Science, Culture, and Free Spirits

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-09-15
  • Publisher: Humanity Books
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In this insightful study, Nietzsche specialist Jonathan R Cohen argues that "Human, All Too Human" (1878) represents the crucial watershed for Nietzsche's philosophical development, the moment at which he "becomes who he is". Here Nietzsche breaks his early allegiance to Schopenhauer and Wagner by offering acute criticisms, which often are diametric reversals of his earlier writings. At the same time, he establishes the overall framework of his later philosophy as the overcoming of metaphysical barriers to the emergence of free spirits who will be the avant-garde of culture. His use of science to accomplish this goal gives this work a positivistic slant unique in his corpus. Cohen explains Nietzsche's turnabout from his earlier philosophy, analyses the argumentative tactics by which Nietzsche deploys science to undercut traditional metaphysics, describes the character of the free spirits, and examines the division of labor scheme that Nietzsche prescribes for cultural progress. Cohen also shows how "Human, All Too Human", despite its "aphoristic" style, has a unified literary structure and integrity, which are central to the communication of the book's philosophical message.

Author Biography

Jonathan R. Cohen is professor of philosophy at the University of Maine at Farmington. He writes on Nietzsche, ancient philosophy, Jewish philosophy, and other subjects. He was an invited plenary speaker at the 2001 "Nietzsche and Science" conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Guide to Citation of Nietzsche's Worksp. 11
Introduction: Why a Study of Human, All-Too-Human?p. 13
Science and Culture in Nietzsche's Early Worksp. 25
The Attack on Science in The Birth of Tragedyp. 27
The Attack on Science in On the Use and Abuse of Historyp. 33
The Attack on Science in Schopenhauer as Educatorp. 37
Signs of Instability in Nietzsche's Early Positionp. 41
Transition from the Early Works to Human, All-Too-Humanp. 44
Science in Human, All-Too-Humanp. 47
A Diametric Reversal on Sciencep. 48
Biographical Explanationsp. 51
False Leads in the Textp. 57
The Role of Science in Human, All-Too-Human's Overall Projectp. 60
Why Did Nietzsche Change His Mind about Science?p. 65
Culture in Human, All-Too-Humanp. 69
Philosophy in Human, All-Too-Humanp. 76
Transition to Chapter 3p. 78
The Attack on Metaphysics in Human, All-Too-Humanp. 81
The War between Science and Metaphysics in Human, All-Too-Humanp. 82
The Alternative Explanation Argumentp. 84
The Origin of Belief Argumentp. 86
Two-Pronged Attackp. 91
How the Two Argument Patterns Work Togetherp. 95
Evaluating Human, All-Too-Human's Attack on Metaphysicsp. 98
Transition to Chapter 4p. 104
The Free Spirits of Human, All-Too-Humanp. 105
Free Spirits Definedp. 105
The Free Spirits' Character Typep. 109
A General Description of Unique Individuals?p. 115
Free Spirits: Found or Produced?p. 121
How to Free a Spiritp. 125
Transition to Chapter 5p. 139
Free Spirits and Culturep. 141
The Cultural Division of Laborp. 142
Active or Contemplative?p. 146
Leaders, Followers, and Individual Cultural Growthp. 147
Contrast with the Cultural Avant-Garde of the Early Worksp. 154
The Problem of Truth and Illusion in Human, All-Too-Humanp. 158
Free Spirits Mediating between Truth and Illusionp. 162
What Comes after Free Spirit-hoodp. 166
Transition to Chapter 6p. 173
The Literary Integrity of Human, All-Too-Humanp. 175
The Writing Style of Human, All-Too-Humanp. 177
Presentation of the Text in Small Sectionsp. 185
The Nine-Part Structure of Human, All-Too-Humanp. 193
The Problem of Volume IIp. 196
Transition to Chapter 7p. 202
Science, Culture, and Free Spirits in the Later Worksp. 205
The Structural Parallel between Human, All-Too-Human and Beyond Good and Evilp. 206
The Moralist Becomes an Immoralistp. 209
The New Immoralism and Its New Centralityp. 213
The 1886 Preface to Human, All-Too-Humanp. 218
Nietzsche's Later View of Sciencep. 221
Analytic Table of Contents for Human, All-Too-Humanp. 229
Notesp. 235
Indexesp. 285
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