Nietzsche and Philosophy

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A&C Black, May 10, 2006 - Philosophy - 224 pages
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Gilles Deleuze (1925-1995) was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII. He is a key figure in poststructuralism, and one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century.

Nietzsche and Philosophy has long been recognised as one of the most important accounts of Nietzsche's philosophy, acclaimed for its rare combination of scholarly rigour and imaginative interpretation. Yet this is more than a major work on Nietzsche; the book opened a whole new avenue in post-war thought. Here, Deleuze shows how Nietzsche began a new way of thinking which breaks with the dialectic as a method and escapes the confines of philosophy itself.

Translated by Hugh Tomlinson.

 

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Giles Deleuze (1962, 1983). Friedrich Nietzsche & Philosophy [Hugh Tomlinson, Translator]. Columbia University Press: New York. 221 pages.
This book appears to be from the school of what I term
‘Zarathustra’s disciples.’ It was originally published in 1962 as Friedrich Nietzsche & Philosophy by Presses Universitaires de France. Deleuze’s approach is to take as given the coherence of the Nietzsche corpus — and then to expound and expand on what for him is its essential rationality, aesthetic verity, and philosophical pertinence [my words, not his]. The only non-Nietzschean theme is the almost complete avoidance of references to Nietzsche’s life. [ Nietzsche, of course, consistently indicated that for him a philosophy cannot be understood apart from the philosopher — his so called ‘genealogical method’.
I must confess that I was troubled by this book. The last two sections (IV and V) are fundamentally an exegesis on Niietsche’s thinking about Chritianity, the ‹bermensch, the Eternal Recurrence, and the Will to Power. To be sure, he is to be congratulated on making extensive use of the poetry of Zarathustra and the Dionysian Dithyrambs in weaving together his argument, but in the end he is simply a dogged discipline. I experience the same inauthenticity in his explication of Nietzsche as I do when I listen to to Christians refer to the book of Revelation as they declaim about Hell or when I hear or read about conservative Jews using Deuteronomy or Leviticus to justify the ‘Lebensraum’ policies of Israel. I haven’t observed the Islamic Wasabe Mullahs who memorize the entire Quram [before celebrating the death of innocent infidels], but I suspect they too share this blind devotional respect for the text. To call this tunnel-vision effort ‘philosophy’ reminds me very much of Deleuze’s braying of Zarathustra’s asses that Deleuze purports to analyze.
Nevertheless, having provided my caveats, I find several meritorious features in the book. First, I very much like his per se analysis of ressentiment in the initial portions of section IV. According to Deleuze, ressentiment is marked by a passivity which does not actually address or honestly attack the source of pain and object of ressentiment. While the these ideals have multiple applications, i could not help but think of the hate spewed out by the American ‘religious right.’ I also meditated on my own inactions in these days of rampant ideology infused with (cheap) patriotism and shallow politics. However, Deleuze makes a fundamental error is asserting that ‘aggression’ [seen by Nietzsche and Deleuze as positive] and ‘ressentiment’ [seen by Nietzsche and Deleuze as negative] are two radically different activities. The basic problem seems to be that Deleuze does not know how to apply the Nietzschean methods to Nietzsche’s or to his own work.
Lon Clay Hill [lonclayhill@googlemail.com]
 

Contents

The Tragic
1
Sense
3
The Philosophy of the Will
6
Against the Dialectic
8
The Problem of Tragedy
10
Nietzsches Evolution
12
Dionysus and Christ
14
The Essence of the Tragic
16
Realisation of Critique
85
Nietzsche and Kant from the Point of View of Consequences
87
The Concept of Truth
88
Knowledge Morality and Religion
91
Thought and Life
93
Art
95
New Image of Thought
96
From Ressentiment to the Bad Conscience
104

The Problem of Existence
18
Existence and Innocence
21
The Dicethrow
23
Consequences for the Eternal Return
26
Nietzsches Symbolism
27
Nietzsche and Mallarme
30
Tragic Thought
32
The Touchstone
34
Active and Reactive
36
The Distinction of Forces
37
Quantity and Quality
39
Nietzsche and Science
41
as cosmological
43
What is the Will to Power?
46
Nietzsches Terminology
48
Origin and Inverted Image
51
The Problem of the Measure of Forces
54
Hierarchy
55
Will to Power and Feeling of Power
57
The BecomingReactive of Forces
59
Ambivalence of Sense and of Values
61
as ethical
63
The Problem of the Eternal Return
66
Critique
68
The Form of the Question in Nietzsche
70
Nietzsches Method
72
Against his Predecessors
74
Against Pessimism and against Schopenhauer
77
Principles for the Philosophy of the Will
78
Plan of The Genealogy of Morals
81
Nietzsche and Kant from the Point of View of Principles
83
Principle of Ressentiment
105
Typology of Ressentiment
107
Characteristics of Ressentiment
109
Is he Good? Is he Evil?
111
The Paralogism
114
the Judaic priest
116
Bad Conscience and Interiority
119
The Problem of Pain
120
The Christian priest
122
Culture Considered from the Prehistoric Point of View
124
Culture Considered from the PostHistoric Point of View
126
Culture Considered from the Historical Point of View
128
Bad Conscience Responsibility Guilt
131
The Ascetic Ideal and the Essence of Religion
133
Triumph of Reactive Forces
135
Against the Dialectic
139
Analysis of Pity
140
God is Dead
144
Against Hegelianism
147
The Avatars of the Dialectic
151
Nietzsche and the Dialectic
153
Theory of the Higher Man
155
Is Man Essentially Reactive?
157
the focal point
161
Affirmation and Negation
165
The Sense of Affirmation
170
Ariadne
175
Dionysus and Zarathustra
179
Conclusion
184
Notes
188
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About the author (2006)

Gilles Deleuze was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII.

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