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Nietzsche on Language, Consciousness, and the Body

Christian J. Emden

Publication Year: 2005

Nietzsche and the philosopy of language have been a well trafficked crossroads for a generation, but almost always as a checkpoint for post-modernism and its critics. This work takes a historical approach to Nietzsches work on language, connecting it to his predecessors and contemporaries rather than his successors. Though Nietzsche invited identification with Zarathustra, the solitary wanderer ahead of his time, for most of his career he directly engaged the intellectual currents and scientific debates of his time. _x000B_Emden situates Nietzsches writings on language and rhetoric within their wider historical context. He demonstrates that Nietzsche is not as radical in his thinking as has been often supposed, and that a number of problems with Nietzsche disappear when Nietzsches works are compared to works on the same subjects by writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Further, the relevance of rhetoric and the history of rhetoric to philosophy and the history of philosophy is reasserted, in consonance with Nietzsches own statements and practices. Important in this regard are the role of fictions, descriptions, and metaphor._x000B__x000B_

Published by: University of Illinois Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. vii-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Although this book started out as a vague idea on the shores of Germany’s Lake Constance—not too far from Basel, where Nietzsche spent ten years as a classical philologist, and not too far from Sils-Maria, in the Engadin, one of his favorite haunts—most of it was written at some geographical and intellectual distance from...

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Abbreviations and Translations

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pp. xi-xii

In this book I discuss Nietzsche’s reflections on language, consciousness, and the body—three themes that are central to his writings throughout his intellectual career and that influenced many of the approaches regarded as the cornerstones of his philosophical enterprise. On the one hand, I seek to trace the historical development of his ideas...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

In this book I discuss Nietzsche’s reflections on language, consciousness, and the body—three themes that are central to his writings throughout his intellectual career and that influenced many of the approaches regarded as the cornerstones of his philosophical enterprise. On the one hand, I seek to trace the historical development of his ideas...

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1. The Irreduciblity of Language: The History of Rhetoric in the Age of Typewriters

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pp. 9-31

Between 1872 and 1874 Nietzsche composed three lecture series on the history and theory of rhetoric, as well as an introductory course on Aristotle’s treatise on rhetoric. At first sight Nietzsche’s interest in this topic is by no means surprising. After all, at this time he was a relatively young professor teaching Greek language and literature at both the University of Basel and the city’s ...

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2. The Failures of Empiricism: Language, Science, and the Philosophical Tradition

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pp. 32-60

Rhetorical thought and its far-reaching implications for the complex relationships among language, knowledge, and reason were not exactly at the center of nineteenth- century intellectual developments, either inside or outside philosophy. Most studies of rhetoric from that time more or less repeat the canon of the seventeenth and eighteenth...

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3. What Is a Trope? The Discourse of Metaphor and the Language of the Body

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pp. 61-87

Nietzsche’s views on metaphor and figurative language continue to be somewhat controversial, especially with regard to their implications for philosophical discourse. From I. A. Richards’s Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936) and Max Black’s Models and Metaphors (1962) to Donald Davidson’s seminal essay “What Metaphors Mean” (1984) and...

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4. The Nervous Systems of Modern Consciousness: Metaphor, Physiology, and the Self

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pp. 88-123

Nietzsche often notes that knowledge depends on metaphor, and his numerous reflections on both the philosophical status of metaphor and the relationship between language and knowledge have generated a considerable amount of philosophical criticism. It is now time to consider Nietzsche’s notion of metaphor in more detail, for it...

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5. Interpretation and Life: Outlines of an Anthropology of Knowledge

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pp. 124-162

Throughout the early 1880s Nietzsche spent much of his time composing Also sprach Zarathustra, a difficult and particularly ambiguous piece. Shortly afterward, however, he returned to familiar but unanswered questions that had dominated his work during the late 1870s and are especially manifest in the three parts of Menschliches, Allzumenschliches...

Notes

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pp. 163-202

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 203-216

Index

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pp. 217-223


E-ISBN-13: 9780252091094
Print-ISBN-13: 9780252029707

Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2005

Series Title: International Nietzsche Studies

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Subject Headings

  • Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900.
  • Language and languages -- Philosophy -- History -- 19th century.
  • Consciousness.
  • Human body (Philosophy).
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