. Obviously they were showing off in front of the girls. I don't know how it happened but they involved me in their conversation (I think they saw Beyond Good and Evil on my desk). I started talking, and...well, I kept talking, because I had a lot to say. Coffee is one hell of a drug. The alpha there didn't like this, and so he gave me the old "what do you think though?! We've heard enough about Nietzsche. Don't YOU have opinions."
I asked him how old he was.
You know what that means?
"It means you're fucking stupid. I'm 27. I don't have a right to have an opinion yet. I can parrot what I've been taught and pretend its my opinion though..."
>Oooooh snap! The guy is embarrassed. He's got nothing to say. The girls want the D. The guys want the D. The D looks back down on his desk and keeps reading.
>>7687963 I think he's awesome. He has the best prose I've ever read.
That said, I think he's a secular Christian. By that I mean that the Christian mythology was only the means by which to get people to behave and believe a certain way.
You explain why you need to act a certain way, think highly of certain things, and lesser of other things by talking about God. You introduce a whole world view, a new metamphysics, but its whole purpose is to instill certain values in a people. That's the purpose of God.
Schpoie and many others rejected God and the old metaphysics, but kept the fucking christian values. Muh empathy for the suffering and lower castes! It's basically like rejecting the Trojan horse (the mythology surrounding the values) and inviting the Greeks inside...or rather, to reject the trojan horse, accept the greeks inside and then craft another structure for them, a secular structure.
>>7688090 When you read Nietzsche the first time, it's awesome. It's like heroin. The problem is, it destroys you. When I first read Nietzsche, I had already read all of Schopenhauer. All of it. All the books. With care. So when I read Nietzsche, I had something to "conjure" the pleasure, if you will. Without this conjuration, you're basically fucked. Doesn't mean I didn't enjoy Nietzsche.
I have a question for you, but it's not about Nietzsche's philosophy per se, it's about assigning Nietzsche in classes--as you hope to do professionally?
How do you do that without risking giving your students PTSD?
I'm the furthest thing from a college SJW but frankly some things I've read in Nietzsche are so edgy they've damn near given me a heart attack. I can't imagine holding a Nietzsche seminar with the Genealogy of Morals as a primary text without at least some of the students trying to get you fired.
How do you get around this?
Do you just exclusively assign his early-period writings or something like that?
Thanks so much for the answers, man. You've given me a lot to chew on over the next few weeks. One thing I really appreciated that you said was in response to someone else, here >>7687968 about how the way great philosophers attuned to the world was more important than the systems they developed. It makes it sound like you think that philosophy is less about discovering truth, if there is any to be found, than a process of self-creation, by attuning ourselves to the world in our own way and turning away from following some great man's own system because we, as different people, couldn't possibly adopt it.
Maybe that's all stupid though, but that's kind of what I'm taking away from it.
IMO it calls Nietzsche seriously into question if Plato is his 'rival' because the idea of forms has been pretty thoroughly discredited; the 'forms' are in our head, what's outside of it is the shapeless mass. The only 'demiurge' is human consciousness, which organizes and structures things.
I think Nietzsche makes a point like this in On Truth and Lies In Nonmoral sense? He says something like, the forms are basically psychological projection; categories we as thinking things put on the formless mass, structuring it and making it understandable. Granted, our 'structuring' has to conform to patterns in the 'formless mass' to an extent, for it to be useful, but ultimately, the 'categories' and 'ideas' we produce are arbitrary.
I can't see how Nietzsche is a 'rival' to Plato here. IMO Plato is just utterly destroyed by this analysis. If Nietzsche continues to see Plato as a serious 'rival' in his later years he has undervalued his own critique.
>>7688112 That's a good concern to have. I've had it myself, and these are my thoughts. If I were teaching from the country I'm originally from, I would not teach Nietzsche. The cultural fabric is still strong there. Life still has meaning. It's slowly going to shit, i.e., becoming more western, but nihilism is still a ways away. If I were to teach Nietzsche there, then i would only be tearing at the seams, and that's something I don't want to do.
Here in the US, however, things are already crap. There is no culture. There is no yardstick. Let me explain nihilism in this way. Recall playing Super Mario. There are rules in that game. You know what it means to win that game. You know whcih direction you have to go, which thigns in it are the enemy, which things you can feel proud defeating. It says 50+ points when you do that thing. There's no doubts there that you did the right thing.
Nihilism is like playing super mario and having all the levels unlocked. You're dropped in the middle of the game, and you can go to this or that map. You can defeat this or that thing in the game. You can rescue the princess or not. The game does not tell you if you won. It doesn't tell you whether that thing you struggled to get through was the right thing. No points pop up. You have no idea how to compare your playing with another's. And so, you have little incentive to play at all. I mean you have less incentive to fucking LIVE, if you're following my analogy.
It's not exactly like that in the west, but that should warm you up to the idea of nihilism. In the west its more like being dropped in the game and having multiple ways of "winning." You can save the princess and according to one standard, that's winning. You can die right away, and according to other standards, that's also winning. There is no ONE standard. There are many, and so consequently, there are none. That's life here. You don't know how to live a good life. There are many standards you can ABIDE by, and so you don't have one you can RELY on.
Let me make this quick distinction between options and choice, in order to better make this point. A choice requires options, but that's not all. To properly be capable of CHOOSING, you need a standard you can rely on. If you go to a sharpie store and look down an isle with 1000 sharpies, and the clerk tells you they're all fine, you won't be making a CHOICE when you pick one randomly, even though you have so many options. I hope this gives you an idea of what I mean by western nihilism.
Teaching Nietzsche in this context is not a problem. It's only if I were teaching it in the original super mario game, the one in which there is only one way to win.
>>7688165 Let me absolutely clear here. In the western pluralist world, there is no clear sense that you're a better person for having given to charity, or for having saved that kid from drowning. In another culture, a monolith and thus healthy culture, you would know, you would FEEL it. You would have no midlife crisis. You would reach 80 years old, be on your death bed, look back on your life, see that you had kids, and amassed a fortune, and that you were respected (or whatever, this is just an example) and die happy knowing you lived a good life.
Here, you will have doubts, because of course that's only one way of measuring a good life. You're aware that there are others, and you're taught to think they're no less valid than the other one.
