Misinterpreting Nietzsche

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Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:54 pm

I am furious at the presentation of Nietzsche in my first-year University survey course for philosophy. For most students in that lecture hall, it was their first time encountering Nietzsche. There are so many problems with the interpretation the Professor offered and I am disgusted - he paints a heinous picture of Nietzsche. This thread will not only be a correction of misinterpretations but a critique of the University system. I will list the misinterpretations offered by the Professor, all of the following statements are those taught, but which are obviously misguided (surprisingly enough from someone with tenure, continuing to misinterpret Nietzsche):

1) Nietzsche prefers nobles over slaves


The lecturer went on to say Nietzsche's critique of slave morality was merit to assume he preferred Master morality. However, Nietzsche spends more time describing and criticizing slave morality and the man of ressentiment because this genealogy is new conception, which challenged the leading intellectual community of his times (those English psychologists), who thought altruism to be the highest virtue and who were predominantly Christian. Nietzsche did not prefer nobles, he often critiqued Nationalism which was embodied by that blonde beast of prey in Germany and Japan (during his time), Nietzsche sought a moral system somewhere between idealism and materialism that followed Schopenhauer's Will and Goethe's sense of personal spirituality and social criticism. Nietzsche also wanted to provide a psychology of one who transcends the bounds of Good vs. Evil, but who does not revert back to Good vs. Bad. Some might interpret a regression back to noble morality as impossible, because it is more primitive and was defeated by the long-lasting complexity of ressentiment. This regression might lead to another inversion of values.

2) Ressentiment is the same thing as Resentment, and Nietzsche's use of the word is only pretentious artistry (he called it 'philosophical snobbery')

The lecture presented the use of this term as some sort of arrogant claim on Nietzsche's part, and I doubt the lecturer has read any earlier essays Nietzsche mentions ressentiment. The term does have similar meaning to resentment but is used as a means of describing the inversion of values and the concept of 'Evil' towards an opposer, rather than 'Bad', in a single word. This word has no simple meaning but holds a deeper conceptual word behind its frequent use and concise presentation.

3) 'Good vs. Bad' and 'Evil vs. Good' is the same thing

The lecturer does not explain this difference and intends to use Good vs. Evil to represent the relationship between Noble and Slave AND the relationship after the inversion between the slaves as masters and the former masters/nobles as Evildoers. This is a misinterpretation because Nietzsche intends to explain the intensity of the slave's life-denial and resentiment, when 'Evil' was the first step in the inversion of values, that 'Evil' is more intense, complex, destructive, and hateful than the noble's conception of 'Bad'. Because the lecturer offered a simpler picture of these dualities and etymologies, I feel sorry for the hundreds of students who were misled, they ma never properly grasp Zarathustra or BG&E.


4) Aphorisms are not arguments

The lecturer states that Nietzsche's intentions are so polemical as to challenge the idea of argumetns altogether by offering aphorisms instead of formal arguments. He goes on to say that all misinterpretations are in Nietzsche's refusal to present formal arguments with the use of technical language, and that Nietzsche's enterprise is more faulty because of it. This is the most idiotic fuckery I have ever been taught. Nietzsche wrote in aphorisms intentionally to be discovered by the esoteric minds, to inspire analysis, to present art, to enhance profundity and timelessness. The lecturer is essentially, and he elaborated heavily on this point, telling students that philosophy is meant to be scientific and analytic rather than artistic and contemplative. I could rage on about this for so much longer......


5) Genealogies and Etymologies are fallacious, and these are the only thing Nietzsche's enterprise has to offer us

Presents something called a 'Genetic fallacy' stating that knowing the origins does not validate the meaning of any claim or argument. Nietzsche holds a unique form of perspectivism that I have still yet to work out, nonetheless, his enterprise offers much more than mere etymologies and genealogies...he knew that GOM was 19th century click bait for academic circles. I doubt the contemporary intellectual community of my University would be able to penetrate his more artistic works... fucking hysterical.....

6) Nietzsche is a continental philosopher

Nietzsche was the first modernist social critic. He despised the idealism, and he briefly criticizes materialism in other works. He was technically a continental philosopher, but then again I guess Frege was too but we would refer to him as analytic. This is the dichotomy the lecturer works off of, that at this time there was continental vs. analytic philosophy, and Nietzsche was the main proponent of the former during the late Romantic period. We should discuss this more.

7) When Nietzsche says 'Jews', he really means 'Christians'

Lecturer claims that Nietzsche's coneption of ressentiment is a means for criticizing Christianity. Of course he criticizes Christianity, but is really aiming for a brutal refutation at all derivatives of Abrahamic monotheisms since Zoroaster.
Last edited by Venture on Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:01 pm

What are the lecturer's credentials?
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:37 pm

phyllo wrote:What are the lecturer's credentials?


K: and which university?

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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:24 am

Peter Kropotkin wrote:
phyllo wrote:What are the lecturer's credentials?


