The Nietzsche Disappointment : Reckoning with Nietzsche's Unkept Promises on Origins and Outcomes
The Nietzsche Disappointment examines the workings of time in Nietzsche's philosophy. It asks how he explains the great changes that (according to him) turned the past into the present - catastrophic transformations of morality, language, human nature - or that may yet make a desirable future out of this sorry present age. The question is essential. Nietzsche attacks morality by appeal to the past and future. Where philosophy had fancied itself eternal, imagining all times to be more or less like the present, Nietzsche sets the subject in motion with his attention to abrupt, utterly consequential events. Everything eternal becomes temporal. But after whetting his readers' appetites for past and future cataclysms, Nietzsche makes them seem impossible. Birth of Tragedy raises the question of where Socrates could have come from - and then can't answer. In Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche pins his hopes on the birth of future philosophers, even as he shows how many obstacles prevent their being born. On the Genealogy of Morals posits occurrences, like the triumph of slave morality, that violate Nietzsche's own claims about what can happen. What stops Nietzsche from telling the very stories that he wanted philosophy to attend to? Perhaps that question can't be answered without considering how Nietzsche understands his own place in the flow of time - considering, for instance, his wish to be an original philosopher. The Nietzsche Disappointment is both critical and sympathetic. It interrogates Nietzsche in terms that he should understand; it closes by asking whether there is some way of being critical that is also self-critical. For then a good reading may free the reader from Nietzsche's person while continuing to confront the challenge he bequeathed to philosophy.
- Hardback | 288 pages
- 167 x 229 x 21mm | 485g
- 28 May 2005
- ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
- Lanham, MD, United States
Table of contents
Part 1 Abbreviations and Principal References Part 2 Preface Part 3 Introduction Part 4 Chapter 1: "On the Use and Disadvantage of History for Life": First Temporalizing, Then Temporizing Chapter 5 Four Thoughts between Chapters Part 6 Chapter 2: The Birth of Tragedy: The First Philosopher Chapter 7 Initial Objections Part 8 Chapter 3: On the Genealogy of Morals: The Problem of "Evil" Chapter 9 Some Remarks on the Causal Sequence Part 10 Chapter 4: Beyond Good and Evil: The Philosopher of the Future Part 11 Conclusion: To Finish with Nietzsche Part 12 Bibliography Part 13 Index
Nickolas Pappas reads Nietzsche's books with care, giving nuanced, critical attention to the causal explanations they propose, while insightfully emphasizing the agonistic posture they adopt in relation to various other books (Plato's Symposium, the Gospel of John and so forth). His fresh and illuminating interpretations recall us to the seductive power of Nietzsche's writing, even as they insist on Nietzsche's failure to deliver on his ambitious philosophical promises. The Nietzsche Disappointment is no disappointment, but an original, first-rate, and welcome contribution to Nietzsche scholarship. -- Robert Gooding-Williams, Northwestern University Pappas has put his finger on the problem-Nietzsche's repeated failure to deliver a complete history, an entire causal explanation, to keep his appointments-and explains how this failure is at the root of a learned disappointment that most of us have after studying Nietzsche. I can easily imagine this work becoming to future Nietzsche studies what Walter Kaufmann's Nietzsche has been to scholarship so far. -- Brian Domino, Editor, Journal of Nietzsche Studies Nick Pappas has not only written his book in a manner that does not betray Nietzsche, he has written one that makes much of the fact that Nietzsche was in constant and fruitful critical dialogue with the philosophical tradition. Thus Pappas reads texts of Nietzsche against and with those of Descartes, Plato, the New Testament, and Saint Augustine, among others. The result is a richer understanding both of Nietzsche and of those texts. -- Tracy B. Strong, Professor of Political Thought and Philosophy, University of Southampton
About Nickolas Pappas
Nickolas Pappas is associate professor of philosophy at the City College of New York.