See also: Nietzsche’s Life and overall influence

Nietzsche and Philosophy

by Giles Deleuze

The decadence of modern philosophy is the theory of value imposes conformism and a new form of submission

Philosophy of sense and values has to be a critique


Problem with Kant: failed to pose the problem of critique in terms of values

Notion of aesthetic value implies critical reversal

Critical philosophy has two inseparable moments: the referring back of all things and any kind of origin to values, but also the referring back of these values to something which is, as it were, the origin and determines their value.

This is Nietzsche’s twofold struggle:

  • against those who remove values from criticism, contenting themselves with producing inventories of existing values or we criticising things in the name of established values (the “philosophy labourers”, Kant and Schopenhauer, BGE 211)
  • against those who criticise, or respect, values by deriving them from simple facts, from so-called “objective facts” (the utilitarians, the “scholars”, BGE Part 6).

Nietzsche attacks both the “high” idea of foundation which leaves values indifferent to their own origin and the idea of a simple causal derivation or smooth beginning which suggests an indifferent origin of values

Genealogy: substitute pathos of difference or distance for both Kantian principle of universality and the principle of resemblance dear to utilitarianism (GM I)


  • there are no def of sense
  • We don’t know where the force come from
  • Philosophy is symptomatology, not semeiology
  • To interpret and to evaluate is to weigh causal and effects.

Force is not a cause, but a symptom.

Against dialectics

Theory of force Life struggles with another form of life

it affirms its own difference and enjoys this difference.

The negative is not present in the essence as that from which force draws its activity: on the contrary it is a result of activity, of the existence of an active force and the affirmation of its difference. The negative is a product of existence itself: the aggression necessarily linked to an active existence, the aggression of an affirmation.

As for negation as a concept, “it is only a subsequently-invented pale contrasting image in relation to its positive basic concept - filled with life and passion through and through” (GM I 10 p. 37).

For the speculative element of negation, opposition or contradiction Nietzsche substitutes the practical element of difference, the object of affirmation and enjoyment. It is in this sense that there is a Nietzschean empiricism. The question which Nietzsche constantly repeats, “what does a will want, what does this one or that one want?”, must not be understood as the search for a goal, a motive or an object for this will. What a will wants is to affirm its difference.

In its essential relation with the “other” a will makes its difference an object of affirmation.

”The pleasure of knowing oneself different”, the enjoyment of difference (BGE 260);

This is the new, aggressive and elevated conceptual element that empiricism substitutes for the heavy notions of the dialectic and above all, as the dialectician puts it, for the labour of the negative.



The linking among contradictions, negatives, and opposition

Tragedy has three ways of dying:

  • Socrates’ dialectics, or Euripidean death
  • Christianity
  • Modern dialectics and Wagner
  1. BT emphasizes the contradiction is between primitive unity and individuality
  2. Reflected in the opposition of Dionysus and Apollo
    • Apollo overcomes the suffering of the individual by the radiant glorification of the eternity of the phenomenon: construct appearances of appearance, thus freed from suffering
    • Dionysus shatters the individual, absorbing him into original being reproduces contradictions as pain of individual and introduces into higher pleasure
  3. Two antithesis ways of solving tragedy
  4. Reconciliation dominated by Dionysus

Nietzsche’s Evolution

Tragic in totality lies within its contradiction, Dionysus’ resolutions and expressions of such solutions

Characteristic of tragic culture, as seem in Kant, Schopenhauer, Wagner, as in trying to solve it

  • wisdom takes the place of science as the highest end.

Existence and Innocence

Necessary to disperse the universe, to lose respect for the whole

Innocence is the game of existence, of force and will

Existence affirmed and appreciated, force not separated, the will not divided in two - first approximation of innocence

Mentioned Heraclitus = tragic thinker

H understood existence on the basis of an instinct of play Existence as an aesthetic phenomenon rather than moral or religious

Affirmation of being

Heraclitus denied the duality of worlds, “he denied being itself’. Moreover he made an affirmation of becoming. We have to reflect for a long time to understand what it means to make an affirmation of becoming.