He is a Professor Emeritus, BA from Oxford and PhD from Princeton.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
"
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:41 am

Okay, that's fairly impressive.

When did he get those degrees and what's his area of interest?
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Sauwelios » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:49 am

Venture wrote:I am furious at the presentation of Nietzsche in my first-year University survey course for philosophy. For most students in that lecture hall, it was their first time encountering Nietzsche. There are so many problems with the interpretation the Professor offered and I am disgusted - he paints a heinous picture of Nietzsche.


Yes, this is a serious problem. If he's so obviously wrong about a philosopher you know quite a bit about, who knows how wrong he is about those you know less about? This is why it's paramount to know at least one philosopher pretty well before you take secondary sources at face value--which is a serious objection against our educational system.


1) Nietzsche prefers nobles over slaves


The lecturer went on to say Nietzsche's critique of slave morality was merit to assume he preferred Master morality. However, Nietzsche spends more time describing and criticizing slave morality and the man of ressentiment because this genealogy is new conception, which challenged the leading intellectual community of his times (those English psychologists), who thought altruism to be the highest virtue and who were predominantly Christian.


Well, I must say there's something to be said for this claim, and this is supported by the fact that you apparently feel you have to explain why it may seem to be true. For example, near the end of the eleventh section of the first treatise of On the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche poses the rhetorical question:

"One may have all the right in the world if one cannot get rid of one's fear before the blond beast at the bottom of all noble races and is cautious before it: but who would not a hundred times rather fear if he can at the same time admire, than not fear but therewith not be able to get rid of the disgusting sight of the failed, the diminished, the stunted, the poisoned?"

Note: "a hundred times rather". This need not mean that one has to fear if one is to admire. Thus Zarathustra ridicules those who are afraid of his Übermensch:

"[Zarathustra] says it was precisely insight into the good, the 'best', which caused him horror before man in general; from this ill will did he grow wings with which 'to soar away into distant futures',--he does not hide the fact that his type of man, a relatively superhuman type, is superhuman precisely in relation to the good, that the good and just would call his Superman Devil...
Ye highest human beings whom mine eye has encountered, this is my doubt of you and my secret laughter: I divine that you would call my Superman--Devil!
So foreign are ye with your soul to what is great, that the Superman would be fearsome to you in his goodness...

At this point, and nowhere else, one must begin to understand what Zarathustra wants: this kind of human being he conceives, conceives reality as it is: it is strong enough for that--, it is not estranged from reality, not engrossed in something other than reality, it even contains within itself all that is fearsome and questionable about reality, only with this can man possess greatness..." (Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, "Why I Am a Destiny", section 5; quoting somewhat loosely from Thus Spake Zarathustra, "Of Human Prudence".)

The thing is that what is required in order not to be afraid of the blond beast at the bottom of all noble races, and of the chaos at the bottom of reality for that matter (cf. Zarathustra's Prologue, section 5), is to be aware of this beast, this chaos, at one's own bottom... More about this below.


Nietzsche did not prefer nobles, he often critiqued Nationalism which was embodied by that blonde beast of prey in Germany and Japan (during his time), Nietzsche sought a moral system somewhere between idealism and materialism that followed Schopenhauer's Will and Goethe's sense of personal spirituality and social criticism.


Well, his critique of post-Napoleonic nationalism is not tantamount to a critique of nobility. His representative of his Übermensch was, after all, Napoleon rather than Bismarck (see GM I 16, and cf. TI "Skirmishes" 48). Napoleon is a better example of the "problem of the noble ideal in itself" because he is more obviously a "synthesis of beast and Superman..." (GM I 16; cf. WP 1027, including Kaufmann's footnote.) Again, more on this below.


Nietzsche also wanted to provide a psychology of one who transcends the bounds of Good vs. Evil, but who does not revert back to Good vs. Bad.


Well,--it has always seemed to me that, in GM I 16-17, Nietzsche deliberately implied a return to Good vs. Bad: beyond Good and Evil, but not beyond Good and Bad. He also uses the phrases "what I want" there (compare "what Zarathustra wants" above). It seems that what he wants is "the unconditional rule of aristocratic values, of Roman values" (GM I 16). But what then of the fact that "there is today perhaps no more decisive mark of 'the higher nature', the more spiritual nature" than still being a battleground for the opposition of the values "good and bad" and "good and evil"? I've offered a solution for this paradox in my "aristocratic radicalisation" OP:

"I now completely reject the value 'good and evil', i.e., the value 'good' as opposed to 'evil'. I can do so without the danger of thereby becoming a 'lower nature', a less spiritual nature, for as the word 'nature' already implies, that value is deeply ingrained in me." (http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?p=2447939#p2447939)

Nietzsche knew that we cannot go back (see for example TI "Skirmishes" 43). He did not advocate the rule of backward, boorish natures like those so prevalent among American conservatives:



But of course he also didn't advocate the rule of goody-goodies like John Oliver. Still, his point is that the whole natural history of morality must be traversed in due course if the self-overcoming of morality is to mean all that it can:

"Having beheld the ultimate vision, we must turn again toward becoming 'good neighbors of the nearest things.' What are the next steps for one whom this dream has possessed? Nietzsche would not have him broken by the tension between distant ideal and sordid reality; there is no sense in being 'insanely impatient for the superman,' for 'all actions have acquired meaning, as path and means to that.' To one whose life has attained such focus there comes a sense of repose--the 'repose of the great stream'--and the immense future spreads out before him like an unrippled sea. There should be no haste, no jumps; every intervening stage must be brought to perfection in due season, every least detail finished with the dedication of a true artist to his task. The abiding mood is 'luminousness, peace, no exaggerated longing, joy in the rightly employed, eternized moment!'
AMOR FATI" (George Morgan, What Nietzsche Means, Epilogue, entire.)

The only thing that has given me a sense of haste is climate change. I will therefore vote for my country's GreenLeft party, as I think the Left will have to overcome itself (becoming so left it's right again) only in due time. Losing our cool does not become us.


Some might interpret a regression back to noble morality as impossible, because it is more primitive and was defeated by the long-lasting complexity of ressentiment. This regression might lead to another inversion of values.

2) Ressentiment is the same thing as Resentment, and Nietzsche's use of the word is only pretentious artistry (he called it 'philosophical snobbery')


Yes, this is nonsense, as Nietzsche knew hardly any English, and using the French word ressentiment in German is only more pretentious than using the English word "resentment" inasmuch as French is more prestigious than English.

I once made a little study of the word ressentiment in Nietzsche's writings, by the way:

http://ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?p=1957708#p1957708

(0mpious once criticised my work for "plodding along" in my Human_Superhuman Yahoo group.)


The lecture presented the use of this term as some sort of arrogant claim on Nietzsche's part, and I doubt the lecturer has read any earlier essays Nietzsche mentions ressentiment. The term does have similar meaning to resentment but is used as a means of describing the inversion of values and the concept of 'Evil' towards an opposer, rather than 'Bad', in a single word. This word has no simple meaning but holds a deeper conceptual word behind its frequent use and concise presentation.

4) 'Good vs. Bad' and 'Evil vs. Good' is the same thing

The lecturer does not explain this difference and intends to use Good vs. Evil to represent the relationship between Noble and Slave AND the relationship after the inversion between the slaves as masters and the former masters/nobles as Evildoers. This is a misinterpretation because Nietzsche intends to explain the intensity of the slave's life-denial and resentiment, when 'Evil' was the first step in the inversion of values, that 'Evil' is more intense, complex, destructive, and hateful than the noble's conception of 'Bad'. Because the lecturer offered a simpler picture of these dualities and etymologies, I feel sorry for the hundreds of students who were misled, they ma never properly grasp Zarathustra or BG&E.


5) Aphorisms are not arguments

The lecturer states that Nietzsche's intentions are so polemical as to challenge the idea of argumetns altogether by offering aphorisms instead of formal arguments. He goes on to say that all misinterpretations are in Nietzsche's refusal to present formal arguments with the use of technical language, and that Nietzsche's enterprise is more faulty because of it. This is the most idiotic fuckery I have ever been taught. Nietzsche wrote in aphorisms intentionally to be discovered by the esoteric minds, to inspire analysis, to present art, to enhance profundity and timelessness. The lecturer is essentially, and he elaborated heavily on this point, telling students that philosophy is meant to be scientific and analytic rather than artistic and contemplative. I could rage on about this for so much longer......


6) Genealogies and Etymologies are fallacious, and these are the only thing Nietzsche's enterprise has to offer us

Presents something called a 'Genetic fallacy' stating that knowing the origins does not validate the meaning of any claim or argument. Nietzsche holds a unique form of perspectivism that I have still yet to work out, nonetheless, his enterprise offers much more than mere etymologies and genealogies...he knew that GOM was 19th century click bait for academic circles. I doubt the contemporary intellectual community of my University would be able to penetrate his more artistic works... fucking hysterical.....

7) Nietzsche is a continental philosopher

Nietzsche was the first modernist social critic. He despised the idealism, and he briefly criticizes materialism in other works. He was technically a continental philosopher, but then again I guess Frege was too but we would refer to him as analytic. This is the dichotomy the lecturer works off of, that at this time there was continental vs. analytic philosophy, and Nietzsche was the main proponent of the former during the late Romantic period. We should discuss this more.

8) When Nietzsche says 'Jews', he really means 'Christians'

Lecturer claims that Nietzsche's coneption of ressentiment is a means for criticizing Christianity. Of course he criticizes Christianity, but is really aiming for a brutal refutation at all derivatives of Abrahamic monotheisms since Zoroaster.


