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Moral Philosophy Seminar Week 7 TT12

Event Name Moral Philosophy Seminar Week 7 TT12
Start Date 4th Jun 2012 4:30pm
End Date 4th Jun 2012 6:30pm
Duration 2 hours

Alison Denham (Tulane/Oxford) 'Debunking Nietzsche: Why the Transfiguration Thesis is neither original nor true' to be held in the Lecture Room, 10 Merton Street, Oxford - Moral Philosophy Seminar webpage


Nietzsche is typically credited with an original and compelling account of value, according to which traditional ethical ends are 'aesthetically transfigured'.  Like Schopenhauer, he assessed ‘art from the perspective of life’; that is, he held that the significance of art lies not in  l’art pour l’art, but in the answers it provides to the problem of how to value human experience.   As Schopenhauer is standardly read, however, his conception of aesthetic experience has little else in common with that offered by Nietzsche.   Against the standard reading, I show that Nietzsche’s account of aesthetic experience – and in particular his conception of aesthetic transfiguration – is essentially continuous with and parasitic upon Schopenhauer’s own.  Schopenhauer's story of aesthetic revaluation  pervades Nietzsche's work throughout, from  The Birth of Tragedy  to  Twilight of the Idols.  Nietzsche did, certainly, part ways with Schopenhauer with respect to the normative implications he drew from their common phenomenology: he found a different moral in the story of aesthetic experience. However, that moral is unlikely be true.

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