For those who have read or will read the Republic: Read Socrates' interaction with Cephalus in the first book of the Republic closely. Cephalus, the old rich guy has no doubts that he's doing the right thing by purging his soul of injustices by sacrificing to the gods. He's dying happy thinking he's dying a just man; more then that, he does not consider the objections of Socrates. He does not pay attention to philosophy, to the possibility that he is mistaken. He dismisses Socrates off hand, as if he was an idiot.
This is a very attractive way of explaining things but I'd still recommend maybe just teaching a Foucault course or something and name-dropping Nietzsche a lot for those who want to take it up independently. Nietzsche as primary text author just seems too dangerous. I had a prof who was clearly a pretty big Nietzsche fan but he mostly got this across by making vague references to Nietzsche in his lectures on Kant, Hume, Hegel, Marx, and others... That's the way to do it IMO, to get the genuinely intellectually curious and open minded to read him. Assigning Nietzsche (or at least late-Nietzsche) as a primary text is a dangerous game.
>>7688120 I think you're right. Just one thing. If you're following N on this point, then you have to keep in mind that this is not for everybody. I don't mean that not everybody will WANT to do this. I mean that not everybody is CAPABLE of creating value and self-creating. Nietzsche is all for conformity for the majority of people. There is the marble and then there is the sculptor. Nietzsche's speaking to the sculptor. THe majority of people are mere marble.
>>7688176 I don't really know. I don't think anyone knows. I think some people have spent a lot of time looking into it. One thing I know is his health began to collapse at the same age that his father's did.
Another thing to take into consideration is the motivations of those who insist on it being syphilis. It's certainly possible that's what happened, but I can't help thinking they believe that and spread that belief because they want to insult Nietzsche. Kind of how everyone likes seeing a republican who is self-rightous get caught sucking dick in an airport. This same instinct to denigrade also insists on talking about how Nietzsche collapsed in a fit of pity for a horse. Sure, sure...if you read Nietzsche, you'll see he admits time after time that he has a particular weakness for pity, and that he has struggled with it all his life. It's why he warns people to beware of it.
He says at one point that if he found himself among tribespeople somwehre who were about to be slaughtered and they asked for his help, he'd do it. And also if a dear friend were dying and asked that he die with him because he was afraid, he would do it. I mean, imagine if Plato, a fucking gift of the western world, were to have found himself in a situation where his sister or something was suffering, and so he spent his time taking care of her instead of writing...what the fuck. What LOSS would that have been? Keep in mind that I've been saying that Nietzsche (and Plato) writes FOR those who rule.
He's not giving general principles for everyone to abide by. That'd be like taking Machiavelli's Prince and criticising him for advocating the complete decimation of a rival family...I mean, the motherfucker was not talking to you. He was talking to the prince, and to princes in general. Same with N.
I think it's strange that he suggested having to have a sort of counterpoint based on contempt to drive you upward. Why not just change the thing you don't like about yourself? It ultimately seems less focused on actually changing the aspect you don't like than it could be. I'm assuming that what you don't like about yourself is predetermined, and then you just use someone that you simply have contempt for as a catalyst for change, right?
Also, did he have a standardized scale of desirability? Was it based on simple material wealth or something? It sounds like he's almost advocating, "be the best at what you think is the most desirable", unless you just didn't get around to what he actually thought was the most desirable.
>>7688241 Alright you guise. I'll open up a new venue for thinking about Nietzsche, because I think this is the one that has not been found by anyone else in the scholarship. I've brought this to lit before, but consider this poem by Nietzsche:
>The Pious One Speaks God Loves us because he created us! ‘Man created God!’—respond the jaded. And yet should not love what he created? Should even deny it because he made it? Such cloven logic is limping and baited.
The first line is what the believers think. The second is what the enlightenment (and us) think. The third is Nietzsche's objection to the enlightenment, and us. Why can't we love like God loves? God can create and love what he creates. We, on the other hand, realize we create God, so why don't we love our creation? Why can't we be like Gods in this fashion?
Let me take this disposition to hate what one creates in another direction. Think about what makes you appreciate some movie. You have to immerse yourself in it. You talk about Michael Corleone as if he were a real guy, because for some moments you believe he is a real guy. You forget that he's a mere human creation. If the movie were to have done something cheesy, some special effects or something, that would have reminded you right away that it's just a stupid fucking movie, just another human creation, and THAT realization would have made you hate it. You only like and you only love when you think it's not created by people.
And so, when you find out values are man-made, that's enough reason to dismiss them. Oh, beauty is socially constructed. That means that people just made that shit up. No love there for the social creation. Oh, so some people in the past have decided that sodomy is wrong. There is no FACT about that! Toss it out. We don't need to believe or accept it. Only those things created by God, or found in nature (facts), and which in any case are not made by human beings have any value.
>>7688243 Yes. Why do I think so, or why did he write esoterically? If the former, then apart from the fact that he leaves it up to the reader to figure out why he begins discussing this topic after having discussed the other one, it's because he says so. What I mean is that there's a structure underlying his texts. It may seem random how he jumps from one section to another, but to understand the text, you have to fill in the blank space between the ending of one section and the beginning of the other. That's where the magic is.
If the latter, then the answer is, partly, that he thought that was the only way to stay relevant across the ages (think Heraclitus, and the fact that he considered himself a "posthumous philosopher," or a "philosopher of the future," or being "untimely." Schopenhauer, for example is a very clear writer. You may have to read him over a few times if you attention and comprehension skills are lacking, but there is no vagueness there. And once you've understood him...well, you've understood him. You can place him alongside other 19 century philosophers. It's like the phenomena in scary movies where you're really scared in the beginning because the monster is in the shadows and you don't quite see what he's like. When you finally see him, however big or monstrous he may be, your mind goes into calculation mode. You understand him. You can now think about how to destroy him, even if its difficult. Similarly, N stays beyond grasp by sticking to the shadows. He also stays relevant in that way.
I don't want to say that he presents himself as a sort of inkblot into which anyone can see himself, because there's clearly things he's getting across (and not other things), but something like that...
I thought about this more. Say you have an enemy/equal that exhibits character traits you don't like. There are no other people that you feel contempt for that have this character trait. What then? What's he saying?
