• Shamshir
    425
    I don't know. Tell me please.Merkwurdichliebe
    POLON means pillar; figure out the rest. :victory:

    That is hard to swallow. But, I cannot help but think that everything is the result of a mutagen. I love whacky suggestionsMerkwurdichliebe
    That's what the theory of evolution is, right?
    That some random fish mutated in to humans.

    And then, enters the fool, voicing out - that it was due to the mutagen they ate, as described in the Bible.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    That's what the theory of evolution is, right?
    That some random fish mutated in to humans.

    And then, enters the fool, voicing out - that it was due to the mutagen they ate, as described in the Bible.
    Shamshir

    Well, that just sounds ridiculous. But there is some type of aesthetic metaphor that has irrational meaning that is valuable to the human psyche. For anything that cannot be accounted for in scientific, logical, systematic terms, there is no other way of understanding it than with some type of illustrative allegory.
  • Shamshir
    425
    Is it really ridiculous to consider that humanity was artificially mutated, considering they are trying to be artificially mutated in this very day and age?

    And that's the point of the Übermensch, an artificial mutation - like the cyborg, free from his human limitations.
  • ernestm
    627
    you cannot discount his historic contribution to the philosophic tradition.Merkwurdichliebe

    How am I discounting it? You praise him for heralding post modernism, and in the best tradition of post modernism I am admiring his marvelous example of post-climax rapture. 'Birth or a Tragedy' was his proposal to create a bastard with another man's wife. 'Of Wagner' was him saying thank you God for being dead. And everything after that, including insanity, was his tribute to her cockoldry. What more could you possibly ask for in a post-modernist thinker.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    239
    So, you'd be right that in practice the Übermensch is a God-King, rather than an Anarchist.
    But it's ironic, because there's no difference - as neither is above the law,even if it's just because they constitute it.
    Shamshir

    Right, I think it's important to figure out what 'unbound by a creed' means in practice? I don't think that could just mean unbound by any sort of personal 'values or ideas based on those', because that would just be random stupidity. What I take it to mean is that you are able to transcend the specific values and norms you were raise with and transform them in something that is more your own, based on your own character and instincts.

    So... on the one hand Nietzsche admired Jesus Christ because he was able to withstand the societal norms he was raised with, and came up with his own, because of his 'transvaluation of values'. But on the other hand he derided him in the anti-christ because of his particular psychological make-up that gave rise to that transvaluation. Nietzsche argues that it was because of his "extreme susceptibility to pain and irritation", because of his "instinctive exclusion of all aversion, all hostility, all
    bounds and distances in feeling" that he came to his particular transvaluation of values, the doctrine of the saviour. I'd argue that this psychological archetype is similar to that of the anarchist. Indeed if you take the stories about the life of Jesus Christ at face value, on could argue that he was actually very akin to a sort of anarchist, in that he was constantly in conflict with the rule of Jewish priests and Roman Authority. He was 'unbound by a creed', but that was the result, if you buy into Nietzsche psychological analysis, of a weakness.

    I'd agree that Napoleon and Ceasar could be viewed ultimately as 'pilars' of their respective communities, but not before they had fundamentally transformed them by imposing their values on rules on the entire community. Ceasar organised the Roman republic into a de facto monarchy and created a ton of new laws, after decades of civil war and disorder. And Napoleon cleaned up after the fall of the Ancien Regime and the revolution, and came up with for instance a code of civil law that is still the basis of the current continental European legal system. I'd argue they were not merely anchored to their communities as a sort of passive reciever, but rather they transformed them into something else, based on their personal valuesystems. And I think one cannot really transform societal values if one is really 'bound by a creed'.

    The difference in those transformation is then I think, for Nietzsche, that the one comes from weakness, idealism and a denial of the world, and the other from strength, mastery and an intimate knowledge of that world.
  • Joshs
    685
    I'd argue they were not merely anchored to their communities as a sort of passive receiver, but rather they transformed them into something else, based on their personal value systems. And I think one cannot really transform societal values if one is really 'bound by a creed'.

