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Journal Article

Nietzsche, Drives, Selves, and Leonard Bernstein: A Reply to Christopher Janaway and Robert Pippin

Alexander Nehamas
Journal of Nietzsche Studies
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Summer 2014), pp. 134-146
DOI: 10.5325/jnietstud.45.2.0134
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Page Count: 13
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Nietzsche, Drives, Selves, and Leonard Bernstein:
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In response to criticisms advanced by Christopher Janaway and Robert Pippin, I offer a rudimentary account of Nietzsche's “drives.” They are not mysterious: they stand for the different sets of motives, often in conflict, with which we are all faced. The strongest among them speak with the voice of the subject and try to get the rest to follow their lead. Such “subjugation,” whether within one or between different persons (“the will to power”), often results not in the other's destruction but in its improvement. Moreover, no drives are immune to change. Nietzsche likens their unification, which results in one's becoming an “individual,” to the unity of works of art. Aesthetic values being essentially social, unification depends not just on its agent but also on its reception by an audience. I end by arguing that “the eternal recurrence” forbids our imagining that our life could ever have been different in any significant respect.

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