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Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics$
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Maudemarie Clark

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199371846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199371846.001.0001

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Deconstructing The Birth of Tragedy

Deconstructing The Birth of Tragedy

(p.203) { 11 } Deconstructing The Birth of Tragedy
Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics

Maudemarie Clark

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the problem with Nietzsche’s first book, The Birth of Tragedy. The problem was a contradiction in his understanding and evaluation of the Dionysian. Simply put, in The Birth of Tragedy Dionysus functions as the god of both truth and the affirmation of life. Given Nietzsche's understanding of truth in the book, however, life is not really affirmable: appreciation of truth cannot coexist with the affirmation of life; we need illusion in order to affirm life.

Keywords:   Nietzsche, metaphysics, Dionysian, Dionysus, life, god, truth

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