Christa Davis Acampora
Ecce Homo offers Nietzsche’s own interpretation of himself, his thoughts, and his works. This article analyzes how the text bears on his ideas about agency, fate, and freedom. It presents an account of “how one becomes what one is.” For Nietzsche, a person is a set of drives ordered or ranked a certain way; there is no will or subject separate from these that could carry out the work of becoming. What is most important is that one’s drives be coordinated in a single entity. Through these tactics some of us can become what we are.
This article examines Nietzsche’s thoughts about becoming and being, and how these are at odds with both knowledge and life. It discusses how Nietzsche addresses this problem, beginning with its historical part: Nietzsche’s story of how the philosophical tradition first builds the concept of being, but then pulls it down by the stages described in the famous ‘history of an error’ chapter in Twilight of the Idols. This development culminates in the replacement of being with becoming. But understanding what Nietzsche means by becoming requires an understanding of its relation to time. We arrive at a genuine sense of becoming only by stripping away our experience of time as succession.
J. Brendan Ritchie and Peter Carruthers
This chapter focuses on three broad systems of bodily perception: interoception, the vestibular system, and proprioception. We argue that they constitute (collections of) sense modalities, while discussing some of the philosophical issues they raise. These include: the relationship between emotion and interoception, whether the vestibular system induces distinctive phenomenally conscious experiences, and the relationship between proprioception and the body schema.
This article first surveys those ‘causal theories of perception’ that attempt to explain what it is for someone to perceive an external thing. Then it surveys the other ‘causal theories of perception’ (or alternatively, ‘causal theories of knowledge’) that attempt to explain what it is for someone to know about external things by means of perception. Within each of these two topics, we can locate all the various causal theories on a two-dimensional map: along one dimension are the various things that have been taken to do the causing, and along the other dimension are the various things that have been taken to be thus caused.
Paul S. Loeb
This article shows that Nietzsche’s published presentations endorse the cosmological truth of eternal recurrence and that they indicate how belief in this truth can be supported with direct mnemonic evidence as well as a priori scientific proof. It also introduces a refutation of any attempt to construe Nietzsche’s doctrine as a thought experiment that would help to test or promote the affirmation of nonrecurring life.
This article's view is unusual among contemporary views of free will. It is defined by two radical theses. The first, Fundamental Dualism, says that we can and should be both incompatibilists and compatibilists about freedom and responsibility. There is no reason, the article argues, why it should not be the case that certain forms of moral responsibility, desert, and blame require libertarian free will, whereas other forms can be sustained without it. Thus, if libertarian free will is impossible, there is no reason why we have to choose between hard determinism or compatibilism. The second thesis, Illusionism, is even more radical. It notes that the consequences for humanity of widespread belief that we lack libertarian free will would be dire and destructive. Illusion about free will is therefore morally necessary.
This article examines one of Nietzsche’s most important works, The Gay Science (Die fröhliche Wissenschaft). The book’s title reflects its ambition to handle painful truths, arrived at by some kind of science, in a cheerful and uplifting way. One such truth is the death of God and the way this must pull down with it God’s ‘shadow’, morality, as we find out the truth about its origins. The most sensational idea introduced in the book is the thought of eternal return. The article also considers Nietzsche’s attempts to reconcile truth and art, rejecting efforts to resolve the tension by subordinating either to the other. It looks at Nietzsche’s critique of the usual scientific methods for seeking truth; rather than renouncing truth, he anticipates a new ‘science’ better aimed at what truth there is.
This chapter analyzes the issue of immortality in the opera “The Makropulos Case” and reviews Bernard Williams's essay inspired by the opera, which argues against immortality. It suggests that the widespread longing for an extended existence is an expression of our agency and that the rational appeal of extended existence rests on the fact that human beings are autonomous agents with a distinctively agential character.
R. Lanier Anderson
This article explores various conceptions of Nietzsche’s thoughts on autonomy. It distinguishes six main interpretive approaches, each with its own conception of autonomy: (1) autonomy as spontaneous self-determination, in the sense of traditional free will; (2) a “standard model” interpretation counting actions as autonomous when they are caused by rationalizing beliefs and desires; (3) a view that traces autonomy to a Kantian transcendental subject; (4) constitutivist theories that seek to explain the source of normativity by “deriving ethics from action”; (5) “hierarchical model” interpretations arguing that complex, higher-order attitudes “speak for the agent,” and thereby constitute her autonomy; and (6) conceptions of autonomy as an ethical ideal.
This article examines how Nietzsche’s illness bears on his philosophical ideas. It demonstrates that the long-standard explanation for Nietzsche’s dementia—syphilis—is almost certainly false. The cause is much more likely to have been a brain tumor, which had caused him severe headaches and eye problems since childhood. Nietzsche also suffered from a host of digestive problems. It is no wonder that he puts such great weight on “health” and especially the kind of health that overcomes sickness and suffering. When Nietzsche values “madness,” it is a healthy and philosophical madness exemplified in Zarathustra and which Nietzsche tried to cultivate in himself.