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Title: Nietzsche and 'aspect-blindness'
Author: Godfrey, Andrew R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 5422
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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In this thesis, I draw on Wittgensteinian philosophical thought to critically explore Nietzsche’s diagnosis of (and proposed therapy for) the alleged malaise in modernity. In chapter 1, I argue that Wittgenstein’s concepts of aspect-seeing and certainty provide the resources to resolve several apparently contradictory claims Nietzsche makes about the predicament of his fellow moderns. I show that the condition Wittgenstein calls ‘aspect-blindness’ offers a unified account of the predicament Nietzsche describes. In chapter 2, I explore Nietzsche’s claim that some overarching framework (what Wittgenstein calls a ‘form of life’) has ‘died’. I argue that the pathological attitude of Wittgenstein’s interlocutor towards frameworks provides the most satisfactory model for understanding the nature of the supposed ‘death’ of frameworks in modernity. In chapter 3, I argue that Nietzsche’s proposed remedy for the malaise of modernity is a form of therapy akin to Wittgenstein’s attempt to free his readers from a picture which holds them captive. I show that our understanding of Nietzsche’s therapeutic method will be improved if we bear in mind certain distinctions and ambiguities highlighted by Wittgensteinian discussion of pictures. In chapter 4, I address the concern that Nietzsche appears to characterise modernity in two contradictory ways as both excessively and insufficiently emotional and excessively and insufficiently sceptical. I resolve the appearance of contradiction by showing that (on Nietzsche’s view) the moderns are inherently prone to extreme shifts between poles and that many of the apparent emotions and ideals of the moderns are ‘fake’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available