File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1998/nietzsche.9801, message 14


Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 16:41:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Nietzsche and Rationalism


Hi, John again:

>The philosophical outlook of the coming Caesars will be that of
>the physiognomic sceptic along the lines of BGE 209, would you
>not agree?

I don't know _Beyond Good and Evil_ very well, but I'll say this.
Regardless of "perspectivism", MY view of the Nietzschean SuperPerson is
one who rises only to then GIVE to others, as Emerson also recommends. So
both Emerson and Nietzsche would not be for tyranny, although one dilemma
about the Roman Empire as well as the free trade routes of capitalism is
that by having a lingua franca, etc., there is a fair amount that is going
to go to greedy SuperJerks. But that can't be avoided. If people want to be
selfish Ayn Rand types, fine.

>I agree with Nietzsche. Twilight of the Idols. Based on the history
>of the last two hundred years, it is impossible not to have fundamental
>doubt as to the meaning and value of theoretical reflection and to its
>ability to arrive at conclusions by critical and abstract methods or
>to achieve anything by practical ones. Rationalism and its various
>forms of Social Darwinism has no place within the becoming Imperium.

As he said in "The Birth of Tragedy", we have to distinguish WISDOM from
mere KNOWLEDGE.

>As to other cultures aping Western Rationalism, only havoc has
>resulted. Certainly Western technology can be put to good use
>by them, however.

Yes...

>Everything of real value got lost.

That's romantic, but not true. We wouldn't be caring about what's "lost" if
it were truly lost, would we?

>BGE 192 has a good take on "science". I do not consider Social
>Darwinism true science.

Neither did James, who had serious disputes with Herbert Spencer in his
day. However, both Nietzsche and James were correct that, as the Kabbalah
teaches, we are in a constant state of BECOMING. We can't go BACK, but we
can look forward, see what's been suppressed (or "lost"), and try to
resuscitate it... in balance, and with compassion. John Stuart Mill is a
powerful thinker on this, too: his defense of eccentricity, for example,
against Carlyle's hero-worship/authoritarianism.

>Nietzsche is sceptical of the formula reason=virtue=happiness.
>So am I.

And me, too. It's too simplistic. In a "dialectic" world, it's half a coin.
And there's much more than mere WORDS could put into a tick-tock sort of
play, anyway.

I'm not familiar with this term:

>physiognomic sceptic...

And I'd like this put in layman's English:

>with a morphological insight
>into the phenomenon of the cultural lifecycle, as well as human ethology,
>leading one to perceive the three stages of human development?

before I comment further. I don't know what you're using Nietzsche for.
Aesthetics? An advocate against totalitarianism? Or... all of the above?

Nietzsche provides no stable ground, which is similar to Keats' "negative
capability", in my view. If there IS no stable ground, however... one must
have ideals, such as Siddhartha and Jesus had, don't you think?

        ---Randall Albright

                http://world.std.com/~albright/




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