restricted access Nietzsche on the Struggle between Knowledge and Wisdom (review)
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354 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 33:2 APRIL 1995 Each provides a generaI overview of the contents and argument of the text and also singles out one or two short, interesting sections (e.g., the master and slave section of the Phenomenology and the Being/Nothing/Becoming triad from the Science ofLogic) for more detailed commentary. This is a happy solution to the vexing problem of how to give beginners some sense of both the systematic scope and concrete riches of Hegel's texts. Besides the Phenomenology, Science of Logic, Encyclopedia, and Philosophy of Right, Rockmore also discusses in some detail the Differenzschrift, which is justified by his historical and thematic focus. However, the decision to ignore Hegel's posthumously edited and published lectures on art, religion, the history of philosophy, and the philosophy of history, given their profound later influence, is less understandable in a work that tries to take account of the historical influence of Hegelianism. Rockmore provides a fine treatment of the problematic "necessity" of the movement from one "shape of consciousness" to the next in the Phenomenology--a process that he helpfully compares to the historical development from one scientific theory to the next--and a clear-headed discussion of what "absolute knowledge" is--and is not--for Hegel. The brief chapter on the reception of and reactions to Hegelianism over the past century and a half is largely successful. Rockmore's discussion of Kierkegaard and Marx are models of concision and good sense and clearly demonstrate his more general claim concerning the pervasive influence of Hegel. On the other hand, it is hard to see why Nietzsche is included in this chapter, and Rockmore's attempt to link Nietzsche 's rejection of the entire Western (Platonic) philosophical tradition to a rejection of Hegel is unconvincing. Inevitably, scholars will quarrel with specific points of Rockmore's interpretation and will challenge claims made in passing (and, given the brevity of this work, almost all of the claims have to be made simply enpassant). In its main lines, however, this work fully succeeds in accomplishing the difficult and unique task it sets for itself. Its broadly "historical" approach to the problem of introducing readers to Hegel's thought is very much in "the spirit of Hegel" and is, I believe, preferable to other introductory strategies . There is no other book quite like this in English, and for this reason alone Before and after Hegel can be recommended to anyone seeking entrance into what so often seems to be the self-enclosed and impenetrable Hegelian fortress. DANIEL BREAZEALE University of Kentucky Keith M. May. Nietzsche on the Struggle between Knowledge and Wisdom. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. Pp. xv + J93- Cloth, $49.95. This unusual and thoughtful study, which is more a sustained Nietzschean meditation than a piece of scholarship about Nietzsche, is inspired by an 1875 note referring to "the struggle between science and wisdom displayed in ancient Greek philosophy." As a classical philologist Nietzsche concluded that in the ancients wisdom once essentially pitted itself against knowledge. As a philosopher he argued that wisdom--personal, incomplete, perspectival, perhaps idiosyncratic--ought once again to challenge knowl- BOOK REVIEWS 355 edge (Wissenschaft, the stuff of academia). May identifies with Nietzsche's post-Kantian redefinition of the task of thinking as the resolute interpretation of being. He also identifies with the ancients', particularly the Presocratics', impulse to know and measure the value of soul or psyche. He argues, eruditely and succinctly, to the militantly Nietzschean conclusion that wisdom or strength of soul surpasses knowledge in value, and tragedy and virtue as well. May brings to this conclusion the fervid belief in individuality that characterizes the creative artist, the one who crafts the aletheicWord where image and meaning embrace. This is the nineteenth-century cult of genius again, plausible still, I suppose, for one like May who comes to Nietzsche and to argumentative philosophy from the literary domain. Yet his analysis of ancient literatures and philosophies is so clear and compelling, his taste for the central argument in a writer so accurate, that one readily takes May as a philosopher, i.e., as one who speaks in the...


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