as articles from its opponents in international relations; both perspectives For Nietzsche, Mill represents the epitome of the belief in good and evil that has survived from Christianity and now infests the thought of the Enlightenment. His relentless assault on conventional ideas of Enlightened subjectivity did not prevent him from developing a radically new concept of individual selfhood, which he named overman. Moreover, notes from Nietzsche's middle period suggest that he did not believe--at least in principle--that equality is necessarily anti-individualistic. "47 He also raised a criticism of the socialist conception of "equal rights" that was similar in many ways to his critique of the liberal idea of equality. J. P. Stern has argued that Nietzsche, despising all idealist utopias, sought objective confirmation of his revaluations, and yet was always dissatisfied with them.8 Here Stern is pointing out a fundamental tension in Nietzsche's work. "46 Nietzsche sees this error as one of the most prevalent of the nineteenth century, and one of the most dangerous. Among the most important of these aspects is a belief in the possibility of a metaphysics--though Nietzsche's metaphysics is, as we have begun to see, profoundly different from that of Descartes--and the desire to advocate a science--though again, this science is to be Nietzsche's joyous or gay science, and definitely not the coldly rational science of Descartes. "40 Here Nietzsche is challenging the most fundamental building blocks of modern physics, for without the idea of the atom, much of our physics is rendered nonsensical. Yet the situation is more complex than this, as Andrzej Rapaczynski notes: "the replacement of the unjust social order based on inequality with an institution of legitimate political authority is supposed to preserve an individual's freedom while ensuring the content and motivational viability of his moral system. "23 Here society is not a unifying but an alienating force which oppresses and destroys the individual. Many of these journals are the leading academic publications in their fields and together they form one of the most valuable and comprehensive bodies of research available today. Thus in the Will to Power, for example, Nietzsche writes that "because we forget that valuation is always from a perspective, a single individual contains within him a vast confusion of contradictory valuations and consequently of contradictory drives. He has, in short, done his work too well: the overman is a category so perfect that it must remain elusive to any mere human. In many ways it was his declaration that he was now ready for Zarathustra, that he was now prepared to introduce us to his new concept of the self, to "teach us the overman." He suggests that once we realize this arbitrariness, we are no longer even able to believe in causality as we once were. He also mounts a very strong cultural critique of Enlightened science. Hatab, Lawrence. The affinities between the Nietzschean idea of Becoming and the Enlightened concept of progress suggest another crucial area where Nietzsche's thought coincides with that of the conventional Enlightenment. A consideration of such a claim is beyond the scope of this dissertation. Certainly they included an attack on the idea that the natural world was ordered according to scientific "rules" or "laws," and a corresponding attack on the notion of causality so essential to the scientific understanding of the world. In Human, all too Human, for example, he writes: "belief in freedom of will is a primary error committed by everything organic, as old as the impulse to the logical itself. Reason represented the central, unifying point for eighteenth century European thought; it was all that the Enlightenment longed for and all that it achieved.4 This is certainly not far from the truth. This is not surprising, given the fact that both political systems rely on an Enlightened principle of subjectivity which Nietzsche rejects. Nietzsche's critique of the nineteenth century Enlightenment's project to create democratic individuals was not a critique of the Enlightenment's general project to create viable subjects. "Nietzsche's Politics." "103 Here Kant's old dictum acquires a profound new sense as Nietzsche refines and resolves the project of Enlightenment: one must have courage to know oneself. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. As Gertrude Himmelfarb writes, "Mill decided that attention should be directed to the 'internal culture of the individual,' the cultivation of feeling, the development of the poetic and artistic sensibilities. Schwartz, Stephen P. "The Status of Nietzsche's Theory of the Will to Power in the Light of Contemporary Philosophy of Science." Thus he writes in the will to power: "'Useful' in the sense of Darwinist biology means: proved advantageous in the struggle with others. For example, Kant uses reason to justify belief in the immortal soul; he writes in the second Critique: "infinite progress is possible.�.�.only under the presupposition of an infinitely enduring existence and personality of the same rational being; this is called immortality of the soul. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1978. Descartes's method is one of the enduring contributions he made to the intellectual tradition that is the Enlightenment. And he assigned to himself the task of investigating the problem of science and uncovering the roots of the scientific problem. "90 Again, Zarathustra is bemoaning the fact that the modern world's emphasis on uniformity ("the mob") precludes the development of strong individuals. Rather, that critique flowed seamlessly into the nineteenth century. This brings me to the final possibility I wish to consider, namely that in addition to retaining from Enlightened science a faith in its rigor and its ability to lead to progress, Nietzsche also developed concrete empirical theories of his own. Alan Ryan. It is perhaps for this reason that Nietzsche retained so many of the structures and forms of Christian thought. But we must also realize that Nietzsche's critique was motivated in part by the desire to make room for something new. .A self is just a set of coherently connected episodes. Trans. As Olivier Reboul puts it, "One can see that Nietzsche does not reject reason, but rather the obligation to choose between passion and reason; Kant opts for reason against the passions, which he considers animalistic, egoistic and dangerous. The latter is a project which Nietzsche enthusiastically pursued, and this places him, ironically, in the camp of the same Enlightened tradition he wished to criticize. . David Blackbourn and Geoff Eley have argued that "without the stimulus of a popular movement that was strong enough to shift bourgeois notables to the left, the constitutionalist movements of the last century were unlikely to embrace a significant element of democracy. The Antichrist In The Portable Nietzsche. '"44 Suffering recurs along with all that Nietzsche despises: the morality of the herd, the decadence of the last man and all the failures of European society. The answer is that I believe that Victorian England represented for Nietzsche and for many other nineteenth century thinkers the epitome of the Enlightened society: complacent, smug and self-assured, nineteenth century England institutionalized all of the characteristics of Enlightenment outlined above. Once again we see Nietzsche refuting the content of the Enlightenment while retaining its form. But those who are used to it would never wish to live anywhere else than in this bright, transparent, vigorous, electrified air--in this virile air. Nehamas, Alexander. Again, however, it was not Enlightenment as such that so offended Nietzsche, but Enlightenment in the decayed, diseased form it had taken. Immediacy Lost: Construction of the Social in Rousseau and Nietzsche. "6 Here Deleuze makes a claim similar in some ways to my reading of Goyard-Fabre above: that Nietzsche's "antipolitical" stance was really nothing of the sort, but should rather be understood as an attempt to transcend modern politics. 