All posts filed under: Nietzsche

Notes on Derrida’s “Structure, Sign and Play in the Human Sciences”

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deconstruction / derrida / Levi-Strauss / Nietzsche / structuralism / Uncategorized

Derrida: “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” From Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978): 278-93. “We need to interpret interpretations more than to interpret things” (Montaigne). Derrida refers to the history of the concept of structure and an “event” in that history (it should be noted that in this opening paragraph, Derrida himself highlights the bracketing of the term event in quotation marks to […]

Technoscience and Expressionism

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acceleration / becoming / control / Deleuze / machine / Nietzsche / subjectivity / virtual

Technology and Control The technocrat is the natural friend of the dictator—computers and dictatorship; but the revolutionary lives in the gap which separates technical progress from social totality, and inscribed there his dream of permanent revolution. This dream, therefore, is itself action, reality, and an effective menace to all established order; it renders possible what it dreams about (Gilles Deleuze, Logic of Sense) Gilles Deleuze’s indication of a certain affinity between technocrats and dictators seems […]

Theory 1: Epigrams and Involutions

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becoming / Deleuze / language / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics

Theory 1: Epigrams and Involutions “When I’m dreaming back like that I begins to see we’re only all telescopes.” Joyce, Finnegan’s Wake “We have to learn to think differently — in order at last, perhaps very late on, to attain even more: to feel differently.” Nietzsche, Daybreak, II.103 “The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.” Montaigne Preface. These collected epigrams, my thoughts of the morning — and occasionally late evening — this […]

Earth

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acceleration / Deleuze / machine / metaphysics / motion / Nietzsche / ontology / Serres / sign

In the duplicity of beauty there is the strange trope of a presence which is the shadow of itself, of a being which, anachronously, lurks in its own trace. (Levinas, Otherwise than Being) Loyalty to Earth! There is a primordial immanence of the body, a primacy of lived experience; natural-and-spiritual forces are firstly constellations of singular point-signs, assembling lines of flight or death, and merely falsified (explicated at best) through signifying abstractions incapable of unleashing […]

Statement

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assemblage / becoming / code / differentiation / disorder / escape / grammar / heresy / language / Nietzsche / structure / virus

Hypermediation. What is a statement? But the problem is already determining the singular projection of the statement onto life: both to identify the variously formed matters contained within it, with each of their constituent speeds and trajectories; but also the strata which capture and isolate (or ramify and merge) these intensities through one another. A statement is attached to productive networks which run throughout society; it is an auto-projection of the truth of society onto […]

Woman

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Eternal Return / Nietzsche / women

I mean to say that the world is full of beautiful things but nevertheless poor, very poor when it comes to beautiful moments and unveilings of these things. But perhaps this is the powerful magic of life: it is covered by a veil interwoven with gold, a veil of beautiful possibilities, sparkling with promise, resistance, bashfulness, mockery, pity, and seduction. Yes, life is a woman. Friedrich Nietzsche

Break

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machine / Nietzsche / ontology / philosophy / truth

Nietzsche. That joy and vision should be brought to bear even in the darkest corner of the human soul — and especially upon that within it which surges upwards and beyond the human species entirely; above the world, and so finally able to see, from a vision born of flight. –To “survey” reality as though from an impossible distance, an incommensurate height. Joyful wisdom. Science is such that it can only truly be said to […]

Supplements

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decision / Deleuze / mathematics / Nietzsche / nihilism / non-philosophy

    Is mathematics discovered or invented? But what if we have misplaced the scent from the start; in other words what if this clear distinction elides the process itself, if the particular and immanent relation between invention and discovery forms the basis of the ‘singularizing’ expression involved in a new mathematical proof? But a rigorous diagram of novelty itself, of the Event, seems to escape the boundaries of mathematical thought. Ontology is not the […]

The Poetics of Psychoanalysis: Towards an Ethics of Expression

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art / cruelty / difference / language / love / metaphysics / morality / nature / Nietzsche / Politics / rigor / science

Introduction: Rationality and Affect The lofty prize Of science lies Concealed today as ever! He has no thought To him it’s brought To own without endeavor! Goethe, Faust (1st part, 2567-2572) Intelligence is a moral category. The separation of feeling and understanding, that makes it possible to absolve and beatify the blockhead, hypostasizes the dismemberment of man into functions. Praise of the simpleton has an undertone of anxiety lest the severed parts reunite and put […]

Wandering Shadows: Reflections on Morality and Madness

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architecture / banquet / language / machine / metaphysics / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics / time / unconscious / violence / wisdom

In the disparity between the awareness of unreason and the awareness of madness, we have, at the end of the eighteenth century, the point of departure for a decisive movement: that by which the experience of unreason will continue, with Holderlin, Nerval, and Nietzsche, to proceed ever deeper towards the roots of time — unreason thus becoming, par excellence, the world’s contratempo — and the knowledge of madness seeking on the contrary to situate it […]

