Nietzsche on Time and History
Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, 16 - 18 September 2005
The 15th International Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society of Great Britain and Ireland
For more information: http://people.pwf.cam.ac.uk/md273/index.html
Nietzsche is well known for his criticism of all modes of thinking that render temporal existence defective and illusory. According to many of his remarks, 'the whole' must no longer be conceived as static and a-temporal. Instead, he attempts to re-describe the relationship between past, present and future by contesting the idea of time as a linear succession of moments of presence. Time and space, being and becoming(s) enter into non-reductive and creative relationships.
In the wake of Nietzsche's attempt to rethink time, the task of recording history also undergoes a fundamental reformulation. History can no longer be a discipline that merely registers the successions and constellations of entities and objects that remain identical over time. Nevertheless, history remains an integral part of his thinking. 'Only as the most general form of history', Nietzsche remarks in 1885, 'is philosophy still acceptable to me'. History has to fulfil a much wider and a much more dynamic task. While philosophy definitely requires the corrective of history, the latter might have to be improved through a new philosophy of time.
Does Nietzsche, as some critics have argued, merely idealise time, transitoriness and difference in the same way that his predecessors idealised permanence, being and identity? What are the new conceptions of time that Nietzsche has to offer? What kind of historian was Nietzsche himself? What kinds of 'temporal' histories and 'historical' philosophies did Nietzsche write/or fail to write?
Programme in pdf
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