Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

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How do you rate Beyond Good and Evil?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
6
15%
2 stars - okay, fair
4
10%
3 stars - good, recommend it
11
27%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
20
49%
 
Total votes : 41

Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#31  Postby Rayliikanen » June 5th, 2013, 1:51 pm

Husserl: I'll chalk that one up on my reading list.

In the opening of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche attacks Kant's critical philosophy, picking out the question "how are synthetic cognitions a priori possible,' but Nietzsche fails to give an explanation of what Kant was getting at with this question. The question is actually an attack by Kant himself against traditional metaphysics. It reflects Kant's demand for the kind of a priori certainty found in mathematics or natural philosophy (physics)--which is why he undertook his investigations into those fields. Kant wanted the same for metaphysics: judgments that are universally, and objectively valid; as opposed to judgments (like the traditional systems of metaphysics) founded on a posteriori reasoning. Nietzsche likely would have launched his attack regardless, even if he had understood Kant, but it would have helped further his argument against what he regards the pretentious (childish) aims of metaphysicians, if he had a better grasp of Kant. Kant's response to Nietzsche would be that Nietzsche launches an attack against something that does not yet exist. As Kant states in his critical philosophy: "It [metaphysics] cannot exist unless the demands here stated on which its possibility depends be satisfied; and, as this has never been done, that here is, as yet, no such thing as metaphysics." Nietzsche, in other words, is throwing his punches at a ghost. That might be an appropriate description of metaphysics from the point of view of those who have no use for it. But it's all too easy to attack something if the questions it seeks rational answers for are thought to be beyond the sphere of what can be humanly understood. This is a skeptical, negative mindset however, and an understandable one; but the attack of Nietzsche against Kant sounds more like a not too well orchestrated rant rather than a methodical, well rounded and justifiable critique. Nietzsche's style is more akin to throwing everything that one can grab at the wall to see what sticks. The result is a hodgepodge of ideas that are confused together and made into a tasteless, ill-thought out stew.

Just the sort of thing anti-philosophers and anti-metaphysicians like to chew on.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil



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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#32  Postby Hereandnow » June 6th, 2013, 11:04 am

You really think Nietzsche didn't understand Kant? No, I think he understood him very well. Kant was certainly was not endorsing the arbitrarity of metaphysics, but he was a rationalist through and through. The Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals puts ethics in a straight jacket of duty. What could be farther from Nietzsche's transvaluation of morals? Nietzsche always ranted and philosophized with a hammer. The poitn was to present a philosophy that bore the virtues of its content. Kant the rationalist, intensely demanding intellectually, but little in the way of style and aesthetics. Nietzsche the irrationalist, raging and brilliant. Socrates, the hyperrational bore; Neitzsche is Thrasymechus; he is Cephalus, Odysseus. These ubemensches wil spit on your shield, draw a bow and down an eagle. He understood Kant's perversion very well. (Of course, I like Kant. Just getting in character.)
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#33  Postby Rayliikanen » June 6th, 2013, 2:05 pm

Hereandnow:

The comparisons are appropriate. But I see a difference between philosophy and Nietzsche's ranting insults directed at philosophical ideas that have been around for centuries; he's too much with the hammer--should be sledgehammer, or bulldozer. What I would have preferred on his part is something that showed he truly understood what Kant meant by synthetic cognitions a priori and why Kant thought the question so crucial to metaphysics. Is there anything in Nietzsche that actually shows this? I can't find it.

If one can't grasp the reason for a question and the driving purpose behind it, how can one attack it fairly and do the questioner justice?

I like rants too, if they're well done. Like Voltaire's "Candide;" or Jonathan Swift's portrayal of the English and their tyranny over the Irish ... in "Gulliver's Travels" and "A Modest Proposal."

Nietzsche uses a bulldozer to plow through what he has no taste for. He's like a customer who sits down at a table at a restaurant, gets served a meal he doesn't appreciate, and then goes into the kitchen and throws the plate at the chef.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#34  Postby Hereandnow » June 11th, 2013, 9:55 pm

Rayliikanen

Granted, his lack of formal presentation (though The Birth of Tragedy is more along this line) can be off putting. As to the synthetic apriori conditions of experience, I would haveto look to where and if he goes into this, but I can imagine what he would say. So what! It's an idea only a rationalist would love. It would defeat his purpose to play the clinical philosopher. In fact, it is this kind of thing he wants us to be free of. Kant's space, for example, is an attempt to rationallly circumscribe the experience. He is all about revealing the rationality of our experiences. Nietzsche asks, is this what we are about? Are we antiseptic intellectuals? No, we're living, struggling and overcoming denizens in a world of power. He might look to Hume: If it were up to reason, the entire human race could be wiped out without blinking a proverbial eye. Kant wants to take us away from the the very world Nietzsche wants to celebrate. Causality is one of those synthetic apriori cases. But as a founder of existential and postmodern thinking, he would say this is only a part of a peverse phlosophical agenda to support the thesis that humans and all their endeavors are rational. And the hammer strikes!
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#35  Postby Rayliikanen » June 11th, 2013, 11:29 pm

Hereandnow:

Kant I'm sure rubbed Neitzsche the wrong way. This is abundantly clear in Beyond Good and Evil. I'm going through it again on the free version on an internet site. I've only managed to read the first couple of chapters. I'll plow my way through the remainder, because there are some things that make the plowing worthwhile. To some extent, Neitzsche's offers something different from the tediousness of Kant's critical philosophy. I understand Kant from a different perspective to that put forth by Neitzsche. I'm more forgiving. I don't see a perverse philosophical agenda, only someone wanting a more rational approach than the approach shown by such philosophers/metaphysicians as Berkeley and Descartes.

