Author Topic: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion  (Read 238 times)

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HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« on: November 15, 2017, 12:15:56 AM »
As usual Davin is our prize reader, finished before the rest of us.  I think I've been sewing too much to keep up with my reading properly.
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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 01:34:39 PM »
As usual Davin is our prize reader, finished before the rest of us.  I think I've been sewing too much to keep up with my reading properly.

Yeah, Davin is making the rest of us look bad...we should do something about him. ::)
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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 05:03:08 PM »
As usual Davin is our prize reader, finished before the rest of us.  I think I've been sewing too much to keep up with my reading properly.

Yeah, Davin is making the rest of us look bad...we should do something about him. ::)

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 02:26:03 PM »
For the writing style, I thought it was fine. Didn't dawdle too much.

I've never read anything more than excerpts of Nietzsche, so I can't speak for how accurate I think the descriptions of his writings are.

I didn't have any preconceived ideas about Nietzsche, so the first bit wasn't very useful to me. Though reading some of them, I don't see how the author dismissed the myth. Sometimes, the author seemed to confirm the myth. Seemed odd to me. Could be that the author was playing head games like the author said that Nietzsche did, then I don't care for them.

The rest seemed fine, but I kept getting the feeling that the author was smoothing over the rough reality to make Nietzsche seem more... I don't know, more of some kind of guru trying to awaken the minds of his readers than what he seemed to be, which was a guy that liked to think about things through different approaches than normal which lead to many contradictions because thinking different was more important than consistency of thought (Nietzsche is even quoted as saying something to that effect). The latter is the impression I get of Nietzsche in spite of what seemed to be the author's intent.

It was a good read, but I feel like either the author was playing some games or was intentionally trying to smooth over Nietzsche's character.

Now what the book did to me. I was moderately interested in reading Nietzsche, but after the book I'm very much dissuaded. If even part of what the author said about his writing is true, even the seemingly praised bits, I have no interest in reading Nietzsche. Just the quips about science and a supposed "scientism" annoys me enough to avoid it all. And the author seemed to share the inaccurate views on science. It's more understandable for Nietzsche than it is for the author.

So I'm probably not going to read anything by Nietzsche. Maybe one in a while.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 01:51:29 PM by Davin »

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 05:27:27 AM »
I'm halfway thru the first chapter and have to admit I'm disappointed by the lack of what Nietzsche really said in this book.  I've also skimmed thru it and can't find any more than a few quotes.  It feels like my old Sunday School Bible Study, with the pre-digested paraphrasing of biblical stories, and instructions on what they really mean, rather than the bible verses themselves.

Perhaps this book is only meant to whet the reader's appetite, and prepare them to read Nietzsche with a positive bias?  It does make me curious to get into one of Nietzsche's books, but from which point in his life?  According to the author, Nietzsche's philosophy changed yearly.  Altho he poo poos the idea, to me this does seem an indication of Nietzsche's on-coming insanity. 

I did get a bit of a laugh over the author's complaint about people making ad hominem attacks on Nietzsche, when he'd earlier praised Nietzsche's own use of the same as part of his approach to philosophy.
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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2017, 05:01:06 AM »
Finally finished this and I still have no idea what Nietzsche really said or, more accurately, what he really meant.  And from what Solomon and Higgins have written, no one does. They write that Nietzsche was inconsistent and contradictory in his views, which they regard as a mark of his genius, an "ongoing engagement with reality".

Nietzsche himself asked "Why do philosophers so praise consistency?" Well, here's a thought: because they want to be understood. Because they know that if they're so unclear that nobody can agree on what it is they're really saying, they'll be misrepresented by some and forgotten by most. As has happened with Nietzsche.

Honestly, I found this book interesting and frustrating in equal measure. I liked the information on Nietzsche's life and eventual insanity, which explained a lot -- possibly more than the authors intended it to.  But on the other hand I often found their defense of Nietzsche shaky to say the least. On one page they would complain of ad hominem attacks against Nietzsche and on another praise Nietzsche's own use of ad hominem attacks against other philosophers. Guys, please, what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

On the whole, I'm glad I read it if only as a guide for other philosophers and thinkers to read. For instance, the reasons for Nietzsche's intense dislike of the ancient Greek playwright Euripides have convinced me I need to start reading those plays immediately.
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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 05:53:07 AM »
Just the quips about science and a supposed "scientism" annoys me enough to avoid it all. And the author seemed to share the inaccurate views on science. It's more understandable for Nietzsche than it is for the author.

Yeah, I was irked when I got to that point too.  For instance,

Quote
Science never claims absolute but only tentative truths, even in its most basic laws -- for example, the principles of conservation of matter, energy, and more recently, energy-matter.  But science, too, goes wrong when it claims itself as the only perspective for getting at the truth, and Nietzsche gives up his scientific enthusiasm when he realizes that "scientism" can be just another dogmatism.

Maybe I'm just reading the wrong books, but in all my years I've only read one scientist who claims science is useful for pursuing any truths other than those belonging to the physical, material world.  The one exception is Sam Harris and I really don't give his opinions much credit.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 01:52:47 PM »
I finished it about a week or so ago, kind of forgot about it until I read your latest post Books. First I'd like to say that I enjoyed reading both yours and Davin's reviews, and it probably won't surprise you to know that I came to the pretty much the same conclusions and agree with both of you on the book.