Most of these claims 4-8 (you forgot # 3, by the way) are obviously wrong, so I will just comment on a couple of things and then wrap this up. The dichotomy "continental vs. analytic" is a funny one, since it's not a very "analytic" dichotomy at all (that would rather be something like "synthetic vs. analytic"). "Continental" is basically just an amalgamation for "not analyic". Your professor evidently looks at Nietzsche from an analytic standpoint (hence his point about aphorisms' not being arguments, etc.). The most "analytic" school of Nietzsche interpretation is my own "Lampertian-Straussian" school, and this is certainly not analytic (a major handbook of this school is Picht's Nietzsche, which precisely makes the case for the superiority of the aphoristic and poetic style).

Now as for the distinction between "evil" and "bad". "Good and evil" is not just an inversion of "good and bad", but in the first place a moralisation. "Bad" is not actually a moral concept; those called "bad" are not morally reprehended for being weak, they can't help it. But the real point, and the reason why Nietzsche can be said to endorse master morality in a way, is the following. What is good as opposed to bad, and evil as opposed to good, is the will to power. The slaves morally reprehend the masters for acting on their will to power. But the will to power may be lacking, but is not absent in the slaves themselves--an important distinction. Absolute weakness would be nothing; the slaves are still relatively strong, i.e., driven by the will to power. What is good about slave morality is that it itself constitutes a refinement (spiritualisation, sublimation) of the will to power. It has enabled the beast itself to soar to ever greater heights, chaos itself to form ever more intricate orders. What Nietzsche does is, he forces moralists to acknowledge their own immorality, their own will to power. This is why the will to power is the archê, the Heraclitean fire, of Nietzsche's philosophy, and may only be further analysed in terms of self-valuing after, and while always retaining, the insight and insistence on the priority of this Nietzschean concept.

http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopic.php?p=2577337#p2577337
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:33 am

phyllo wrote:Okay, that's fairly impressive.

When did he get those degrees and what's his area of interest?


My guess, judging by age, between 1960-75. His area of interest is philosophy of mind, philosophy of affect, epistemology, and Plato. I am still not sure as to whether this misinterpretation can be blamed on his reading of Nietzsche or the curriculum he is given, I deduce the former. We were required to use a Clark & Swenson translation of the Genealogy of Morality as reference, I used my Kaufmann collection instead (including a copy of Genealogy, Beyond Good and Evil, Portable Nietzsche and Will to Power), fuck em.

Sauwelios wrote:If he's so obviously wrong about a philosopher you know quite a bit about, who knows how wrong he is about those you know less about? This is why it's paramount to know at least one philosopher pretty well before you take secondary sources at face value--which is a serious objection against our educational system.


I agree. I feel like I was cheated out of an adequate understanding of the Pre-Socratics and a credible critique of Mill's Utilitarianism. Hume was messy and the time spent dissecting Meno gave absolutely no new insights. It is also a question of whether he was given a strict or loose curriculum to follow, and whether he sincerely misunderstands Nietzsche. I can only claim to know a couple philosophers very well, but its enough to assess the validity of hearsay.

near the end of the eleventh section of the first treatise of On the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche poses the rhetorical question:

"One may have all the right in the world if one cannot get rid of one's fear before the blond beast at the bottom of all noble races and is cautious before it: but who would not a hundred times rather fear if he can at the same time admire, than not fear but therewith not be able to get rid of the disgusting sight of the failed, the diminished, the stunted, the poisoned?"

Note: "a hundred times rather". This need not mean that one has to fear if one is to admire. Thus Zarathustra ridicules those who are afraid of his Übermensch:

"[Zarathustra] says it was precisely insight into the good, the 'best', which caused him horror before man in general; from this ill will did he grow wings with which 'to soar away into distant futures',--he does not hide the fact that his type of man, a relatively superhuman type, is superhuman precisely in relation to the good, that the good and just would call his Superman Devil...
Ye highest human beings whom mine eye has encountered, this is my doubt of you and my secret laughter: I divine that you would call my Superman--Devil!
So foreign are ye with your soul to what is great, that the Superman would be fearsome to you in his goodness...
At this point, and nowhere else, one must begin to understand what Zarathustra wants: this kind of human being he conceives, conceives reality as it is: it is strong enough for that--, it is not estranged from reality, not engrossed in something other than reality, it even contains within itself all that is fearsome and questionable about reality, only with this can man possess greatness..." (Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, "Why I Am a Destiny", section 5; quoting somewhat loosely from Thus Spake Zarathustra, "Of Human Prudence".)

The thing is that what is required in order not to be afraid of the blond beast at the bottom of all noble races, and of the chaos at the bottom of reality for that matter (cf. Zarathustra's Prologue, section 5), is to be aware of this beast, this chaos, at one's own bottom...

[...]