11Descartes, quoted in Cristaudo, Metaphysics of Science and Freedom, 3. This is the limit of Nietzsche's attack on the Enlightened politics of the nineteenth century. As Nietzsche puts it himself, "Kant considered the hypothesis of 'intelligible freedom' necessary in order to acquit the ens perfectum of responsibility for the world's being such-and-such--in short, to account for evil and ills: a scandalous bit of logic for a philosopher. It allowed him to advocate and encourage certain particular beliefs about politics and society. "To have a right, then, is, I conceive, to have something which society ought to defend me in the possession of. Indeed, the primary goal of his political philosophy is to articulate a politics that will account for this individual and its freedom. Walter Kaufmann) have disputed. Cambridge Journals publishes over 250 peer-reviewed academic journals across a wide range of subject areas, in print and online. "4 Lampert is arguing in much broader terms than I wish to, but certainly "virulent modernity" must include "virulent Enlightenment." If Higgins is right about this, and I think she is, then Nietzsche must be seen as a radical humanist. What would my love of the overman be if I spoke otherwise? Nietzsche thus feels that Mill and others who support these ideologies must always be attacked. Utilitarianism is, for Nietzsche, an impractical philosophy. Mill, an exceedingly Enlightened nineteenth century political thinker, attempted to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory positions; this attempt constitutes the bulk of his political writing. What unites all these Enlightened positions is a belief that humans fundamentally are or should be free in a political sense; that is, that they should enjoy individual liberty unfettered by the oppression of an unjust state. .To make him political and to treat him as a political theorist or activist, therefore, seems to do violence to his antipolitical individualism. In this sense Nietzsche's thought continues and amplifies the Enlightenment's project of constructing a positive future for humanity--though again, it is crucial to remember that the means by which Nietzsche intends to achieve this are extremely different from those of the traditional Enlightenment; he finds the conventional Enlightenment's concern with science and politics to be a serious impediment to the development of a truly Enlightened project. Las Vegas: Peter Lang, 1978. That hope is that even as science in its corrupt, decadent nineteenth century form undermined the possibilities for a meaningful modern culture, the kernel of truth at the heart of the modern scientific enterprise, namely scientific rigor and discipline, would make possible a bright new future. Nietzsche retains, then, certain essential components of Enlightened science, most notably a kind of Enlightened faith that elements of science can be used to promote human progress. Ib�nez-No�, Javier A. "Opposing Science with Art, Again? Whether or not this is a valid criticism of Rousseau, this is the way in which Nietzsche symbolically made use of Rousseau. But if we realize that even at his most radical, Nietzsche still held onto some of the foundational elements of modern science, it becomes possible to see Nietzsche as a thinker interested in pursuing Enlightened, scientific goals. In his model, liberalism and democracy perpetuate a decadence which makes the development of meaningful human agency extremely difficult. 3Eden, Political Leadership and Nihilism, xvii. This, in turn, has led to fierce academic debates, … There is one other fundamental aspect to Nietzsche's critique of socialism, and it is one that will recall his attack on liberal politics. Nietzsche was very strongly opposed to this model of social development. the conclusions were to follow as ineluctably and irrefutably from the premises as in a scientific demonstration. The Gay Science. "23 Nietzsche returns several times to this formulation about "the meaning of the earth," and this suggests that his vision of the future is to be understood teleologically, as a goal perhaps reminiscent of Condorcet's "tenth stage." 5Goyard-Fabre, Nietzsche et la Question Politique, 8. Ph.D. diss. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972. Is it possible that Nietzsche's critique of liberal and socialist political traditions was meant as an endorsement of nationalist politics? It is here that the Enlightened heart of Nietzschean self-creation is most clear, for it is here that Nietzsche most clearly attempts to complete the program of subjectivity begun by the conventional Enlightenment. One can read everywhere, I know, that since this quiet scholar produced his work a revolution has taken place in every domain of the spirit; but I cannot believe it. We return again to Nietzschean utopia. The higher, more complex societies exhibit certain distinctive institutions. I would suggest rather that although Nietzsche does clearly posses a morality, that morality is something radically different from Kant's. Eden, Robert. What, then, was the political agenda to which Spencer's theory of progress contributed? Rapaczynski claims that "like Descartes.�.�.Rousseau makes the self a foundation of all that is human in man. "137 This is the real value of modern, Enlightened science for Nietzsche: it clears a path for a new culture by undermining the old; here his warnings about the dangers of science make perfect sense, for the kind of cultural eradication Nietzsche is talking about is an extremely dangerous enterprise. It seems likely that an adherent to Cartesian science would have trouble even imagining a science that was happy rather than rational or mechanistic. --. Nietzsche: The Politics of Power. But Darwin was not simply a scientist in the general sense of someone who seeks knowledge about the natural world through theory and experiment. Once more! However, if we consider the reasons that Rousseau gives us for the establishment of the contract, we emerge with a very different picture. Furthermore, the anarchist's desire to promote an ideal world in which all individuals would be free from the tyranny of the state must have sounded to Nietzsche suspiciously like the kind of Enlightened ideal of progress that made socialism so problematic for him. "The over-all degeneration of man down to what today appears to the socialist dolts and flatheads as their 'man of the future'--as their ideal. Deutschland, Deutschland �ber alles--I fear that was the end of German philosophy. Nietzsche writes in the Nachla�: "Oh Zarathustra, advocate of life! What's more, the doctrine of amor fati demands that we