I read some Nietzsche in my younger days because at that time in my life it was the sexy thing to do with regards to philosophy (18-22 years old), but my take on him has always been that his writings invite misunderstanding, what with his use of metaphor, dissimulation, and hyperbole in particular all seem to make it easier for his words to be taken to mean something other than what he might have intended. Like reading the bible.

When reading this book I started to think about possibly rereading him again, but since finishing the book my interest has waned like both of yours.

I did always like that he put Christianity in the category of “shit that makes you embrace suffering.”

Now however. Whenever I hear of Nietzshe I'm always reminded of the character "Otto" from the movie, "A Fish Called Wanda". He was a big fan of Niezshe's ;D

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 02:18:11 PM »
Just the quips about science and a supposed "scientism" annoys me enough to avoid it all. And the author seemed to share the inaccurate views on science. It's more understandable for Nietzsche than it is for the author.

Yeah, I was irked when I got to that point too.  For instance,

Quote
Science never claims absolute but only tentative truths, even in its most basic laws -- for example, the principles of conservation of matter, energy, and more recently, energy-matter.  But science, too, goes wrong when it claims itself as the only perspective for getting at the truth, and Nietzsche gives up his scientific enthusiasm when he realizes that "scientism" can be just another dogmatism.

Maybe I'm just reading the wrong books, but in all my years I've only read one scientist who claims science is useful for pursuing any truths other than those belonging to the physical, material world.  The one exception is Sam Harris and I really don't give his opinions much credit.
That's a thing that bugs me about most philosophers. They tend to try to lessen science in order for them to go around trying to think things into existence. It's like an emotionally abusive spouse, they denigrate the things that stand in the way of them trying to manipulate reality to how they want it. While the thinking games can be fun, I can't live my life like that knowing that I'm obfuscating reality. It's too much work just to pretend and keep up the delusion.

Sorry, bit of a rant there.

I have another issue, but I can't really get into it well without getting really into it. It's around the idea that we all have maximums and we are supposed to find out what they are. I understand that a not too successful musician would want to justify a reason why he didn't succeed where he wanted to, but I don't agree with the concept.

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 02:19:05 PM »
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 03:59:50 PM »
I have another issue, but I can't really get into it well without getting really into it. It's around the idea that we all have maximums and we are supposed to find out what they are. I understand that a not too successful musician would want to justify a reason why he didn't succeed where he wanted to, but I don't agree with the concept.

Oh, do get into it.
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"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 04:49:47 PM »
I have another issue, but I can't really get into it well without getting really into it. It's around the idea that we all have maximums and we are supposed to find out what they are. I understand that a not too successful musician would want to justify a reason why he didn't succeed where he wanted to, but I don't agree with the concept.

Oh, do get into it.
It probably won't be worth it, but when I have a lot of time, I'll post something.

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 05:32:10 PM »
I'll try to explain the concept from Nietzsche as I understand it, then why I disagree with it. So there were two big things and they both related around the "ubermensch" or "super person." The idea is that we all are capable of being a super person, we only need to find out what that is and become it, then accept that is the way we are and not feel guilty for doing things that are in our character. Fulfilled I suppose would be the term.

For the super person, I agree that we should try to discover what we like doing and to always improve upon ourselves. I don't think we need to maximize the improvements, or spend every chance we have to improve (that would be a dreadful esistence), but we should be improving at least a bit at a time. I think that would make things feel more fulfilling. What I don't agree with about that is that I don't think there is a predefined void for us to fit into and fill up.

I was shit at drawing, but I kept practicing and got better. If I kept up the practice I'd be great by now. I see why Nietzsche would see that in the light that he does, he'd think that I had to work into the mold made for me. I think that's a bad way to think about it. I think we see what we want to become, how we want to improve, and we build on ourselves to get to where we want to be.

Thinking about it like a mold to fit into I think causes more discouragement when things get tough. I think a better way to think about it, is that sometimes it's tough to get to where you want, but you have to build up to it, you can't just jump into something and expect to fit.

The other parts I disagree with are the parts about suffering a bad character trait because that is whoa  person is. I think this provides too easy a justification for those behaving badly to not even try to adjust their behavior. Maybe it's because I had to work so hard and still have to work hard on my behavior, but my view is that we absolutely can correct our behavior and we often should. Just not always, and not for spurious reasons.

Too often I've heard things like, "well I'm a X what can I do?" or "they're an X, that's why they act that way." Those are bad. They give the bad actors an easy excuse out of behavior correction that sounds like a socially acceptable reason because people in their society are accepting of the bad behavior.

So I don't accept that we should accept people's behavior because that is the way they are. People can and do change, people are in control of their bodies. I can understand some behaviors trained into for years or by other means, are very difficult to adjust, but it's not impossible.

So that's about what I have right now on why I disagree with those ideals. I have more thoughts but I tired to focus.

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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 01:22:18 PM »
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

We're all philosophers.
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Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2017, 01:56:07 PM »
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

We're all philosophers.
In the same way we're all mathematicians because we've done or do a bit of math, and doctors because we apply band aids, and athletes because we've done some jogging in our life...

In other words, only to the point that the word "philosopher" is meaningless.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.