    The difference in those transformation is then I think, for Nietzsche, that the one comes from weakness, idealism and a denial of the world, and the other from strength, mastery and an intimate knowledge of that world.
    ChatteringMonkey
    What's missing here is that that for Nietzsche the transvaluation of all values only begins as a rejection of the conventions that one received from one's cultural heritage. But it should lead to a total revaluation that ends not with the embrace of an alterantive set of values but with the rejection of the idea that there is a right or superior value system (Napoleon and Caesar can be argued to reject one set of values in favor of their preferred alternative). Will to Power expresses the notion that life in its essence is value positing for its own sake. Each value system is on the way to its own destruction the minute it is affirmed,as part of an endless cycle of creation and destruction. Attempting to hold onto any normative way of being is a weakness for Nietzsche.
  • ernestm
    627
    Will to Power expresses the notion that life in its essence is value positing for its own sake. Each value system is on the way to its own destruction the minute it is affirmed,as part of an endless cycle of creation and destruction.Joshs

    That's imposing value systems on N.

    Will to Power is central to his position, but for N., the true overmind does not acknowledge any value system. It just responds to situations, like Trump in fact, appearing unpredictable to others because there is no reason or rationale to the choice of actions, they just arise from a 'superior intuition.'

    If there has ever been an embodiment of will to power in political office, it is Trump.
  • Shamshir
    425
    I find your proposal of Jesus Christ as an anarchist quaint.
    After all, all progress is simply the little bit of anarchy or perhaps better said 'rule-breaking' between two periods.

    As to: Can one change values if bound by a creed? Indeed, one can.
    Like you said, one can and I'd even add must impose a creed to change values.
    Like how a stairway is the same repeated action and object - but it entails change.

    As for Nietzsche and his Übermensch, I see it as the equivalent to a teenager's rebellion against authority, rather than a surpassing of authority - as the real Úbermensch, I think, is a hermit or in your own thought, a shepherd amongst sheep.

    Adding to that last bit - your idea of the Ûbermensch may be more in line with Nietzsche's - who doesn't want The Good Shepherd, merely The Shepherd, in relation to Jesus Christ.
  • ernestm
    627
    As for Nietzsche and his Übermensch, I see it as the equivalent to a teenager's rebellion against authority, rather than a surpassing of authorityShamshir

    That's not how N. saw it. He posed Zarathustra as an ideal model, and Z. did not rebel, he just did what he wanted without any concern what authority said at all. Z. had no value system of his own. He just acted intuitively.
  • Joshs
    685


    Heidegger explains that for Nietzsche the replacement of old Christian values with new secular ones ones is an 'incomplete nihiism'.

    "The now-empty authoritative realm of the suprasensory and the ideal world can still be adhered to.
    What is more, the empty place demands to be occupied anew and to have the god now vanished from it replaced by something else. New ideals are set up. That happens, according to Nietzsche's conception (Will to Power, Aph. 1021, 1887), through doctrines regarding world happiness, through socialism, and equally through Wagnerian music, i.e., everywhere where "dogmatic Christendom" has "become bankrupt." Thus does "incomplete nihilism" come to prevail. Nietzsche says about the latter :
    "Incomplete nihilism : its forms : we live in the midst of it. Attempts to escape nihilism without revaluing our values so far they produce the opposite, make the problem more acute" (Will to Power, Aph. 28, 1 887) ."

    "Incomplete nihilism does indeed replace the former values with others, but it still posits the latter always in the old position of authority that is, as it were, gratuitously maintained as the ideal realm of the suprasensory. Completed nihilism, however, must in addition do away even with the place of value itself, with the suprasensory as a realm, and accordingly must posit and revalue values differently.
    From this it becomes clear that the "revaluing of all previous values" does indeed belong to complete, consummated, and therefore classical nihilism, but the revaluing does not merely replace the old values with new. Revaluing becomes the overturning of the nature and manner of valuing. The positing of values requires a new principle, i.e., a new principle from which it may proceed and within which it may maintain itself."

    For Nietzsche the essence of being is an endless becoming without ultimate direction. Valuing is mere perspective-taking, a point of view, without anchoring in ultimate truth.