In the first place it is doubtless to say that there is only becoming. No doubt it is also to affirm becoming. But we also affirm the being of becoming, we say that becoming affirms being or that being is affirmed in becoming.

Heraclitus has two thoughts which are like ciphers: according to one there is no being, everything is becoming; according to the other, being is the being of becoming as such.

A working thought which affirms becoming and a contemplative thought which affirms the being of becoming. These two ways of thinking are inseparable, they are the thought of a single element, as Fire and Dike, as Physis and Logos. For there is no being beyond becoming, nothing beyond multiplicity; neither multiplicity nor becoming are appearances or illusions

Multiplicity is the inseparable manifestation, essential transformation and constant symptom of unity

Affirming being of becoming and affirming becoming are two return state

Eternal return is distinct return of outward movement, distinct contemplation of action

The dice-throw

The game as two set of movement Earth is where the dice is thrown and sky is when the dice is thrown back

The dice-throw affirm becoming and it affirms the being of becoming

Not a large number of throws produce the repetition of combinations but rather the number of combinations which produce the repetition of the dice throw

Dice that are thrown once is the affirmation of chance Combination of dice that are thrown is the affirmation of necessity

Necessity is affirmed by chances and chances id being affirmed by the act of necessity

Nietzsche and Mallermé

  1. To think is to send out a dice-throw
  2. Man does not know how to play
  3. To throw a dice is not only irrational, but also constitute to the tragic attempt and tragic thought par excellence Necessity is the abomination of chance

Tragic thoughts

Spirit of revenge as in different form nihilism takes place It is a type, but not separable from typology

The Touchstone Relates to other tragic philosopher, but shan’t take this at face value

Tragedy in Nietzsche philosophy, one must ask:

  • How does this other think?
  • How much ressentiment and bad conscience remains in his thoughts?

Zarathustra opposes playing to betting, dancing to leaping

Anatomy of Beyond Good and Evil

Prejudices of Philosophers


  • Begins by critiquing the traditional approaches of truth and morality, deemed it “hazardous enterprise”. From a perspective of a philosophers, who are “deemed to pursue the truth” doesn’t seem to fully understand why

The Free Spirit


Aphorism 24

What strange simplification and falsification mankind lives! One can never cease wondering once one has acquired eyes for this marvel! How we have made everything around us clear and free and easy and simple! How we have been able to give our senses a passport to everything superficial, our thoughts a godlike desire for wanton gambolling and false conclusions! - How from the beginning, we have contrived to retain our ignorance as to enjoy an almost inconceivable freedom, frivolity, impetuosity, bravery, cheerfulness of life, so as to enjoy life!

Man lives in blissful ignorance, and it is this ignorance that allows him to enjoy life.

Contains a deliberate overlooking or misunderstanding of complexity and depth of reality, such that one grant one’s thoughts the freedom to roam superficially.

And only on this solidified, granite-like foundation of ignorance could knowledge rear itself hitherto, the will to knowledge on the foundation of a far more powerful will, the will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue! Not as its opposite, but — as its refinement!

Nietzsche posits that humans have contrived to retain their ignorance in order to enjoy life with freedom, lack of scruple, heartiness, and gaiety. This foundation of ignorance allows knowledge to rise, but it does so on the foundation of a far more powerful will --- will to ignorance to uncertainty, to the untrue.

Nietzsche juxtaposes a paradox at our existence: a foundation of ignorance is actually built upon our will to knowledge. Will to knowledge is not opposed to ignorance, rather a refinement. Will to ignorance is actually a strategy of power, as it motivates force.

The Gay Science

Mentions the Death of God and start the introduction to the doctrine of eternal occurrence

The original title was “la gayza scienza”, and “gay” doesn’t necessarily means homosexuality, rather flexible and joyful. If word for word to be transcribed, it would meant The Joyful Science.

On Genealogy of Morals

Thus Spoke Zarathustra