BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Productive omissions in Nietzsche’s philosophical psychology

    Elliott, Richard James (2022) Productive omissions in Nietzsche’s philosophical psychology. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

    Richard J Elliott Full Doctoral Thesis - March 2022.pdf - Full Version

    Download (2MB) | Preview


    Nietzsche’s mature philosophy expresses a persistent concern with psychological self-cultivation. This thesis will discuss various kinds of ‘productive omission’, as Nietzsche sees them, in his philosophical psychology, and how they might be employed in his model of self-cultivation. While this term is not one that itself appears in Nietzsche’s texts, I use this broad term to denote the various ways Nietzsche thinks it possible to omit some elements of mental content. Nietzsche argues that such omissions count as active and deliberate, even if apparently not always intentionally or consciously done –indeed, such omissions seem to be distinctly non-conscious. I wish to offer descriptive accounts of such omissions, for Nietzsche. Further, in referring to these omissions as being ‘productive’, it is my contention that there is for Nietzsche a prescriptive function to the processes accounted for. In this sense, I aim to attribute their capability of being ‘productive’ in the context of their positive role in Nietzschean psychology. Since the germination of a robust Anglophone Nietzsche scholarship 35 years ago, there has been an emphasis on unity, harmony and inclusion when discussing what Nietzsche thinks of as an ideal model of a ‘healthy’ individual psychology. This trend has got something right to some extent about Nietzsche’s model, and it has duly attracted attention. However, the predominance of these themes has skewed the picture of what Nietzsche’s fuller psychological model (and any promise it holds) actually looks like. The intention of my thesis is to show that these various means of omission need to be accounted for within any account of Nietzsche’s philosophical psychology. The Nietzschean ideal is, I argue, just as much a product of productive omission as it is of inclusion and integration.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 11:38
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:31


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item