    Nietzsche says "The world with which we are concerned is false, i.e., is not fact but fable and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is "in flux," as something in a state of becoming, as a falsehood always changing but never getting near the truth: for--there is no "truth" (1901/1967). Will to Power.
  • Joshs
    685
    If there has ever been an embodiment of will to power in political office, it is Trumpernestm

    I think the opposite is true. Trump is about as far removed as anyone i can imagine from realizing Will to Power.People say Trump is capricious and unpredictable. Not to his base. And why is that? Because Trump's worldview is consistent with Republicanism of the early 20th century. What makes him dangerous isn't unpredictability , it's his regressive worldview.
    There's a palpable metaphysics driving the Orange One. It may be muddled in its articulation, but its there.

    '
    Z. had no value system of his own. He just acted intuitively.ernestm

    Everyone operates on the basis of a frame of reference, perspective, point of view. Nietzsche's Overman doesn't do away with perspective-taking and value positing, only suprasensory values.
  • ernestm
    627
    Z. had no value system of his own. He just acted intuitively.
    — ernestm

    Everyone operates on the basis of a frame of reference, perspective, point of view. Nietzsche's Overman doesn't do away with perspective-taking and value positing, only suprasensory values.
    Joshs

    It's not a value SYSTEM. He has ideas of good and bad, but there is no SYSTEM of them. It's just intuitive reaction.
  • Joshs
    685
    It's not a value SYSTEM. He has ideas of good and bad, but there is no SYSTEM of them. It's just intuitive reaction.ernestm

    We may be saying the same thing. There are a priori metaphysical systems , which is a suprasensory value system. And there are post-metaphysical value structures, which have a certain schematic consistency to them, as Foucault showed. In this sense, there is still a certain systematicity to post-metaphysical perspective-taking. It's a pragmatic sort of structuration, designed to further our goals of life-enhancement.
  • ernestm
    627
    It's a pragmatic sort of structuration, designed to further our goals of life-enhancement.Joshs

    Not quite. the Will to Power is not a conscious drive either. It's all instinctive. Like an animal responding to stimuli, the external observer could perhaps deduce rules, but there is no reason or cognition in the process for the overmind.
  • Fooloso4
    595
    There are two things that should be kept in the forefront of one's mind: Nietzsche's irony and his esoteric writing style. By esoteric I do not mean some kind of occultism or hermeticism, but the practice of writing on different levels to address different readers. If you are to understand Nietzsche you must learn to read between the lines.

    Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit. It is no easy task to understand unfamiliar blood; I hate the reading idlers. He who knoweth the reader, doeth nothing more for the reader. Another century of readers—and spirit itself will stink. Every one being allowed to learn to read, ruineth in the long run not only writing but also thinking. Once spirit was God, then it became man, and now it even becometh populace. He that writeth in blood and proverbs doth not want to be read, but learnt by heart. (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, "Reading and Writing")[emphasis added

    Since you asked about Beyond Good and Evil let me give you are example. From the Preface:

    SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman - what then?

    When Nietzsche talks about women we should not assume he is talking always talking about women, that is, the female of the human species. When he goes on to say:

    all philosophers, in so far as they have been dogmatists, have failed to understand women -

    he is talking about truth:

    that the terrible seriousness and clumsy importunity with which they have usually paid their addresses to Truth, have been unskilled and unseemly methods for winning a woman? Certainly she has never allowed herself to be won ...

    We must pay attention to Nietzsche's women, they include in addition to truth, wisdom, and life. We must also pay attention to what he says about women and how the are to be treated.
  • Joshs
    685
    N

    Will to Power is not a conscious drive either. It's all instinctive. Like an animal responding to stimuli, the external observer could perhaps deduce rules, but there is no reason or cognition in the process for the overmind.ernestm

    Yes, as for Freud, the instinctual drives are unconscious. But the Will tp Power must imply forms of cognition, as Heidegger shows:

    "Nietzsche says in a note (1887-88) what he understands by
    value : "The point-of-view of 'value' is the point-of-view constituting
    the preservation-enhancement conditions with respect to complex forms of relative duration of life within becoming" (Will to Power, Aph. 715) .10
    "The essence of value lies in its being a point-of-view. Value means that upon which the eye is fixed. Value means that which is in view for a seeing that aims at something or that, as we say,
    reckons upon something and therewith must reckon with something else. Value stands in intimate relation to a so-much, to quantity and number. Hence values are related to a "numerical
    and mensural scale" (Will to Power, Aph. 710, 1888) .