not merely accept this return, but affirm it and will it as our own. It therefore seems reasonable to explore Nietzsche's critique of nineteenth century science by examining his attacks on these biological theories. The nineteenth century thus exhibited a very Enlightened faith in the ability of human reason to replace the mysteries of nature with scientific facts. SCHMIDT, J. and WARTENBERG, T. E.: «Foucault's Enlightenment: Critique, Revolution, and the Fashioning of the Self» in KELLY, M. As we have seen, this new human subjectivity is not for everyone, and it runs the risk of excluding those who are not able to participate in the project of the overman. Spencer, Herbert. As a case study of Nietzsche's attack on nineteenth century science, I have chosen to examine his critiques of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. In the process, some of Nietzsche's "postmodern" admirers are taken to task for appropriating his criticisms of the Enlightenment without acknowledging his ambivalence toward it. 94Brogan, "Nietzsche's Transgression of Metaphysical Subjectivity," 419. But Nietzsche insists that it is equally ludicrous to suppose that humans possess this mysterious quality of free will, or to posit that they are somehow outside of nature. "The. So clearly, there is in Nietzsche's work a critique of Rousseau's ethics and of Rousseau himself as a cultural decadent. I wish to argue against this. In many places Nietzsche expresses a desire to improve or perfect science rather than eliminate it, and he frequently expresses an admiration for early Greek science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981. Antosik's reading of Nietzsche's vision is a world in which "the future tyrants would form themselves into a new aristocracy which would live off the toil of a humanity kept in various forms of bondage within a flourishing industrial economy. .Nietzsche rejects this freedom. He cites "Leibniz's incomparable insight that has been vindicated not only against Descartes but against everybody who had philosophized before him--that consciousness is merely an accidens of experience and not its necessary and essential attribute. .Nietzsche anticipated the cosmological viewpoint embedded in Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and Max Planck's quantum theory, several decades before they were published. "122 Here Nietzsche is discussing in the context of art a topic that would later become central to his political and philosophical thought. The implication, of course, is that if we are able to do this, we will finally be able to direct ourselves towards the future as Nietzsche feels we must. And in a somewhat surprising move at the end of the passage, Nietzsche suggests that it is actually enlightenment which challenges progress. On the contrary, it is something one becomes, something, he would even say, one constructs. By acting now to expose conventional science for what it is, Nietzsche hopes to save something of human knowledge. The higher man is interesting in that he represents a type that is close to, but has not yet attained, the status of overman. 9Condorcet, Progress of the Human Mind, 124. "22 Again, Thiele's use of the word "individualism" is problematic here, since this term almost inevitably evokes images of the Enlightened, liberal individual. Shklar, Judith. One should not mistake Malthus for nature. 74Haas, "Der Darwinismus bei Nietzsche," 10. "147 It is therefore not reasonable for Brinton and others to accuse Nietzsche of "bad science," since he was not really conducting science at all. If it was Enlightened science in particular that Nietzsche opposed, then we would expect him to make sympathetic comments about pre-Enlightenment scientists and their work, and this is indeed the case. Deleuze goes so far as to argue that Nietzsche's ethics represent an inverted Kantianism: In Kant, critique was not able to discover the truly active instance which would have been capable of carrying it through. We may wish to ask at this point what it is, exactly, that motivates Nietzsche's hostility towards Darwinian evolution. Yes, Nietzsche is frequently critical of ideas, values and methods that fall under "The Enlightenment," but he also shares some of those things with The Enlightenment. Thoughtful scholarly reflections on all aspects His antipolitical stance should be understood, then, as an opposition to politics in their modern, Enlightened form, but not to the possibilities of political thought in general. We see further evidence of Nietzsche's militarism in the self-interpretation he offers in Ecce Homo: "I am warlike by nature. "The Ethics of Enlightenment: Goya and Kant" Philosophy and Literature, Volume 15, Number 2 (October 1991): 189-211. Mill on Liberty: a Defence. Indeed, this seems plausible; as I argued in Chapter One, Rousseau's politics depends heavily on an Enlightened idea of the self. Given this, it is tempting to wonder if Nietzsche might be some kind of anarchist. Brinton derided Nietzsche as a caricature of Hegel and Darwin.78 To us this accusation seems somewhat extreme, perhaps, but we can well imagine why someone like Brinton, writing at a time when it was not at all clear whether or not fascism would come to eclipse world politics, would wish to use Nietzsche in such a propagandistic way. Deleuze writes: "the revolutionary character of Nietzsche's method becomes apparent at the level of method: it is his method that makes Nietzsche's text into something that is not to be characterized in itself as 'fascist,' 'bourgeois,' or 'revolutionary,' but to be regarded as an exterior field where fascist, bourgeois, and revolutionary forces meet head on. In the Gay Science, Nietzsche offers an even more precise description of the kind of progress he means to criticize: Whoever is superstitious is always, compared with the religious human being, much more of a person; and a superstitious society is one in which there are many individuals and much delight in individuality. "135 Thus scientific rigor--the very foundation of the method of Enlightened science--places science on the side of the higher culture which Nietzsche wishes to promote. "36 By so misunderstanding what science is and what its capabilities and limitations are, we are in grave danger of undermining the very possibilities of knowledge at all, for when science fails to deliver on the impossible promises it has made, our faith in knowledge might be fatally wounded. "96 Nietzsche seems to be suggesting that it is legitimate for the superior individual to concern himself only with the needs of his own self-creation, perhaps at the expense of those around him. In Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche explicitly cites Rousseau as the origin of the Revolution: "It is not Voltaire's moderate nature, inclined as it was to ordering, purifying and reconstructing, but Rousseau's passionate follies and half-lies that called forth the optimistic spirit of the Revolution against which I cry: 'Ecrasez l'infame! 