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BOOK REVIEWS 469 inc~m does not support the individual in the moment of self-realization. Come claims that for Kierkegaard, possibility is one thing in the realm of thinking; it is another in the domain of being. I agree with Come that the sense of failure is heightened with the "leap," that our awareness of the negative increases with any venture. That is why in Kierkegaard's view, Socrates exemplified human excellence. In his words no less than in his deeds, Socrates embodied irony which, in The Concept of Irony, Kierkegaard identified with freedom and characterized as "infinite absolute negativity." In effect, Come has successfully demonstrated that in the world of Kierkegaard there is a continuity between logic, ontology, and psychology. For in this study Come attempts to show that the "self's possibility" which is expounded in The S/ckness unto Death derives from Trendelenburg's concept of "inner possibility." However, since in Trendelenburg possibility is associated with the necessity of purpose inherent in "reason ," it differs essentially from the individual, personal, passionate possibility which characterizes Kierkegaard's concept of freedom: risky choice. RoY MARTINEZ Spelman College Leslie Paul Thiele. FriedrichNietzscheand thePoliticsof the Soul: A Study ofHeroicIndividual ~sin. Studies in Moral, Political and Legal Philosophy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 199o. Pp. xiv + ~33- Cloth, $35.oo. Paper, $9-95. Leslie Paul Thiele takes a novel approach to Nietzsche as political thinker. Arguing that Nietzsche is apolitical with respect to the societal order, Thiele nonetheless maintains that Nietzsche has an elaborate political theory. Nietzsche's politics concern, not the external state, but the state within the soul of the individual. Thiele accordingly explicates Nietzsche's individualism and spiritual concerns in terms of categories from political theory. Taking seriously Nietzsche's insistence that the philosopher's work and life are intimately connected, Thiele opts to focus on Nietzsche's works as "a political biography of his soul" (4)- Nietzsche's works do not, Thiele tells us, provide a theory of individualism; instead they in,rant/ate the individualism that Nietzsche endorses as the kind of heroism still available in a world for which God is dead. In keeping with his appreciation of Nietzsche's works as primarily personal and linked to his life, Thiele offers an engaged and personal reading of Nietzsche more than a conceptual analysis. He does not, for the most part, defend or criticize Nietzsche's views, but he integrates many of Nietzsche's recurrent claims and images into a coherent picture, acknowledging that it is not the only picture available. The focus of Thiele's picture is Nietzsche's "heroic individualism." Nietzsche believed that "the primary task of life is... the heroic struggle of individuation" (3)Central to Nietzsche's understanding of the individual is the notion of the soul as a plurality. Nietzsche's thought is political, according to Thiele, in that he is pervasively concerned with the ideal way that the disparate elements in the soul should cooperate. 47~ JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 30:3 JULY 1992 The goal for Nietzsche is "the rule of the higher self or selves" in "an aristocratically ordered soul" (66). This, in turn, is what Thiele means by "individuation." Individuation involves continual struggle among the "selves" within the soul, as well as an overarching struggle by the emergent individual to let the higher "selves" dominate. The aristocracy of the optimally ordered soul is, therefore, not static or complacent; instead , hierarchy itself is utilized as "the condition for harmony and the stimulus for struggle" (67). No particular organization within the soul should claim life-long tenure; ideally, the s0ul should have a strong central government with "frequent regime changes" (63). Among the various forms of organization achieved by Nietzsche's own struggling individuality are those indicated in Nietzsche's often mentioned triad of"artist, philosopher , and saint." These, according to Thiele, are "the incarnations of the Nietzschean hero" (165), incarnations variously predominant within Nietzsche himself. The roles of artist, philosopher, and saint emphasize, respectively, the creativity, skepticism, and religious ecstasy that were interdependent and integral to Nietzsche's own individualistic heroism. Nietzsche carried out these roles by means of two "ways of being in the world," those...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 469-471
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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