Sunday, May 24, 2009

Katsafanas, Paul. Review of Craig Dove's NIETZSCHE'S ETHICAL THEORY. NDPR (May 2009).

Dove, Craig. Nietzsche's Ethical Theory: Mind, Self and Responsibility. London: Continuum, 2008. Craig Dove's book promises to elucidate Nietzsche's ethical theory by drawing on recent work in the philosophy of mind. According to Dove, Nietzsche's work on self-consciousness "lays the foundation for the affirmative ethic he develops" (6). Dove maintains that one achieves Nietzsche's ethical ideal if one is capable of affirming the eternal recurrence of one's life and of loving fate (this is what Nietzsche calls amor fati). The accounts of eternal recurrence and love of fate appeal to claims about the nature of the self, freedom, and responsibility. Those concepts, in turn, are based upon Nietzsche's account of self-consciousness. So the ethical theory turns out to be rooted in an account of self-consciousness. Dove claims that once we read Nietzsche in this way, "important points of contact" emerge between contemporary philosophy of mind and Nietzsche's work (6). A great deal of the book is devoted to charting these points of contact. Although Dove isn't explicit about this matter, his hypothesis seems to be that recognizing these points of contact helps to illuminate otherwise puzzling aspects of Nietzsche's view. I will return to this point below. Read the whole review here:

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