Production, Division, Excess: Spinoza, Nietzsche and the Event

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counter-deity / Deleuze / ethics / event / infinity / light / materialism / music / Nietzsche / Plato / poetry / science / socrates / Spinoza / stoicism / theology / virus / void

The essential is never perceived in sheer multiplicity or in first impressions. Henri de Lubac In Nature there is nothing contingent; all things have been caused by the necessity of the divine nature to exist and produce an effect in a certain way. Spinoza, Ethics The wise person is free in two ways which conform to the two poles of ethics: free in the first instance because one’s soul can attain to the interiority of […]

The Meaning of Science

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art / ascetic ideal / chaos / efficiency / history / humility / illusion / improvement / irony / meaning / Nietzsche / order / problem / religion / resentment / science / socrates / spirit / will to power

What is the Meaning of Science? Nietzsche and the History of the Human Spirit What is problematic about science? What does the “progress” of science mean about human beings? I believe this question turns everything which is unsettling, mysterious, and uncanny about the course of human development (and not only human); who can exhaust what is figured within the folds of this strange question — science thought as a symptom, science grasped as a problem? […]

On Asceticism

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asceticism / attunement / commerce / desire / exteriority / instinct / metaphysics / Nietzsche / noise / nothingness / spirit / strength / Thought

We know what the three great catchphrases of the ascetic idea are: poverty, humility, and chastity. If we now look closely at the lives of all great, prolific, inventive spirits we’ll always rediscover all three there to a certain degree. Not at all (this is self-evident) as if it were something to do with their “virtues”—what does this kind of man have to do with creating virtues?—but as the most appropriate and most natural conditions […]

Beyond Desire: Remarks on Nietzsche and Becoming

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Anaxagoras / becoming / being / chaos / cosmos / desire / discourse / freedom / infinity / intensity / lacan / morality / morphology / Nietzsche / nous / ontology / phenomenology / psychology / Theory / Philosophy / unconscious

    Topos (biocosm)     In the beginning all things were mixed together; then came understanding and created order. Anaxagoras [1] What had to be accomplished in that chaotic pell-mell of primeval conditions, before all motion, so that the world as it now is might come to be, with its times of day and times of year, all conforming to law, with its manifold beauty and order, all without the addition of any new […]

Nietzsche, Corruption, Exhaustion

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corruption / culture / enlightenment / exhaustion / free spirit / Gay Science / individuality / Nietzsche / progress / religion / superstition / war

In book I, section 23 of Gay Science, Nietzsche deploys a theory concerning the rise of the individual in relation to the signs of corruption in a society. This corruption signifies for Nietzsche the development and culmination of superstition in a culture. Superstition in this text is equated with the “second-order free spirit.” Unlike the religious advocate, the superstitious is always more of a person, meaning that the appearance of this attribute is the development […]

The Will to Virtue and the Morality of Capture

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capture / Christianity / domestication / herd morality / individual / Manu / morality / Nietzsche / power / virtue / war / Zarathustra

    “Neither Manu, nor Plato nor Confucius nor the Jewish and Christian teachers have ever doubted their right to lie. They have not doubted that they had very different rights too. Expressed in a formula, one might say: all the means by which one has so far attempted to make mankind moral were through and through immoral” (Twilight, 505). Nietzsche despises the improvers of mankind because they have typically been priests, otherwise known as […]

Nietzsche, Pity and Virtue: From the Superfluous to the Exceptional

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Antichrist / breeding / Christianity / corruption / exception / individual / kant / morality / Nietzsche / overman / pity / power / species / Spinoza / suffering / superfluous / values / virtue

The weak and the failures shall perish: first principle of our love of man. And they shall even be given every possible assistance (The Antichrist, 570). In the opening sections of The Antichrist, Nietzsche raises the question of what type of man shall be bred, continuing a line of thought developed in Twilight of the Idols in relation to the Laws of Manu. In former times, Nietzsche argues, the exceptional human was a fortunate accident; […]

Cyborg Nietzsche: Conscience, Affect, Transvaluation

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algebra / complexity / decay / diagnosis / ethics / insanity / language / literature / machine / mathematics / Nietzsche / Politics / prejudice / psychoanalysis / schizophrenia / Science / Mathematics / Technology / society / structure / transformation / truth / unconscious

Part One: Criticism and Untruth-Machines A. Neurosis and Transcendence: the Algebra of Bad Conscience We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it in full.  Marcel Proust For Nietzsche, uncovering the peculiar logic of the unconscious, revealing the function of this or that unobserved striving, would only form part of the analysts’ role. A rich, analytic transformation of the real space of mental (political) activity is the full meaning of diagnostic criticism. Any real […]

