Nietzsche’s Hammer

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Philosophy Now
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Nietzsche’s Hammer

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iambiguous
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by iambiguous »

Philosophy Now wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 4:36 pm by Tim B-Gray

https://philosophynow.org/issues/137/Nietzsches_Hammer
Really, how am I all that different from Nietzsche himself?

I suggest that in a No God world, human existence is essentially meaningless and purposeless. That there is no secular font on this side of the grave from which to derive an objective morality. And that, in the end, we all tumble one by one into the abyss that is oblivion.

Only Nietzsche blinked in my view.

He "thought up" his Übermensch...the next best thing to God on this side of the grave. And he even imagined an "eternal return" so that there was at least the possibility of "I" continuing beyond the grave.

Nope, no one is near the "demolisher" that I am.

The only really "upbeat" spin I put on it is that at least for those who reject both God and Humanism, their options can increase dramatically. After all, if you no longer have to sustain your own rendition of "what would Jesus do?" you are free to embody the suggestion that, "in the absence of God, all things are permitted".

On the other hand, tell that to the sociopaths?
iambiguous
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by iambiguous »

Friedrich Nietzsche is not known as a positive guy. Most accounts of him give us a tender and morose misanthrope consistently repulsed by everything he saw around him (unless he saw a mountain; he liked mountains). As a philosopher, he is widely seen as a destructive force, tearing down anything that gave off the slightest whiff of tradition or convention. There’s little doubt Nietzsche would be proud of this reputation; in his chest-puffing autobiography Ecce Homo, he described himself as “dynamite”. Whilst there is no shortage of evidence for Nietzsche’s demolition programme, it is on particularly clear show in 1888’s Twilight of the Idols. This work is a protracted assault on the philosophical canon that Nietzsche sees flowing forth from errors originally made by Plato. It is subtitled: How to Philosophize with a Hammer.
This part is always tricky.

There are the circumstances unfolding in our our day to day lives predisposing us existentially toward optimism or pessimism, toward idealism or cynicism, toward constructive or destructive behaviors.

And then there is our "philosophy of life". Rosy or bleak.

Sometimes the two are in sync and sometimes they are not. And each of us are embedded individually in our own uniquely complex intertwining of the two.

You might be awash in fulfilment regarding many different facets of your life...but still "philosophize with a hammer".

Nietzsche seems to be someone who did not have access to a whole lot of satisfaction in his life. And spent his last decade on Earth in an asylum or under the care of family members. His love life was the pits and he was often plagued with migraine headaches and assorted other real or psycho-somatic symptoms.

So, who is to say how that might have gotten all tangled up in the hammering he did with his philosophy.
promethean75
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by promethean75 »

if you aks me, most of his descriptive philosophy is an attempt to demonstrate troofs that are objective, troo for everyone, facts about the nature of life, knowledge, society, etc., that are troo regardless of your own personal 'existential trajectory' and circumstances. such facts and troofs couldn't only be facts and troofs if and because Nietzsche had a disappointing life (not saying he did just sayin), see.

now it could be open season on his prescriptive philosophy if one were so inclined. that's where the bit about his disappointments would get tangled up in his thinking and possibly produce or at least become a catalyst for an overaggressive philosophy. that's understandable. I'll be the first to tell ya disappointments make for hard philosophy, my friend.

what should be in question is whether or not... or even how... a less aggressive existential philosophy could be produced when the objective facts and troofs - the Nietzschean epistemology and ontology  - don't allow for something more gentle, as it were. i mean you couldn't stay troo to The Troof if you didn't aspire to become an ubermensch in your own right... a Stirnerite voluntary egoist in your own right.

course none of this prevents work being done on humanity and its morality. you can still do that. you just can't start until you know The Troof. that is to say if you are not ready and willing to smash your tablets of troof, you cannot begin the work of philosophy.
iambiguous
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by iambiguous »

Nietzsche picks up a hammer to sound out the old philosophical idols. Finding them to be hollow, he takes a firm grip to flatten and smash, claw and bludgeon. But a hammer can also be a fairly useful tool for building new structures. In the last section of Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche’s hammer ‘speaks’.
Ever and always in regard to "general description intellectual contraptions" of this sort, I ask, "given what particular circumstantial context"?

In other words, what philosophical idols from the past, pertaining to what actual existential situations...interactions that mere mortals find themselves in such that they can all agree on many, many things pertaining to an either/or world encompassed in mathematics, the laws of nature, the rules of language, the empirical world around us, etc., but often come into conflict in regard to the many, many moral and political conflagrations that make it into those big bold newspaper headlines.

The hammer of deconstruction and the hammer of reconstruction there.
Presumably a little work weary, the hammer cannot muster many words and those which it can are not particularly original. The hammer borrows from a section of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, ‘Of Old and New Law Tablets’, in which Nietzsche sets out his hopes for the future. It is to this more forward looking philosophy that we turn as we bring you another issue on the man behind the moustache. But don’t worry, if you came looking for explosions and tumbling towers, there’s plenty of that too. Life-denying art, objective history, free will, morality, and, of course, God, will all turn to dust before your very eyes.
Hope for the future. Who here doesn't have a set of moral and political prescriptions/proscriptions to offer in regard to that. Only Nietzsche always starts with the assumption that this cannot include Gods or Goddesses or spiritual paths or religious paths that allow us to anchor these prescriptions/proscriptions in some "transcending" font.

