category:writer theory grumpy

TODO: Cleanup
h2. See also:
Foucault, James, Weil, Existentialism, Pragmatism, Anti-Foundationalism, Rousseau, Philosophy of Education
h2. Links
* The Nietzsche Channel *

Nietzsche is one of the few thinkers that Nick and Chris can actually have a relatively mutually informed conversation about. He shares more with James than shallow stereotypes might indicate.
Nick says that Nietzsche is one of his intellectual enemies or something—although the good kind of enemy, i.e., the kind that makes you think. (Necessary Enemies)
Chris is fascinated by Nietzsche’s arrogance. This is part of Chris’ general fascination with arrogant people—at least with the ones he can stand. Nick likes Nietzsche for his grandiose aphoristic style (which he compares not unfavorably with that of Simone Weil) and his anti-foundationalism.
Nietzsche can be considered a philosopher of education. See, for example, “On the Use and Abuse of History for Life”, which takes to a whole new level Alfred North Whitehead’s suggestion that one should learn history only insofar as it can better enable you to live your life in the present and the future.
h2. Quotes
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 4 - The falseness of a judgment is not necessarily an objections to a judgment: it is here that our new language perhaps sounds strangest. The question is to what extent is it life-advancing, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-breeding; and our fundamental tendency is to assert that the falsest judgments (to which synthetic judgments a priori belong) are the most indispensable to us, that without granting as true the fictions of logic, without measuring reality against the purely invented world of the unconditioned and self-identical, without a continual falsification of the world by means of numbers, mankind could not live-that to renounce false judgments would be to renounce life, would be to deny life. To recognize untruth as a condition of life: that, to be sure, means to resist customary value-sentiments in a dangerous fashion; and a philosophy which ventures to do so places itself, by that act alone, beyond good and evil.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 3—Behind all logic too and its apparent autonomy there stand evaluations, in plainer terms physiological demands for the preservation of a certain species of life.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 6—The moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy have every time constituted the real germ of life out of which the entire plant has grown.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 10—...ideas by which one could live better, that is to say more vigorously and joyfully, than by modern ideas.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 13 - Physiologists should think again before postulating the drive to self-preservation as the cardinal drive in an organic being. A living thing desires above all to want its strength-life as such is the will to power-: self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent consequences of it.-In short, here as everywhere, beware of superfluous teleological principles!—such is the drive to self-preservation…for this is a requirement of method, which as essentially to be economy of principles.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 16 - There are still harmless self-observers who believe “immediate certainties” exist, for example “I think” or, as was Schopenhauer’s superstition, “I will”: as though knowledge here got hold of its object pure and naked, as “thing in itself”, and no falsification occurred either on the side of the subject or on the side of the object. But I shall reiterate a hundred times that “immediate certainty”, like “absolute knowledge”, and “thing in itself”, contains a contradictio in adjecto: we really ought to get free from the seduction of words!
Let the people believe that knowledge is total knowledge, but the philosopher must say to himself: when I analyze the event expressed in the sentence, “I think,” I acquire a series of rash assumptions which are difficult, perhaps impossible, to prove
-for example, that it is I* who think…
*Beyond Good and Evil
, p. 17 - As for the superstitions of the logicians, I shall never tire of underlining a concrete little fact which these superstitious people are loath to admit-namely, that a thought comes when “it” wants, not when “I” want, so that it is a falsification of the facts to say: the subject “I” is the condition of the predicate “think”...
The inference here is in accordance with the habit of grammar: “thinking is an activity, to every activity pertains one who acts”...
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 288—Successfully posing as more stupid than one is…in everyday life is often as desirable as an umbrella.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 289 - Does one not write books precisely to conceal what lies within us?-indeed (the hermit) will doubt whether a philosopher could have “final and real” opinions at all, whether behind each of his caves there does not and must not live another, deeper cave--a stranger, more comprehensive world behind the surface, an abyss behind every ground, beneath every “foundation.” Every philosophy is a foreground philosophy-that is a hermit’s judgment: “there is something arbitrary in the fact that he stopped, looked back, looked around here, that he stopped digging and laid his spade aside here—there is also something suspicious about it.” Every philosophy also conceals a philosophy; every opinion is also a hiding-place, every word also a mask.