Nietzsche and the Capture and Domestication of Peoples

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apparatus of capture / culture / custom / decay / democracy / genealogy / image of thought / individual / instrumentality / Nietzsche / nomad / overman / Politics / power / religion / society / sovereignty / state / unground / universal / universal politics / utopia / war / war machine / warrior / Zarathustra

  “You shall obey—someone and for a long time: else you will perish and lose the last respect for yourself”—this appears to me to be the moral imperative of nature which, to be sure, is neither “categorical” as the old Kant would have it (hence the “else”) nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to her?), but to peoples, races, ages, classes—but above all to the whole human animal, to man (Beyond Good […]

Blogosphere Kinships: Activity at Massthink

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Arthur Danto / Darwinism / Deleuze / Deleuze and Guattari / evolution / hylomorph / identity / Manuel DeLanda / massthink / Nietzsche / philosophy blog / Theory / Philosophy / Uncategorized

I’ve been visiting the massthink blog (populated by Ryan and Aless) for a couple of months now, but, as a bad reader, I failed to leave comments. I was thrilled not only with the content, but more so with the way in which these two have organized their site. I was inspired to see their text page (which encouraged me to put up the bibliography, still under construction) and by the way in which they […]

Zarathustra and Genealogy: Where the State Ceases…

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apparatus of capture / genealogy / Nietzsche / nihilism / nomads / overman / Politics / state / warrior / will to power / Zarathustra

In Book 1 of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, there is a speech on the state (“Of the New Idol”) that is surrounded by a speech on war and the warrior prior to it and also a speech “On the Flies of the Marketplace” following it. All three speeches in a way need to be read together (not only in order but also juxtaposed in other ways) to be fully understood. Having said that, I want to […]

Rhythm, Expression, Transformation: Music and Nietzsche

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becoming / birth / composition / expression / mathematics / music / Nietzsche / resonance / rhythm / sensitivity / space / transformation

(Image by Hectik, http://www.hectik.com/) In music the passions enjoy themselves. Friedrich Nietzsche In early 1872, the same year The Birth of Tragedy was published, Nietzsche delivered a series of lectures entitled “An Investigation into Rhythm and Meter.” (The lecture which interests me, “Toward a Theory of Quantified Rhythm,” appears to still be untranslated!) Music is at the heart of Nietzsche’s effort. In a very important sense, without a musical ear, his work cannot be understood. […]

Nietzsche’s Social Ontology: (Un)harnessing the Chaos

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coding / Deleuze / grand politics / guattari / individuality / instrumentality / Laruelle / Nietzsche / ontology / Politics / society

The individual is a chaos necessary to every political and social order, a chaos enveloped in a structural social machine. This chaos should be distinguished from a random distribution of intensities or an undifferentiated aggregate but instead should be thought of as overdetermined. From our point of view (against a flow of power that remains obscure in origin) this is precisely the problem that must be addressed according to the collective nature of the individual, […]

The Genealogy of the Unconscious: Evolution, Awareness, Creativity

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affirmation / creativity / Dionysos / drives / evolution / human / libido / metaphor / morality / Nietzsche / reality / relation / truth / unconscious / will

“What does man actually know about himself? Is he, indeed, ever able to perceive himself completely, as if laid out in a lighted display case? Does nature not conceal most things from him — even concerning his own body — in order to confine and lock him within a proud, deceptive consciousness, aloof from the coils of the bowels, the rapid flow of the blood stream, and the intricate quivering of the fibers! She threw […]

Time and the Cultural Unconscious: Nietzsche and the Future

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chaos / culture / freud / materiality / metaphysics / Nietzsche / resistance / society / subject-group / time / unconscious / value

Woman at the Window Salvador Dalí, oil on board (1925) What do we understand to be the boundaries of our neighbor: I mean that which he as it were engraves and impresses himself into and upon us? We understand nothing of him except the change in us of which he is cause — our knowledge of him is like the hollow space which has been shaped. (Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak 118) Stripped of its social connotations, […]

Translation: Michel Serres and the Eternal Return

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chaos / complexity / Cosmogony / Cosmology / Distribution / Eternal Return / French Translation / kant / Laplace / michel serres / Nietzsche / philosophy of science / system / Untranslated Theory

The following is Michel Serres’s essay “Eternal Return” in Hermes IV: Distribution. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1977. pp. 115-124. Original translation by Taylor Adkins on 10/10/07 Philosophers glorify Nietzsche for having suddenly rejoined the Greeks through their fulgurating intuition of the Eternal Return. Either from an ignorance of ethics or incomprehension of the general figure that this thesis takes in his philosophy, I reduce this to a vision of the world. Vision with the […]

The Power to Will: Nietzsche and Becoming Free

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culture / difference / God / grammar / human / labor / literature / Nietzsche / Politics / power / text / theory / will to power