I think Kant was concerned with the human condition, and our struggles in a world of power, but Kant was not Nietzsche. Nietzsche goes too far in his negative depiction of Kant. I wouldn't say that Kant wants to take us away from the world that we should celebrate, only that he wants us to understand it more fully, and to the best of our rational abilities. The thesis I would assert, having read Kant more extensively than Nietzsche is that human endeavors can never in all their totality ever be rationalized. Wouldn't that be the same as rationalizing genocide, wars, and the dropping of Atomic bombs, or turning human beings into zombie mass killing machines--yours is not to reason why yours is but to do or die? This defies reason and rationality. We are not antiseptic intellectuals ... no we are living, struggling and overcoming denizens in a world of power, that's true. And I think Kant would have agreed.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#36  Postby EMTe » June 13th, 2013, 6:08 pm

Nietzsche can be considered true father of transhumanism as he hinted (being sort of "natural" philosopher he was probably unaware of some things he hints at) that "problems" people have with themselves have roots not in the language we use, not in various misunderstandings what is true, lawful or right, but simply because we are humans. In this he was even ahead of Wittgenstein who still desperately tried to find some sense in all this, but even he was unable to do that. You can't truly understand language using language and similarly, you can't truly understand human being a human. Being "beyond" or "uber" (commonly misunderstood as one human being over /uber/ another human) depicts certain "state of body and mind" when human is no longer a human. Most likely a machine, since Nietzsche lived in the age of rapidly progressing technology, so he might have been influenced by the world changing around him.

Nietzsche was ill and he probably felt that the darkness is coming to take him. Probably this explains "ranting insults". He battled his illness in fact, not the philosophy itself. Please be aware of that and don't judge him so harshly.

There's a great short book about Nietzsche written by his friend, Franz Overbeck, theologian from Basel, which sheds some light on Nietzsche's complex personality and his advancing madness. It is written by a VERY cool-minded person, so it is critical, but also full of compassion as it is written by a close friend. I don't know if it is widely known, even among you, philosophers, but I can recommend it to you.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#37  Postby Rayliikanen » June 14th, 2013, 12:58 am

There seem to be indications of his illness in Beyond Good And Evil, but I'm not a psychoanalyst, just someone who sees something between the lines. I'll try and get the book from Overbeck.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#38  Postby EMTe » June 14th, 2013, 5:31 am

You can also dig through Nietzsche's letters if you wish. They're far more interesting than his books.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#39  Postby Rayliikanen » June 14th, 2013, 1:13 pm

So I know exactly where I'll be going when I visit Lawrence Books (a used bookstore in Vancouver) next time. The philosophy section, to see if there's anything on Nietzsche. I'll bet I can find a used Beyond Good and Evil. Maybe the one I sold them 15-20 years ago. And anything else I can get my hands on.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#40  Postby Hereandnow » June 16th, 2013, 11:55 pm

Rayliikanen, EMTe

To like Niezsche, you have to know that he is responding to the times, the entire history of philosophy stood on the brink of collapse, he thought. Hiedegger got this from him.

Yes, Nietzsche ws very sick, and it was not just one affiction: the headache's, stomach disorders, diphtheria, dysentery, etc. And he finally went mad ten years before his death. But his was a crusade to end the centuries of Christendom with a new and legitimate concept of what a human being was. Enough of this Platonic/Christian thinking that there was a human rational soul; we need to be here, in this world, not in the beyond. No, Kant wa not very interested in promoting the virtues of the empirical reality. This was a false reality, a pseudo reality. The real one was some transcendental hyperrational Being that we cannot access here. The best we can do is follow its rules, which issue from us, our rational centered Transcendental Unity of Apperception. We should never ally ourselves to the perversions of desire in the perceivable world. niezsche boldly announced that this was absolute nonsense. His ranting was meant to illustrate his departure from rationalism and an affirmation of a new ethic based on power, style, art,e tc.