By coupling it in with using a person of lower social status as the inspiration for change, it seems as if one is almost saying to themselves, "I don't want to be like him because he is lower than me and that would make me lower." It seems like it is more about bolstering your sense of superiority rather than actually adhering to a set of ideals that you look at as objectively the best. It almost seems as if he is promoting a huge ego rather than anything outside of promoting that. Alright, so the only other person in existence that has that undesired character trait is your enemy (or some other equal), what then? Do you simply not have the inspiration needed to truly change? Again, it seems as if this is more about a sense of superiority rather than an actual scale, subjective or not.
>>7688268 This is how Nietzsche understands genuine philosophers. This is also how he thinks the ancient Greeks (the original gangsters thought about it, too.) I think he's right on both points, but it's not like we're talking about water being h2o here. There's no fact of the matter. In fact, he goes on to suggest that every genuine philosopher redefines what it means to be a genuine philosopher (apart from attempting to give shape to his marble by creating a world-view).
>>7688256 Well, look. N thinks Rank is necessary for a healthy society. Where rank is demolished, like in democracies, then there's a leveling down of people. I can point you to studies I've seen (Cracked cited one, don't laugh) were consumers were much more likely to buy a beer if it was next to another cheaper beer, but unlikely to buy the same beer if it was the cheapest on the list. There seems to be something to this.
Where there's rank, there's people striving towards the top. Where there's no rank, and in fact where there's disdain of rank, combined with what N calls "slave morality," there's people striving towards the bottom, towards meekness (for how else shall we inherit the earth?)
Man, I wish you hadn't shared a piece of information that shows that you aren't my Straussian professor. I would have liked to imagine this mild-mannered old man calling strangers on the internets faggots and jacking off to anime girls in his spare time.
I get the point, not to be a stickler but people tend to hate bad movies when they break their sense of immersion because they are reminded that it is false and escapism. Maybe that is the more common reason why people hate subjective values once they realize they are subjective and not because they were created by other humans, that they are essentially made up.
>>7688305 Well, ok. This may be a long story, but I'll tell you what I got. N's places and contrasts his image of the philosopher next to Plato's. As I said above, Plato is ALWAYS in the background.
Plato defines the philosopher in the Symposium (among other places, but this is crucial) as someone who seeks wisdom because they lack wisdom. Why would you seek wisdom even if you lacked wisdom, you may ask? I mean, you lack plenty of things, and you probably don't seek most of them out. You may lack AIDS and not seek that out. Well, Plato reasons that wisdom is knowledge of something, viz., knowledge of the forms, and specifically knowledge of the Good (take note of the capital G there). I don't know how to say what follows quickly, so I'll skip this next part and simply say that simply sexual passion (for beautiful little boy buttholes) becomes sublimated into love of beauty itself, and the good is the beautiful.
That's your incentive to strive after wisdom. It begins with instincts, the sexual drive which is sublimated (or fetishized may be a better term, if only because its more crude) into a seeking after pure knowledge. Not everyone is capable of this next level sublimation business. Only the philosopher is. There is rank among perspectives, and the philosopher ranks highest for this reason.
Anyway, as I said above, Plato thinks that you can only philosophize out of need, out of LACK.
>>7688320 No fact about the top. The top and bottom, rank itself is created by the philosopher. Think of Socrates. Before he successfully molded Athens and the west to his wishes, he was on the bottom of their ranking. He was poor, ugly, he talked a lot, etc, etc. After he convinced them of his world-view (the trojan horse which contains his new rank order, his new VALUES), he was ranked highest. They went from considering the rich, beautiful, strong, powerful as the noble man, to considering the weak, ascetic seeker of knowledge the noble man. Boom! New rank created.
>>7688347 And obviously not just by the philosopher. N thinks that religious founders are also responsible for this. Think of the rank that Moses instituted among his people. Or the rank that Mohammad created. In any case, there is a top, and there is a bottom, and someone who grows up in this society who is inculcated with this rank will want to strive upwards towards their top. But if you have a society in which the weak, impoverished, the suffering, the oppressed are put on top of the chain (and there's many reasons why they may give for why things should be this way), well, if you see this "objectively" they too are striving upwards, but to someone like Nietzsche who has a different rank order, one which puts strength, power, etc., on top, their top is the absolute bottom.
>>7688353 What would you say to a modern person who believes that there is no top or bottom, that someone being more rich or more powerful than another person makes them just that, more rich or powerful, but that fundamentally/generally, people are equal?
Sure and that's fine, but what's his scale? If he doesn't have one, then it seems like he's just generally advocating the promotion of a person's perception of himself as superior regardless of a hierarchy, his own personal sense of desirability, or whatever the prevailing hierarchy "asks" for. It doesn't seem like it's the last one because it sounds like he's actively opposed certain types of ideology, so he must have some scale of desirability.
If he doesn't it's the second (personal sense of desirability), but it seems like he was really focused on a ranked society and society in general so there must be some ideal he thought was the best.
If it's the first thing, which is kind of what it would default to, than I'm really not interested in Nietzsche because then he sounds like he was full of it.
>>7687914 Different anon from OP, also very familiar with Strauss, and I know several "Straussians" in academia. Certain Straussians might well be neo-cons, but Strauss's work doesn't have nearly as much influence as anyone (including the several students of his who are neocons) would think.
Strauss's students are split in pretty big ways, and barely agree on anything (which is good in its own way). Mind, they're very polite to each other about their enormous disagreements.
So, Plato captures this thought about philosophers in the following phrase:
Gods don't philosophize.
And of course they don't. They ahve wisdom. Why would they SEEK wisdom. Philosophy is the SEEKING of wisdom, and only one who lacks wisdom would seek it.
Nietzsche reinvents the image of the philosopher by talking about "the overflowing cup." In other words, philosophizing out of an overabundance of wisdom, not out of a lack. And think about what Zarathustra says in the first section of that book. I AM THE CUP THAT WANTS TO OVERFLOW (after having said that the cup is full of his "honey wisdom"--and feel free to be edgy and insert freudian point here). What does the philosopher, the cup overfull of wisdom overflow INTO? Well, empty cups. Human beings. Those to whom Zarathustra goes to. And it's not everybody. That's the mistake that Z first makes. He speaks to the marketplace, i.e., he publishes a book or something, and that's the wrong audience. And so he picks and chooses his disciples carefully...
