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Title: Nietzsche : on the Self and the Arts
Author: Karsenty, Valentine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 1322
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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I focus on exploring Nietzsche’s conception of the optimal psychological structure of the self as well as his use of the arts to illustrate this ideal model of the self and to cultivate his ethical project. I explore Nietzsche’s drive theory by comparing the striking similitude it holds with Plato’s theory of the tripartite self. The theme of sublimation is crucial for grasping how Nietzsche envisages the positive expression of drives. I also show how Plato’s conception of thumos or the honour-loving drive may have influenced Nietzsche’s view of a regulatory mechanism based on one’s affective orientations. I then address the aesthetic notion of harmony that both Plato and Nietzsche use to express a unified self. Further exploration of the drives and affects is required to understand Nietzsche’s model of ideal self. I focus upon how Nietzsche is influenced by Spinoza’s ethics which prioritizes one’s affects as well as experience in the formation of values. I counter Katsafanas’s position in respect to drives, affects and their respective values to show that Nietzsche does not provide a prescriptive account of a specific relationship between drives and affects. I further demonstrate how Nietzsche uses the arts as a vehicle to show how one can overcome life-negating tendencies and embrace a life-affirming attitude. I specifically focus upon the topics of artistry, creativity and the creative struggle that Nietzsche depends on to create the groundwork for a more positive ethics. I address how Nietzsche turns to the notion of artistry in his portrayal of himself as a model of selfhood in Ecce Homo. Nietzsche turns to the arts to illustrate how to overcome our life-negating tendencies and embrace our drives and affects in so far as they promote self-flourishing. Nietzsche’s psychological structure of ideal selfhood further supports the possibility for life-affirmation.
Supervisor: Ridley, Aaron ; Way, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available