Feminist Interpretations of Friedrich Nietzsche / Edition 1

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Nietzsche has the reputation of being a virulent misogynist, so why are feminists interested in his philosophy? The essays in this volume provide answers to this question from a variety of feminist perspectives.The organization of the volume into two sets of essays, "Nietzsche's Use of Woman" and "Feminists' Use of Nietzsche," reflects the two general approaches taken to the issue of Nietzsche and woman. First, many debates have focused on how to interpret Nietzsche's remarks about women and femininity. Are all of Nietzsche's comments to be read literally, or is he being ironic, perhaps even parodying and subverting stereotypes about women? Second, is his philosophy useful to feminist theory? Can we separate his philosophy from his seemingly derogatory remarks about women? Can feminists use his criticisms of truth, objectivity, reason, and the autonomous subject to challenge the exclusion of women from the history of philosophy? Some view his critiques of dualism and essentialism as well as his perspectivism and social constructivism as adumbrating later feminist positions. Others find troubling his privileging of masculinity and paradigms of domination; they see Nietzsche's sexual dualism as countering otherwise transgressive themes.Contributors are Debra Bergoffen, Maudmarie Clark, Daniel Conway, Jacques Derrida, Jean Graybeal, Kathleen Higgins, Luce Irigaray, Sarah Kofman, Tamsin Lorraine, Kelly Oliver, David Owen, Marilyn Pearsall, Lynne Tirrell, Ofelia Schutte, and Kathleen Wininger.
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Editorial Reviews

Fifteen reprinted essays (1983-97) confront the introductory query of why feminists read Nietzsche, in sections discussing the philosopher's use of women and feminists' use of him. These essays<-- >including ones by Derrida and two other males<--> represent varying positions on whether Nietzsche's reputation as a misogynist is deserved, how to interpret his frequent references to women, and whether his philosophy can be useful to feminist theories (yes: in its emphasis on the body, and methods of assessing why some things are valued over others). Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
“The perspectives presented in this anthology are as varied as they are delightful, with selections that will satisfy both ‘continental’ and ‘analytic’ thinkers alike. . . . Nietzsche’s ambiguous, multilayered, and maddeningly ‘veiled’ writings on women (what I call his ‘mirror writing’) continue to reveal the values we hold toward women (and Nietzsche!) by showing us which aphorisms we relate to, which we barely tolerate, and which send the book sailing across the room to thump against the opposite wall. After reading the essays in this volume, I have the feeling less Nietzsche books will be airborne.”
—Linda L. Williams, APA Newsletter
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271017648
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 7/10/1998
  • Series: Re-Reading the Canon
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Kelly Oliver is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas and author of Womanizing Nietzsche: Philosophy's Relation to "the feminine" (1995).

Marilyn Pearsall is an associate of the Beatrice Bain Research Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Women, Knowledge, and Reality (1989; second edition, 1996).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Feminists Read Nietzsche 1
Pt. 1 Nietzsche's Use of Women
1 Baubo: Theological Perversion and Fetishism 21
2 The Question of Style 50
3 Woman as Truth in Nietzsche's Writing 66
4 Veiled Lips 81
5 Nietzsche and Feminism: Transvaluing Women in Thus Spoke Zarathustra 119
6 Gender in The Gay Science 130
7 Ecce Homo: Abjection and "the Feminine" 152
Pt. 2 Feminists' Use of Nietzsche
8 Nietzschean Mythologies: The Inversion of Value and the War Against Women 173
9 Nietzsche's Misogyny 187
10 Sexual Dualism and Women's Self-Creation: On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Reading Nietzsche for Feminists 199
11 Nietzsche Was No Feminist ... 225
12 Nietzsche's Women and Women's Nietzsche 236
13 The Slave Revolt in Epistemology 252
14 Nietzsche's Politics 282
15 Nietzsche's Squandered Seductions: Feminism, the Body, and the Politics of Genealogy 306
Select Bibliography
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