Nietzsche on the health of the soul

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Huddleston, Andrew (2016)

Health (particularly of the soul [Seele]) is a central concept in Nietzsche’s work. Yet in the most philosophically-sophisticated secondary literature on Nietzsche, there has been fairly little sustained treatment of just what Nietzschean health consists in. In this paper, I aim to provide an account of some of the central marks of this health: resilience, discipline, vitality, a certain positive condition of the will to power, a certain tendency toward integration, and so on. This exposition and discussion will be the main task of the paper. Then in the concluding section of the paper, I consider a line taken in some related secondary literature, which would suggest that health might ultimately be understood in formal or dynamic terms, relating to one’s will to power and/or the unity of one’s drives. I will present the beginnings of an argument against such an account of health. In focusing on the formal and dynamic side exclusively, it cannot get the full story. In particular, it seems to me to miss the substantive dimension that is essential if we are to understand health properly. As I shall suggest, the core concept of Nietzschean health is not fully explicable except by reference to normative terms.
  • References (3)

    Huddleston, Andrew. 2015. 'What is Enshrined in Morality? Understanding the Grounds for Nietzsche's Critique'. Inquiry 58 (3).

    Huenemann, Charlie. 2013. 'Nietzsche's Illnesses'. In the Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche, ed. Ken Gemes and John Richardson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Katsafanas, Paul. 2011. 'The Concept of Unified Agency in Nietzsche, Plato, and Schiller'. Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1): 87-113.

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