Brian Leiter over zijn favoriete filosoof Nietzsche
september 25, 2011
Een interessant interview met Nietzsche-kenner/freak Brian Leiter, bezieler van het filofosieblog Leiter Reports op The Browser:
The first thing you notice when you open the book [Beyond Good and Evil] is the layout and the way it’s written, which is striking, especially if you come to it having read modern philosophy essays and that kind of thing. Why does Nietzsche write in such an unusual, more aphoristic style?
The explanation really comes in the first chapter of the book where Nietzsche tells us that the great philosophers are basically fakers when they tell you that they arrived at their views because there were good rational arguments in support of them. That’s nonsense, says Nietzsche. Great philosophers, he thinks, are driven by a particular moral or ethical vision. Their philosophy is really a post-hoc rationalisation for the values they want to promote. And then he says that the values they want to promote are to be explained psychologically, in terms of the type of person that that philosopher is.
The relevance of this is that if this were your view of the rational argumentation of philosophers, it would be quite bizarre to write a traditional book of philosophy giving a set of arguments in support of your view. Because in Nietzsche’s view consciousness and reasoning are fairly superficial aspects of human beings. What really gets us to change our views about things are the non-rational, emotional, affective aspects of our psyche. One of the reasons he writes aphoristically and so provocatively – and this, of course, is why he’s the teenager’s favourite philosopher – is connected to his view of the human psyche. He has to arouse the passions and feelings and emotions of his readers if he’s actually going to transform their views. There’d be no point in giving them a systematic set of arguments like in Spinoza’s Ethics – in fact he ridicules the ‘geometric form’ of Spinoza’s Ethics in the first chapter of Beyond Good and Evil.”