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Beyond SelflessnessReading Nietzsche's Genealogy$
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Christopher Janaway

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279692.001.0001

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Disinterestedness and Objectivity

Disinterestedness and Objectivity

(p.186) 11 Disinterestedness and Objectivity
Beyond Selflessness

Christopher Janaway (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Part of Nietzsche's discussion of the ascetic ideal in Genealogy III concerns aesthetic experience. This chapter first examines Nietzsche's criticisms of Kant for conceiving of beauty from the passive spectator's point of view and in terms of disinterestedness. Nietzsche diagnoses all philosophers as having a propensity towards the ascetic, and uses Schopenhauer as an illustration: Schopenhauer's conception of aesthetic experience as a pure will-lessness was motivated by his own wish to escape from tormenting sexual desire. Schopenhauer's aesthetic theory provides the model for Nietzsche's discussion of pure, disinterested objectivity in Genealogy III, 12. Nietzsche argues that such pure objectivity is an impossibility, and that its motivation is very much ‘interested’. Nietzsche can also be seen here as turning Schopenhauer's doctrine of the primacy of the will over the intellect against Schopenhauer.

Keywords:   aesthetic theory, ascetic ideal, beauty, Schopenhauer, sexual desire, will, will-lessness

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