92Bergmann, Last Antipolitical German, 147. GS, 335) but rather to an interpretation which refuses to acknowledge that science is itself an interpretation in the sense that it provides a revisable description of a part of the world which is no more real than any other. In a note from the Nachla�, Nietzsche suggests that "men should become more and more dissimilar. "14 The overman is both the meaning of the earth and the meaning of humanity for Nietzsche; it thus represents an optimistic, utopian vision of the future. "55 For Heidegger, then, Nietzsche's understanding of time as eternal recurrence has profound implications for human choice. "49 If pain and evil are such a constitutive part of the Nietzschean affirmation of life, then how is this an Enlightened project? Foucault, Michel. This revolutionary politics, in turn, is fundamentally linked to every manifestation of the modern state. 29Spiekermann, Naturwissenschaft als subjektlose Macht?, 79. Man's past is an endless procession of tradition and unchallenged social moralities. One final way of dealing with Nietzsche's "antipolitical" stance is offered by Simone Goyard-Fabre, who claims that "there is no 'Nietzschean politics', because 'great politics' will never provide a doctrine. This is the most extreme form of nihilism: the nothing (the 'meaningless'), eternally! .the ruination of science, a sinking back into barbarism, will be the immediate consequence. It would seem, then, that in place of Rousseau's egalitarian politics, with its goal of freedom for all individuals, Nietzsche favors an agonistic or conflict-based model of human political behavior. Nietzsche does not explicitly mention Rousseau here, but in this remarkable passage, he outlines and rejects every component of the Enlightened politics for which Rousseau symbolically stands in Nietzsche's writing: liberalism, progress, equal rights and freedom. 20Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 33. In a very revealing note from the Will to Power, Nietzsche writes: "My first solution: Dionysian wisdom. The author examines the nature of this change and considers some of the reasons behind it. He admired this rigor too much, because it was too close to his own methodology. Nietzsche writes in the Gay Science: We are not by any means "liberal"; we do not work for "progress"; we do not need to plug up our ears against the sirens who in the market place sing of the future: their song about "equal rights," "a free society," "no more masters and no servants" has no allure for us. He writes, for example, in Beyond Good and Evil: "it is perhaps just dawning on five or six minds that physics, too, is only an interpretation and exegesis of the world (to suit us, if I may say so!) While it is true that Nietzsche's notebooks contain some vague scientific speculations along these lines, Nietzsche was no physicist. "24 Here we see again that Nietzsche's blade has two edges: he criticizes all that is modern, including all conventional manifestations of the Enlightenment. "110 Nehamas understands the Nietzschean individual as nothing more than a collection of actions. This is a work of intellectual history, by which I mean that I intend to explore Nietzsche's thought within a historical context. However, Nietzsche makes a strong argument throughout his works that the belief in free will is an error. "40 Yet what Michalson misses is the point that this move is quite deliberate on Kant's part: he wants to retain Christianity rather than dismissing it, but he realizes that his one chance to retain it is to turn it into something based on Enlightened rationality. Nietzsche's critique of Descartes undermines the foundations of modern rationality and science and, even more importantly, challenges the concept of subjectivity upon which virtually all modern, Enlightened thought is based. That this work places itself squarely in the tradition of the Enlightenment is clear; the title even contains a direct reference to one of the major themes of Enlightenment to which I have been referring, namely progress. I believe that Goyard-Fabre is right to suggest that Nietzsche's philosophy was antipolitical in the sense that it provided none of the conventional trappings of a practical political ideology; there is, for example, no description in Nietzsche's writings of how the state should be organized, or of what the rights and obligations of the citizen should be. As Kaufmann notes, Nietzsche flirted with reason as a universal principle, but came to reject it decisively: "Had Nietzsche developed his own earlier dualistic tendencies, he might now have spoken of reason's control over the will to power, of Apollo's victory over Dionysus, or of Ormazd's triumph over Ahriman. "50 This may well be the case; like Rousseau, Kant presents himself as someone who is already grappling with the difficulties inherent in Enlightenment rationalism, difficulties that will explode with Nietzsche. Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" als moderne Trag�die. As Babich notes, "it could be said that Nietzsche does not accept the rule of a science that invents axioms and works with (for example) ideal gases and then takes these descriptions for (literally and so-called) absolutes, because the supreme value of integrity, that is, Redlichkeit, which requires a kind of truth (Treue) to the ambiguity of nature. "72 In this passage, Nietzsche praises Judaism and simultaneously refutes the possibility that it seeks to dominate Europe. "51 It is precisely this overcoming which I would now like to describe. I mention Antosik's position not because it is particularly defensible or even particularly articulate, but because it represents a tendency in Nietzsche criticism which has traditionally been quite strong. Richard Velkley suggests that "Kant arrives at his understanding of reason through an effort to resolve a crisis in the modern period concerning the end, status, and meaning of reason. He writes in the Gay Science: "an intellect that could see cause and effect as a continuum and a flux and not, as we do, in terms of an arbitrary division and dismemberment, would repudiate the concept of cause and effect and deny all conditionality. One of the defining characteristics of liberalism in the nineteenth century was its emphasis on "rights," and here Nietzsche found further grounds to attack the democratic tradition. Fowler, Mark C. "Nietzsche as Instructor in Autonomy? Rather, he developed these critiques as part of a much broader and more far-reaching attack on the autonomous, unified Enlightenment subject that made such political systems possible. To float! The anarchist's claim that the individual must be freed from the bonds of the state, after all, can be seen as a radicalized form of the same individualism that motivated nineteenth century liberalism. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. As Deleuze points out, "the eternal return gives the will a rule as rigorous as the Kantian one.�.�.As an ethical thought the eternal return is the new formulation of the practical synthesis: whatever you will, will it in such a way that you also will its eternal return. If we understand Rousseau's egalitarianism in this specific sense, then it becomes clear that Nietzsche will have nothing to do with Rousseau's project, since that project is based on a variety of subjectivity which Nietzsche has already rejected. He writes: "what makes the body something superior to all reactions, and, in particular, superior to the ego's reaction of consciousness, is the activity of necessarily unconscious forces. "47 Fell's critique seems very much in force here: we have Nietzsche affirming life as the highest value, but he also seems to be advocating suffering as a necessary component of life. We have already mentioned his attack on the state; this would certainly be in keeping with an anarchist position. Nietzsche's attack on this aspect of nineteenth century liberalism is reminiscent of his critique of Rousseau's idea of the general will as I described it in Chapter Two. In England, the ideology of liberalism was institutionalized in a way that it never was in Germany. In Chapter Four I turn to the question of science. 