Why We Are Not Nietzscheans / Edition 1

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Overview

"To think with Nietzsche against Nietzsche." Thus the editors describe the strategy adopted in this volume to soften the destructive effects of Nietzsche's "philosophy with a hammer" on French philosophy since the 1960s. Frustrated by the infinite inclusiveness of deconstructionism, the contributors to this volume seek to renew the Enlightenment quest for rationality.

Though linked by no common dogma, these essays all argue that the "French Nietzsche" transmitted through the deconstructionists must be reexamined in light of the original context in which Nietzsche worked. Each essay questions the viability of Nietzsche's thought in the modern world, variously critiquing his philosophy of history as obsessed with hierarchy, his views on religion and art as myopic and irrational, and his stance on science as hopelessly reactionary.

Contending that we must abandon the Nietzsche propped up as patron saint by French deconstructionists in order to return to reason, these essays will stimulate debate not just among Nietzscheans but among all with a stake in modern French philosophy.

Contributors are Alain Boyer, André Compte-Sponville, Vincent Descombes, Luc Ferry, Robert Legros, Philippe Raynaud, Alain Renault, and Pierre-André Taguieff.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Nietzsche's thought dominates much of French intellectual life, a situation that the essayists of this book view with dismay. Too often, Nietzsche's doctrines are taken as given when they merit challenge. Thus, Alain Boyer defends objective truth and rationality against Nietzsche's skeptical musings. Andr Comte-Sponville does not hide his contempt for Nietzsche's fake-heroics. The contributors' jaundiced view of Nietzsche extends to his French followers; Vincent Descombes finds that neither Nietzsche nor his Gallic acolytes have broken with modern philosophy, contrary to innovation. Pierre-Andr Taguieff insightfully compares Nietzsche with the great Spanish conservative Donoso Cortes. The authors' unfashionable case deserves a hearing, and the book is certain to provoke controversy.David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226244815
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 244
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Luc Ferry has taught at the Sorbonne and at the University of Caen and is the former Minister of Youth, National Education, and Research in the French government. He is the author or coauthor of eight previous books published by the University of Chicago Press, including, most recently, The New Ecological Order and Man Made God.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 1991 French Edition
1: Hierarchy and Truth
Alain Boyer
2: The Brute, the Sophist, and the Aesthete: "Art in the Service of Illusion"
Andre Comte-Sponville
3: Nietzsche's French Moment
Vincent Descombes
4: "What Must First Be Proved Is Worth Little"
Luc Ferry, Alain Renaut.
5: The Nietzschean Metaphysics of Life
Robert Legros
6: Nietzsche as Educator
Philippe Raynaud
7: The Traditional Paradigm - Horror of Modernity and Antiliberalism: Nietzsche in Reactionary Rhetoric
Pierre-Andre Taguieff
Index

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