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The "Subject" of Nietzsche's Perspectivism

Cox, Christoph, 1965-

Journal of the History of Philosophy, Volume 35, Number 2, April 1997, pp. 269-291 (Article) Published by The Johns Hopkins University Press DOI: 10.1353/hph.1997.0023

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The "Subject" of Nietzsche's Perspectivism


CHRISTOPH COX

FORMERLY TAKEN TO ENDORSE a p r o f o u n d skepticism a n d relativism, Nietzsche's " d o c t r i n e o f p e r s p e c t i v i s m " r e c e n t l y has b e e n s e e n to fit w i t h i n t r a d i tional conceptions of epistemology and ontology? In the most recent a n d i n f l u e n t i a l s t u d y o f t h e m a t t e r , M a u d e m a r i e C l a r k m a i n t a i n s that, p r o p e r l y u n d e r s t o o d , p e r s p e c t i v i s m is " a n o b v i o u s a n d n o n p r o b l e m a t i c d o c t r i n e . ''~ I n a s i m i l a r v e i n , B r i a n L e i t e r has r e c e n t l y a r g u e d t h a t " p e r s p e c t i v i s m t u r n s o u t to b e m u c h less r a d i c a l t h a n is u s u a l l y s u p p o s e d , " that, with this d o c t r i n e , "Nietzs c h e . . , is m e r e l y r e h a s h i n g f a m i l i a r K a n t i a n t h e m e s , m i n u s t h e r i g o r o f K a n t ' s exposition."~ A c c o r d i n g to b o t h C l a r k a n d Leiter, p e r s p e c t i v i s m s i m p l y

' With occasional alterations, Nietzsche's texts will be quoted from the Kaufmann/Hollingdale translations and cited in the text according to standard abbreviations of their English titles followed by the section and/or paragraph number(s). The exception is "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense," which is cited by page number from Philosophy and Truth: Selections from Nietzsche's Notebooks of the Early x87os, ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale (New Jersey: Humanities Press International, 1979), 79-9 x. Abbreviations are as follows: A: The Antichrist; BGE: Beyond Good and Evil; BT/SC: Birth of Tragedy, "Attempt at a Self-Criticism"; D: Daybreak; GM: On the Genealogy of Morals; GS: The Gay Science; TI: Twilight of the Idols; TL: "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense"; UM: Untimely Meditations; WP: The Will to Power; Z: Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Where these translations have been modified, I have consulted the Werke: Kritische Studienansgabe, ed. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (New York/Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967-t988), cited as KSA, followed by the volume, page, and fragment numbers. 2Maudemarie Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 199o), 135. 3Brian Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals," in Nietzsche, Genealogy, Morality: Essays on Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals, ed. Richard Schacht (Berkeley: University of California Press, ~994), 351. Leiter borrows this second phrase from Ken Gemes, "Nietzsche's Critique of Truth," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 49, who, in fact, disagrees with the claim. Yet Leiter finds the characterization appropriate, adding that "this is not a problem, particularly since Nietzsche's primary concerns lie elsewhere," namely, "with philosophical theories of agency and value" (351-52). [269]

