[Blueboard] The Grounds of Being: Nietzsche on Kant and Schopenhauer, A Talk by Dr. Steven Lydon - February 9

Department of Philosophy [LS] philosophy.soh at ateneo.edu
Tue Feb 6 14:30:07 +08 2018

The Department of Philosophy

School of Humanities

Ateneo de Manila University

cordially invites you to

*The Grounds of Being: Nietzsche on Kant and Schopenhauer **by Dr. Steven

*February 09, 2018, Friday*

*Natividad Galang Fajardo, Horacio de la Costa Building*

*Ateneo de Manila University*

In Nietzsche's early notes, he reflects on first principles, via J. W.
Goethe: "Ob nicht Natur zuletzt sich doch ergründe?" [Does nature not
ground itself, in the last instance?] But his principle interest is what
separates Kant and Schopenhauer. The former represented the pinnacle of the
Cartesian cogito: thought determines being. Schopenhauer inverted this
hierarchy by establishing the will as the ground of being. Yet although the
contrast is clear, Nietzsche does not take sides; he simply establishes the
parallel. He neither summarises arguments, nor does he evaluate the merits
of each position. Familiarity is assumed. These are private notes, and the
books in question are over fifty years old.

This paper will examine how Nietzsche plays Schopenhauer against Kant, and
vice versa, in his attempt to reject philosophical first principles. This
involves a close reading of a relatively unknown early essay, which is
situated at a crucial juncture in Nietzsche's intellectual development: the
moment where he begins to jettison the Kantian terminology he had utilised
until this point, in order to begin a new and idiosyncratic mode of
philosophical inquiry. It also sheds some light on his own characteristic
ontology: the relationship between Apollo and Dionysus, which would soon
thereafter systematically be expounded in *The Birth of Tragedy*.

[image: Inline image 1]

Steven Lydon is a Ph.D. candidate at the Germanic Languages and Literature
Department, Harvard University. He has taught courses including French
Social Thought in the 20th century (Harvard University, Spring 2017) and
Visual, Filmic, and Literary Media in German culture, with emphasis on
Romantic poetry and Modern literature (New York University, Fall 2016). His
dissertation, entitled “Words Without Meaning: the Klangfiguren in Goethe,
Schopenhauer and Nietzsche,” asks the role that artworks play in creating
meaning within nature.



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