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Peter Groff
Bucknell University
  1.  52
    Al-Kindi and Nietzsche on the Stoic Art of Banishing Sorrow.Peter S. Groff - 2004 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 28 (1):139-173.
    This comparative examination of Nietzsche and the Islamic philosopher al-Kindi emphasizes their mutual commitment to the recovery of classical Greek and Hellenistic thought and the idea of philosophy as a way of life. Affiliating both thinkers with the Stoic lineage in particular, I examine the ways in which they appropriate common themes such as fatalism, self-cultivation via spiritual exercises, and the banishing of sorrow. Focusing primarily on their respective conceptions of self and nature, I argue that the antipodal worldviews of (...)
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  2.  16
    Leaving the Garden: Al-Rāzī and Nietzsche as Wayward Epicureans.Peter S. Groff - 2014 - Philosophy East and West 64 (4):983-1017.
    This paper initiates a dialogue between classical Islamic philosophy and late modern European thought, by focusing on two peripheral, ‘heretical’ figures within these traditions: Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyāʾ al-Rāzī and Friedrich Nietzsche. What affiliates these thinkers across the cultural and historical chasm that separates them is their mutual fascination with, and profound indebtedness to, ancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy. Given the specific themes, concerns and doctrines that they appropriate from this common source, I argue that al-Rāzī and Nietzsche should (...)
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  3.  10
    Wisdom and Violence: The Legacy of Platonic Political Philosophy in Al-Fārābī and Nietzsche.Peter S. Groff - 2006 - In Douglas Allen (ed.), Comparative Philosophy in Times of Terror. Lanham, MD 20706, USA: pp. 65-81.
    A vast historical, cultural and philosophical chasm separates the thought of the 10th century Islamic philosopher al-Farabi and Friedrich Nietzsche, the progenitor of postmodernity. However, despite their significant differences, they share one important commitment: an attempt to resuscitate and reappropriate the project of Platonic political philosophy, particularly through their conceptions of the “true philosopher” as prophet, leader, and lawgiver. This paper examines al-Farabi and Nietzsche’s respective conceptions of the philosopher as commander and legislator against the background of their Platonic source, (...)
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  4.  49
    Amor Fati and Züchtung: The Paradox of Nietzsche’s Nomothetic NaturaIism.Peter S. Groff - 2003 - International Studies in Philosophy 35 (3):29-52.
    In this essay I examine the tension between Nietzsche's doctrine of amor fati and his political project of Zuchtung. As philosophical naturalist, Nietzsche espouses a love of fate and a respect for necessity and reality. However, as philosophical legislator, he apparently denies the fatality of the human being in his attempts to cultivate or perfect it. I argue that Nietzsche's Zuchtung differs importantly from "idealistic" varieties of legislation in that it both requires and aims at the affirmation of fate. On (...)
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  5.  23
    Cultivating Weeds: The Place of Solitude in the Political Philosophies of Ibn Bājja and Nietzsche.Peter S. Groff - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (3):699-739.
    This article re-exams the old tension between the philosopher and the city. Reading Ibn Bājja’s Governance of the Solitary and Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra against the background of Plato’s Republic, I argue that they both embrace several key aspects of Platonic political philosophy: the assumption that philosophical natures can grow spontaneously in sick cities, the ideal of the philosopher legislator and the correlative project of founding a virtuous new regime. Yet in preparation for this final task, each prescribes a regimen (...)
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  6.  23
    Great Politics and the Unnoticed Life: Nietzsche and Epicurus on the Boundaries of Cultivation.Peter S. Groff & Peter Groff - 2020 - In Vinod Acharya & Ryan Johnson (eds.), Nietzsche and Epicurus. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 172-185.
    This paper examines Nietzsche’s conflicted relation to Epicurus, an important naturalistic predecessor in the ‘art of living’ tradition. I focus in particular on the Epicurean credo “live unnoticed” (lathe biōsas), which advocated an inconspicuous life of quiet philosophical reflection, self-cultivation and friendship, avoiding the public radar and eschewing the larger ambitions and perturbations of political life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the idea looms largest and is most warmly received in Nietzsche’s middle period writings, where one finds a repeated concern with prudence, withdrawal (...)
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  7.  19
    Nietzsche and the Falāsifa.Peter S. Groff - 2020 - In Marco Brusotti, Michael McNeal, Corinna Schubert & Herman Siemens (eds.), European/Supra-European: Cultural Encounters in Nietzsche's Philosophy. De Gruyter. pp. 333-348.
    The last twenty-five years or so have seen the emergence of exciting comparative work on Nietzsche and various philosophical traditions beyond the bounds of Europe. So far, however, the emphasis has been primarily on the cultures of India, China and Japan, with an almost exclusive focus on Buddhist, Hindu, Daoist, and Confucian traditions. Surprisingly, little work has been done on Nietzsche and the Islamic tradition. In this paper, I sketch out Nietzsche’s understanding of Islam, the ways in which he uses (...)
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  8.  28
    Zarathustra's Blessed Isles: Before and After Great Politics.Peter S. Groff - 2021 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 52 (1):135-163.
    This article considers the significance of the Blessed Isles in Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. They are the isolated locale to which Zarathustra and his fellow creators retreat in the Second Part of the book. I trace Zarathustra’s Blessed Isles back to the ancient Greek paradisiacal afterlife of the makarōn nēsoi and frame them against Nietzsche’s Platonic conception of philosophers as “commanders and legislators,” but I argue that they represent something more like a modern Epicurean Garden. Ultimately, I suggest that Zarathustra’s (...)
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