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presents an analogy between certain obvious features o f h u m a n vision and less immediately obvious features o f h u m a n knowledge.4 I will a r g u e that Nietzsche's perspectivism is less obvious, m o r e problematic, a n d m o r e interesting than these recent accounts take it to be. Moreover, the perspectivism I attribute to Nietzsche u n d e r m i n e s a central presupposition o f these accounts: namely, that there exists a simple, stable subject who has perspectives. Before t u r n i n g to the notion o f subjectivity affirmed by Nietzsche's perspectivism, a word must be said about the "doctrine o f perspectivism" itself. 1. PERSPECTIVE AND AFFECTIVE INTERPRETATION AS the n a m e o f a doctrine, "perspectivism" is a critical construct. T h e term is f o u n d only once in Nietzsche's published work5 a n d only twice in The Will to Power, the well-known collection o f his unpublished notes. 6 Moreover, the term is misleading, since it suggests that a visual m e t a p h o r provides the key to Nietzsche's t h e o r y o f knowledge. But this is not the case. I n d e e d , in the passage on perspectivity that both Clark a n d Leiter take to be decisive,7 Nietzsche intimately associates the notion o f "perspective" with a very different, nonvisual notion: that o f "affective interpretation." Nietzsche writes: "[O]bjectivity" [ought to be] understood not as "contemplation without interest" (which is a nonsensical absurdity), but as the ability to have one's For and Against under control and to engage and disengage them, so that one knows how to employ a variety of perspectives and affective interpretations [Perspectiven und Affect-lnterpretationen] in the service of knowledge. Henceforth, my dear philosophers, let us be on guard against the dangerous old conceptual fiction that posited a "pure, will-less, painless, timeless knowing subject"; let us guard against the snares of such contradictory concepts as "pure reason," "absolute spirituality," "knowledge in itself": these always demand that we should think of an eye that is completely unthinkable, an eye turned in no particular direction, in which the active and interpreting forces [die aktiven und interpretirenden Kriifte], through which alone seeing becomes a seeing-something, are supposed to be lacking; these always demand of the eye an absurdity and a nonsense. There is only a perspective seeing [ein perspektivisches Sehen], only a perspective "knowing" [ein perspektivisches "Erkennen"]; and the more affects we allow to speak about something, the 4See Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, 128-35, and Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 344-47. 5GS 3546WP 48x and 636. In the t9o6 edition, the German editors saw fit to employ the term in a section heading (Third Book, I, d: "Biologie des Erkenntnistriebes. Perspektivismus" [Biologyof the Drive to Knowledge: Perspectivism]). This initiated a scholarlytradition that has taken this term to describe Nietzsche'stheory of knowledgein general. The term was employed by Hans Vaihinger in a9a 1 (see The Philosophy of"As If," trans. C. K. Ogden [London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1935], 352) and by almost every German, French, and Anglo-Americancommentator thereafter. 7See Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, ~28, and Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 343.

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more eyes, different eyes, we can lend to the thing, the more complete will o u r "con-

cept" o f this thing, o u r "objectivity," be. But to eliminate the will altogether, to suspend each a n d every affect, supposing we were capable o f t h i s - - w h a t would that mean but to castrate the intellect? (III 12) 8 Here, Nietzsche entwines the notion of "perspective" with that of "affective i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . " H e c l a i m s t h a t a p e r s p e c t i v e is c o n s t i t u t e d a n d d i r e c t e d b y a m a t r i x o f "active a n d i n t e r p r e t i n g f o r c e s , " w h i c h allow s o m e t h i n g to a p p e a r as a p a r t i c u l a r s o m e t h i n g . A " p e r s p e c t i v e , " t h e n , w o u l d s e e m to b e a n o n t o l o g i c a l and evaluative horizon opened up by the operation of a particular "affective interpretation."9 S i f t i n g t h r o u g h t h e v a r i o u s texts o n p e r s p e c t i v i t y , o n e f i n d s a n u m b e r o f p a s s a g e s in w h i c h t h e l a n g u a g e o f p e r s p e c t i v e is closely a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e l a n g u a g e o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . '~ F u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n r e v e a l s t h a t t h e l a n g u a g e o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n is m o r e c o m m o n in N i e t z s c h e t h a n t h e l a n g u a g e o f p e r s p e c tive. H V i r t u a l l y e v e r y s p h e r e o f h u m a n a c t i v i t y - - f r o m " m o r a l i t y " to " p h y s i c s " a n d " n a t u r a l s c i e n c e , " to " r a t i o n a l t h o u g h t " in g e n e r a l - - i s c a l l e d , in o n e p a s s a g e o r a n o t h e r , a n " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . '''~ I n d e e d , f o r N i e t z s c h e , " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " s e e m s to b e p r e s e n t w h e r e v e r t h e r e is " m e a n i n g " a n d " v a l u e " at all.'3 G i v e n this, I w a n t to s u g g e s t t h a t c o m m e n t a t o r s h a v e b e e n w r o n g to r e a d N i e t z s c h e ' s " p e r s p e c t i v e " l a n g u a g e t o o n a r r o w l y , as d e v e l o p i n g a s i m p l e a n a l o g y b e t w e e n s e e i n g a n d k n o w i n g . ' 4 I n s t e a d , I will a r g u e t h a t we s h o u l d r e a d s Nietzsche employs a variety of terms for 'interpretationT'to interpret'. The most frequently used are Interpretation/interpretieren and Auslegung/auslegen, though Ausdeutung/ausdeuten and Deutung/deuten are relatively common, and Umdeutung/umdeuten ('reinterpretation'/'to reinterpret') is occasionally found as well. Yet Nietzsche does not appear to draw any significant denotative or connotative distinctions among these various terms. Different terms are used in strikingly similar contexts, often in the same passage. The choice of terminology appears to be stylistic rather than semantic. 9See WP 616: "that every elevation of man brings with it the overcoming of narrower interpretations; that every strengthening and increase of power opens up new perspectives and means believing in new horizons--this idea permeates my writings." '~ See, e.g., GS 357, 374, WP 5, 556, 565, 59 o, 616, 617, 678, 8o4. "Leiter also notes this prevalence of "interpretation" terms over "perspective" terms, yet then disregards it in his construal of perspectivism. Moreover, he also disregards the fact that, in the passage so central to his analysis, Nietzsche explicitly links "perspectives" with "affective interpretations." See Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 343. l*On morality as interpretation, see GS 357, TI VII l, WP l, 5, 114, 228, 254, 258, 77o. On physics and natural science as interpretation, see BGE 14, 22, WP 687, 689. On rational thought as interpretation, see WP 52a. '3See GM II 12, WP 59o, 6o4-6o6,616. ,4 Heidegger and Mare Fowler also argue against the over-narrow construal of perspectivism as developing an ocular metaphor. See Heidegger, Nietzsche, Vol. 111: The Will to Power m Knowledge and as Metaphysics, trans. Joan Stambaugh et al. (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1987), 197ff. and Fowler, "Having a Perspective as Having a 'Will': Comment on Professor Conway's 'The Eyes Have It'," International Studies in Philosophy a3, no. 2 (1990: 115--18.

