After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy by Jill Marsden

By Jill Marsden

This e-book explores the creative probabilities for philosophy created by means of Nietzsche's sustained mirrored image at the phenomenon of ecstasy. From The beginning of Tragedy to his experimental "physiology of art," Nietzsche examines the cultured, erotic, and sacred dimensions of rapture, hinting at how an ecstatic philosophy is learned in his elusive doctrine of everlasting go back. Jill Marsden pursues the consequences of this legacy for modern Continental concept through analyses of such voyages in ecstasy as Kant, Schopenhauer, Schreber, and Bataille.

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According to Deleuze, one of Nietzsche’s central concerns is the radicalization of Kantian critical thinking. Deleuze suggests that Kant’s genius was to conceive of an immanent critique but that he lacked a method which permitted reason to be judged from the inside. Kantian philosophy discovers conditions which still remain external to the conditioned: ‘Transcendental principles are principles of conditioning and not of internal genesis’ (NP 91). While Kantian critique brings itself to bear on dogmatic claims to knowledge and truth, it fails to criticize knowledge and truth as values (for example, the value of the a priori is never called into question).

It is in this sense that Apollinian rapture pleases for its own sake. As in Kant’s account of the beautiful, this pleasure concerns delight in form rather than faith in its existence. It revels in that which is bounded – abbreviated, simplified. In contending that the dreamer delights in Schein, Nietzsche could be construed as merely privileging fantasy over reality, especially since he goes so far as to contrast the ‘higher truth’ and the ‘perfection’ of these states with the ‘incompletely intelligible everyday world’ (BT 1).

From such depths of torment one emerges ‘as a different person’ with an ever renewed taste for all that is perplexing. ). Having been charred to a husk he returns as the fire that rekindles his own thought, he has become the thought of fire. ). The importance of this ‘art’ ought not to be underestimated. Nietzsche suggests that it is only through the transformation of ‘nature’ that a transformation of thought is possible. There is a sense in which philosophy must become ecstatic if it is to succeed in In the Horizon of the Infinite 13 thinking beyond the values which perpetuate the logic of the same.

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