Reinterpreting Modern Culture

Reinterpreting Modern Culture: An Introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche's Philosophy

Paul J. M. van Tongeren
Copyright Date: 2000
Published by: Purdue University Press
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  • Book Info
    Reinterpreting Modern Culture
    Book Description:

    This book presents Nietzsche's thoughts on knowledge and reality, on morality and politics, and on religion. Preceding these main dialogues is an introduction on the art of reading Nietzsche's texts and on his art of writing.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-129-5
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Presenting the Philosopher
    (pp. 1-50)

    This chapter introduces Nietzsche’s philosophy from two different approaches. First, it presents two of Nietzsche’s own explications of his philosophy, one taken from his early writings, the other from one of his later works. The interpretation of these presentations will show the continuity of Nietzsche’s self-conception and will adumbrate the specific themes that will later be discussed in separate chapters. Second, it depicts the life of Nietzsche as the philosopher who said that “every great philosophy so far has been … the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir” (BGE 6). It depicts a...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Nietzsche’s Writing and How to Read Nietzsche
    (pp. 51-103)

    There is only one way to learn about an author, and that is to read his or her writings. The question, however, ishowto read them. It would be wrong to think that there is only one way of reading and that everyone who is able to read is likewise able to read any author. Writers wish to be read in the proper way, that is, in a manner appropriate to the way they wrote, especially in proportion to the extent to which their writing style originated in and was necessary for the content of their writing. One cannot...

  8. CHAPTER THREE “Epistemology” and “Metaphysics” in Quotation Marks
    (pp. 104-173)

    The following three chapters will successively be devoted to knowledge and reality, morality and politics, and God and religion—three of the four main domains of culture we distinguished. The fourth domain, art, will appear at the end of each of these chapters. Each chapter is construed along the same lines: it first presents Nietzsche’s critique of the domain in question and then addresses Nietzsche’s own position, presuppositions, and aims. In other words, each chapter proceeds from a presentation of the negative part of his thinking to an attempt to discover its positive part.

    From now on,Beyond Good and...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR “A Morality for Moralists”
    (pp. 174-249)

    In the preface toOn the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche depicts the development of his thoughts on morality. He reveals that his reflections on the descent (“Herkunft”) of our moral prejudices were first expressed in his first aphoristic writingHuman, All Too Human, though the ideas occurred to him when he was much younger (GM, pref. 2), even from the time when he was only thirteen (GM, pref. 3). Nietzsche’s critical thoughts on morality form a central and continuous motive that permeates (and to that extent connects) all of his writings. In section 6 ofBeyond Good and EvilNietzsche...

  10. CHAPTER FIVE “Dionysus Versus the Crucified”
    (pp. 250-304)

    The third and last domain of Nietzsche’s analysis of culture is religion. We will see that his diagnosis of religion is also dominated by an antithesis, as the title of this chapter expresses with the last words of Nietzsche’sEcce Homo:“—Have Ibeen understood?—Dionysus versus the Crucified.—” In this chapter we will try to understand Nietzsche along the same lines as we did in the other chapters. We will begin with his critical analysis—a genealogical deconstruction of religious phenomena—and we will end by cautiously searching for an interpretation of certain religious undertones that we perceive...

    (pp. 305-308)
    (pp. 309-311)
    (pp. 312-318)
    (pp. 319-322)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 323-323)