Now as for the distinction between "evil" and "bad". "Good and evil" is not just an inversion of "good and bad", but in the first place a moralisation. "Bad" is not actually a moral concept; those called "bad" are not morally reprehended for being weak, they can't help it. But the real point, and the reason why Nietzsche can be said to endorse master morality in a way, is the following. What is good as opposed to bad, and evil as opposed to good, is the will to power. The slaves morally reprehend the masters for acting on their will to power. But the will to power may be lacking, but is not absent in the slaves themselves--an important distinction. Absolute weakness would be nothing; the slaves are still relatively strong, i.e., driven by the will to power. What is good about slave morality is that it itself constitutes a refinement (spiritualisation, sublimation) of the will to power. It has enabled the beast itself to soar to ever greater heights, chaos itself to form ever more intricate orders. What Nietzsche does is, he forces moralists to acknowledge their own immorality, their own will to power. This is why the will to power is the archê, the Heraclitean fire, of Nietzsche's philosophy, and may only be further analysed in terms of self-valuing after, and while always retaining, the insight and insistence on the priority of this Nietzschean concept.


This is a fantastic explanation, thank you. Nietzsche's conception of the eternal recurrence is an important addition to the will to power as a base for all other valuing. By the way, I corrected the numbering. To use the Genealogy as a point of reference, I should add that earlier in the same treatise, Nietzsche hints at the idea that the Jews (or the man of ressentiment) is admirable, using words as 'intense', 'complex', and 'profound' to characterize their hatred and moral inversion. I still believe Nietzsche intended the slave revolt as an inversion of the 'Good vs. Bad', but because Evil was primarily posited it was a moralization of 'Bad', but this does not mean that prior to this 'Bad' was a moral concept. Nietzsche must have interpreted the noble's 'bad' as holding some truth-value to contrast their self-valuing of 'Good'. This was inverted because the slave's 'Good' was resemblant of nothingness, a will to nothingness and death and singularity. As a moral concept, those who went about denying life had not existed before that moralization, because as you said, they couldn't because something was lacking. Nietzsche wanted us to become life-affirmers, not men of nobility, although we must accept the beast as inevitable. This is why it is impossible to revert back to Master morality because accepting and understanding it has a life-affirming quality but implies the understanding of its antithesis after Nietzsche has purported his enterprise. The awareness of both, with partiality towards the natural elements of Master morality, is life-affirming but wholly transcendent and forward moving, away from both moral systems.

Another thing that may have been my third point originally, the lecturer told us all that Nietzsche was a nihilist...that he rejected all moral systems because they were only sets of temporary values with only etymological implications. Which books of Nietzsche's has this guy missed out on?

My personal reading and experience with Nietzsche has been profound, some times terrifying, some times surprisingly spiritual. The academy has taken the personality and depth out his writing....
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:44 am

a good deal of the professor's complaints have been around so long,
that Kaufman answered them in his book, what 50 years ago...
and I think this is part the problem.... that the old complaints are
still around even though they have been refuted again and again and
again.... it is easy to dredge up old complaints instead of doing actual
understanding of the material... it is laziness that drives this clown...
why really understand what Nietzsche really said, when you can just
dredge up old crap that wasn't true in the first place and in doing so,
no real need to do any actual research or understanding.... just repeat the
lies and be done with it.....plus the fact is, if Nietzsche is properly understood,
it creates confusion in the minds of the young as to what is actually philosophy
and god forbid, we confuse the young.....what the professor is teaching
is Nietzsche lite... by taking out or explaining away the dangerous aspects
of Nietzsche teachings....it is the university equivalent of, nothing to see here,
move along, move along......in hopes the kids take up more "respectable"
philosophy like the logical 20th century types like Russell.... they are "safe"
philosophers.....it is really gutless philosophy teaching.... make like
the generic stuff is the philosophy is the real stuff and the real
radical stuff like Nietzsche doesn't exist and there is no need to look for it....

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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:58 pm

:lol:
You guys need to take some tranquilizers.

It's a first year survey course. Most of the students don't care about philosophy. They are only there because they need a credit, or it fits their schedule or they don't know what they want to do in life.

If someone actually has a interest in philosophy, then they will take more focused courses in the future and they will do independent reading.

Not the end of the world. :D
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:43 pm

phyllo wrote:You guys need to take some tranquilizers.

It's a first year survey course. Most of the students don't care about philosophy. They are only there because they need a credit, or it fits their schedule or they don't know what they want to do in life.

If someone actually has a interest in philosophy, then they will take more focused courses in the future and they will do independent reading.

Not the end of the world.


Well then I guess no one will take any courses on Nietzsche, and if they do, they will have demented background knowledge of him.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
"
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:26 pm

Well then I guess no one will take any courses on Nietzsche, and if they do, they will have demented background knowledge of him.
How much time is N betting in this survey course? Not much, right?

So it's not going to have that much impact on anyone, either way.
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:03 am

phyllo wrote:
Well then I guess no one will take any courses on Nietzsche, and if they do, they will have demented background knowledge of him.
How much time is N betting in this survey course? Not much, right?

So it's not going to have that much impact on anyone, either way.


