Monday, July 27, 2015

Help sought: passages in which Nietzsche describes guilt as "useful" or "rational"

Ken Gemes (Birkbeck) writes:

I am trying to argue that while Nietzsche rejects what I call existential guilt/shame (that is guilt/shame that comes from experiencing one’s very nature as a violation of religious or other norms/ideals) he sometimes finds ordinary guilt to be rational and/or useful.  For instance in GM II 24 he seems to suggest it would be useful if we could have ordinary guilt about our unnatural inclinations, meaning something like our learned inclinations to moralistically repress our natural inclinations. Thus he calls for an attempt to “wed to bad conscience the unnatural inclinations, all those aspirations to beyond, to what is contrary to the senses, contrary to the instincts, contrary to nature, contrary to the animal”.  I would appreciate other examples that suggest Nietzsche sometimes finds ordinary guilt to be rational and/or useful.  Replies to would be appreciated.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

International Society for Nietzsche Studies

I'm very pleased to announce an exciting new scholarly initiative, the International Society for Nietzsche Studies.  The inaugural conference will be at the University of Bonn in late June 2016, and a Call for Papers will be issued soon; Bonn will be able to offer financial support to grad students or non-tenure-stream faculty whose papers are accepted.  All conference papers will appear in a special issue of Inquiry each year.

Nietzsche studies is at a particularly fertile moment, with an unusually strong cohort of talented younger philosophers around the world working on Nietzsche, in whole or in part.  The existing Nietzsche societies are, in my personal opinion, somewhere on the spectrum from moribund to uneven.  I am hopeful this new initiative will provide an attractive alternative.