    "This seeing is at any given time a seeing on behalf of a view-to-life that rules completely in everything that lives. In that it posits the aims that are in view for whatever is alive, life, in its essence, proves to be value-positing (d. Will to Power, Aph.556, 1 885-86).

    Within becoming, life-L e., aliveness-shapes itself into centers of the will to power particularized
    in time. These centers are, accordingly, ruling configurations. Such Nietzsche understands art, the state, religion, science, society, to be. Therefore Nietzsche can also say : "Value is essentially the point-of-view for the increasing or decreasing of these dominating centers"(that is, with regard to their ruling character) (Will to Power, Aph. 715, 1887-88)."

    It's hard to maintain such centers without calculative cognition, which Nietzsche doesn't deny. He just argues that they are in service of, and get their meaning from, the drives.
    Nietzsche wasn't posting a psychological behaviorism)stimulus-response). His approach was in some respects compatible with Freud's understanding of the relation between ego and id.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    239
    But it should lead to a total revaluation that ends not with the embrace of an alterantive set of values but with the rejection of the idea that there is a right or superior value system (Napoleon and Caesar can be argued to reject one set of values in favor of their preferred alternative).Joshs

    But I don't think, and I don't think N. did either, that Ceasar or Napoleon believed that there was a right or superior value system... at least in any objective or metaphysical sense.

    Everyone operates on the basis of a frame of reference, perspective, point of view. Nietzsche's Overman doesn't do away with perspective-taking and value positing, only suprrasensory values.Joshs

    As you put it quite nicely here, it cannot mean the total rejection of any value positing. So I don't see how Napoleon or Ceasar positing their own would necessarily be contrary to the idea of the overman.
  • ChatteringMonkey
    239
    As to: Can one change values if bound by a creed? Indeed, one can.
    Like you said, one can and I'd even add must impose a creed to change values.
    Like how a stairway is the same repeated action and object - but it entails change.
    Shamshir

    Then I come back the question of what 'unbound by a creed' could possibly mean in practice. Since I believe, with Joshs, that everybody necessarily posits at least their own values (if they don't follow someone elses) and thus 'has a creed', the frase 'unbound by a creed' doesn't seem to mean anything, it's an empty set then.
  • Joshs
    685
    So I don't see how Napoleon or Ceasar positing their own would necessarily be contrary to the idea of the overman.ChatteringMonkey


    I tend to side with post-structuralists and Heideggerian readings of Nietzsche. Deleuze, for instance, treats the overman as something very different from a chosen valuative perspective, or a a will
    which wants and seeks power.

    "We should not think of Nietzsche's overman as simply a raising of the stakes: he differs in nature from man, from the ego. The overman is defined by a new way of feeling: he is a different subject from man, something other than the human type. A new way of thinking. A new way of evaluating: not a change
    of values, not an abstract transposition nor a dialectical reversal, but a change and reversal in the element from which the value of values derives, a "transvaluation"."

    "We can thus see how the eternal return is linked,not to a repetition of the same, but on the contrary, to a transmutation. It is the moment or the eternity of becoming which eliminates all that resists it. It releases, indeed it creates, the purely active and pure affirmation. And this is the sole content of the Overman; he is the joint product of the will to power and the eternal return, Dionysus and
    Ariadne. This is why Nietzsche says that the will to power is not wanting, coveting or seeking power, but only "giving" or "creating". This book sets out, primarily, to analyse what Nietzsche calls becoming."
  • Shamshir
    425
    In practice, the thing which most symbolises being unbound, would be going with the flow - which entails dissolution.

