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General => Media => Topic started by: Sandra Craft on November 15, 2017, 12:15:56 AM

Title: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Sandra Craft 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Papasito Bruno 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. ::)
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin 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. ::)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z0VMI67a4Y
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Sandra Craft 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Sandra Craft 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Sandra Craft 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Papasito Bruno 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

Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin on December 07, 2017, 02:19:05 PM
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Sandra Craft 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Bad Penny II on December 08, 2017, 01:22:18 PM
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

We're all philosophers.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin 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.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Bad Penny II on December 08, 2017, 02:12:33 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.

It's that we all live in a world that we never chose to.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Papasito Bruno on December 08, 2017, 02:35:37 PM
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

We're all philosophers.

So does that mean Davin doesn't like any of us?....me sad. :'(

(https://i.imgur.com/vTGnYmM.gif)
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Bad Penny II on December 08, 2017, 03:00:01 PM
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

We're all philosophers.
[/quote]

So does that mean Davin doesn't like any of us?....me sad. :'(
[/quote]

No, just most of us,
why can't you pay attention?
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin on December 08, 2017, 03:24:36 PM
That's like most philosophers. Sorry, I don't like most philosophers.

We're all philosophers.

So does that mean Davin doesn't like any of us?....me sad. :'(

(https://i.imgur.com/vTGnYmM.gif)

I like a bunches of people. I'm just not good at showing it.
(http://cdn1.clevver.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/awkward-voldemort-hug.gif)

I don't think that everyone is a philosopher.

I cook dinner several times a week, I don't call myself a chef.
I fix some things on my car, but that doesn't make me a mechanic.
I brush my teeth but I'm not a dentist.

In the same way, while we all navel gaze, we are not all philosophers. Unless one wants to make the term meaningless.

Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Bad Penny II on December 08, 2017, 04:00:23 PM

In the same way, while we all navel gaze, we are not all philosophers. Unless one wants to make the term meaningless.

That's your conclusion.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Davin on December 08, 2017, 08:03:28 PM

In the same way, while we all navel gaze, we are not all philosophers. Unless one wants to make the term meaningless.

That's your conclusion.
What other conclusion is there when you spread a descriptor so far that it describes everybody?
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Papasito Bruno on December 08, 2017, 09:03:07 PM

So does that mean Davin doesn't like any of us?....me sad. :'(


No, just most of us,
why can't you pay attention?


Ah, now I get it.

He doesn't like most of us, but some or a few of us he does like...I bet he likes me if I say I agree with him regarding this discussion you two are having?

Like Davin I think you are possibly committing the fallacy of hasty generalization with this one...sorta like calling me a "liar" because I may have lied in my life, once or twice (3-4 times tops)
Or calling me a thief just because I took a cookie out of my co-workers desk...Ray Comfort does this a lot.

Not saying you are Ray Comfort, or even Comfort like.

Ayn Rand wrote in "Philosophy: Who Needs It"

“Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation — or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt.

Basically she was adding what kind of world we live in, and how do we separate knowledge from error or what is good and what is evil?

In her view, we cannot avoid having, and acting on, some answer to these questions.

Shit, forgot where I was going with this.

I think Ayn was saying we are all not philosophers, but that philosophy itself defines how we live our lives.



Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Bad Penny II on December 09, 2017, 11:33:19 AM

In the same way, while we all navel gaze, we are not all philosophers. Unless one wants to make the term meaningless.

That's your conclusion.
What other conclusion is there when you spread a descriptor so far that it describes everybody?

I find the practice of a few declaring themselves big heads, or philosophers if you prefer a bit suspect.
I'll think of philosophy as thinking about life.
We all think about life, well some more than others.
So much of what the big heads say is obvious
that's because our culture has inherited it as result of their brainy toil
Maybe.
Is it a thing that the not quite right in head are interested in psychology, or is that just me?
Is it that those that don't intuitively get it get into philosophy?
Anyway I'm not conceding them the high ground.
There's far too much looking down going around.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Bad Penny II on December 09, 2017, 12:18:14 PM

So does that mean Davin doesn't like any of us?....me sad. :'(
No, just most of us,
why can't you pay attention?


Ah, now I get it.

He doesn't like most of us, but some or a few of us he does like...I bet he likes me if I say I agree with him regarding this discussion you two are having?
You are using the word “discussion” recklessly but I’ll let it pass, I’m no pedant.
These days I mostly I post when I’m pissed ([Brit, vulgar] Very drunk) so I’m liable to say shit.
I should put that in my signature.









Ayn Rand wrote in "Philosophy: Who Needs It"
I’m not going to read Ayn Rand Bruno, I’ve heard she’s creepy crazy elitist.
I’m reading Steven Erikson and I blame you for that.
So many so many so long too long not easy books.
There has been quotable stuff, there was a prescient description of Trump.
Anyway thanks for the affliction of the addiction, I owe you.
Title: Re: HAf Book Club: What Nietzsche Really Said discussion
Post by: Sandra Craft on December 10, 2017, 03:54:07 AM
Well, I have to say that if nothing else Nietzsche has caused not only the longest but the most interesting discussion the book club has had so far.  So thanks to him for that!

Something of a funny co-incidence: all this philosophy talk has goaded me to finally finish reading William James' "Pragmatism", a series of lectures he gave at the Lowell Institute.  So I went looking for the last page with any highlighting and found that the next page started this way:

"Men who are strongly of the fact-loving temperament, you may remember me to have said, are liable to be kept at a distance by the small sympathy with facts which that philosophy from the present-day fashion of idealism offers them."