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Download Nietzsche and Modern Times: A Study of Bacon, Descartes, and Nietzsche epub

by Laurence Lampert

Provides an interpretation of modern philosophy by developing Nietzsche's view that genuine philosophers set out to determine the direction of culture through their ideas and that they conceal the radical nature of their thought by their esoteric style.
Download Nietzsche and Modern Times: A Study of Bacon, Descartes, and Nietzsche epub
ISBN: 0300056753
ISBN13: 978-0300056754
Category: Politics
Subcategory: Philosophy
Author: Laurence Lampert
Language: English
Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (May 26, 1993)
Pages: 480 pages
ePUB size: 1542 kb
FB2 size: 1242 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 859
Other Formats: rtf doc docx lrf

The Sphinx of Driz
To deep to sustain. Perhaps someone with a deep understanding could stick it out.
I bought this elegantly draped in black and white jacket book when it hit the bookstores in the mid nineties so before Amazon existed. An initial attempt got me half way through and then literally put it on the shelf for twenty years. It's complicated. Laurence Lampert asks a lot of his readers and it is not constructed to be easily understood.

In Beyond Good and Evil philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote "A man's maturity: that is to have rediscovered the seriousness he possessed as a child at play". This illuminates the Canadian kid's attempt to portray the history of philosophy as a game of leap frog between the traditional Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes to the first postmodern thinker Friedrich Nietzsche. Laurence plays in a castle that warehouses building blocks from around the world and throughout the history of time and as adults we are intrigued at his utilizing so many of the blocks and his celebration of them, but we are confused as to his admission that his work is of only a select few. Is he so strongly committed to expressing what only he can see or is he showing us something that we all should see and just don't realize it yet?

Building blocks for Laurence consist of philosophers, writers, critiques, significant historical and political facts and the like. Nietzsche in Modern Times is so abundant with these that this critique cannot but grant him 5 stars just for how much of everything that is interesting is presented. For students who need to write papers or for a bored scholarly mind this book is a jukebox of theses for either an entire dissertation or just to ad a couple of neat facts to illustrate your topic. The title suggests and the book specifically states that it will address a very narrow scope of writings but Lampert ends up being very comprehensive with many additional works presented to defend what he has to say. It is mind boggling to note how many directions Lampert comes from but a good prerequisite is to read the interview with him in Nietzsche Circle.

University of Chicago Professor Alan Bloom who taught just 3 hours north of the Hoosier "land of bacon" where LL taught, wrote the national best seller The Closing of the American Minds just five years prior but Nietzsche in Modern Times however it's not mentioned in the 12 page index. Bloom was a Greek scholar, valued Nietzsche the most influential thinker of modern times and focused this epic describing why French thinkers either side with Descartes or Pascal. Is there a reason Bloom's book was forgotten - are these the writings of a "Cassandra".

Without discussion, Lampert describes Nietzsche with Descartes instead of Pascal when Nietzsche specifically mentions Pascal as one of the eight most prominent sources of his inspiration in the final aphorism of Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Human, All Too Human), even placing him next to Schopenhauer. If this is only a Poetic expression of Nietzsche's gratitude then isn't he being ungrateful? It might serve best to study Nietzsche as a "polytrophic" Odysseusian in a new European home as well as a Hyperborean and in the end one who overcame the Greeks, each and every one of them.

Nietzsche in Modern Times, a Study of Bacon, Descartes and Nietzsche could well have been vivisected into a kaleidoscope of "A reader's guide to" and essays. Uniting them together makes this a masterpiece, the meticulous work of a watchmaker. It seems likely that Lampert is in fact not from Canada or the planet earth, but from a place called Orc. There, rather than aging as we do one gets younger with time albeit wiser. I think that while it is great curiosity with regards to how Lampert chooses to combine these three philosophers, in the future readers will more easily assimilate the material.
I wish that I could start this discussion at the level of people who have already read this book, but the more likely possibility is that I'm about the only person trying to convince anyone that a certain discussion in this book might be considered important. As much as I like Nietzsche, I tend to think about his approach only regarding a few problems that interest me. I'm actually more interested in this book for its treatment of a problem in political philosophy that was considered important enough for Bacon's views to be included in this book, but, as hardly anyone can keep up with everything that is going on, my own curiosity about which views anyone might hold are rather mute in the ominous flow of events in our own time.
People who read Nietzsche might agree that he has arrived at a philosophy which attempts to describe the world as it strikes people in modern times. The introduction of this book talks of partisans, but also of an understanding of them which allows a Hegelian "act of magic which preserves what is good for us in each inheritance while letting the junk fall away. The recovery of Bacon and Descartes reestablishes a radical and sober perspective on our spiritual heritage; in their work our philosophic and religious inheritances come to light as spiritual opponents harboring starkly different dispositions to life, and their efforts, so far from harmonizing opposites, kindle spiritual warfare between them, the warfare Nietzsche advances and brings into the open." (pp. 4-5). This book makes each of the three philosophers seem worthy of their places in the history of philosophy, but in our thoroughly comic society, the only question that those who don't know anything about this are likely to ask, is: Who are these people trying to impress?
Chapter 4 of this book, "Why Incite a Holy War?" contains a discussion as six characters present views on a war like the clash of civilizations between the superpower military complex and the fanatics, except that Bacon was writing about a situation in the 1620s which also had a context of religious warfare between Christians within Europe. Bacon had given a speech in "the prosecution of a young Roman Catholic named Owen indicted on charges of high treason for speeches advocating the lawfulness of killing a king who has been excommunicated." (p. 93). That such an act might be blessed by a particular religion is noted by Lampert in his observation, "France, where Bacon's dialogue is now unfolding, had experienced the new doctrine still more directly in the blessed assassinations of its two previous kings." (p. 93).
An insult is as subversive of this kind of thing, as well as being great for avoiding any discussion today, for those who have been doing fine without an opinion so far. This book credits one such statement to "Baconian Christianity whose charity has turned practical and technological," though it is offer in the discussion as merely an opinion, "`That the Philosopher's Stone, and an Holy War, were but the rendez-vous of cracked brains, that wore their feather in their head instead of their hat.'" (p. 87). I don't have that kind of a hat, anymore, but it seems to me that modern education, which this book might represent, is teaching students to pay more attention to what hat they are wearing in a particular situation, as the discussion of a Holy War does, than to attend to anything which might be innate in their brains, which may be pretty unlikely in a society whose relentless messages are supposedly based on endless flexibility.
My big disagreement about these things goes back to the postmoral stance proclaimed on page 5, which is "heir to ten thousand years in the development of conscience." Dividing the 2,000,000 people in prison in the United States today by those 10,000 years might mean that, compared to what most of us have learned each year, there have always been another 200 people who didn't quite get it yet, and, if they were easy enough to catch, had to be added to the number of people in prison each year. As embarrassing as it is to think about anything, expecting such precision in our thinking about how things really go has now become as unlikely as expecting any results from philosophy. I shouldn't pick on a great book like this, but these are hard times.
Mainly this book is about three individuals who were antithetical to stupid absurdities. It shows a better understanding of fundamentals than any government ever has.