Preventing the discovery of anything does have a negative impact. Nietzsche's thought would be more meaningful for our society if we tried to better understand him better by suspending our initial judgments of his writings and look for the deeper meanings behind them, taking Nietzsche at face value initially will lead you to believe that either:

1) He's a nihilist and moral relativist
2) He's an aggressive anti-Christian maverick who rejects all metaphysics
3) His writing is purposely offensive and racist
4) His writing holds less value because it is more poetic than structural

Would it not be better to teach younger intellectuals to analyze the poetics of such works?
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
"
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:36 pm

phyllo wrote::lol:
You guys need to take some tranquilizers.

It's a first year survey course. Most of the students don't care about philosophy. They are only there because they need a credit, or it fits their schedule or they don't know what they want to do in life.

If someone actually has a interest in philosophy, then they will take more focused courses in the future and they will do independent reading.

Not the end of the world. :D


K: and first year survey course on astronomy where they teach the earth is the center
of the universe and everything revolves around the earth and there is a
magic compound between the stars called ether....most of the students don't
care about astronomy... they are only there because they need a credit, or it fits their
schedule or they don't know what they want to do in life... if someone actually has an
interest in astronomy, then they will take more focused courses in the future and they
will do independent reading... not the end of the world.... right?

false knowledge is still false knowledge regardless of why its taught....


Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"

The RNC has announced that's its changing the Republican emblem from
an elephant to an condom because it more clearly reflects the party's political
stance: a condom stands for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation,
protects a bunch of pricks, and gives one a sense of security while screwing others.

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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:34 pm

Okay, first of all let me explain some science:
K: and first year survey course on astronomy where they teach the earth is the center
of the universe and everything revolves around the earth
Since the universe has no observed center, any point can be taken as the center. The Earth can be considered stationary and therefore all objects do move around it. That's not just true in relativity, it was already true under Newtonian mechanics.
there is a
magic compound between the stars called ether
Aether theories have lost popularity but they are not discredited. Since science is open to continuous revision, aether may make a comeback.
Read this carefully:
Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University, had this to say about ether in contemporary theoretical physics:

It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed [..] The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. [..] It turns out that such matter exists. About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of ordinary quantum solids and fluids. Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness. It is filled with 'stuff' that is normally transparent but can be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out a part. The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo.[9]
(written in 2005)
Einstein sometimes used the word aether for the gravitational field within general relativity, but this terminology never gained widespread support.[5]

We may say that according to the general theory of relativity space is endowed with physical qualities; in this sense, therefore, there exists an aether. According to the general theory of relativity space without aether is unthinkable; for in such space there not only would be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring-rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense. But this aether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it.[6]

Paul Dirac wrote in 1951:[7] "Physical knowledge has advanced much since 1905, notably by the arrival of quantum mechanics, and the situation [about the scientific plausibility of Aether] has again changed. If one examines the question in the light of present-day knowledge, one finds that the Aether is no longer ruled out by relativity, and good reasons can now be advanced for postulating an Aether ... We have now the velocity at all points of space-time, playing a fundamental part in electrodynamics. It is natural to regard it as the velocity of some real physical thing. Thus with the new theory of electrodynamics [vacuum filled with virtual particles] we are rather forced to have an Aether".

John Bell in 1986, interviewed by Paul Davies in "The Ghost in the Atom" has suggested that an Aether theory might help resolve the EPR paradox by allowing a reference frame in which signals go faster than light. He suggests Lorentz contraction is perfectly coherent, not inconsistent with relativity, and could produce an aether theory perfectly consistent with the Michelson-Morley experiment. Bell suggests the aether was wrongly rejected on purely philosophical grounds: "what is unobservable does not exist" [p. 49]. Einstein found the non-aether theory simpler and more elegant, but Bell suggests that doesn't rule it out. Besides the arguments based on his interpretation of quantum mechanics, Bell also suggests resurrecting the aether because it is a useful pedagogical device. That is, many problems are solved more easily by imagining the existence of an aether.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aether_theories
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:47 pm

false knowledge is still false knowledge regardless of why its taught....
There will always be many interpretations of writings and sayings due to the flexibility and ambiguity of language. Not to mention the problems produced by translating from one language to another.

But it's good that you and the kids know the one true, correct interpretation of N's work. Keep it safely locked up so that it never changes. :D

Seems that Iambig's dasein lesson had no impact on you. :evilfun:
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:44 pm

phyllo wrote:Okay, first of all let me explain some science:
K: and first year survey course on astronomy where they teach the earth is the center
of the universe and everything revolves around the earth


PHyllo: Since the universe has no observed center, any point can be taken as the center. The Earth can be considered stationary and therefore all objects do move around it. That's not just true in relativity, it was already true under Newtonian mechanics.

K: this is beyond a first year survey course which touches upon general subject
matters.....

K: there is a magic compound between the stars called ether

P: Aether theories have lost popularity but they are not discredited. Since science is open to continuous revision, aether may make a comeback.

