Quora answer: Is Nietzsche respected by any recent philosophers?

Apr 07 2013

If we discount Analytical Philosophers because they are really anti-philosophical, at least in principle. Then we might say that all actual philosophers since Nietzsche not only respect him, but their work is based on his to some degree or another. Like Kant and Hegel he is indispensable to thought in our age. Which says obliquely that those who are not thinking with, or beyond Nietzsche are not really thinking, because they are not in the Continental tradition as such. And it is because of Nietzsche that we know that Analytical Philosophy is baseless and anti-philosophical as such, because it does not recognize synthesis as primary. Rather it thinks the Analytical  a priori is all there is and the synthetic a priori is considered metaphysical rubbish to get rid of when ever possible. That is why if an Analytical Philosopher considers someone prior to Frege it will be Kant. We will just skip Hegel, Husserl and anyone else who came after them in the Continental tradition, i.e. the French, who by combining Nazism and Communism without totalitarianism created a renaissance in philosophy which Zizek and Badiou are the culmination, i.e. the first real signs of degeneration. Let us just mention the names of those who have respected and based their thought on Nietzsche from the Continental Tradition: Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze, Lacan, Derrida . . . we could go on listing all the French philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century along with a few spin-offs in the USA mostly outside of academic philosophy as such which is dominated by boring Analytical Philosophy which mostly about pointless reductionist arguments and why metaphysics is mere illusion.

In our time the line from of Kant, Hegel, Husserl, Heidegger, Derrida, Lacan, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Bataille, Deleuze, Foucault, Badiou, Zizek has been the most vibrant. And much of that Vibrancy comes from thinking though of Nietzsche’s thought deeply within the context of the Continental (which is just European philosophy carrying on) tradition. Those who are not respecting Nietzsche and the profundity of his unsystematic philosophy are just not thinking. And that is because thought is always contextualized by the tradition in which and in relation to which thought is happening, seeking the cutting edge of that tradition. For now the pivotal thinkers in the Continental tradition are Kant/Hegel; then Nietzsche; and after him Frege/Husserl; then Heidegger, and after him Merelau-Ponty/Sartre; and then Derrida/Lacan; and then Deleuze/Foucault and finally things begin to degenerates into Badiou/Zizek. All others are dwarfed by these figures who each took thought to a new horizon in their own way. Badiou and Zizek only become relevant due to Deleuze. That is why they attack him so vehemently.

Not all philosophy is created equally, and certainly there is no real comparison between Analytical and Continental philosophy. Analytical Philosophy abandons Synthesis as an a priori and merely recognizes Analytical a prioris. What can we say, there is just no depth to its endless quibbling over ever finer reductionist distinctions. Nietzsche would have hated it if he had known that philosophy would have taken such a route. Nietzsche was the last great German philosopher. Germany after that proved itself uncivilized by perpetrating two World Wars on Europe. The barbarity of the Germans that Nietzsche proclaimed was proven in history. After that it was communism and fascism that would lead to the renaissance in philosophy. French Communists taking the Heidegger’s Fascist philosophy seriously. The reaction in England and the US was to stop thinking because thinking meant considering the problem raised by Hegel of synthesis, and Hegel was the foundation of Marxism, and Marxism was the basis for Soviet Communism, and Senator McCarthy just would not stand for that. So English and American philosophy became extremely dumbed down to pass the censors. Mean while back in Europe our Resistance allies in France who were now dominant within French culture despite De Galle’s rule, kept thinking unfettered by Soviet Dogma, basing their thought on the Fascist Heidegger, who in turn based his thought on Husserl, Hegel, and Nietzsche.




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