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The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought.

Donaldson, Ian Linton (2000) The role of philosophy and hierarchy in Friedrich Nietzsche's political thought. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

I argue that Friedrich Nietzsche provides us with a political philosophy that deserves serious consideration as a uniquely anti-democratic position within the canon of modern political theory. Beyond recent attempts to democratise Nietzsche's thoughts on power and self-creation, I provide an analysis of Nietzsche's anti-democratic impulse that demonstrates how the elements of hierarchy and philosophy form the core of an antidemocratic and anti-universalist political project in Nietzsche's mature thought. Hitherto, many of Nietzsche's interpreters have assumed that his thought yields no unambiguous political philosophy because he fails to present his ideas in a systematic way. Yet it may be argued that Nietzsche's political thought does reveal a significant, if skeletal, structure that is built upon consistent ideas, however unsystematically presented. The overall aim of this thesis is to determine the best way to characterize what is uniquely political in Nietzsche. I claim that the political in Nietzsche has to do with the relationship between politics as hierarchy and philosophy as independent value creation. I present my thesis in three parts. Firstly, I develop my argument within a critique of recent democratic interpretations of Nietzsche. Secondly, I illustrate the relationship between hierarchy and philosophy through an original exegesis of Nietzsche's texts. And finally, by engaging in a comparative analysis of Hannah Arendt's political theory, I offer an example of how Nietzsche's anti-democratic project may be employed as a tool in the ongoing consideration of important issues in political theory.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Philosophy
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1560

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