85Goyard-Fabre, Nietzsche et la Question Politique, 66. Nietzsche writes in the Nachla�: "I live so that I can discover; I want to discover so that the overman can live. "Utilitarianism." Nietzsche: Life as Literature. Babich, Babette E. "Nietzsche and the Philosophy of Scientific Power: Will to Power as Constructive Interpretation." They represent the greatness that is actually possible in humanity--again Nietzsche's humanism is evident here--and the contrast they make with the overman is very illuminating. In the Antichrist, for example, he writes: "mankind does not represent a development toward something better or stronger or higher in the sense accepted today. Nietzsche's critique of Mill's liberalism is intimately tied up, however, with an attack on Mill's utilitarianism. He saw this as the error which was in large measure responsible for the guilt and ressentiment that characterized the herd man. Happ, Winfried. Perhaps it is a necessary stage of thinking, which helps us to overcome the present, but it cannot be the final stage. "80 Since women play the role of nurturers, they have greater tenderness and less selfishness than men; men, as hunters and warriors, delight in competition; it is for this reason, Darwin believes, that men attain higher positions as poets, scientists, scholars, etc. Descartes, Ren�. In the same way 'conformity with a law. This Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau as a revolutionary. "10 Rationality, then, derives its importance as a necessary condition for scientific pursuits. The Philosophy of the Enlightenment. Second and more importantly, Nietzsche engaged with the Enlightenment during his own century as a very real and, for him, troubling phenomenon; he made few distinctions between Rousseau and Mill or Descartes and Darwin, but attacked them all under the same banner of "Enlightenment." "25 Again, Nietzsche is trying here to discover what lies behind the facade of nineteenth century liberalism. He who tells of them, tells the most heroic story in the history of the human spirit! Nietzsche's problems with Spencer ran deeper, for Spencer adopted the kind of Darwinian science that Nietzsche has already denounced, but he added to it a politics of liberal individualism that was quite at odds with Nietzsche's concept of human existence. We can go further than this and specify what kinds of scientific pursuits Descartes meant to justify. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991. Edited by David Farrell Krell. 50Siegfried, "Autonomy and Quantum Physics," 620. .is a book of man's future, not of his past or present. We almost always see males and females take advantage of any chance encounter, exhibiting no selectivity whatsoever. That which was Christian, decadent and poor in life was inevitably what he attacked most enthusiastically. And on the surface of it, Nietzsche's critique of modern politics, which for him were the politics of the Enlightenment, would seem to be quite similar to that of the nationalists. For him, both political systems are descended from the politics of the conventional Enlightenment. "Objection to Darwinism. "3 In a similar vein, Leslie Thiele believes that Nietzsche "attempted to sublimate politics, to internalize political struggle within a pluralistic self. I believe that a strong, independent human subject is the ultimate destination of Nietzsche's utopian project. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. "Science today has absolutely no belief in itself, let alone an ideal above it--and where it still inspires passion, love, ardor, and suffering at all, it is not the opposite of the ascetic ideal but rather the latest and noblest form of it. Nietzsche is in fact engaged in a critique of morality in terms quite foreign to recent discussion in the Anglo-American world. He writes in Daybreak: When we had mathematics and physics forced upon us instead of our being led into despair at our ignorance and having our little daily life, our activities, and all that went on at home, in the work-place, in the sky, in the countryside from morn to night, reduced to thousands of problems, to annoying, mortifying, irritating problems--so as to show us that we needed a knowledge of mathematics and mechanics, and then to teach us our first delight in science through showing us the absolute consistency of this knowledge!121. 58Spiekermann, Naturwissenschaft als subjektlose Macht?, 213. Moles, Alistair. This is largely the theme of the fourth and final part of Zarathustra. "69 Lonsbach implies that young Friedrich Nietzsche, raised in this strict religious household, must have been exposed to a certain amount of cultural anti-Semitism. Paris: �ditions du Seuil, 1966. Equally troubling for him was the Enlightened quest for knowledge, the seemingly endless attempt by scholars and scientists to uncover the truth of the world. I believe that for Nietzsche, Rousseau represented an avatar of modern politics, the kind of politics that received its most dramatic expression in the French Revolution. "66 Nietzsche's prophet is trying to show us the way to deliverance from the bondage of the past so that we may concentrate instead on the world of the future. Spencer stands at the extreme end of the political Enlightenment in one way. But I believe that Nietzsche's admiration for science was broader than a simple admiration of the early Greeks. Thus "he. In the Gay Science, Nietzsche shows that he would not necessarily have an objection to science if it were understood only as one possible interpretation of the world: "that the only justifiable interpretation of the world should be one in which you are justified because one can continue to work and do research scientifically in your sense (you really mean, mechanistically?) In Human, all too Human, Nietzsche suggests that the motivation behind such beliefs is largely psychological: "the joy. 56Leinen, "Aristokratismus und Antipolitik," 3. "132 The legacy of the scientific Enlightenment, then, is an integrity, an honesty and a kind of rigor to offer that morality does not have; modern science thus distinguishes itself as a superior pursuit. As Babich notes, for Nietzsche "science and religion are hardly diametrically opposed projects of human understanding but instead represent different manifestations of Ressentiment along the same ideal ascetic continuum in Western culture. "19 Moles agrees with Clark here: "it would also seem to follow that Nietzsche believes that there is such a thing as truth, since if there were not, there would be no basis for preferring scientific insights over others, or for praising scientific methods."20. (ed. To do so would be to ignore the fact that the critical impulse which led Nietzsche to attack so much of the Enlightened tradition in his other works is still very much in force in Zarathustra. "144 A similar position is advanced by Crane Brinton, though in a much more hostile tone: he defines the eternal return as an "unrefined mixture of oriental speculation.