We would still need to talk about incentive here, and Nietzsche does not think that philosophy begins with the desire to to buttfuck little boys becoming sublimated into something else, though he does think that there is an instinct/drive (wtp as you called it) that's behind it. This is all very stuffy sounding, however. To make it clearer, I could only compare the incentive to philosophize as Nietzsche defines it to the desire of a sculptor to take his hammer to the marble. It's not FOR the marble. The philosopher is fundamentally selfish in his endeavor. Look at what he says:
"Oh you human beings, in the stone sleeps an image, the image of my images!"
>>7688379 Perhaps that it's innate/instinctual? I have read almost none of Nietzsche's works, but it would make sense from an evolutionary biological perspective. Your worth only exists relative to that of others, hence why you instinctually/unconsciously look at others when evaluating yourself.
>>7688379 >Shouldn't you just identify what you want to work on to raise yourself upward? Not sure I follow. It's the fundamentally enlightenment idea that people can figure out what they want, what's best for them, place them in some kind of rank order, and then figure out how to get the best deal. It's this thought that lies behind democracy. It's also this thought that Nietzsche and reality rejects.
As I've said a couple times already, Nietzsche is not providing general principles. He's speaking to the game creator, not the ones who play the game. The players are incapable of ruling themselves, of knowing what to do with themselves. They needs answers.needs an easy to understand road map for life and also some ways of knowing that they're doing good, and better, or worse. The rank has to be in the system, because--the thought goes--they can't find it in themselves. Only the game-makers can do that.
>>7688397 >Not sure I follow. I think his reasoning is that people can use their reason to identify what is good and what is bad and then strive toward the good and and away from the bad. This would not require taking anyone else into consideration.
>>7688408 Hey man, Nietzsche's eliticism is pretty off-putting to people who've been taught to be modest. I can't help but feel it, too, even after having basically become Don Quixote pouring over his books.
[edge]But like he says, modesty is like the worm who shrivels up so as to make for a smaller target.[/edge]
Yeah, this is what I was getting at, but it sounds like this is just what Nietzsche is advocating to the "players" of the game in improving themselves, using a pathos of distance, a person held in contempt, as the easiest way to better themselves.
>One needs what he otherwise calls a "pathos of distance." This is the only mechanism by means of which one can overcome some aspect of oneself. For example, you see someone you have contempt for, and you notice that you embody similar virtues as him. The contempt you have for them make you want to rid yourself of virtues that they have. This leads to self-overcoming.
>>7688419 As a curiosity [and my gf is coming over soon so I may leave abruptly in a few minutes] look at what Z says in the fifth section of the prologue. He defines the last man as the man without contempt (because he's at the bottom.) Having come to teach the overman (striving upwards towards his own goal), he tries to get people in the marketplace to have contempt for the last man. He speaks ill of the last man, and if he can succeed in getting them to have contempt for him [who they themselves are in part], then they will no longer be without contempt; they will no longer be on the bottom, so to speak. They will have been elevated...capable of looking down on someone (someone they once were...self-overcoming).
>>7688419 What about this scenario: I am a hedonist. I am also lazy. I think that I could experience more pleasure in the long term by undergoing discomfort in the short term. I "self-overcome" by forcing myself to work, using pleasure as the incentive.
This seems like another method by which you could overcome some aspect of yourself.
I want you guys, if you have the time, to read Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus. There you will see a clear people creator. He sets into place institutions, laws, customs...all of them so as to create the kind of human being that he thinks is best: the badass motherfucking warrior. And he succeeds. But then, what praise can we really give to Leonidas? What did he really do? He only won the game that Lycurgus created.
After having read this, read the chapter from Zarathustra entitled On Great Events.
>>7688479 I think he might be trying to say that Nietzsche ultimately doesn't think that striving upwards within someone else's system is good, but that one should/does instinctually try to make oneself the ideal and form the system around oneself.
>>7688468 that is where many, if not all, philosophers start; by writing about previous philosophers. Deleuze, for example, began his philosophical career with books about Kant, Nietzsche, Hume and Bergson.
>>7688374 I'm a huge fan of him. He and his students are among the most eccentric, and their commentaries the most difficult for well-established scholars to work through. He was apparently a favorite if not *the* favorite of Strauss (there's of course argument over that). Why do you ask?
I'm pretty far down in the spectrum of being well-read in philosophy and it's comprehension (mostly just second hand interpretations)
But what hope is there for the marble, the game player living in North America today?
I see and feel the flatness of our cultural landscape and the lack of clear direction for how to live one's life has driven me to the brink a handful of times. Your description of this "reverse rank" democracy we live in makes a lot of sense.
But wtf does it mean for us now? Are we supposed to just squabble away in futility and endless doubt? Is there even any point to defining our own existence? Or do we really all just need some big guiding hand to show us the way in order to really feel secure and happy and justified?
As someone who knows fuckall about any sort of philosophy, just reading what you've referenced and put forth in thought, Nietzsche seems to be pretty sound in his "logics." Have you found anything that you disagree with him on, or think that he may have been wrong to delineate?
I just stumbled upon this thread. Excuse me for saying my uncultured opinion but I am from eastern Europe, a place that. american people praise for it's "traditional" values. Yes, there is a very well defined path to success, but I fail to see how thats is better than having no path for 2 reasons:
1. If you are not good at following that path you will have a very miserable life. For example, if you aren't married at 25 you are shamed by everyone, and gradually people stop contacting you all together. At that point you are forever a loser in that society 2.That path is shit. I guess it's similar to america in this regard, in the sense that money rules over everything, if you have money you own people, you have more honor, you are seen as smart. We have 0 meaningful scientifically research and the school pumps up idiots because no one wants to go into academics since it doesn't pay good.
Holy fucking shit OP thanks for making this board great again (momentarily).
I have a stupid question that has probably already been answered though. What's to stop people from just deciding for themselves what they should value? Or is it impossible / too difficult to get outside the boundaries created by our upbringing, so we can't actually escape.
