Nietzsche’s Science of Love

Nietzsche Studien 44 (1):267-290 (2015)
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Name der Zeitschrift: Nietzsche-Studien Jahrgang: 44 Heft: 1 Seiten: 267-290 In this paper, I examine the possibility of constructing an ontological phenomenology of love by tracing Nietzsche’s questioning about science. I examine how the evolution of Nietzsche’s thinking about science and his increasing suspicion towards it coincide with his interest for the question of love. Although the texts from the early and middle period praise science as an antidote to asceticism, the later texts associate the scientifi c spirit with asceticism. I argue that this shift is motivated by Nietzsche’s realization that asceticism and science share the same fetish of facts. It is now for Nietzsche no longer a matter of proving the so-called facts of the backworlds to be wrong (something science is very capable of doing), but a matter of rejecting the very structure of thought that reduces a shapeless reality into a series of facts, subjects and objects. It is this second attitude that Nietzsche regards as the common core of science and asceticism. From this critique of science and its correlative critique of facts, Nietzsche begins searching for a counter-attitude able to perform the reduction of the factual attitude. This is the attitude he calls love. Although Nietzsche’s concept of love has oft en been elucidated in terms of its object or its subject, I argue that such interpretations precisely defeat Nietzsche’s point, which is to recover a ground that precedes the division of the world into subjects and objects. Love becomes the name of this intra-relationship of being, opening up to new perspectives on Nietzsche’s ontology of the will to power.

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Frank Chouraqui
Leiden University


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