Knowledge, for Nietzsche, is a properly destructive activity. It invalidates values, annihilates meaning of things, overthrows ideals stimulating doubts and putting in question the whole existence. Its climax is nihilism. The philosopher, who obviously cannot give up the impulse of knowing, must nevertheless control such an instinct and its destroying power by resorting to an opposite force which may moderate it and counter-balance its effects: the will to illusion, whose paradigmatic expression is art. But how is possible an effective coexistence of these two opposite tendencies? How can knowledge and art – truth and illusion – live together and balance their power into the space of thought? As we shall see in our lessons, Nietzsche’s philosophy is much concerned with these questions and with problems strictly connected to them.
Course’s contents: Polarities in Nietzsche’s thought. – Strength and form. – Tragic thought. – Truth and beauty. – Tragedy and the space of difference. – Between “poison” and “cure”: the phármakon. – Excess and measure. – The “double brain”. – Text and chaos. – To affirm and to deny. – Death of God, nihilism and eternal return. – Decadent art and “great style” . – The artist as “affirmative man”.
Method of teaching: frontal lessons. Attendance to lessons is recommended.
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