Also if OP returns, I really want to know if you've read The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. I think it does a great job of articulating the general existentialist dilemma, along with presenting very valid reasons for why the instinct to conform is so strong.
>>7687729 Holy shit. Excellent thread, OP. I do have a question, if you ever come back to the thread:
So, do you, in considering Nietzsche's manner of writing, ever wonder if there is some exoteric purpose to the "surface" of his texts for the many? You've already pointed to his trying to effect the "sculptors", and that gets as his esoteric purpose, but what of his exoteric one? I haven't been able to make sense of it to myself, but just as in the way that Plato's dialogues have a meaning for the many and a meaning for philosophers (and perhaps several other parties), I've been having the damndest time satisfying myself with respect to Nietzsche's other audiences.
>>7688541 not OP. but he vehemently rejected it. however you must understand how he defined nihilism. one of the ways he defined it was to give up your will as a free agent to another. in particular he used the church as an example often. which is why he is so consistently shit on. his idea, the will to power, is that each man has a particular idea of beauty and it is his duty, his road to happiness to impress this idea of beauty on the world. to make the world as the man imagines it to be best then wills it to be so.
his examples of following the church as nihilism was because it instructs men to deny their will and to give it over to another, such that they never truely impress their will upon the world.
>>7688571 I've wondered if he anticipated the contrarian, superficial reading of him by psuedointellectuals that influenced the last century's accelerated decline into cultural nihilism, in effect tilling the soil that would allow his seed to germinate.(not op)
Nietzsche is a Satanist. His teaching amounts to: worship your own will. He says that there is no truth, which is to say that there is no God and no Law; which is to say that you are your own God and your own Law in your own universe.
Thankfully, God made Nietzsche spend the last 10 years of his miserable life as a madman, to warn posterity where his ramblings lead.
I actually tried to be a Nietzschean. I experienced "amor fati", which is a pantheistic love for the whole world. Then I realised that evil exists and I cannot love it. Talk all you want about loving evil and violence and passion, etc. You go to an altar and sacrifice children to the devil. That's the evil in the world. Once you love that, you can't love anything good anymore. Good and evil cannot be worshipped side by side. Pantheism doesn't work. You can love "evil" when it's an abstract idea, but when you are close to it and realise what it actually is it's different. There's an evil in this world that has to be absolutely abhorred.
All of Nietzsche's actual philosophy/metaphysics is just a rehash of ancient sophistry. Everything else is German romanticism/pantheism, with a Satanic bent.
Honestly, Nietzsche is just a watered down Hindu, like Schopenhauer is a watered down Buddhist. Nietzsche's "Dionysian" worship has been practiced for thousands of years by Hindus that worship Kali.
>>7690723 That's actually precisely why I asked. Exoteric writers usually write for several audiences, and at least in Plato's case, one can say that the superficial reading won't make the readers worse people (by some value of worse). With Nietzsche, I can't help but wonder if there's not some intention to the usual fedora tipping reading of him; the reading that emphasizes the "strongman" vision of the ubermensch, and that focuses too much on the "power" part of "will to power". So, *my* assumption is that his audience consists at least of 1) philosophers, 2) those who imagine themselves to be great (and yet who aren't because they're not philosophers), 3) those who will dismiss him out of hand.
That third set is easy to see; simply anyone who dismisses him either for his positions RE; Christianity, science, whatever. That second group, however, is pretty broad. One thing I've wondered about OP's take is the idea that it would be the sculptors who receive Nietzsche's message. Philosophic "types" are few and rare, but there's still that large group that will read N. and neither become philosophers, nor dismiss him out of hand (while young, anyway). My own suspicion is that he harbors much greater sympathies with the ancients (especially Plato) then he lets on. I've posted these two passages from his notebooks before, but I always find them relevant to this subject:
"It is today necessary to speak temporarily in a coarse manner and to act coarsely. What is fine and concealed is no longer understood, not even by those who are related to us. That of which one does not speak loudly and cry out, is not there."
"To speak much of oneself is also a way of hiding oneself."
>>7690834 ive come to a similar realization about evil, mainly by watching isis snuff videos. you like to think theres an aesthetic to it- like some horrific abyss looking back ar you, embracing the blood god, consumed by power etc- but all it is is nothing. watching innocent children get lined up in a ditch and shot in the head doesn't even make you feel anything, much less a fear or incomprehension of some supreme evil. it's like watching security cam footage of the DMV. its so banal even calling it banal is making it more aesthetic and interesting than it really is.
>>7690849 So those passages weigh on my mind when I try to make sense of his position. I suppose an easy (and too simple if done badly) hermeneutic would be to receive his bolder and more self-aggrandizing or self-defining comments with some skepticism. He talks so much about Plato's errors, but then in the only two passages bringing up Dionysus in BG&E links himself to Plato by also being a "flatterer of Dionysus"/being an actor.
So, I wonder if he's actually an ancient, and then, *if* that is at all the case, how to make sense of what he's doing by reeling in a more vicious audience ready to use him for their own conceits.
>>7690785 You're welcome. Real quick while my girl gets dressed, I have another metaphor for western (pluralist) nihilism.
Imagine a football game on a football field. There's the two teams, there's the yard-lines, the end-zone, the Y looking goal thing, as well as the understanding of the rules of the game in all of the players. I know it's a white line on the grass, and not a real barrier, but to them, if you cross it, you committed a foul. Similarly, it's just a chalk line (not a real barrier) that prevents us from fucking our siblings, but to us, crossing it is a real foul.
Now, imagine if I dropped off basketball players in the football field. Then baseball players and some master race soccer players. They will each have a different senses of having "won" the game. For one its a foul to touch the ball with your hand, for another it's the only thing to do with it. For one you must not cross certain lines, and for others the lines aren't there. Your mind may be wandering about where to take this metaphor, and there's many places to take it. Where I'm going with it is this: imagine now if we taught all the players on the field that each one of their games is equally valid. Each of them are right in thinking they have the correct method of winning. Now, imagine the second generation, those born to those players.
What can we expect them to do with their lives? Playing an attempting to win by the rules of one game? Why THAT game? They know it's as valid as the other. And if they do decide to play by the rules of one game and disregard the others, once and if they win, wouldn't there some reservation in the back of their mind? How much pride can they really feel for having won? Truth is, I personally think, that you can no longer choose.
