The Nietzsche-Spinoza Connections: The 'Kantian Bridge'

Dissertation, CUNY Queens College (2021)
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Abstract
This essay pertains to Nietzsche's and Spinoza's philosophical/historical relationship, and the hitherto unnoticed role Kant plays as an intermediary for Spinoza's ideas and legacy. We advance two main assertions: 1) that Nietzsche is historically related to Spinoza via Kant's Antinomies of Pure Reason and their legacy, and 2) that both the striking similarities and tremendous differences between these two thinkers are best described with reference to the Antithesis positions of Kant's Antinomies. Our account rests primarily on the works of two other scholars. The first is Omri Boehm, who argues convincingly that a) Spinoza was both the single greatest influence on and primary target of Kant's Antinomies, and b) that Spinoza's position is remarkably similar to the first three Antithesis positions (and no other relevant thinker comes close). The second is Michael Steven Green, who argues with equal force that c) Nietzsche's mature philosophy is heavily dependent upon Afrikan Spir's concept of the "fundamental antinomy," and d) that Nietzsche's view of empirical reality amounts to an "antithetic" view of reality. We demonstrate that these two scholars were, independently of one other, pointing to a single historical/philosophical connection between Nietzsche and Spinoza, and begin an exploration of the ramifications of this discovery.
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Archival date: 2021-02-01
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