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    Nietzsche on the decadence and flourishing of culture

    Huddleston, Andrew (2019) Nietzsche on the decadence and flourishing of culture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780198823674.

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    Book synopsis: In Nietzsche’s first book The Birth of Tragedy (1872), cultural renewal is paramount among his concerns. The standard story about Nietzsche’s philosophical development is that he soon becomes disillusioned with this project, and his mature philosophy undergoes a radical shift. Instead of reposing his hopes in a broader culture, he comes to occupy himself instead with the fate of a few great individuals, or, at the extreme, perhaps mainly with his own quasi-artistic self-cultivation. The book questions this individualist reading that has become prevalent, and develops an alternative reading of Nietzsche as a more social thinker, whose sees cultural excellence as no less important. Nietzsche, on this reading, does not think that great individuals are all that ultimately matter. What matter too are whole cultures, understood not just as sources of artistic stimulation or existential succor, but, like great individuals, as ends in themselves: namely, as the collective manifestation of powerful, beautiful, and admirable forms of human life. The best cultures, as Nietzsche will repeatedly suggest, are like great artworks. The book develops this analogy, one with a heritage in the German Romantics, and explores its philosophical implications. It uses Nietzsche’s perfectionistic ideal of a flourishing culture, and his diagnostics of cultural malaise, as a point of departure for reconsidering many of the central themes in his ethics and social philosophy, as well as for understanding the interconnections with the form of cultural criticism that was part and parcel of his distinctive philosophical enterprise.


    Item Type: Book
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Nietzsche, culture, Bildung, Kultur, social philosophy, aesthetics, ethics, perfectionism, individuals, critique
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2020 14:03
    Last Modified: 17 Mar 2020 14:03


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