Monday, 12 July 2010


What ho! I'm feeling better, and during my convalescence from 'strange-zombie-tiredness disease' i not only watched numerous sci-fi films but manage to finish Super Kant 3! Just in case the reference to 'uberman' isn't clear, the cartoon's actually a sort of lame attempt to summarize Nietzsche's critique of Kant's aesthetics in On The Genealogy of Morality (Third essay, Section 6).

The bare bones of Nietzsche's argument here seem to be that something just can't give pleasure without interest: we're precisely interested in being right. Nietzsche thinks the idea of 'pleasure without interest' is a 'non-concept and absurdity', which relies on the presupposition that we are all possessors of a transcendental, purely rational will. I guess if we could hold such an objective standpoint then we could really understand the idea of being non-interested, but Nietzsche points out that every standpoint is couched in the conditions which allow it to thrive: it's self-preservative, and for Nietzsche, shouldn't be imposed upon others who live under different conditions. I'm not sure if it's really this that leads him to call Kant a catastrophic spider, but he does, in The Antichrist. (The Portable Nietzsche. Penguin. 1954. pp578). And Kant's comments at the end are to do with his view on animals, how we should treat them as examples of how we should treat humanity, I forget where he says this but I know I read it in that Philosophy Anthology that I had in the First Year of Uni! It's like when tamagotchi's came out and everyone was worried because if young kids starved their computer-generated dog creatures that surely meant they'd do the same to their little brother.  (Incidentally, I pretty much used exactly the same joke in another cartoon....don't tell anyone!!!) 

Also, I thought it would be funny to see how much I could get Uberman to look like John Matrix, seeing as Arnie's about as close to the stereotype of the ubermensch as you can get. However it's worth pointing out that Nietzsche's use of the German term ubermensch is gender neutral, therefore 'superhuman' is more accurate than the term 'superman'.......there are lots of other ways in which the typical view of Nietzsche-as-fascist is wrong but that's another cartoon for another time...!

Oh, and if you have time, fill out my poll! Just was interested who the coolest philosopher is!

see you soon! becca xo


  1. "Other" requests (since blogger won't let you insert them, and in order of my personal interest):

    Some theorists invoked in my diss (defense Nov): Benjamin (newly published 2nd vers. of artwork essay, as well as other (previously untranslated/unpublished) essays (Harvard UP, 2008); Kracauer's Weimar era essays (way before From Caligari to Hitler, 1947) in "Mass Ornament and Other Essays", ed. Levin; Elsaesser; Halberstam; Kaes; Balazs, Arnheim, and others.

    Seeking a contemporary feminist theorist. The ones I'd chosen (bc I've read them) raised objections (outdated) f/ my committee. Any suggestions would be warmly appreciated...of course, you don't know me and are super busy. Worth asking, though! Plus, I'll owe you one!

  2. I would like to see more love-affairs between the philosophers. Socrates and Simone Weil surprise themselves by getting into S&M, perhaps?

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