Beyond Good and Evil, p. 279 - Men of profound sorrow give themselves away when they are happy: they have a way of grasping happiness as if they wanted to crush and smother it, from jealousy-alas, they know too well that it will flee away.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 47—Hegel…implanted in the generation thoroughly leavened by him that admiration for the “power of history” which practically at every moment turns into naked admiration for success and leads to the idolatry of the factual.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 48—That a Raphael had to die at the age of thirty-six, for example, is offensive to morality: sucha being ought never to die. If now you want to come to the aid of history, as apologists of the actual, you will say: he expressed all he had to say and given a longer life he would always only have produced beauty as the same beauty, not as new beauty, and things of this sort. Thus you are advocates of the devil, namely by making of success, of fact, your idol: while a fact is always stupid and has at all times resembled a calf more than a god.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, pp. 48-9 - For you may talk of whatever virtue you want, of justice, generosity, courage, of the wisdom and compassion of man-everywhere he is virtuous only because he was outraged by that blind power of facts, by the tyranny of the actual, and subjects himself to laws which are not laws of those fluctuations of history.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 62—Now, is life to rule over knowledge, over science, or is knowledge to rule over life? Which of these two authorities is the higher and decisive one? No one will doubt: life is the hihger, the ruling authority, for any knowledge which destroys life would also have destroyed itself. Knowledge presupposes life and so has the same interest in the preservation of life which every being has in its own continuing existence. {cf. Meme, Cogital}
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 55 - If…doctrines of sovereign becoming, of the fluidity of all concepts, types and kinds, of the lack of any cardinal difference between man and the animal-doctrines which I take to be true but deadly—are flung at the people for one more lifetime in the current mania for education, then let no one be surprised if that people perishes of pettiness and misery, of ossification and selfishness, that is, if to begin with it disintegrates and ceases to be a people…
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 50—...modern man, that great garden spider in the node of the world web…
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, - This origin must itself in turn be historically understood, history must itself dissolve the problem of history, knowledge must turn its sting against itself-this threefold must is the imperative of the spirit of the “new age” if it really does contain something new, might, original and a promise of life.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 40—...when one searches for intellectual problems where one ought to learn to live and forget all problems…
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 37—The genuine historian must have the strength to recast the well known into something never heard before and to proclaim the general so simply and profoundly that one overlooks its simplicity because of its profundity and its profundity because of its simplicity.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, pp. 32-33 - Truly, no one has no more of a right to our respect than he who possesses the drive to and strength to justice. For in it are joined and hidden the highest and rarest virtues as in an unfathomable sea which receives and swallows up rivers from all sides. The hand of the just man who is competent to sit in judgment no longer trembles when it holds the scales; pitiless toward himself he places weight upon weight, he is not downcast when the scales rise or fall and his voice is neither harsh nor broken when he proclaims the verdict. Were he a cold demon of knowledge he would spread about himself an icy atmosphere of superhumanly terrible majesty which we would have to fear, not revere, but that he is a man and attempts to rise from trivial doubt to strict certainty, from tolerant mildness to the imperative “you must”, from the rare virtue of generosity to the rarest of justice, that he now resembles that demon without from the beginning being anything other than a poor man, and above all that he must in himself do penance for his humanity and tragically devours himself through his impossible virtue-all this places him upon a solitary height as the most venerable exemplar of the species man; for he wants truth but not only as cold knowledge without consequences, rather as ordering and punishing judge, truth not as the egoistic possession of the individual but as the sacred justification to shift all boundary markers of egoistic possessions, in a word, truth as the Last Judgment and certainly not as the chance prey and pleasure of the individual hunter.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 28—The war is not yet over and already it has been transformed a hundred thousandfold into printed paper, already it is being served up as a new stimulant for the weary palates of those greedy for history.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 28 - {The critical historian} must have the strength,and use it from time to time, to shatter and dissolve something to enable him to live: this he achieves by dragging it to the bar of judgment, interrogating it meticulously and finally condemning it; every past, however, is worth condemning-for that is how matters happen to stand with human affairs…
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 14—A historical phenomenon clearly and completely understood and reduced to an intellectual phenomenon, is for him who has understood it dead, for in it he has understood the mania, the injustice, the blind passion, and in general the whole earthly darkened horizon of that phenomenon, and just in this he has understood its historical power.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, pp. 10—To determine this degree, and through it the limit beyond which the past must be forgotten if it is not to become the gravedigger of the present, one would have to know precisely how great the plastic power of a man, a people or a culture is. I mean the power distinctively to grow out of itself. There are men who have this power to so small a degree that they will incurably bleed to death over a single experience, a single pain, frequently over a single delicate injustice, as from quite a small bleeding laceration. On the other hand there are those who are affected so little by the wildest and most gruesome calamities of life and even by their malicious acts, that in midst of them or shortly thereafter they achieve a tolerable degree of well-being and a kind of clear conscience.
Nietzsche, On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life, p. 9 - And yet the child’s play must be disturbed: only too soon will it be called out of its forgetfulness. Then it comes to understand the phrase “it was”, that password with which struggle, suffering and boredom approach man to remind him what his existence basically is-a never to be completed imperfect tense. And when death finally brings longed-for forgetfulness it also robs him of the present and of existence and impresses its seal on his knowledge: that existence is only an uninterrupted having-been, a thing which lives by denying itself, consuming itself, and contradicting itself.
h2. Works
* Beyond Good and Evil * On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life