Weekend Picks: Must-Read Philosophical Works

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche The most available and compelling philosophical work by Friedrich Nietzsche is often misquoted and distorted, but it remains a splendidly unique and immensely persuasive read. […]

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

The most available and compelling philosophical work by Friedrich Nietzsche is often misquoted and distorted, but it remains a splendidly unique and immensely persuasive read. Nietzsche was a standout amongst the most progressive and subversive masterminds in the Western world, and Thus Spoke Zarathustra is his best known work. It tells the story of the old Persian prophet, Zarathustra, who plummets from his isolation in the mountains to tell the world that God is dead and that the Superman, the human epitome of godliness, is his successor. Nietzsche’s articulation – ‘God is dead’ – his belief that the significance of life is to be found in human terms, but also his conviction of the Superman and the will to control, were later seized upon and unrecognisably contorted by, among others, the Nazis. With bursting power and idyllic brightness, Nietzsche contends that the importance of the present is not to be found in religious observance but in an almighty life force of enthusiasm, chaos, and freedom.

“I am a forest, and a night of dark trees: but he who is not afraid of my darkness, will find banks full of roses under my cypresses.” 

“Man is something that shall be overcome. Man is a rope, linking the beast and the superior being – a rope over an abyss.What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.” 

Nietzsche declared himself to be the first immoralist in the world, trying to reset all values, beginning with Christianity, which is, clearly, only a plot to debilitate extraordinary men (and just men) like Nietzsche himself. In Thus Spoke Zarathustra there is a really well known passage where an insane individual carrying a lamp reports that ‘god is dead’.

“You know these things as thoughts, but your thoughts are not your experiences, they are an echo and after-effect of your experiences: as when your room trembles when a carriage goes past. I however am sitting in the carriage, and often I am the carriage itself. In a man who thinks like this, the dichotomy between thinking and feeling, intellect and passion, has really disappeared. He feels his thoughts. He can fall in love with an idea. An idea can make him ill.” 

Nietzsche makes a decent argument about how god ought not be the premise of an ethical code. Utilizing Zarathustra – the fictional work – as his intermediary, Nietzsche goes ahead to incorporate the numerous reactions of Christianity. There is, additionally, a considerable measure of talk about incredible men making the most of their energy to the full, unparalleled, without thoughts of obligation, obligation and pity, the will to control and so on. Moreover he ponders how/why such ‘will to power ‘ is the key to our human instinct and, maybe, required.

“But the worst enemy you can meet will always be yourself; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests. Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself, and past your seven devils! You will be a heretic to yourself and witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and villain. You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?” 

Critique of Judgment by Immanuel Kant

The author tries to build on the earlier standards which underlie judgment, as he did in his previous evaluations of reason. The initial segment takes on the subject of sensibility: we react to natural phenomena as lovely, says Kant, when we perceive in nature an order that fulfills our minds’ own particular requirements for order. The second 50% of the study focuses on the clear teleology in nature’s plan of living beings. Kant contends that our psyches are slanted to see reason and order in nature, and this is the primary guideline hiding the greater part of our judgment.

“Laughter is an affect resulting from the sudden transformation of a heightened expectation into nothing.” 

“Nature is beautiful because it looks like Art; and Art can only be called beautiful if we are conscious of it as Art while yet it looks like Nature.” 

Kant invests more energy in teleology than in judgment, in spite of the fact that the two are connected. Specifically, Kant is talking about a belief system through teleology as a state of inscription for a logical framework. He unmistakably isolates this from the purpose of caption, but finds the Other similar to the wellspring of this teleological reason. He shuts the characteristic phenomenological “world” to signify reason from a specific point of view. And after that he rewrites this structure with the suprasensible through the design of the Other.

“A man abandoned, by himself on a desert island, would adorn neither his hut nor his person; nor would he seek for flowers, still less would he plant them, in order to adorn himself therewith. It is only in society that it occurs to him to be not merely a man, but a refined man after his kind (the beginning of civilization). For such do we judge him to be one who is both inclined and apt to communicate his pleasure to others, and who is not contented with an object if he cannot feel satisfaction in it in common with others. Again, every one expects and requires from every one else this reference to the universal communication of pleasure, as it were from an original compact dictated by humanity itself.” 

Difference and Repetition by Gilles Deleuze

Difference and Repetition, an amazing piece on the investigation of identity, has come to be viewed as a contemporary exemplary in philosophy, and Deleuze’s most unique work. The work has been pivotal in starting the shift in French thinking away from Marx and Hegel, towards Freud and Nietzsche. The work takes on the advancement of two main ideas, those of straight difference and complex repetition. It demonstrates how the two ideas are connected – difference implies disparity and decentering, and repetition suggests uprooting and disguise.

“Identity and resemblance would then be no more than inevitable illusions – in other words, concepts of reflection which would account for our inveterate habit of finding difference on the basis of the categories of representation.” 

In a specific sense the principal thought of Difference and Repetition might be summed up succinctly. Basically, these two things have always been an ideal, starting with the identity as the premise. Deleuze in spite of this approach which has generally molded logic from the season of Plato to Hegel, will commit himself to the assignment of the idea of difference and of repetition. In other words, what might we talk about, when thinking about difference by means of its positivity, or repetition through its own positivity from the inside, outside of themselves composed by the standards of value of identity?

“Opening is an essential feature of univocity. The nomadic distributions or crowned anarchies in the univocal stand opposed to the sedentary distribution of analogy. Only there does the cry resound: ‘Everything is equal!’ and ‘Everything returns!’. However, this ‘Everything is equal!’ and ‘Everything returns!’ can be said only at the point in which the extremity of difference is reached. A single and same voice for the whole thousand-voiced multiple, a single and same Ocean for all the drops, a single clamour of Being for all beings: on the condition that each being, each drop, and each voice has reached the state of excess – in other words, the difference which displaces and disguises them and, in turning upon the mobile cusp, causes them to return.”

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