Nonclassical modern Philosophy Continental philosophy

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the value and objectivity of truth raise considerable problems of interpretation generating an extensive. secondary literature in both continental and analytic philosophy. Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy At the age of. 24 he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel the youngest. individual ever to have held this position but resigned in 1879 because of health problems which. would plague him for most of his life In 1889 he exhibited symptoms of serious mental illness living. out his remaining years in the care of his mother and sister until his death in 1900. Nietzsche s works remain controversial and there is widespread disagreement about their. interpretation and significance Part of the difficulty in interpreting Nietzsche arises from the uniquely. provocative style of his philosophical writing Nietzsche called himself a philosopher of the hammer. and he frequently delivered trenchant critiques of Christianity and of great philosophers like Plato and. Kant in the most offensive and blasphemous terms possible given the context of 19th century Europe. His arguments often employed ad hominem attacks and emotional appeals and particularly in his. aphoristic works he often jumps from one grand assertion to another leaping from mountain top to. mountain top as he describes it with little sustained logical support or elucidation of the connection. between his ideas All these aspects of Nietzsche s style run counter to traditional values in. philosophical writing and they alienated Nietzsche from the academic establishment both in his time. and to a lesser extent today when some analytic philosophers tend to dismiss Nietzsche as. inconsistent and speculative producing something other than real philosophy. A few of the themes that Nietzsche scholars have devoted the most attention to include. Nietzsche s views on morality his view that God is dead and along with it any sort of God s eye. view on the world thus leading to perspectivism his notions of the will to power and bermensch. and his suggestion of eternal return, In Daybreak Nietzsche begins his Campaign against Morality He calls himself an. immoralist and harshly criticizes the prominent moral schemes of his day Christianity Kantianism. and Utilitarianism However Nietzsche did not want to destroy morality but rather to initiate a re. evaluation of the values of the Judeo Christian world He indicates his desire to bring about a new. more naturalistic source of value in the vital impulses of life itself. In both these projects Nietzsche s genealogical account of the development of master slave. morality occupies a central place Nietzsche presents master morality as the original system of. morality perhaps best associated with Homeric Greece Here value arises as a contrast between good. and bad wealth strength health and power the sort of traits found in an Homeric hero count as. good while bad is associated with the poor weak sick and pathetic the sort of traits conventionally. associated with slaves in ancient times, Slave morality in contrast can only come about as a reaction to master morality Nietzsche. associates slave morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions Here value emerges from the. contrast between good and evil good associated with charity piety restraint meekness and. subservience evil seen in the cruel selfish wealthy indulgent and aggressive Nietzsche sees slave. morality as an ingenious ploy among the slaves and the weak such as the Jews and Christians. dominated by Rome to overturn the values of their masters and to gain power for themselves. justifying their situation and at the same time fixing the broader society into a slave like life. Nietzsche sees the slave morality as a social illness that has overtaken Europe a derivative. and resentful value which can only work by condemning others as evil In Nietzsche s eyes. Christianity exists in a hypocritical state wherein people preach love and kindness but find their joy in. condemning and punishing others for pursuing that which morality does not allow them to act upon. publicly Nietzsche calls for the strong in the world to break their self imposed chains and assert their. own power health and vitality upon the world,The death of God nihilism and perspectivism. The statement God is dead occurring in several of Nietzsche s works notably in The Gay. Science has become one of his best known remarks On the basis of this remark most commentators. regard Nietzsche as an atheist In Nietzsche s view recent developments in modern science and the. increasing secularization of European society had effectively killed the Christian God who had. served as the basis for meaning and value in the West for more than a thousand years. Nietzsche claimed the death of God would eventually lead to the loss of any universal. perspective on things and along with it any coherent sense of objective truth Instead we would retain. only our own multiple diverse and fluid perspectives This view has acquired the name. perspectivism, Alternatively the death of God may lead beyond bare perspectivism to outright nihilism the. belief that nothing has any importance and that life lacks purpose As Heidegger put the problem If. God as the suprasensory ground and goal of all reality is dead if the suprasensory world of the Ideas. has suffered the loss of its obligatory and above it its vitalizing and upbuilding power then nothing. more remains to which man can cling and by which he can orient himself Developing this idea. Nietzsche wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra therein introducing the concept of a value creating. bermensch According to Lampert the death of God must be followed by a long twilight of piety. and nihilism Zarathustra s gift of the superman is given to a mankind not aware of the problem to. which the superman is the solution,The Will to Power.