�.�.and misunderstood theoretical physics. "Overman: An Attitude or an Ideal?" He states this project, however, in terms that often mask or conceal his fundamentally humanistic impulses. .it seems as though he has discovered an absolute value in methodological science. 20Rousseau, Social Contract and Discourse on Inequality, 17. Darnton, Robert. "4 Descartes believed that we simply have no choice of whether or not to accept reason as our primary source of knowledge. But the curious fact is that all there is or has been on earth of freedom, subtlety, boldness, dance, and masterly sureness, whether in thought itself or in government, or in rhetoric and persuasion, in the arts just as in ethics, has developed only owing to the 'tyranny of such capricious laws'.88. Clearly Darwin was for Nietzsche the "man of science" par excellence. Nor can Nietzsche, whose project is to bring about a utopian future, leave Enlightenment behind. "27 Again Zarathustra almost seems to be attacking Voltaire's "infamous thing," the dark ignorance and superstition of conventional Christian religion. It is not the Real, as such, and it is not true. So in this sense Nietzsche's project does represent a rejection of modern science. Paris: �ditions Sirey, 1977. "88 This sounds very much like the kind of progress principle we have seen in the thought of Darwin and other Enlightened thinkers. I then examine those parts of Nietzsche's corpus which he labeled Nietzsche contra Rousseau; here I attempt to explain Nietzsche's hostility to Rousseau's politics. On Liberty is an impassioned plea for the liberty that will promote the individuality required for self-development and for the appreciation of more valuable pleasures and pursuits. In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche provides this summary of his feelings towards Kant: "Any distinction between a 'true' and an 'apparent' world--whether in the Christian manner or in the manner of Kant (in the end, an underhanded Christian)--is only a suggestion of decadence, a symptom of the decline of life. Rather, he is a perspectivist. "104 Here "the egoism and sovereignty of the individual" are seen merely as part of a much broader historical process, a brief moment in the intellectual development of mankind, and perhaps even a relatively unimportant moment. Kant's answer: 'This is the Revolution. Yet as always, Nietzsche's challenge to Enlightened thought contains and conceals a subtler capitulation to Enlightenment. In Human, All Too Human, for example, he writes: "The Italian Renaissance contained within it all the positive forces to which we owe modern culture: liberation of thought, disrespect for authorities, victory of education over the arrogance of ancestry, enthusiasm for science and the scientific past of mankind, unfettering of the individual, a passion for truthfulness and an aversion to appearance and mere effect. We should note here that Socrates probably continues to represent for Nietzsche the birth of the modern; thus when Nietzsche refers to "Socrates and his students and all the later leaders of Greek sects," he may well mean to include everything that follows in Socrates's footsteps, such as the Enlightenment. His critique of the political philosophy of his century was perhaps most clearly articulated in his attack on the liberalism of John Stuart Mill. Lampert notes that "Nietzsche came to recognize the dangers attendant on modern science and set about to remedy them with a new understanding of science based on a more adequate understanding of nature. If Nietzsche is able to raise even a slight suspicion that the term "species" does not describe any objectively "real" phenomenon, then this project will have succeeded. And it is the pursuit of this idea, through constant self-improvement and self-creation, that motivates Nietzsche's humanism. Nietzsche did not allow the void he created by dismissing Darwin to remain empty. He writes in Human All too Human: "the socialists desire to create a comfortable life for as many as possible. I ask the reader to forgive the resulting inaccuracies in quotation; all quotes are exact, apart from the lack of emphasis. Indeed, Nietzsche occasionally equates the two, as in Human All Too Human, when he writes: "you wealthy bourgeois who call yourselves 'liberal', admit to yourselves that it is the desire of your own heart that you find so fearful and threatening in the socialists, though in yourselves you consider them inevitable, as though they were something quite different. As Wilcox notes, Nietzsche seems to believe that "science gets at the truth, and represents a higher culture, because it is disciplined, whereas religion and metaphysics show themselves as self-indulgent. "Discourse on the Sciences and Arts (First Discourse)" in The First and Second Discourses. We have yet to say what kind of metaphysical tradition Nietzsche means when he pairs science and metaphysics. For Nietzsche the unquestioning faith in the ability of rational science to address and solve the problems of the world was unsustainable. "We have absolutely no experience of a cause; psychologically considered, we derive the entire concept from the subjective conviction that we are causes, namely, that the arm moves--But this is an error. But when it was made to serve the interests of the herd, it quickly became transformed from a liberating force to one of domination and repression. "80 Kant's extreme rationalism, beyond simply creating a problematic philosophical position, makes Kant problematic for Nietzsche as a philosopher. This association of the Revolution with its "rabble" brings us to another important part of Nietzsche's critique, and that is his attack on Rousseau's egalitarianism. An examination of his work makes it clear, however, that Nietzsche was unable to overcome this pervasive, intractable tradition. However, nationalists have certainly been known to make similar moves, calling for warfare in the name of national self-defense or to rectify a perceived national humiliation. "88 However, we should keep in mind that Nietzsche's point here is not to develop a philosophically rigorous linguistic critique. I do not want to proceed this way, however, for two reasons. 33Stambaugh, Nietzsche's Thought of Eternal Return, 56. 76Magnus, "Overman: an Attitude or an Ideal?" A certain frugality of desire makes possible our scientific curiosity and severity--which is our kind of virtue.