Archive for December, 2013

Nietzsche on Freedom of Will

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Where the theory of freedom of will originated.

Over one man necessity stands in the shape of his passions, over another as the habit of hearing and obeying, over a third as a logical conscience, over a fourth as caprice and a mischievous pleasure in escapades. These four will, however, seek the freedom of their will precisely where each of them is most firmly fettered: it is as if the silkworm sought the freedom of its will in spinning.

How does this happen? Evidently because each considers himself most free where his feeling of living is greatest; thus, as we have said, in passion, in duty, in knowledge, in mischievousness respectively.

That through which the individual human being is strong, wherein he feels himself animated, he involuntarily thinks must also always be the element of his freedom: he accounts dependence and dullness, independence and the feeling of living as necessarily coupled. Here an experience in the social-political domain has been falsely transferred to the farthest metaphysical domain: in the former the strong man is also the free man; the lively feeling of joy and sorrow, high hope, boldness in desire, powerfulness in hatred is the property of the rulers and the independent, while the subjected man, the slave, lives dull and oppressed.

The theory of freedom of will is an invention of the ruling classes.

Friedrich Nietzsche


Are you useless passion?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013


Of the Spirit of Gravity

Saturday, December 14th, 2013


Nietzsche on Intellectual problems

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

‘One must want to experience the great problems with one’s body and one’s soul.
I have at all times written my writings with my whole heart and soul: I do not know what purely intellectual problems are.

You know these things as thoughts, but your thoughts are not your experiences, they are an echo and after-effect of your experiences: as when your room trembles when a carriage goes past.

I however am sitting in the carriage, and often I am the carriage itself.’*

In a man who thinks like this, the dichotomy between thinking and feeling, intellect and passion, has really disappeared. He feels his thoughts. He can fall in love with an idea. An idea can make him ill.

*F. Nietzsche, Posthumously-published notes

R.J. Hollingdale in F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Introduction (1969)

Sartre on Hegel and Social Consciousness

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

There is in Hegel a fundamental form of optimism. It may be called an ontological optimism. For Hegel indeed truth is truth of the Whole. And he places himself at the vantage point of truth – i.e. of the Whole – to consider the problem of the Other….individual consciousnesses are moments in the whole, moments which by themselves are unselbständig (dependent), and the whole is a mediator between consciousnesses. Hence is derived an ontological optimism parallel to the epistemological optimism: plurality can and must be surpassed towards the totality (BN p.243).

[But] no logical or epistemological optimism can cover the scandal of the plurality of consciousnesses. If Hegel believed that it could, this is because he never grasped the nature of that particular dimension of being which is self-consciousness….so long as consciousnesses exist, the separation and conflict of consciousnesses will remain;…(BN p.244)

István Mészáros, The Work of Sratre – Search For Freedom and The Challenge of History (1979)

Victor Burgin – A Sense of Place

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Victor Burgin first came to prominence in the late 1960s as an originator of Conceptual Art, when his work appeared in such key exhibitions as When Attitudes Become Form (1969) and Information (1970). He has since remained one of the most consistently influential artists and art theorists of his generation.

Victor Burgin taught at the Polytechnic of Central London (now the University of Westminster) from 1973 to 1988. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1986. His achievements as a visual artist are unique in that he is equally influential both as a practitioner and as a theorist. His still and moving image works, and his extensive and widely translated writings, have had a profound effect on the landscape, language and teaching of the visual arts in general, and photography in particular, both in Britain and abroad.

He is Professor Emeritus of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Emeritus Millard Chair of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Burgin’s theory books include Parallel Texts: interviews and interventions about art (2011), Situational Aesthetics (2009), The Remembered Film (2004), In/Different Spaces: place and memory in visual culture (1996), The End of Art Theory: criticism and postmodernity (1986), and Thinking Photography (1982).




Kant, Schiller and Sartre – Search and Ideals of Freedom

Monday, December 2nd, 2013


A (Capricious) Disappearance

Monday, December 2nd, 2013


Susan Sontag, on Feeling and History

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

One of my oldest crusades is against the distinction between thought and feeling, which is really the basis of all anti-intellectual views: the heart and the head, thinking and feeling, fantasy and judgment . . . and I don’t believe it’s true. . . . I have the impression that thinking is a form of feeling and that feeling is a form of thinking.

I really believe in history, and that’s something people don’t believe in anymore. I know that what we do and think is a historical creation. . . We were given a vocabulary that came into existence at a particular moment. So when I go to a Patti Smith concert, I enjoy, participate, appreciate, and am tuned in better because I’ve read Nietzsche.