    But I think we may both agree, Nietzsche does not seek dissolution - rather domination; may we?
  • I like sushi
    1.1k
    To everyone here:

    Are we all in agreement that The Birth of Tragedy is essential reading to understand Nietzsche in regards to Dionysus and and Apollo? One thing that struck me, maybe more than most due to my interests, was the comments on Greek ‘plays’ and further study of Aristotle and the social importance of ‘plays’ in ancient Greece - as well as in other societies; although in differing forms and differing attachments to ‘ritual’ and communal celebration. The meaning of “chorus” really hit home for me.

    Overall Nietzsche’s journey begins with this reverence for the clash of Apolline and Dyonysiac traditions culminating in the performed rituals of comedy and tragedy stemming from epic and brought to the general public as a means to see humanity as a force unto itself full of fear and loathing, full of stupidity and delusions.

    In the Geneaology of Morals Nietzsche makes explicit the delusion of ‘value’ being “Good and Evil” and instead drives home that there is “Good and Bad”.

    His view of “Good” is summed up as being claimed by the public as some watered down ethical law that mist be abided by. He clearly sets out the will of the individual as moral and the will of the masses as ‘mentality ill’. The necessary clash of the individual will set upon the communal grounds of societal interaction makes humans human. We’re torn between our inner sense of being and our outer sense of being - being an individual, yet an individual necessarily a part of a group of others and ONLY an individual because of this.

    He quite blatantly opposes the religious ideal and the idea of dissipating the ego for the so-called betterment of human society. He seemed to understand that such would mean the destruction of humanity not its liberation.

    The general message I hear (and I understand it as MY message; strange as it seems) is that social ideals regarding how we should behave morally are vicious ideals no one in their right mind should adhere to. Hence the ‘mental illness’ of society. We see this ‘illness’, and I’ve shown revealed this myself in posts about hypothetical scenarios, in the manner in which people refuse to face up to impossible problems preferring the comfort of social conformity and essentially a willingness to remain blind to themselves for the so-called, self-professed nonsense, of the ‘good of all’ - this equates to nothing more than the death throes of humanity within an individual life (may they perish and may people understand the comedy AND the tragedy of their journey into the abyss!)
  • Sculptor
    41
    The main thing to understand about N is that he was quite an old windbag who for most of his later life was losing his mind to syphilis.
    His doctoral thesis on the Philology of Dionysus and Apollo is still regarded as a masterpiece. This work has always given him plenty of kudos.
    His life in writing is a spectrum of less reason and more polemic as time passes. He also had the tendency to increasingly weird metaphors, which some have taken too literally. The worst was possibly the eternal return, or recurrance, where some think of it as an endorsement of re-incarnation; it is not. It is a moral lesson that we ought to live our lives as if this was the last of a fully mindful and considered whole.
    His attacks on Christian morality bear the marks of personal experience, and seem too strident at times. But there is no way he can be held responsible for Hitler.
    It's worth pointing out that his sister had a role in upgrading his works to appeal to fascism,
  • ChatteringMonkey
    239
    In practice, the thing which most symbolises being unbound, would be going with the flow - which entails dissolution.

    But I think we may both agree, Nietzsche does not seek dissolution - rather domination; may we?
    Shamshir

    I will say I have a hard time envisioning what the quotes from Deleuze would actually entail... maybe I don't quite get the concept of the overman for that reason. But leaving the concept of the overman aside for a moment, I do agree that going with the flow, or dissolution is not what Nietzsche is after. Domination is maybe a bit of a loaded term, but the will to power yes... and then will to power not necessarily as 'worldy power', although it can entail that, but primary as an overarching drive that dominates and structures other instincts.

    In a lot of instances Nietzsche talks about 'anarchy in the instinct' as the cause for the turn to reason as a tyrant (to subdue that anarchy), as in the case of Ancient Greece and Socrates... which only makes things worse in some ways. The point being here, that he clearly doesn't believe that no structure at all is the way to go, eventhough said structure might seem to be contrary to the dionysian and the concept of the overman.

    Maybe there is some reconciliation to be found in his metaphore of the camel, lion and ultimately the child, in that the possibly and value of the child presicely lies in haven gone through these previous stages... one cannot really play with structures and tables of values and transcendent them, if they haven't been imprinted in some ways before.
  • Shamshir
    425
    Domination is maybe a bit of a loaded term, but the will to power yes... and then will to power not necessarily as 'worldy power', although it can entail that, but primary as the an overarching drive that dominates and structures other instincts.ChatteringMonkey
    The 'will to power' term finds its roots with The Book of Abramelin - where the practitioner is instructed to abate society and then proclaim dominance over all vices (unclean spirits) to assume contact with his higher/true self.

