Nietzsche and Phenomenology: Power, Life, Subjectivity

Nietzsche and Phenomenology: Power, Life, Subjectivity

Nietzsche and Phenomenology: Power, Life, Subjectivity

Nietzsche and Phenomenology: Power, Life, Subjectivity


What are the challenges that Nietzsche's philosophy poses for contemporary phenomenology? Elodie Boublil, Christine Daigle, and an international group of scholars take Nietzsche in new directions and shed light on the sources of phenomenological method in Nietzsche, echoes and influences of Nietzsche within modern phenomenology, and connections between Nietzsche, phenomenology, and ethics. Nietzsche and Phenomenology offers a historical and systematic reconsideration of the scope of Nietzsche's thought.


Élodie Boublil and Christine Daigle

Against the shortsighted.—Do you think this work must be fragmentary because I
give it to you (and have to give it to you) in fragments?

Human, All Too Human ii, “Assorted Opinions and Maxims,” §128

Putting nietzsche and phenomenology together in the same sentence might be startling to some, even unpalatable to others. Nietzsche’s writing style along with his rejection of the Spirit of Gravity would seem to oppose the very goal of the phenomenological project as well as its foundational and scientific ambition. To Nietzsche scholars, his philosophy would be irreducible to any kind of philosophical school or movement and would need to be treated on its own if one wants to respect the claim for singularity conveyed by his philosophy. To would-be phenomenologists, the socalled nihilistic enterprise led by Nietzsche should not be the last word addressed to modernity before its unavoidable decay: another method—another pathway—should be implemented in order to ultimately uncover some common ontological and ethical grounds upon which humanity could dwell.

Husserl’s phenomenological project uncovers the foundational nature of transcendental subjectivity from a scientific as well as a practical point of view. As Husserl claimed at the end of the Vienna Lecture (May 1935), the intentional and teleological structure of transcendental subjectivity guarantees its universality and allows it to overcome the value-relativism and theoretical positivism to which previous critiques of metaphysics have led:

The “crisis” could then become clear as the “seeming collapse of rationalism.” Still,
as we said, the reason for the downfall of a rational culture does not lie in the essence
of rationalism itself but only in its exteriorization, its absorption in “naturalism”
and “objectivism.” the crisis of European existence can end in only one of two ways:
in the ruin of a Europe alienated from its rational sense of life, fallen into a bar
barian hatred of spirit; or in the rebirth of Europe from the spirit of philosophy,
through a heroism of reason that will definitively overcome naturalism.

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