By Jill Marsden
This booklet explores the resourceful chances for philosophy created by way of Nietzsche's sustained mirrored image at the phenomenon of ecstasy. From The start 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 discovered in his elusive doctrine of everlasting go back. Jill Marsden pursues the consequences of this legacy for modern Continental inspiration through analyses of such voyages in ecstasy as Kant, Schopenhauer, Schreber, and Bataille.
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Additional resources for After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy
Deeply contemptuous of this, Nietzsche emphatically rejects the suggestion that the universe ‘obeys laws’, that it has a drive for ‘preservation’ or any other kind of drive and that the ascription of moral judgements such as ‘heartlessness’ and ‘unreason’ are ever valid (GS 109). Unlike a living being this world does not grow or expand but it is ‘in all eternity chaos’ lacking every kind of order that might be attributed to it and expressing only necessity. At ﬁrst glance, Nietzsche’s de-deiﬁcation of nature appears purely negative, a simple withdrawal of all familiar predicates.
Against this logic, Nietzsche insists that ‘life is not the adaption of inner circumstances to outer ones, but will to power, which, working from within, incorporates and subdues more and more of that which is “outside”’ (WP 681). Contrary to the Darwinists who construe life as fundamentally reactive – a tactics of environmental adaptation for survival – Nietzsche suggests that life is ineluctably superabundant, fervently creative and combative: The will to power can manifest itself only against resistances; it therefore seeks out that which resists it, – this is the original tendency of the protoplasm when it sends out pseudopodia and feels about.
Understood as material effects or symptoms of a living constitution, values are regarded by Nietzsche as orientations of life rather than simply determinations of being and this is as applicable to non-foundational philosophies as it is to the ‘bold insanities of metaphysics’. Nietzsche suggests that ‘when we speak of values we 16 After Nietzsche do so under the inspiration and from the perspective of life: life itself evaluates through us when we establish values’ (TI ‘Morality as Anti-Nature, 5).
After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy by Jill Marsden