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Hegel, Nietzsche and the beyond within life.

MacKay, Michael Harry (1990) Hegel, Nietzsche and the beyond within life. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis consists of a critical examination and comparison of Hegel's philosophy of history and Nietzsche's doctrine of nihilism. The thesis argues that the result of Hegel's thought is the collapse of the transcendent dualist world-view, with the resultant need to project values attached to life: Nietzsche's positive philosophy is such an attempt. Hegel's philosophy of history is followed in the Master/Slave dialectic as elaborated in the Phenomenology of Spirit. This leads to an examination of the notion of the end of history, which is the culmination of the dialectic as the State, politically, and as the Sage, philosophically. The thesis argues that despite Hegel's thoroughgoing appropriation of values, accessible to humanity through Reason, our practical experience is of loss only: of the disappearance of an objective world of values. Far from realising the inherently meaningful nature of the human world, the result of the Hegelian revolution is nihilism. The discussion of Nietzsche's notion of nihilism turns on his distinction between the 'other-worldly' nihilism inherent in the transcendent dualist world view, and the radical nihilism which is the effect of expecting values to emerge from such a world, but despairing of ever knowing them. Nietzsche's solution is to perceive values as the projection of a beyond from out of the richness and fullness of life---what he calls 'will to power. ' And this, the thesis argues, is a return to Hegel, giving content to the Idea, to the relation of selves in the world which is one of actual freedom, and complete responsibility. Both philosophers approach the question of meaning from the same negatively conditioned perspective of the collapse of transcendent dualism. Their positive philosophies are their attempts to adopt an attitude towards the objectivity of values as the beyond within life.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Philosophy
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1132

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