Monday, March 9, 2009

Beyond Good and Evil

Nietzsche is quite a refreshing read. Perhaps a bit discouraging, but refreshing at the same time. He essentially says, "so you think you know what it means to be a philosopher? You have no idea." Philosophy is certainly full of contradictions, and not just the ones that Nietzsche points out. It's interesting how willing (no pun intended) Kierkegaard was to accept contradiction and paradox basically as facts of life, and, in fact, the highest facts of life (the transcendent) and ones that faithful individuals hold. Nietzsche, however, lashes out at this kind of thought. Perhaps it acceptable for Kierkegaard to justify his (admittedly) absurd faith on these grounds, but he should not dare to call it philosophy. Nietzsche's problem is not with Kierkegaard alone, it is with the entire culture of philosophy which seems to think (and has convinced itself) that it's okay to contradict oneself when making statements - these statements about the world serve one purpose - to justify ones beliefs. This mindset is so widespread that Nietzsche asserts that it isn't just a problem philosophy is facing, but science as well.

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