‘Nietzsche Seminars 1992-1993 I. Anti-Philosophy’ by Alain Badiou

Philologist, poet and musician, Nietzsche is often understood from the standpoint of his socio-political aesthetic along with his autobiographical and psychological commentary, historically and philosophically. If as we say, “madness is with genius closely aligned,” rarely, if ever are figures of his literary stature or intellect examined in their own right as psychological philosophical subjects, with a nod at William James. When we examine Nietzsche’s emphasis upon psychological interpretation in politics and philosophy especially in Beyond Good and Evil, where it is mentioned that Drive (Trieb) interprets the world, some are unfortunately hard-pressed to resist the urge to turn psychological interpretation back upon its own head by examining Nietzsche of so-called ‘pathologies’ or categories, the terms of a psychologistic reduction. Life as Nietzsche states is pure Chaos, which Badiou calls “Becoming” in flux—and as such, human behavior often resists psychoanalytic analysis as philosophical interpretation. We not only create the world but our own analysands, as the very masters of ourselves. It is important to indicate that editing and translating is interpretation, along with the composition of art, literature, music or poetry Nietzsche advocated as self-reflexive vitality of mastery, that is, self-mastery, in interpretation.

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