You can get nihilism by eliminating all options as meaningless, but you can also get it on the other end of the spectrum by affirming all options as meaningful.
>>7690859 There is an evil power behind it, it's just that he only seems glamorous when he's far away. When you actually get close to him it's already too late and you are dead inside. This is why people who commit evil have that dead look in their eyes; whereas people who do good have an innocence to their eyes.
So many young people like to flirt with the idea of evil, of "being bad", "going wild". They ought to see just where their flirting with evil leads. They ought to see that the evil they flirt with is ultimately the same evil that has existed for thousands of years and has had mothers willingly sacrificing their own children on altars. Going to a party and getting drunk and fornicating is obviously not the same as human sacrifice, but it's all of the same rebellious spirit. These kids who say things like "I don't care what anyone thinks of me", "I do whatever I want", etc., if they actually took their own words seriously they would have no problem sacrificing babies if it gave them power or pleasure. They literally do not know what spirit they are of, they don't know their right hand from their left.
>What I am afraid of is not the terrible shape behind my chair, but its voice: also not the words, but the horribly unarticulated and inhuman tone of that shape. Yes, if only it spoke as human beings do.
>>7687729 Sorry if this question was already asked.
What are good texts that represent N's thoughts in manner that don't require interpretation. Like Popper's Open Society, where every thought and conclusion is explicitly stated. (Secondary texts are also cool.)
What should I read from N if I just read Sterner and Dostoevsky?
>>7690943 Not OP, but having read all of his published material, I'm not sure that there *is* such a text by Nietzsche? Someone upthread suggested Ecce Homo (maybe it was even OP?), saying something along the lines of how it's the book where Nietzsche presents himself *as* himself (just Ctrl+F until you find whoever was talking about it). I'm not so sure of that, though he does offer helpful hints to his other works (though, to emphasize, they're *hints*).
Maybe read his "Free Spirit" trilogy (Human, All Too Human; The Dawn; The Gay Science) and Beyond Good & Evil.
I suppose if one needed secondary sources that help even if they don't dot all of the "i"s are the studies published by Laurence Lampert and Stanley Rosen. You can also access Leo Strauss's seminar on Beyond Good & Evil here:
>Along these same lines, the overman is a counter-ideal to Socrates.
This is not really correct. The concept of the Übermensch is absolutely replaced and transformed by Zarathustra in Part 2 and 3. The concept of the Übermensch is only mentioned and introduced in the Prologue of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and the rest of the book is Zarathustra coming to a realization that what he said of the Übermensch, as an ideal, as an aspiration, and as a concept within the context of time is NOT what he is supposed to teach. Think of the different models of time that an Übermensch and the eternal return would yield: you'll find a contradiction there. Additionally, think of how Zarathustra acts as a poet and what he thinks of poets: what do they do AND what does he do. In Part 2 - 17. he flat out says that what he said in the beginning was merely to seduce and find disciples, and this includes his postulation and aspiration of the Übermensch. Zarathustra (and by extension N himself) realizes something, and the Übermensch is barely (if at all) mentioned after 1883, and if you look at the notes collected in the KGW or KSA you'll see the development N undergoes.
>>7690882 >Truth is, I personally think, that you can no longer choose. >You can get nihilism by eliminating all options as meaningless, but you can also get it on the other end of the spectrum by affirming all options as meaningful. What does this mean? That there are no players any more but just a crowd looking at corpses? Are there any genuine philosophers today? Can they even exist in today's postmodern culture?
I have been trying to teach N's eternal return which takes up the first chapter of Kundera's Unbearable Lightness while struggling to give examples and metaphors. OP's posts make me understand it for the first time. Thank you man!
>>7688165 I feel that the poison that ultimately destroys civilizations by undermining the source of their collective morality is always there, people like Nietzsche merely diagnose it. It's a powerful and universally effective poison to be sure though.
Have you read Spengler? I wonder if anyone even teaches him anymore.
>>7692051 Not OP, but I somewhat doubt that Nietzsche actually fucked anyone. I recall a story his college friends supposedly told about him, that he visited a brothel with them and was made so incredibly uncomfortable by the scene that he, instead of flirting with the women, sat down and played the piano all night. I choose to believe it.
The only recorded romance he had was with Salome, and it wasn't so much a romance as it was him being a beta orbiter, one which she held in great esteem, but 'just a friend' nonetheless.
Anyways, I don't think there's a philosopher of the 19th century more powerful than Nietzsche. I once listened to part of a christfag criticism of Nietzsche and one line stuck with me: "Nietzsche made philosophy dangerous again, and not just for philosophers."
He really did. Whether he liked it or not, whether he intended it or not, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, numerous anarchist figures and even people like Richard Nixon were directly inspired by his works. Revolutionaries and reactionaries of all colors use and abuse his methods. He's woven into the background of western civilization now in such a way that people don't even think about it.
>>7688515 OP believed in the same noble lie N covertly put forth, as plato did overtly, and won't admit to any inconsistencies or aphorisms inspired by the other great thinkers work because he wants one of the six or seven great men still to come this millennium to see N as god-like and overcome him still.
>>7688543 Nothing you got it, it's only better for OP to practice his indoctrination in the west where anything goes, or he feels better to do it. I think it is slightly better to grow up in the west because there is less time pressure, theoretically you can go bankrupt and start again from scratch if you have the will. You can marry late or not at all, your family will still respect you if you keep a little distance but you have to accept everyone even if they are degenerate fat drug addicts or expect to be outcast for not respecting everyone publicly - especially women this decade.
You just can't have actual friends with people so shallow and socially smug and null as they are over here. So the interactions are only to please some reptile part of the brain that needs to ensure you aren't being hunted.
Nietzsche hates science, and he's right it's just another way to belittle humanity under the stars instead of focusing on our greatness, academics are the same, largely mediocre attempts at truth and unoriginal where it counts.
>>7693488 What exactly does nietzsche mean by science, in general? When I hear science, I think the scientific method as created and codified around 1600 or something and which has stayed with us until today, but that's clearly not what he limits it to.
