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Nietzsche Late Notebooks 36 [10]

Nietzsche Late Notebooks 36 [10]

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Published by Willem de Phoops
Nietzsche notes
Nietzsche notes

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Published by: Willem de Phoops on Jul 31, 2013
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10/12/2014

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1
On Nietzsche’s Late Notebooks 
Notebook 36, June - July 188536[10]
How long have I been concerned in my own mind to prove the per-fect
innocence 
of becoming! And what strange paths I’ve taken in thisquest! At one point it seemed to me the right solution to decree that‘existence, as something like a work of art, does not fall under the jurisdiction of morality at all; instead, morality itself belongs to therealm of appearance.’ Another time I said: ‘Objectively, all notions of guilt are entirely without value, but subjectively all life is necessarilyunjust and alogical.’ Then again, I wrested from myself the denial of all purposes and felt the unknowability of causal connections. Andwhat was this all for? Was it not to give myself a feeling of completeirresponsibility - to place myself outside all praise and blame, inde-pendent of all past and present, in order to run after my own goal inmy own way? -
Becoming and psychobiography. This note shows another aspect of 
be-coming 
as it was understood by Nietzsche. Rather than being the in-prin-ciple permanent unfolding of logical relations over time, here becomingis shown to be the unknowable, alogical domain of causality as suchwhich cannot be apprehended.One could introduce that distinction into Nietzsche at any rate. At thesame time Nietzsche is chasing after logical (meaningful) distinctionsthat operate below the surface, and so doing, introducing causality in away into domains where it does not ‘exist’, he also intuits that the full
causal eld, causality as such,
cannot 
be apprehended. It is beyond fullknowing, even though its character may be intuited. There is, therefore, a reciprocal relationship between causality as it istraced in a sort of non-terminating series; and causality as such, causalityas totality, which can never be exhausted. One might say that causality assuch is simply the ‘form’ of causality, the set of which causality as non-all, non-terminating is one of its members. (That is, by abstracting from
causality in action a causality-as-such, what is common to every specic
instance of causality and considering it as a totality, one arrives at this
 
2
unknowable thing.)An important thing to throw into the mix here is morality. Morality isfor Nietzsche something even broader than the conventional usage there-of. Morality stands for any interpretation of the world in terms of mean-ing, the fundamental assumption that meaning animates history, life,even matter. This is perhaps one of the referents of ‘abyss. In the time of the rationalists, formal patterns began to be detected in the animationof things. Animals, for example, might be thought of in terms of clock-work, that is, as machines. By Nietzsche’s time, the patterns had alreadyceased to be meaningful: there is no ‘meaningful’ pattern in the chaoticmovement of molecules. That movement might be expressible in termsof some mathematical formula, but the formula was not pregnant withmeaning or rooted by analogy in some other meaningful experience. Em-pirical science had increasingly shown the world to be non-meaningfulinasmuch as its descriptions became increasingly remote and ‘meaning-ful’ only
qua
formalism. The basis of morality, therefore, for Nietzsche and for anyone of his historical moment would be some discernible meaning at the heartof knowledge, at the deepest levels uncovered by science, upon whichother meanings could be attached and built by their logical nearnessso that a logical, meaningful system (of knowledge, of ethics) could beconstructed. But when the empirical nature of the universe seems to beabsent meaning, expressible only in terms of mathematics or in terms of self-contained theories that were opaque and did not resonate with the
whole of human knowledge, then eectively there was
no
basis for moral-ity, for meaning-in-general. To survive this, Nietzsche performs a nega-tion of the negation, saying that whereas before I synthesized meaningbecause there was some basis (negated when the basis was negated) now Isynthesize meaning for its own sake.Nietzsche’s intuition of the causality underneath, informed by hisknowledge, leads him to perceive that there are processes and so on thatare still independent of meaning; that is, until there is a need to shine alight on them, an
occasion
for discovering or inventing them, they remainindependent. One cannot reasonably say they are not occurring: so thereat the edges of perception they are
meaningless 
. And these make up by farthe bulk of processes, events, and so on in the universe.Life itself is in this category. Nietzsche in a way insists that it belongto that category. That is, it was unique for it to occur to Nietzsche that

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