N's illness may have brought him to his revolutionary thinking, but was he right? Are we really rational souls? N. thought this was an abstraction: to glorify a small part of the full breadth of experience. Ulysses, now there was a man. N. loved the Greeks.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#41  Postby Rayliikanen » June 18th, 2013, 12:51 am

I've picked up a copy of Will to Power, The Birth of Tragedy, Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols; finished reading Crane Brinton's "Nietzsche," which was enlightening. Brinton is not altogether in agreement with Nietzsche but he does him justice. He defends Nietzsche against those who try to associate his philosophy with Nazism and anti-Semiticism, I'm plowing through "The Anti-Christ," right now, and I find the writing more coherent and easy reading than "Beyond Good and Evil." This must sound strange, or even false, coming from someone who professes to be a Christian (note that I say 'profess' to be a Christian--by which I mean someone who believes Christ and his teaching) but I'm enjoying "The Anti-Christ." I couldn't give a hoot what other Christians might have to say about it. Nietzsche is right. There are no Christians in the true sense. The only real one died on the cross. Those who profess to be Christians are poor imitators that usually only give Christ a bad report. Unfortunately, Nietzsche, the hammer, lacks the power to smash my faith and belief and understanding in Christ. I see no signs of any mental illness in "The Anti-Christ." It compares in certain respects to Richard Dawkin's "The God Delusion," which I also enjoyed reading. I however, disagreed with many of Dawkins's arguments, just as I do with Nietzsche, but I give the upper hand for persuasive arguments against Christianity to Nietzsche.

Perhaps my disbelief in organized religion helps me keep with an open mind willing to entertain what some would call heresy. I profess no allegiance to any organized religion and see much more value in philosophy, including those philosophies I disagree with, than any organized form of religion.

This post might sound like a complete turnaround to what I've posted above. But then, this is the first time I've read "The Anti-Christ." I still think "The Will to Power" and "Beyond Good and Evil," read more like preparatory exercises, and notes, that point to the way to some uncompleted work that Nietzsche might have had in mind, but just couldn't get around to. I have to push myself to plow through them. I'm reading "The Anti-Christ" with the same speed with which I read Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." Have to get back to it.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#42  Postby EMTe » June 18th, 2013, 6:24 pm

Rayliikanen wrote:This post might sound like a complete turnaround to what I've posted above.

Once you learn how to post something and then contradict your own words in another post or under different nick you'll reach the higher level in The Game. :wink:
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#43  Postby Rayliikanen » June 18th, 2013, 6:57 pm

EmTe:

Self-contradiction is a sign of enlightenment, or else paranoia. I think it's the former. I don't have a shrink, and don't believe in them, but a shrink might think the latter.

I've finished reading "The Antichrist." Nietzsche waits until his last two or three paragraphs to unleash all of his hatred at Christianity. I don't blame him for launching such an assault if directed at the depraved Catholic Church's version of Christianity. The Catholic Church, that Nietzsche denounces, grew strong mainly through the crusades, hiring mercenaries out for gain, slaughtering whole populations of villages on their way to Jerusalem to oust Saladin. The Popes knew how much there was to gain from plunder in the name of God Fortunately, most of these poor miserable and misguided dupes died in misery from starvation and disease on their trek to regain the holy land and what remained by the time they reached their destination Saladin put a merciful end to.

Christians need to be embarrassed and more denunciatory toward this depravity on the part of the Popes; but unfortunately history never teaches us anything except that history repeats itself. Now we have other forms of depravity with pedophile bishops and priests, and the public still doesn't raise enough of an outcry. And what has the new Pope to say about such things? Silence!!!

I'm borrowing from Nietzsche's stockpile of leftover exclamation marks.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#44  Postby EMTe » June 19th, 2013, 4:59 pm

Rayliikanen wrote:Self-contradiction is a sign of enlightenment, or else paranoia. I think it's the former.

I do not agree. It's none of them. Lack of self-contradiction proves that people care more about building their webforums profiles than about digging for various truths.

What should matter on forum like this one are posts, not the users. Work of art must be separated from the artist and put into the limelight, naked.
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Re: Discuss Beyond Good and Evil

Post Number:#45  Postby Rayliikanen » June 19th, 2013, 6:26 pm

Emte:

I think "Will to Power" is much more powerful than "Beyond Good and Evil." The one deficiency is that it was written in the 19th century, and were Nietzsche around now, there would be much more for him to look into to boost his argument: Rampant religious cults/devastation of the natural environment in pursuit of Power through Wealth and Economic Greed; and ethnic cleansing--Serbia and Croatia, then Tutsis and Hutus, Pol Pot etc. I am wondering what a Neitzsche would have to say about all of this. One thing I saw I highly questioned in "Will to Power" is Neitzsche pointing to Napoleon as an example of strength--a Will to Power ... in contrast to his association of Christianity/faith to weakness, and an epileptic paranoia that saps the strength from society. This is heavy stuff. As a Christian (with no profession to any religion, for I see in them some of that weakness that Nietzsche saw) it is devastating, but unfortunately, not fatal.

I will not submit/convert to Nietzsche's vision. There are arguments from both sides. The one great flaw in both "Beyond Good and Evil," and "Will to Power" is the ambiguity. Nietzsche leaves himself too open to attacks on the parts of those who would like to rip into him because of his (only apparent) contradictions. I'm reading him to see where he covers up and explains those contradictions. It will take some time.
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