    It in essence means divine will, where the will of the actor is unimpeded.
    That's where Western European occultist tradition is derived from, and the idea of the Übermensch is nothing new to it. To it, the Übermensch is the destroyer of the Ego.

    I'd go as far as to say that Nietzsche envisions his Übermensch as King Solomon - the wise, exuberant king; who is again at the core of the Abramelin Tradition.
    Which going to back to...
    As for Nietzsche and his Übermensch, I see it as the equivalent to a teenager's rebellion against authorityShamshir
    Is what the story of Solomon entails.

    In a lot of instances Nietzsche talks about 'anarchy in the instinct' as the cause for the turn to reason as a tyrant (to subdue that anarchy), as in the case of Ancient Greece and Socrates... which only makes things worse in some ways. The point being here, that he clearly doesn't believe that no structure at all is the way to go, eventhough said structure might seem to be contrary to the dionysian and the concept of the overman.ChatteringMonkey
    The Dionysian tradition is living in unison with nature, which is what the Anarchist craves.
    The Anarchist is not without structure - his structure is the Animal Kingdom; that's the freedom the Anarchist craves.

    I think it's important to consider the bureaucracy that surrounded Nietzsche, to see what his Übermensch is in practice.
    And that is why I compare the Übermensch to both the Anarchist and The Shepherd (King Solomon).
    Whilst the Anarchist entails the freedom from superfluous society, Nietzsche being a so-called philosopher, he would seek to elevate himself rather than dissolve - which is what society was to him, a dissolution of the individual.
    The Shepherd in his dominance over the sheep, is free like the sheep - but it is not due to blissful ignorance, but a wise overcoming.

    All Nietzsche is doing, is reflecting what he despises; it's reversed, but it's the same.
    His Übermensch isn't beyond a creed, he is beyond The Creed of Man.
    The Übermensch who is without a creed altogether, has to be neither Over nor a Man.
  • Arne
    363
    Nietzsche will always be difficult to understand first hand. I found it extremely useful to read Walter Kaufman's seminal assessment of Nietzsche.
  • Wittgenstein
    64

    Russell had the heart to win the fight while Nietzsche had a mental breakdown upon seeing a horse being beaten.
    But Russell was good at seducing too and lived a vibrant married life.
    Nevertheless the ideas of Nietzsche can be twisted and turn into nazi propaganda, so his ideas were way more powerful than Russell's. He was also an atheist who did not ramble on about disproving God all the time but also discussed the problems which will rise if society forgets God.Russell was too cocky to see any social problems,he was more on the autistic side when it came to philosophy.
  • Merkwurdichliebe
    1.3k
    Nietzsche had a mental breakdown upon seeing a horse being beaten.Wittgenstein

    At least it wasn't a dead horse. But still, not very Ubermensch, was it?

    Nevertheless the ideas of Nietzsche can be twisted and turn into nazi propaganda, so his ideas were way more powerful than Russell's. He was also an atheist who did not ramble on about disproving God all the time but also discussed the problems which will rise if society forgets God.Russell was too cocky to see any social problems,he was more on the autistic side when it came to philosophy.Wittgenstein


    That is a good assessment.

    Nietschze's philosophy was a lot more concerned with the ethical than Russell's. And I have always found ethical philosophy to be much more powerful than epistemology/metaphysics, given that it has direct application to life, whereas the latter is pretty much confined to thought/speculation.
  • Joshs
    685
    K
    I found it extremely useful to read Walter Kaufman's seminal assessment of Nietzsche.Arne

    Kaufmann is a good translator, but I prefer the poststructuralist readings of Nietzsche(Heidegger, Deleuze, Derrida) .I think they understood the radical implications of his thought better than did Kaufmann.
  • Arne
    363
    except Kaufmann does far more than translate. He provides historical perspective.
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