It's got to revolve solely around mere mortals themselves.

Fortunately, if you think it all through more or less along his path, you can still make that crucial distinction between the Ubermen and the Last Men.

Only here, again, I insist that this be explored in regard to a particular set of circumstances. The Ubermen and the Last Men with respect to abortion, and guns and race and gender and human sexuality and social, political and economic...justice?

Okay, we reject the brute facticity embedded in "might makes right" and the ideological dictates of "right makes might".

But there is still a way for us to make intellectually sound distinctions between the best and the brightest among us and the sheep, the slaves, the mindless masses.

Your way, for example?
promethean75
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by promethean75 »

"Ever and always in regard to "general description intellectual contraptions" of this sort, I ask, "given what particular circumstantial context"?"

okay here's the thing with the 'particular circumstances' you always ask for. depending on what point the thinker wishes to make, general statements can sometimes be enough for that purpose, and particulat statements, particular circumstances, particular instances, etc., are not needed, nor would they detract from the general statement.

for example, politics is rife with deception and foul play, etc. now you could demonstrate that point by referring to a particular instance of that, or you could just make note of the fact that there are many particular instances of that.

that's descriptive there, not prescriptive, as it were. it's stating what are thought to be facts only and says nothing about what that might mean existentially, what one ought to do therefore, etc.

in N's case - take the politics is rife example - a Machiavellian conclusion was drawn as opposed to, say, what Gandhi might advise.

now here's where it gets good and particular applications of that conclusion come under inspection via particular contexts and circumstances. that's your cue to start heckling the thinker. what does an ubermensch/Gandhi-guy do/think and how does he rationalize his actions/thoughts when:

a) confronted with abortion
b) deciding who to vote for
c) asked about gun ownership
d) asked about LGBTQ
e) asked about eating animal products
f) asked about same sex marriage
g) asked about labor unions
h) etc.
Impenitent
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by Impenitent »

Nietzsche would have had as many abortions as his uterus would allow...

-Imp
iambiguous
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by iambiguous »

promethean75 wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 5:11 pm "Ever and always in regard to "general description intellectual contraptions" of this sort, I ask, "given what particular circumstantial context"?"

okay here's the thing with the 'particular circumstances' you always ask for. depending on what point the thinker wishes to make, general statements can sometimes be enough for that purpose, and particulat statements, particular circumstances, particular instances, etc., are not needed, nor would they detract from the general statement.

for example, politics is rife with deception and foul play, etc. now you could demonstrate that point by referring to a particular instance of that, or you could just make note of the fact that there are many particular instances of that.

that's descriptive there, not prescriptive, as it were. it's stating what are thought to be facts only and says nothing about what that might mean existentially, what one ought to do therefore, etc.

in N's case - take the politics is rife example - a Machiavellian conclusion was drawn as opposed to, say, what Gandhi might advise.

now here's where it gets good and particular applications of that conclusion come under inspection via particular contexts and circumstances. that's your cue to start heckling the thinker. what does an ubermensch/Gandhi-guy do/think and how does he rationalize his actions/thoughts when:

a) confronted with abortion
b) deciding who to vote for
c) asked about gun ownership
d) asked about LGBTQ
e) asked about eating animal products
f) asked about same sex marriage
g) asked about labor unions
h) etc.
This and what, at any particular moment in my life, "I" happen to think that this...

He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

...means.

Or, sure, those here who insist they can in fact give us objective answers to questions such as these, are able to go beyond what they think is true "in their head" and demonstrate to us why all rational and virtuous human beings are obligated to think like they do.

Why, in other words, their own moral and political value judgments are not "fractured and fragmented".

And they can choose the question and the set of circumstances we examine in exchanging our moral philosophies.
iambiguous
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Re: Nietzsche’s Hammer

Post by iambiguous »

What will happen after the dust has settled? Does Nietzsche give us a blueprint for constructing a new home? Can we use his hammer to build it? Well, sort of.
"Well, sort of" is applicable to all philosophers down through the ages. They start with a particular set of assumptions about the "human condition" and then provide us with their own didactic blueprints said to enable us to unravel what it all means. But when the dust finally does settle around them nothing really gets settled at all. Otherwise, we wouldn't still be at it...wielding our own didactic hammers.

Nietzsche just starts with the assumption that there is a world of difference between wielding a hammer in a God world and in a No God world.
Nietzsche refused to give his readers a manual for living. Not wanting a band of followers, he does not provide a new set of values, principles or rules for us to follow.
Perhaps because he recognized that in a No God world "right makes might" was no longer an option. So he "thought up" his own rendition of "might makes right". The mighty prevail...but not because they exercise brute force. They prevail because they are "superior" men. They deserve to prevail. Then the squabbles over whether this revolves more around genes or memes.

Thus...
But he does offer an ideal to reach for. Nietzsche’s ideal individual is someone who can build for themselves. We are supposed to look at the dark earth smouldering around us with a hungry smile. This wasteland is our great opportunity. Grasping it involves creating our own set of values, our own rules to follow, our own reasons for living.
Why? Because in being superior men [and back then it was always men] our values, our rules, our reasons for living were the next best thing to God and His Scripture.

Don't believe it? Then go here: https://knowthyself.forumotion.net/f6-agora

He'll explain it to you.
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