K: note what I said, a magic compound between the stars call ether/Aether....
all the stuff you "borrowed" from wiki... is beyond a first year survey course....
a first year survey course simply hits the high points of the subject matter and
what if the high points are wrong....this the objection here....this survey course
the high points of Nietzsche gives wrong information and gives a wrong
impression of what Nietzsche is about... that is the objection.....
it is not a question of quibbling about details of eternal reoccurrence, this
means.....it is not even bringing up Nietzsche eternal reoccurrence,
as Nietzsche himself felt this one of his two main idea's, this and the ubermensh.....
this course give a completely wrong impression of Nietzsche and that is the objection....

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"

The RNC has announced that's its changing the Republican emblem from
an elephant to an condom because it more clearly reflects the party's political
stance: a condom stands for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation,
protects a bunch of pricks, and gives one a sense of security while screwing others.

Kropotkin
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:18 pm

K: this is beyond a first year survey course which touches upon general subject
matters.....
K: note what I said, a magic compound between the stars call ether/Aether....
all the stuff you "borrowed" from wiki... is beyond a first year survey course....
a first year survey course simply hits the high points of the subject matter and
what if the high points are wrong....this the objection here....this survey course
the high points of Nietzsche gives wrong information and gives a wrong
impression of what Nietzsche is about... that is the objection.....
it is not a question of quibbling about details of eternal reoccurrence, this
means.....it is not even bringing up Nietzsche eternal reoccurrence,
as Nietzsche himself felt this one of his two main idea's, this and the ubermensh.....
this course give a completely wrong impression of Nietzsche and that is the objection....
You missed the point. If they had talked about Earth as center of the universe and/or aether in a first year course, they would not be wrong.

Yet you suggest that they are wrong because there is only ONE correct teaching. :eusa-naughty:

If anyone is still interested in astronomy after the first year, he/she can take a more detailed course or read up on his own. You learn the hardcore stuff in years 3 and 4. By that time, the dilettantes have been weeded out.

A first year philo course attempts to answer the question ... Do you care about these sorts of problems and the way they are approached? If yes, then take another philo course. If no, then look at other subjects which may interest you more.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:43 pm

phyllo wrote:
K: this is beyond a first year survey course which touches upon general subject
matters.....
K: note what I said, a magic compound between the stars call ether/Aether....
all the stuff you "borrowed" from wiki... is beyond a first year survey course....
a first year survey course simply hits the high points of the subject matter and
what if the high points are wrong....this the objection here....this survey course
the high points of Nietzsche gives wrong information and gives a wrong
impression of what Nietzsche is about... that is the objection.....
it is not a question of quibbling about details of eternal reoccurrence, this
means.....it is not even bringing up Nietzsche eternal reoccurrence,
as Nietzsche himself felt this one of his two main idea's, this and the ubermensh.....
this course give a completely wrong impression of Nietzsche and that is the objection....
You missed the point. If they had talked about Earth as center of the universe and/or aether in a first year course, they would not be wrong.

Yet you suggest that they are wrong because there is only ONE correct teaching. :eusa-naughty:

K: and under this guise we get Intelligent design being taught as
"real" science.... because there must be multiple correct teachings of
science... right?

P:A first year philo course attempts to answer the question ... Do you care about these sorts of problems and the way they are approached? If yes, then take another philo course. If no, then look at other subjects which may interest you more.


K: if the professor gives you the wrong answers and the wrong
questions, then how can you possible know or understand that there is
other possible interpretations if the professor says this is the problem
and this is the answer but he gives both the wrong problem and the wrong
answer!

Kropotkin
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security
wind up with neither."
"Ben Franklin"

The RNC has announced that's its changing the Republican emblem from
an elephant to an condom because it more clearly reflects the party's political
stance: a condom stands for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation,
protects a bunch of pricks, and gives one a sense of security while screwing others.

Kropotkin
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:01 pm

phyllo wrote:Aether theories have lost popularity but they are not discredited. Since science is open to continuous revision, aether may make a comeback.


So will misinterpretations of Nietzsche's work make a comeback too? Will he once again be known as an anti-Semitic misogynist with clumsy philosophical writing skills and a mental illness that negates the value of his works?

phyllo wrote:If anyone is still interested in astronomy after the first year, he/she can take a more detailed course or read up on his own. You learn the hardcore stuff in years 3 and 4. By that time, the dilettantes have been weeded out.

A first year philo course attempts to answer the question ... Do you care about these sorts of problems and the way they are approached? If yes, then take another philo course. If no, then look at other subjects which may interest you more.


