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Why We Are Not Nietzscheans

Translated by Robert de Loaiza
"To think with Nietzsche against Nietzsche." Thus the editors describe the strategy adopted in this volume to soften the destructive effects of Nietzsche’s "philosophy with a hammer" on French philosophy since the 1960s. Frustrated by the infinite inclusiveness of deconstructionism, the contributors to this volume seek to renew the Enlightenment quest for rationality.

Though linked by no common dogma, these essays all argue that the "French Nietzsche" transmitted through the deconstructionists must be reexamined in light of the original context in which Nietzsche worked. Each essay questions the viability of Nietzsche’s thought in the modern world, variously critiquing his philosophy of history as obsessed with hierarchy, his views on religion and art as myopic and irrational, and his stance on science as hopelessly reactionary.

Contending that we must abandon the Nietzsche propped up as patron saint by French deconstructionists in order to return to reason, these essays will stimulate debate not just among Nietzscheans but among all with a stake in modern French philosophy.

Contributors are Alain Boyer, André Compte-Sponville, Vincent Descombes, Luc Ferry, Robert Legros, Philippe Raynaud, Alain Renault, and Pierre-André Taguieff.

242 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Philosophy: General Philosophy

Table of Contents

Preface to the 1991 French Edition
1: Hierarchy and Truth
Alain Boyer
2: The Brute, the Sophist, and the Aesthete: "Art in the Service of Illusion"
Andre Comte-Sponville
3: Nietzsche’s French Moment
Vincent Descombes
4: "What Must First Be Proved Is Worth Little"
Luc Ferry, Alain Renaut.
5: The Nietzschean Metaphysics of Life
Robert Legros
6: Nietzsche as Educator
Philippe Raynaud
7: The Traditional Paradigm - Horror of Modernity and Antiliberalism: Nietzsche in Reactionary Rhetoric
Pierre-Andre Taguieff

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