The question of ethics as the preparation for the rebirth of tragedy in Nietzsche's philosophy

Kiefte, Barend (1993) The question of ethics as the preparation for the rebirth of tragedy in Nietzsche's philosophy. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In this thesis I raise Nietzsche's question of ethics, his question of the value of ethics itself, in light of his call for the rebirth of tragedy. I contend that, for Nietzsche, the question of ethics is the necessary preparation and education for the rebirth of tragedy and a new tragic sensibility beyond particular Christian-moral interpretations of existence. -- I claim that there are three overlapping stages in the structure of Nietzsche's philosophy: his initial and premature hope for the rebirth of tragedy, his awareness that humanity must be free from morality to be prepared for the rebirth of tragedy, and his renewed hope for the rebirth of tragedy after overcoming morality. -- Within the framework of this structure I discuss Nietzsche's question of ethics in three parts: his inquiry into the origins of morality through an appeal to sciences, his critique of the origins of morality through a method of genealogy, and his overcoming of morality defined as nihilism through a revaluation of values. I appeal to Foucault's and Deleuze's analysis of Nietzschean genealogy and I raise Heidegger's question of Nietzsche's nihilism in terms of whether he overcomes nihilism or whether he is entangled and encourages nihilism. -- I maintain that art, specifically tragedy, is the vehicle of Nietzsche's overcoming of nihilism through the revaluation of values. I discuss the manner in which tragedy contributes to his overall project of establishing an aesthetic and anti-moral interpretation of existence through the figure of Dionysus. -- Yet Nietzsche claims that morality overcomes itself through honesty and truthfulness and that tragedy redeems humanity and existence, which suggests that certain ethical and religious themes survive in his philosophy. In this context I raise the question of Nietzsche's ambiguous legacy with regards to the question of ethics. I also appeal to Camus's interpretation of Nietzsche in order to indirectly indicate that Nietzsche makes a positive contribution to the question of ethics in contemporary philosophy.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5742
Item ID: 5742
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [265]-268.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 1993
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900--Ethics; Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900--Aesthetics; Tragedy

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