This is exactly the problem...their baiting us incorrectly. From the start, they create an idea of Nietzsche that sits uncomfortably with most students and will diminish the work put into him in upper years. How is someone who is totally new to Nietzsche, use this heinous picture painted of him, and then want to continue upper year study of his works and related schools of thought? Academic philosophy is analytic, compounded, over structured, soulless...its turned into esoteric garbage - no one can or wants to understand it deeply because they are not guided easily or openly into philosophers and different approaches to understanding their writing and questions. Foucault was not too far off by declaring the academic institution as another form of political deception where the subject has less power than they think they do with regards to what they can or cannot want to believe in.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
"
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:11 pm

K: if the professor gives you the wrong answers and the wrong
questions, then how can you possible know or understand that there is
other possible interpretations if the professor says this is the problem
and this is the answer but he gives both the wrong problem and the wrong
answer!
You continue to post with a lot of assumption:

You assume that you possess the one true interpretation of N and that all others are clearly false.

You assume that alternate interpretations will have a significant negative impact on the students.

You assume that the role of university is to fill empty minds with "facts".

You assume that the story as presented by Venture is true and correct. Actually we only have Venture's side of the story. He may have misheard, misunderstood or misrepresented.
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby phyllo » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:41 pm

So will misinterpretations of Nietzsche's work make a comeback too? Will he once again be known as an anti-Semitic misogynist with clumsy philosophical writing skills and a mental illness that negates the value of his works?
I'm sure there will be new interpretations in the future.

I noticed how you loaded the question with the word 'misrepresentations'. :wink:

As if you know the correct interpretation now. :evilfun:
This is exactly the problem...their baiting us incorrectly. From the start, they create an idea of Nietzsche that sits uncomfortably with most students and will diminish the work put into him in upper years. How is someone who is totally new to Nietzsche, use this heinous picture painted of him, and then want to continue upper year study of his works and related schools of thought? Academic philosophy is analytic, compounded, over structured, soulless...its turned into esoteric garbage - no one can or wants to understand it deeply because they are not guided easily or openly into philosophers and different approaches to understanding their writing and questions. Foucault was not too far off by declaring the academic institution as another form of political deception where the subject has less power than they think they do with regards to what they can or cannot want to believe in.
"furious", "demented background" , "heinous picture"

I know that you are in love but you need to step back and be a bit detached. N is one philosopher among many. N is not the messiah. The philosophy department is a small part of a university.

Academic philosophy is about getting paid to write papers for other academics to read and reading papers that other academics have written. The papers are about what old dead guys wrote. Beside that, there is lecturing to uninterested students and interested students who want to read and write about old dead guys.

(I actually I'm not that cynical about education in general and university in particular. :D

But the purpose of education is not to fill empty pots with juice. )
"Only the educated are free" - Epictetus
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy" -Beethoven
"Everyday life is the way" -Wumen
"Do not permit the events of your daily life to bind you, but never withdraw yourself from them" - Wumen
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Venture » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:24 am

phyllo wrote:Academic philosophy is about getting paid to write papers for other academics to read and reading papers that other academics have written. The papers are about what old dead guys wrote. Beside that, there is lecturing to uninterested students and interested students who want to read and write about old dead guys.

(I actually I'm not that cynical about education in general and university in particular. :D

But the purpose of education is not to fill empty pots with juice. )


I can't disagree with that. But I can argue against your "knowing the correct interpretation" claim, but that's going to be loooooooooooooooot of work for you and I to tackle right now. Is this an epistemic issue? Is there some kind of false stigma around being a professional academic or life in University?
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.
"
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Re: Misinterpreting Nietzsche

Postby Along The Way » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:01 am

Venture wrote:
phyllo wrote:Aether theories have lost popularity but they are not discredited. Since science is open to continuous revision, aether may make a comeback.


So will misinterpretations of Nietzsche's work make a comeback too? Will he once again be known as an anti-Semitic misogynist with clumsy philosophical writing skills and a mental illness that negates the value of his works?

phyllo wrote:If anyone is still interested in astronomy after the first year, he/she can take a more detailed course or read up on his own. You learn the hardcore stuff in years 3 and 4. By that time, the dilettantes have been weeded out.

A first year philo course attempts to answer the question ... Do you care about these sorts of problems and the way they are approached? If yes, then take another philo course. If no, then look at other subjects which may interest you more.


This is exactly the problem...their baiting us incorrectly. From the start, they create an idea of Nietzsche that sits uncomfortably with most students and will diminish the work put into him in upper years. How is someone who is totally new to Nietzsche, use this heinous picture painted of him, and then want to continue upper year study of his works and related schools of thought? Academic philosophy is analytic, compounded, over structured, soulless...its turned into esoteric garbage - no one can or wants to understand it deeply because they are not guided easily or openly into philosophers and different approaches to understanding their writing and questions. Foucault was not too far off by declaring the academic institution as another form of political deception where the subject has less power than they think they do with regards to what they can or cannot want to believe in.


While I don't ever want to defend misinterpretations of someone's work, I do have to say that intellectually honest people should have no problem approaching Nietzsche and learning something from him regardless of how he is presented in some introductory course. If someone is put off by a thinker before ever reading said thinker than they are philosophically useless anyhow.
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