- Il nuovo infinito di Nietzsche. La futura obiettività tra arte e scienza by Marco Vozza
One methodological principle that shows the contemporary value of Nietzsche’s thought is the task of “seeing things, as they are!,” for which the only way is “to be able to see them from a hundred eyes, from many persons!” (KSA 9:11). Along with many others, this passage indicates the attitude of a philosopher intent on fruitfully examining multiplicity and difference. In his volume, translatable as Nietzsche’s New Infinite: Future Objectivity between Art and Science, Marco Vozza highlights Nietzsche’s propensity to study multiple, often apparently contradictory phenomena through an analysis that is not comparative but reciprocally penetrating. Such an approach is what the Italian author calls “binocular optics,” although we might speak more of multiocular optics.
From his very brief introduction—whose title, “Why Nietzsche in Times of Realism?,” echoes Hölderlin’s verse “wozu Dichter in dürftiger Zeit”—the author means to situate his work in a dual context. The widest context is explicitly ontological and gnoseological realism, which not only characterizes huge parts of contemporary philosophy but is also generally assumed, often uncritically, as an implicit supposition in the natural, cognitive, and even sometimes social sciences. However, more subtly, Vozza seems to be referring to the milieu at the University of Turin, where he teaches aesthetics and Maurizio Ferraris’s “New Realism” has acquired ever more importance over the past few years, provoking a curious philosophical debate in Italy. One of the goals of Ferraris, also well known for his studies on Nietzsche, is precisely that of attempting to neutralize the idea summed up in the motto “there are no facts, only interpretations” (KSA 12:7).
Vozza counterpoises an interpretation of Nietzsche based heavily on the valorization of the affectivity of the closest things (die nächsten Dinge), thus proposing the philosophical reevaluation of a series of elements anchored to our vital reality, elements that, by their very nature, escape reductionisms and intellectual simplifications. Programmatically, Vozza follows a well-known interpretive model that aims to undermine Heidegger’s five fundamental words (fünf Hauptworte), focusing attention on concepts of “health and illness, affect and pain, profundity and surface, temperament and style” (9). The theoretical intentions of this volume are therefore both interesting and sound.
In the first chapter of the book, Vozza defines the primary objective of Nietzsche’s entire philosophy as the attempt to “free man from the spirit of gravity” (11). After presenting Nietzsche’s most general critique of metaphysical philosophy—according to which the latter has distanced humans from the perceivable sphere and the reality that we can access through posing the real (das wahre Sein) in a deep and essentially unknown dimension—the author stresses how the next step consists in repositioning the human in the immediate world, including its ordinary, daily, epidermal, and therefore superficial elements. The reevaluation of the surface, that is, of the world of the closest things, thus implies a strengthening of affects and an increase in our perception and faculties of knowing. Vozza then attributes, although reductively, Nietzsche’s reflections on the body to the liberation of the human from the spirit of gravity—defining it, with a contribution from Lévinas and Nancy, as “an entity without profound and interior attributes,” as “pure exteriority” (19). In this way, the author means to promote a rearticulation of the human that does not hinge on differentiating between interior and exterior.
These considerations are shifted to an epistemological level in the second chapter, which traces the “features of an affective perspectivism.” In fact, his attention focuses on the link between the perspectivalist theory of knowledge and the affective, passionate, and corporal genesis of thought. At first, Vozza develops arguments—for the most part already well known—regarding the somewhat constructivist nature of perspectivism and the fact that it does not result in a negation of reality. On the contrary, the perspective and interpretive character of existence has, for Nietzsche, a constitutive...