>>7690965 >>7690992 I'm guessing this is the same person, because your point about the overman is something Lampert has held and written bout.
I'm somewhat in agreement. By that I mean that what you're saying has been my position for a while, but I'm now being drawn to another one. To add credence to your position, you could also say that in the third book, after Z convalesces, he says that he TEACHES eternal return and that he once PROCLAIMED the overman. I guess you could say that as Z draws further away from the marketplace and chooses his audience ever more closely, he abandon talk of the overman and begins teaching the eternal return. The issue with that is that Z goes up the mountain the third time and awaits his "children" so that they can help him (1) complete his half-finished tablets of value, and (2) to carry them down to the people again. Z is not done with the people, consequently he is perhaps not done with the overman, either. It may very well be the case that the overman is something to be taught to the marble, and eternal return something to be taught to his higher men, to his "children" (fellow creators). I'm drawn to this second view.
While you are right in pointing out that the overman begins to fade after the prologue, and he hardly ever mentions it again until 1888 in Ecce Homo, this is not something to be underplayed or brushed aside. He doesn't mention Eternal Return after Z either until ecce homo, with the exception of an ALLUSION here and there.
>>7690943 All texts require interpretation, but in my opinion Twilight of the Idols is pretty clear and covers a lot of what N said elsewhere. I also recommend you looking at "On old and new tablets" from the third book of Zarathustra. That also contains Nietzsche's philosophy in a very boiled down way.
>>7688543 There's going to be winners and losers whenever you have a standard you can live up to or fall short off. If you're saying that you'd rather live somewhere without a standard than to risk failing, then I don't know how to respond to that. I can only say this is the instinct of a loser speaking. It's the same instinct that insists on eliminating standards of beauty because fat slobs don't live up to it.
Lets get rid of standards so as to please losers. Obviously winners and even those who fare well in the existing standard can't be ok with that move. Only the losers have a vested interest.
2. The path can only be considered shit if you're evaluating it by a different path. I've seen this happen in my life and in my country. Often its easy to see among immigrants. The values you get outside the house conflict with the values of the house. The son fights with the father because the son does not have the fathers values. To make the point on a larger scale, let me tell you a story that brought this home for me.
Last summer I left the US to visit the village I'm from. My uncle is a villager. He's got a donkey because he needs to bring home a lot of...grass?...to feed his cow and sheep, etc. He's been like this all his life. His father (my grandfather) was also like this. I left the village for the airport in a cab, and along the way the cab passed him on his way home on the donkey cart. I wanted to take a picture of him, but he put his hand over his face so I wouldn't take a photo. He then called me and asked me not to put it on facebook (I don't have facebook.)
He was ashamed to be seen as a villager. Why? How is that even possible? It happens because he watches TV. He sees life in the west. Cars, wide paved roads, good clothes, bananas and all kinds of fruit in the winter. THAT becomes his standard for a good life, and when he measures his own life with THAT standard, he falls short of it. Similarly, you think your path is shit in your third world shit-hole only because you're measuring it with a western standard. But you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.
>>7693589 Nietzsche thinks that philosophy was handmaiden to theology for a long time, up until the enlightenment. Religion was sovereign, and philosophy and science were its servants. That means that philosophers accepted theological proofs, and their job as philosophers was to prove those theological points. Science, too, whatever that meant during that time was in service to the church.
He's right in this. Descartes, for example, wrote his Meditations because the church sent out word that they wanted a PHILOSOPHICAL proof that the soul is eternal. They needed this because Aristotle had just been introduced into the west, and a lot of christian theologians become Aristotleian. That meant, among other things, that they ceased to believe that the soul lived on after death. The church, consequently, wanted proofs that this was incorrect. Not theological proofs. Philosophical. Hence, look at the subtitle of the Meditations: "in which is demonstrated the existence of God and the immortality of the soul."
Anyway, during/after the enlightenment religion was no longer sovereign, and Nietzsche thinks that philosophy and science were in competition with one another for who would rule. That is to say, they were in competition over which would come to be regarded as the arbiter of truth. Science won, and the worry was that philosophy would now become handmaiden to science, i.e., relegated to a position where it's job is to only clarify concepts for science. That's what it has for the most part become. That is what analytic philosophy is.
>>7694505 Now, Nietzsche identifies science as driven by the blind "will to truth." A scientist, he thinks, is like a mirror in that they attempt to reflect the world as cleanly as possible. To achieve this, they must polish "the mirror:" they must, in other words, rid themselves of as many personal biases as possible. They rid themselves of all personality in fact in order to perform their task (and look at stem kids, and you'll see what I and N means.)
This task, however, is dangerous, N thinks because fiction/lies/falsehood are necessary for life. Science, with its blind will to truth, undermines what is necessary for life. Hence science provides us with a disenchated view of the universe. A universe we cannot possibly live or prosper in. The end result of the scientific world view is a Camus-like attitude. Keep in mind that Camus is a pleb. He was no "game-designer." He simply recognized that the game he was playing, the world-view he was living in (the scientific world-view) lacked meaning.
Religion is driven by a will to annihilation, one that denigrates this life, this world, by inventing another one. Quite literally, the goal is to annihilate the world, to see to its end. To wish for it, and on some subconscious level to bring it about. That was the purpose when religion ruled. It put philosophy and science to its task, and so you saw a lot of philosophers dealing in META-physics, i.e., things beyond experience.
Science by contrast is not ruled by a will to annihilation, but its will to truth is no less dangerous, because as I said, by eliminating "the music" from the world (fictions of meaning, of morals, values) it brings about the will to nothing. You've heard of the phrase "disenchantment of the west." Well, "echant" simply means music. An enchanted world is one that has..."music" in it so to speak. You can "dance" in that world, and of course as N puts it, "those who can't hear the music think the dancers mad."
The point is that only philosophy should rule, he thinks. He is alone next to Plato in this thought, and precisely for the same reason. He is the only one who sees the value and the necessity of fiction. Science does not have delicate enough hands to handle what is truly important for life. It destroys what it gets its hands on with its simplistic (true/false) standards. A philosopher, by which I mean a "genuine philosopher" can and should.
