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Nietzsche`s Task: An Interpretation of Beyond Good and Evil [Hardcover]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.52" Width: 6.46" Height: 1.09"
Weight:   1.43 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2001
Publisher   Yale University Press
ISBN  0300088736  
EAN  9780300088731  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
When Nietzsche published Beyond Good and Evil in 1886, he told a friend that it was a book that would not be read properly until "around the year 2000." Now Laurence Lampert sets out to fulfill this prophecy by providing a section by section interpretation of this philosophical masterpiece that emphasizes its unity and depth as a comprehensive new teaching on nature and humanity. According to Lampert, Nietzsche begins with a critique of philosophy that is ultimately affirmative, because it shows how philosophy can arrive at a defensible ontological account of the way of all beings. Nietzsche next argues that a new post-Christian religion can arise out of the affirmation of the world disclosed to philosophy. Then, turning to the implications of the new ontology for morality and politics, Nietzsche argues that these can be reconstituted on the fundamental insights of the new philosophy. Nietzsche's comprehensive depiction of this anti-Platonic philosophy ends with a chapter on nobility, in which he contends that what can now be publicly celebrated as noble in our species are its highest achievements of mind and spirit.

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More About Professor Laurence Lampert

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Laurence Lampert is professor emeritus of philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is the author of several books.

Laurence Lampert was born in 1941.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength--life itself is will to power  Jan 8, 2009
This was required reading for a graduate course in the Humanities. Laurence Lampert's "Interpretation" of Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil" is an excellent guide to Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of a "will to power," which is central to his philosophical beliefs, and a recurring theme in his book. When Nietzsche was a budding philosopher, he admired and was influenced by the writings of another philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer. However, Schopenhauer, like most scientists and philosophers of his day, attributed the "will to live" as the highest motivational life force in nature. Nietzsche observed that the "will to live" was not life affirming enough and that humankind needed a higher power. Therefore, Nietzsche theorized that living beings were not just motivated by a survival instinct to live. He understood that beings had a higher need, which he called the "will to power." One can easily interpret Nietzsche's "will to power" as a method by which people strive to grow and nurture their creative energies, and interact with the world. Nietzsche thinks that "will to power" was coupled with humankind's innate nature and passion to create. Nietzsche thinks that this "will to power" was the true driving force of humankind. "A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength--life itself is will to power, self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results" (Nietzsche Aphorism 13). The "will to power" causes humans to dominate and impose their will on others. Thus for Nietzsche, humankind's "will to power" meant that life and will is the exploitation of others, and it has been since the beginning of time, immemorial (Nietzsche Aphorism 258). In fact, Nietzsche believed that one could take his concept of the "will to power" one-step further, and use it to explain the motivations of whole societies, and nation states, as well as the individual (Nietzsche aphorism 257, 259).

Nietzsche tends to be very passionate and absolutist in his aphorisms. He wrote so much that one could find plenty of instances in his works where he has contradicted himself. Nietzsche's concept of "will to power" is a philosophic thought, which led to many interpretations. To assume that Nietzsche thought that the primary instincts of the human being came down to violence and little else, amounts to a gross underestimation of Nietzsche's views of humankind. However, most of his writings on the concept of a "will to power," if interpreted as being violent, have to be understood more in vain with what he saw as the constant struggle of overcoming one's individual weaknesses (Nietzsche aphorism 22, 260). Nietzsche envisioned his "will to power" more along the lines of applying one's will in self-overcoming. Nietzsche's writings about violence are usually meant as violence against giving in to the herd or slave morality. The herd, as Nietzsche names it, is the vast majority of humans who throughout history have obeyed and followed the status quo. The herd has stymied human development with their slave morality (Nietzsche aphorism 198, 199). The slave morality invented the dichotomy of good and evil. "Moral judgments and condemnations constitute the favorite revenge of the spiritually limited against those less limited" (Nietzsche aphorism 219). The herd morality causes people to sublimate their creative drive. Thus, Nietzsche is imploring the few noble humans--the few geniuses to struggle against following the herd morality. Nietzsche wants the noble people to invent their own morality and values to live their lives by, and to fulfill their own "will to power" and not indulge in an effort to attract others to their values (Nietzsche aphorism 199, 201, 260).

Recommended reading for anyone interested in philosophy, history, and psychology.

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