--"1 Nietzsche felt that its retreat from ideals made science extremely dangerous. As Karl Jaspers writes, "so far as its origin and its abiding reality is concerned, the state in Nietzsche's opinion is a destructive, assimilating power that enslaves the mass of humanity. He completed this project by taking subjectivity in a radical new direction, but his basic concerns and motivations remained those of any Enlightened thinker. Indeed, an examination of his positive project will suggest that much of Nietzsche's hostility towards the traditional Enlightenment is done in the name of this transformed and transfigured Enlightenment. "How could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes! As Eden puts it, "for Nietzsche, decadence is a term of criticism directed against policies towards decay. Nietzsche's interpretation of science as a sickness is part of his broader cultural critique of science as nihilism. Nietzsche described this as his "most abysmal thought," and one can easily see why, for it implies that everything returns, including all that Nietzsche has worked so hard to overcome, even the exhausted ideas of the conventional Enlightenment and all the dross of modernity. Small wonder that only the overman could face such a task. I will deal with Zarathustra at some length in Chapter Five, for I feel that it was in this book that Nietzsche most clearly articulated the new subjectivity and the utopian idea of progress which are the clearest limits to his attempt to escape Enlightenment. From the realm of the famous 'inner facts,' of which not a single one has so far proved to be factual. They dominate; they make changes; they do not try to preserve, not even themselves. New York: University Press of America, 1983. Science was and continued to be of primary importance for him; indeed it often seems to have been more important to him than were his philosophical ideas. Nehamas makes a good deal of sense when he says that for Nietzsche, science is simply one possible interpretation among many. This critique then forms the basis for a critique of Enlightened political forms, particularly those which Nietzsche associates with Rousseau and the French Revolution. "91 Anarchists sought revenge on society; this was precisely what Nietzsche hated in the herd man. Wicks, Robert. Therefore utilitarianism is not a foundation but only a theory of consequences, and absolutely cannot be made obligatory for everyone. Lawrence Hatab argues that the eternal return "reflects Nietzsche's basic philosophical task, namely the affirmation of the world as it is, refusing any sense of resolution, deliverance or even progress in the world-order. Loeb, Louis E. "The Priority of Reason in Descartes." "108 The nature of Nietzsche's transformed, revitalized Enlightenment project will be made clear in Chapter Five. These are two pillars of Cartesian thought; to call them into question is to undermine Descartes's entire metaphysical project. Jaspers admits that "to Nietzsche the first effect is paralyzing shock" as one realizes that even the lowest things must recur eternally.36 But Jaspers also finds that "this extreme can change into its opposite: Complete, despairing negation of existence can become a no less complete affirmation: Instead of being crushed, the believer will be transformed."37. But what it desires is not a social order as the goal of the individual but a social order as a means for making possible many individuals. "83 This is a peculiarly Victorian combination of scientific objectivity and moral righteousness, but it serves to illustrate Spencer's belief that the scientific method and approach--at least as he saw it--was indispensable to his sociology. So Nietzsche denies that the primal tendency of living creatures is to struggle for survival. The error of free will, Nietzsche warns, is especially dangerous because it leads to morality, which he viewed as one of the great destructive forces of his time. Thus "some will not give up their 'responsibility,' their belief in themselves, the personal right to their merits at any price. And even more so that which compels us to turn to physics--our honesty! This politics is one that is concerned with the liberation of the Enlightened autonomous subject through the refusal to allow the state to interfere with the political and social affairs of that subject. Since the end of the war, Walter Kaufmann and others have worked extensively to debunk the notion that Nietzsche was some sort of proto-fascist. This work focuses on the ideas of ‘freedom’, ‘autonomy’, ‘individual virtues’ and ‘morality as a science’. Descartes writes: "Even though there may be a deceiver of some sort, very powerful and very tricky, who bends all his efforts to keep me perpetually deceived, there can be no slightest doubt that I exist, since he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he will, he can never make me be nothing as long as I think that I am something. Egalitarianism, like utilitarianism, is for Nietzsche a principle of the herd, and therefore to be condemned. Nietzsche writes: "in natural sciences, the moral depreciation of the ego goes hand in hand with an overestimation of the species. Rather, the natural science that was contemporary to him drifted dubiously into a dubious philosophy. "90 Clearly, these are some of the strongest criticisms available to Nietzsche. What, then, are the parts of Enlightened thought that Nietzsche wishes to hold onto? "85 This may well be true, but White is still ignoring two things here: first, that Kant and Nietzsche have radically different ideas about what "individual autonomy" means, and second, that the "production of a higher nature" is something that will also have profoundly different meanings for the two thinkers. And indeed, Nietzsche does adopt evolutionary language from time to time in his writings, for example in "Schopenhauer as Educator," where he writes that "when a species has arrived at its limits and is about to go over into a higher species, the goal of its evolution lies, not in the mass of its exemplars and their wellbeing, let alone in those exemplars who happen to come last in point of time, but rather in those apparently scattered and chance existences which favourable conditions have here and there produced. "12 Again, what we see in Nietzsche's view of the universe is everything that the Enlightenment tries to get rid of: flux, chaos, disorder. The most well-known group to do so, and the one that ultimately would prove to be the most dangerous, especially in Germany, were the nationalists. What is it about rationality that Descartes believed made it a suitable candidate for the lofty position of first principle? What is the shape of the ultimate improvement of mankind? New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984. "21 This would seem at first to contradict my claims about Nietzsche's critique of the Cartesian method. As Nietzsche puts it in the Gay Science, "the realization of general untruth and mendaciousness that now comes to us through science--the realization that delusion and error are conditions of human knowledge and sensation--would be utterly unbearable. And there are other concepts in Nietzsche's work that look like scientific theories. Instead I want to argue, along with Wendy Donner, that "Mill's enlarged concept of utility overcomes the limitations of Bentham's theory without sacrificing its strengths. However, two important points about this passage suggest themselves. Against pessimistic philosophy, Zarathustra insists that we "lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do--back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. Yet just as with Nietzsche's politics, we find that there are important limitations to his critique of Enlightened science. At this point I must raise an important caveat. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. For Nietzsche, however, science is no objective truth; rather "science also rests on a faith; there simply is no science 'without presuppositions. We might read Nietzsche, then, as offering a devastating and debilitating--but relatively straightforward--critique of Enlightened thought. Indeed, Kathleen Higgins notes that a crucial aspect of the idea of eternal return is that "eternal return, as the idea is presented in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is the expression of a general attitude toward life, an attitude that contrasts with the past-obsessed perspective that Nietzsche believes goes hand in hand with the Christian moral worldview. These attacks would be difficult to explain if we wished to show Nietzsche to be some kind of German nationalist. The eternal return, then, does not create some kind of fatalistic affirmation of suffering. "3 We have seen already how Nietzsche rejected the facile solutions of Enlightened politics and science. The question of the status of Mill's politics remains. Nietzsche writes in Beyond Good and Evil: Owing to the pathological estrangement which the insanity of nationality has induced, and still induces, among the peoples of Europe; owing also to the shortsighted and quick-handed politicians who are at the top today with the help of this insanity, without any inkling that their separatist policies can of necessity only be entr'acte policies; owing to all this and much else that today simply cannot be said, the most unequivocal portents are now being overlooked, or arbitrarily and mendaciously reinterpreted--that Europe wants to become one.65. However, Jaspers's claim must be modified somewhat, for in this initial formulation it does not account for the fact that statements of "absolute value" are rare if not nonexistent in Nietzsche's work. There are frequent references in his writings to the necessity, even the desirability of war. And again, Nietzsche's critique is motivated here by a distinct awareness of the implications which this mistake holds for the possible future growth of humanity. Again and again Nietzsche makes reference to nature in his writings to show the absurdity of using the concept of free will as an excuse to legislate morality and assign responsibility. The basic tone is a reflection of the lost immediacy, this time in the field of politics. Having demolished conventional subject-centered metaphysics and epistemology, Nietzsche's next logical target was traditional ethics. However, it seems equally clear that Nietzsche will gladly advocate a science that can account for the broader possibilities of Wissenschaft, including such concepts as interpretation and myth. It was the hegemony of Enlightened reason. "77 Here Darwin is starting to broaden his theory into the realm of social reform, suggesting that there are certain institutions and social practices that do not promote the best ends for humanity. . Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. The proper course for all cosmopolitan Europeanists was, in Nietzsche's view, to combat not Judaism but nationalism. "133 So Nietzsche is able to attribute to modern science a surprising ethical component. The Germans are now bored with the spirit, the Germans now mistrust the spirit; politics swallows up all serious concern for really spiritual matters. 'Because he now has--and needs--a science. As we have seen, Heidegger offers a more radical interpretation of Nietzsche's critique of Descartes. Zarathustra is a utopian vision of a future populated by strong and independent individuals whom Nietzsche calls overmen; it contains, in short, a project that is very much in harmony with the Enlightenment. We should be careful to note, however, that it has not been unheard of to consider Nietzsche as a proponent of socialism. 75Reboul, Nietzsche, Critique de Kant, 83. There is a reading of his project which accounts for the suffering implied by a total affirmation of the world, and yet retains the positive vision which is, I feel, central to his thought. He will be proud of his theory if it can be shown to be inductively sound, and if he can add empirical justification to it as well, then so much the better. In this sense his work is reminiscent, as I shall argue below, of Enlightened thinkers such as Condorcet, who posit world history as a teleological process leading to a positive goal for humanity. "109 This suggests a kind of fictional subjectivity that is very much at odds with the kind of subjectivity the Enlightenment was trying to create, as well as with the kind of practical self-creation that I have been arguing constitutes Nietzsche's main project. . But this is a crude confusion. Of course, we should be wary of facile connections between liberal democracy and bourgeois society in Germany. It says something essential: That which is to come is precisely a matter for decision, since the ring is not closed in some remote infinity but possesses its unbroken closure in the Moment, as the center of striving. As I argued above, Nietzsche meant for his ideas of eternal return and amor fati to produce the psychological and epistemological conditions that would make possible a radical improvement in the human condition; surely this constitutes a humanistic project. The motivation behind his critique was to open a space within which he would be able to specify the characteristics of a radical new kind of subjectivity, a subjectivity which would be centered, but in a way fundamentally different from the way subjectivity had been centered since the Enlightenment. Here, for example, Darwin argues against the evils of primogeniture, stating that "primogeniture with entailed estates is a more direct evil, though it formerly may have been a great advantage.�.�.most eldest sons, thought they may be weak in body or mind, marry, whilst the youngest sons, however superior in these respects, do not so generally marry. Indeed, Nietzsche goes even further than this in his attack on scientific law: "'things' do not behave regularly, according to a rule: there are no things (--they are fictions invented by us); they behave just as little under the constraint of a necessity. They are not associated with Nietzsche's idea of nobility; they are therefore to be abjured. The following is excerpted from The Radical Tradition: Philosophy, Metapolitics & the Conservative Revolution, edited by Troy Southgate (Primordial Traditions, 2011). "8 Moles is quite right here when he describes Nietzsche's critique of scientific law in a way reminiscent of Hume's skepticism: just because the sun has risen every day for a thousand years does not give us any logical reason to suppose that it will also rise tomorrow; it is merely a bias of our human psychology that causes us to believe that it will do so. Enlightened utopia is generally meant as an ideal, a goal towards which we project ourselves. And if Nietzsche never became actively pro-Semitic, he at least became adamantly anti-anti-Semitic.70 We have such testaments to Nietzsche's hatred of anti-Semites as his contempt for Bernhard F�rster (the anti-Semitic activist whom Nietzsche's sister eventually married) and Nietzsche's famous remark from the very end of his sane life that he was "just out having all anti-Semites shot.". The Review of Politics we have reached the point where we find even in political and social institutions an ever more visible expression of this morality: the democratic movement is the heir of the Christian movement. Reboul, Olivier. The intellectual labor of the Discourse is not meant to justify science in any abstract or nebulous way; Descartes intended for it to vindicate a particular kind of knowledge, knowledge that was "useful in life" and promoted "the general welfare of mankind.
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