Eros in Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche: The Politics of Infinity

Eros in Plato, Rousseau, and Nietzsche: The Politics of Infinity

by Laurence D. Cooper
     
 

ISBN-10: 0271033304

ISBN-13: 9780271033303

Pub. Date: 01/28/2008

Publisher: Penn State University Press

Human beings are restless souls, ever driven by an insistent inner force not only to have more but to be more—to be infinitely more. Various philosophers have emphasized this type of ceaseless striving in their accounts of humanity, as in Spinoza’s notion of conatus and Hobbes’s identification of “a perpetual and

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Overview

Human beings are restless souls, ever driven by an insistent inner force not only to have more but to be more—to be infinitely more. Various philosophers have emphasized this type of ceaseless striving in their accounts of humanity, as in Spinoza’s notion of conatus and Hobbes’s identification of “a perpetual and restless desire of power after power.” In this book, Laurence Cooper focuses his attention on three giants of the philosophic tradition for whom this inner force was a major preoccupation and something separate from and greater than the desire for self-preservation. Cooper’s overarching purpose is to illuminate the nature of this source of existential longing and discontent and its implications for political life. He concentrates especially on what these thinkers share in their understanding of this psychic power and how they view it ambivalently as the root not only of ambition, vigorous virtue, patriotism, and philosophy, but also of tyranny, imperialism, and varieties of fanaticism. But he is not neglectful of the differences among their interpretations of the phenomenon, either, and especially highlights these in the concluding chapter.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271033303
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
List of Abbreviations     xi
Introduction: The Oneness of Desire-But Which One?     3
The Republic as Prologue     17
Platonic Eros-The Effectual Truth
First Truths     53
What Does Eros Want?     67
Love of Wisdom versus Love of the Wise: Eros in Action     95
Rousseau and the Expansiveness of Being
Between Eros and Will to Power: Rousseau and "The Desire to Extend Our Being"     135
Emile, or On Philosophy?     177
Nietzsche's New Eternity
Nietzsche's Politeia, I     205
Nietzsche's Politeia, II     239
Will to Power versus Eros, or a Battle of Eternities     275
Epilogue: One or Many?     305
References     331
Index     339

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