An important element of Nietzsche s philosophical outlook is the will to power which. provides a basis for understanding motivation in human behavior But this concept may have wider. application as Nietzsche in a number of places also suggests that the will to power is a more. important element than pressure for adaptation or survival In its later forms Nietzsche s concept of the. will to power applies to all living things suggesting that adaptation and the struggle to survive is a. secondary drive in the evolution of animals less important than the desire to expand one s power. Nietzsche eventually took this concept further still and transformed the idea of matter as centers of. force into matter as centers of will to power Nietzsche wanted to dispense with the theory of matter. which he viewed as a relic of the metaphysics of substance One study of Nietzsche defines his fully. developed concept of the will to power as the element from which derive both the quantitative. difference of related forces and the quality that devolves into each force in this relation revealing the. will to power as the principle of the synthesis of forces. Nietzsche s notion of the will to power can also be viewed as a response to Schopenhauer s will. to live Writing a generation before Nietzsche Schopenhauer had regarded the entire universe and. everything in it as driven by a primordial will to live thus resulting in all creatures desire to avoid. death and to procreate Nietzsche however challenges Schopenhauer s account and suggests that. people and animals really want power living in itself appears only as a subsidiary aim something. necessary to promote one s power In defense of his view Nietzsche appeals to many instances in. which people and animals willingly risk their lives in order to promote their power most notably in. instances like competitive fighting and warfare Once again Nietzsche seems to take part of his. inspiration from the ancient Homeric Greek texts he knew well Greek heroes and aristocrats or. masters did not desire mere living they often died quite young and risked their lives in battle but. wanted power glory and greatness In this regard he often mentions the common Greek theme of. agon or contest, Another concept important to an understanding of Nietzsche s thought is the bermensch. variously translated often without regard to the gender neutrality of the German word Mensch. which means person as superman superhuman or overman Nietzsche contrasts the bermensch. with the Last Man who appears as an exaggerated version of the degraded goal that unified the. liberal democratic bourgeois socialist and communist social and political programs The plural. bermenschen never appears in Nietzsche s writings which sharply contrasts with Nazi interpretations. of his corpus Michael Tanner suggests bermensch means the man who lives above and beyond. pleasure and suffering treating both circumstances equally because joy and suffering are. inseparable,The principle of Eternal Return, Another of Nietzsche s ideas has become frequently cited his notion of eternal recurrence or. eternal return Scholars disagree about the proper interpretation of this idea In one view Nietzsche. proposes a thought experiment to determine who actually leads their life in a strong and vital way we. need to imagine that this life which we lead does not simply end at our deaths but will repeat over and. over again for all eternity each moment recurring in exactly the same way without end Those who. recoil from this idea with horror have not yet learned to love and value life in the way that Nietzsche. would admire those who would embrace the idea cheerfully ipso facto lead the right sort of life. Arthur Schopenhauer, February 22 1788 September 21 1860 was a German philosopher known for his atheistic. pessimism and philosophical clarity At age 25 he published his doctoral dissertation On the Fourfold. Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason which examined the fundamental question of whether. reason alone can unlock answers about the world Schopenhauer s most influential work The World as. Will and Representation emphasized the role of man s basic motivation which Schopenhauer called. will Schopenhauer s analysis of will led him to the conclusion that emotional physical and sexual. desires can never be fulfilled Consequently Schopenhauer favored a lifestyle of negating human. desires similar to the teachings of Buddhism, Schopenhauer s metaphysical analysis of will his views on human motivation and desire and. his aphoristic writing style influenced many well known philosophers including Friedrich Nietzsche. Richard Wagner Ludwig Wittgenstein and Sigmund Freud. Development of the work, The development of Schopenhauer s ideas took place very early in his career 1814 1818 and.
culminated in the publication of the first volume of Will and Representation in 1819 This first volume. consisted of four books covering his epistemology ontology aesthetics and ethics in order Much. later in his life in 1844 Schopenhauer published a second edition in two volumes the first a virtual. reprint of the original and the second a new work consisting of clarifications to and additional. reflections on the first His views had not changed substantially. The belated fame which came to him after 1851 stimulated a renewed interest in his seminal. work and lead to a third and final edition published in 1859 just one year before his death and adding. 136 more pages In the preface to the latter Schopenhauer noted If I also have at last arrived and. have the satisfaction at the end of my life of seeing the beginning of my influence it is with the hope. that according to an old rule it will last longer in proportion to the lateness of its beginning 2. Schopenhauer used the word will as a human s most familiar designation for the concept that. can also be signified by other words such as desire striving wanting effort and urging. Representation, He used the word representation Vorstellung to signify the mental idea or image of any object. that is experienced as being external to the mind It is sometimes translated as idea or presentation. This concept includes the representation of the observing subject s own body Schopenhauer called the. subject s own body the immediate object because it is in the closest proximity to the mind which is. located in the brain,Philosophy of the will, A key focus of Schopenhauer was his investigation of individual motivation Before. Schopenhauer Hegel had popularized the concept of Zeitgeist the idea that society consisted of a. collective consciousness which moved in a distinct direction directing the actions of its members. Schopenhauer a reader of both Kant and Hegel criticized their logical optimism and the belief that. individual morality could be determined by society and reason Schopenhauer believed that humans. were motivated only by their own basic desires or Wille zum Leben will literally will to life. which directed all of mankind For Schopenhauer human desire was futile illogical directionless and. by extension so was all human action in the world,Art and aesthetics. For Schopenhauer human desire and will cause suffering or pain A temporary way to escape. this pain is through aesethetic contemplation This is the next best way short of not willing at all. which is the best way Music was also given a special status in Schopenhauer s aesthetics as it did not. rely upon the medium of phenomenal representation Music presents the will itself not the way that. Nonclassical modern Philosophy Continental philosophy in contemporary usage refers to a set of traditions of 19th and 20th century philosophy from mainland Europe This sense of the term originated among English speaking philosophers in the second half of the 20th century who found it useful for referring to a range of thinkers and traditions outside the analytic movement Continental

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