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Chapter 3 - Conflictual Unity in the Untimely Meditations

from Part II - The Struggle for Organization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 June 2022

James S. Pearson
Affiliation:
University of Tartu, Estonia
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Summary

According to Nietzsche, modern individuals and societies are pathologically fragmented. In this chapter, I examine the form of conflict that he prescribes in his Untimely Meditations (UM) as a remedy to this condition of disintegration. I argue that he develops a quasi-Schopenhauerian model of how healthy holism arises – that is to say, a model that presupposes the existence of metaphysical essences or Ideas that teleologically organize entities from within. Such essences establish holism by means of selectively overpowering and assimilating the opposed entities that they need in order to materially realize themselves. On the basis of this analysis, I reject agonistic readings of UM,arguing that Nietzsche endorses exploitation and exclusion in a way that is sharply at odds with his conception of the agon. I conclude the chapter with an account of how Nietzsche’s eventual rejection of metaphysics (in his middle and later writings) undermines the metaphysical presuppositions that condition the synthetic program that he outlines in UM.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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