Reaching Out The will to power is not essentially political; it aims beyond politics towards a more subtle possession. The will to power is articulated as a higher expression of the will to live, as opposed to the will to survive. It is the will to exercise power. Its primary function is to be functional, that is: dynamic, active and creative. This kind of willing indicates not a static ideal will rather an energetic, even […]

Nietzsche and the Unconscious: Ethics, Desire, Politics

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daybreak / desire / difference / ethics / freud / joy / Nietzsche / Politics / style / text / unconscious / Zen

Cy Twombly, Untitled [1970. Oil-based house paint and crayon on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: © 2004 Matthew Septimus] Granted that nothing is ‘given’ as real except our world of desires and passions, that we can rise or sink to no other ‘reality’ than the reality of our drives – for thinking is only the relationship of these drives to one another: is it not permitted to make the experiment and […]

Nietzsche and Sexual Politics: Energy and Difference in Power Relations

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bodies / culture / difference / Foucault / freud / identity / Marx / Nietzsche / overman / Politics / posthuman / sexuality / time

Dionysos and Ariadne We do not generally recognize how temporary our concepts and customs are. Foucault has argued our modern concept of sexuality is rooted inextricably in the specific marriage rituals in late Western society. His genealogical-historical method is reminiscent in many ways to Nietzsche’s. Both will explain by turns how this or that concept has its true origin in a (relatively) quite recent conceptual matrix, as opposed to some ancient transcendent intervention. Both show […]

Translation: Appendix to Boudot’s Reading in Nietzsche aujourd’hui: Round Table Discussion

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French Translation / marxism / Maurice de Gandillac / method / Nietzsche / Nietzsche aujourd'hui / nihilism / ontology / Pierre Boudot / Zarathustra

Boudot, Pierre. “Discussion de la méthode dia-critique: une méthode de lecture de Zarathoustra.” Nietzsche aujourd’hui (2 vols.). Pierre Boudot et. alia. Publications du centre culturel de Cérisy-a-Salle (Paris: UGE, 1973),vol. 1, pp. 384-393.. This is the discussion following Pierre Boudot’s essay in the Nietzsche aujourd’hui volume translated by Taylor Adkins [9/28/07]. Robert Sasso: I am surprised to hear you presenting your lecture program without many references, some allusive, to works already devoted to readings of […]

Translation: The Dia-critical Method: Pierre Boudot’s Method of Reading Zarathustra

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diacritics / dialectics / Eternal Return / French Translation / method / Nietzsche / Nietzsche aujourd'hui / nihilism / ontology / Pierre Boudot / Zarathustra

Boudot, Pierre. “La méthode dia-critique: une méthode de lecture de Zarathoustra.” Nietzsche aujourd’hui (2 vols.). Pierre Boudot et. alia. Publications du centre culturel de Cérisy-a-Salle (Paris: UGE, 1973),vol. 1, pp. 371-383. Translated by Taylor Adkins [9/07]. The following is my translation of Pierre Boudot’s essay. The discussion following his essay in the Nietzsche aujourd’hui volume will also be translated at a later date with commentary. At each moment of his thought, Nietzsche reactivates the reasons […]

Translation: Introduction to Nietzsche’s Ontology: Pierre Boudot

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diacritics / French Translation / Georges Bataille / hope / L'ontologie de Nietzsche / Nietzsche / ontology / Pierre Boudot / Zarathustra

Boudot, Pierre. L’ontologie de Nietzsche. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1971. The following is my translation of the introduction, pg. 5-9. I like the total renewal of Nieztsche’s thought in each one of his books. Its creative requirement moves in a counter-current, but I consider it able to release to our time the individual sources of genius in the environment of humanity. If our society does not understand that, electronic machines will dictate the laws […]

Nietzsche and Basho: Freedom, Morality and Awareness

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Basho / chaos / enlightenment / equilibrium / ethics / freedom / language / method / Nietzsche / unity / Zen

How very noble! One who finds awakening in the lightning-flash (Basho) It struck me lately that Nietzsche’s style is not entirely dissimilar to the strategy employed by the Zen koan. I’m thinking in particular of the haikus of Basho: short, aphoristic bursts of supersaturated feelings, pressurized information, aimed to awaken and reorient consciousness towards new directions. The author of the haiku plays a subtle game of exchanging masks. Each voice, whether of the dawn, the […]

The Future of Culture: or, Beyond Eschatology

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decadence / hope / institution / Nietzsche / nihilism / Politics / religion / socialism

Nothing has preoccupied me more profoundly than the problem of decadence… “Good and evil” is merely a variation of that problem. Once one has developed a keen eve for the symptoms of decline, one understands morality, too—one understands what is hiding under its most sacred names and value formulas: impoverished life, the will to the end, the great weariness. Morality negates life… (The Case of Wagner, 51) The social relation requires re-evaluation in light of […]