>>7694539 One more thing, because I didn't make this clear. Nietzsche wants philosophy to rule, and for religion and science to be the handmaidens of philosophy. Hence, science would direct scientists to explore somewhere, and forbid them from digging elsewhere. I'm not talking about literally commanding scientists in this way, but to create a mileu in which it happens like this.
Philosophers during the dark-ages were not COERCED into doing metaphysics. They simply internalized religous truths and went about proving them philosophically. Similarly, to say that philosophy should rule, and science and religion be its bitches, means that people subconsciously accept philosophical ideas, and then attempt to prove them scientifically and religiously.
Most people accept the religious truth of free will for instance, and I know plenty of philosophers who have spent their careers trying to establish a proof for it. They themselves don't believe it because of a proof, and they would continue to believe it even if their proof was successfully demolished. Nevertheless, their task in life is to offer a proof. You see what I mean?
The same goes with religion. N does not abolish religion. He simply wants it to be the bitch of philosophy, in the same way that philosophy was the bitch of religion (see bge 61-62 for this point).
>>7694551 >>7694539 >>7694505 And the science he talks about using himself, in very positive terms as I recall, that is the same will to truth (but in Nietzsche restrained by his philosophical wisdom)? Very interesting posts.
I get what you are saying but I think why I am so drawn to the position of Ns abandoning of the Übermensch (but agree only partly with Lampert's interpretion in his book on TSZ) is out of the absolute contradicton of time in relation to the Übermensch and the Eternal return. I agree with you that neither is the eternal return mentioned explicitly however if you look at the Nachlass, the eternal return is really the guiding principle. Morever, I would say that the conception of the Übermensch stems from his conception of history in the Untimely Meditations, and that to me is proof that N overcomes some of the (mis-)conceptions he'd had, which is why basically all of TSZ apart from Pt. 1 is Zs rejection of the Übermensch, which is implicated in Pt. 2 where Z even scorns himself for being "greedy" i.e. withholding (and internally still fighting) with the thought of an eternal return. The Übermensch was only provisory and a seduction to attract disciples.
>>7687930 I think that "living life in a way that if you have to repeat it, you'll always be having fun" (thats the way I read the eternal return) is such a fucking beautiful idea, really. it fills me up with an enormous desire of doing things.
>Religion is driven by a will to annihilation, one that denigrates this life, this world, by inventing another one.
Except that Christianity has its own will to truth, one that has led it into its own denial (see TSZ Pt. 2 - 7.) Religion, or by extension, metaphysics since Plato is absolutely not driven by a will to annihilation, rather the opposite, by creation (see the fable at the beginning of Twilight of the Idols). The admiration N has for priests is something equally to be noted.
>>7694592 Yea, Z II 7 sets up the revenge against time and its "it was" that is further developed in the chapter on Redemption. He rails against their will to equality, and exposes it as another facet of the will to annihiliation. "They speak of life, these poisonous spiders, even though they are sitting in their holes and have turned against life, because they want to do harm." I don't see this other will to truth here. The will to life and the will to nothing seem to be what he's talking about. I think I know what you're talking about though, and though I can't recall exactly where, it has this format (correct me if I'm wrong):
Christianity is a platonism for the people. Plato wrote philosophy, but he also explaiend what he meant through myth (for those who were not rational). Christianity is a religion of plebs, and so they need easy to understand myths. Their fundamental thoughts, however, are Platonists (such as the stuff about the immortality of the soul, an afterlife, the creator god, punishment/reward in the otherlife depending on what you did in this one, etc). The fundamental Platonist though is that Truth=Good. The christians picked up this fundamental idea and substituted "God" for "Good." So, the new christian formula is "Truth=God." To know the truth is thus to know God. Natural Law Theory fits perfectly in here. To know the moral law, which is the will of God and instilled in the nature of things, you have to know nature. Hence, to get closer to God you need to discover the truth. Loving truth for its own sake is fueled by the parallel desire to love God for its own sake. And so this spawned science, the seeking, the will to truth.
The will to truth, however, came across some things that didn't bode well for the church, e.g., that the universe does not revolve around earth, and that--more generally--human beings are just one animal among many, no special. Hurricanes do not happen because gay people have sex. They happen because of natural causes. Hence, the will to truth ends up killing God.
>Plato, the rationalist. Truth=Good Discovering what is TRUE will give you an answer what what is GOOD in life [what is justice, how one ought to live one's life, how one ought to organize a state, etc.] The striving after TRUTH is therefore paramount for living a good life.
>Platonist Christianity Truth=God Discovering what is TRUE will give you an answer to what God wants from us [who to kill, how to immolate ourselves, how to run a state, how to get into heaven, etc.] The striving after TRUTH is paramount for living as God wants us to live.
Notice the difference here. For Plato, it is the will to truth that leads him on. For Christianity, it is the belief in GOD. The will to truth is subservient to the will that invents God. The will that invents God is the will to nothing. The will that despises the here and now, this world. The will that wants to take revenge on this world, the world of becoming.
This means that, to spell it out for others who may be reading this that N thinks Christianity begins the weak, the meek, suffering of this earth gain power by first hating this earth and the fact that there's suffering. Being weak, they cannot digest suffering properly. As revenge on this world, they invent another one. They invent God. Once they believe in God, they understand him through a Platonist lense, and that is when their will to nothingness--the will to self-destruction--takes over and uses the will to truth.
>>7694618 You don't have to worry about translation. None of you do. Even Kaufmann who has taken on a bad rep for making N less political, more liberal, etc., is fine. Any of them will work.
Pick up Ecce Homo first because he creates a framework for his works, and he also fills in some of the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle. You have to read it very carefully though. Pay attention to the distinctions he makes. For instance, he'll say that works from this period to this other period are YES-saying books. These other works are NO-saying books. Once you have the framework, then you can read Nietzsche as he thought of himself.
>>7694569 If that's the case, then what do you think the framework of the end point of the human would be? I mean if constantly overcoming, becoming like the child, is the initial ideal human form one should work towards, what is the "final" version of that by the end of zarathustra?
The more obvious criticism of capitalist democracies is that people associate rank with brands and consumerism. If you drive a Ford F150 you're more man, but if buy apple you're more intelligent. Associates well with idea many ways to "win" in life.
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