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Nietzsche's "perspective" language within the broader bounds of a general theory of interpretation. Unlike the notion of "perspecdve"--which, literally c o n s t r u e d , g e n e r a t e s s e r i o u s e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s l s - - t h e n o t i o n o f "interpretation" operates within a rich and increasingly important literary and philosophical tradition. Taking what has been called "the interpretive turn," " C o n t i n e n t a l " a n d " a n a l y t i c " p h i l o s o p h e r s h a v e c o m e to a r g u e t h a t o u r k n o w l e d g e is n o t a n e d i f i c e b u i l t u p o n a f o u n d a t i o n o f i n d u b i t a b l e beliefs, b u t r a t h e r a n i n t e r p r e t i v e w e b o f m u t u a l l y s u p p o r t i n g beliefs a n d d e s i r e s t h a t is c o n s t a n t l y b e i n g r e w o v e n ? 6 T h e s e p h i l o s o p h e r s m a i n t a i n t h a t we a r e always alr e a d y i m m e r s e d in a w o r l d full o f s i g n i f i c a n c e s t h a t w e p r e t h e o r e t i c a l l y u n d e r s t a n d , a n d t h a t t h e r o l e o f e p i s t e m o l o g y is to d i s c o v e r h o w p a r t i c u l a r s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e s , b e l i e f s , a n d d e s i r e s r e l a t e to o u r u n d e r s t a n d i n g as a w h o l e a n d vice versa. N i e t z s c h e a g r e e s w i t h this t u r n f r o m f o u n d a t i o n a l i s m to h o l i s m a n d w i t h t h e c o n c o m i t a n t t u r n f r o m first p h i l o s o p h y to n a t u r a l i s m . 17 As we h a v e s e e n , N i e t z ,5 David Hoy argues that Nietzsche's language of "perspective" runs into a host of problems and paradoxes, and that it should be rejected in favor of the language of "interpretation." See Hoy, "Philosophy as Rigorous Philology? Nietzsche and Poststructuralism," New York Literary Forum 8 - 9 (1981): x71-85. I agree that, narrowly and literallyconstrued, the language of"perspective" is problematic. Yet, I disagree with Hoy that Nietzsche's notion of "perspective" is to be taken in this literal sense and thus that the language of "perspective" is incompatible with the language of "interpretation." I argue here that Nietzsche construes the notion of "perspective" so broadly that it merges with the notion of "interpretation." ,6 On "the interpretive turn," see Paul Rabinow and William M. Sullivan, "The Interpretive Turn: Emergence of an Approach," in Interpretive Social Science, ed. Rabinow and Sullivan (Berkeley: University of California Press, a979), 1-21, The Interpretive Turn: Philosophy, Science, Culture, ed. David R. Hiley et al. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 199 l), and David Hoy, "Heidegger and the Hermeneutic Turn," in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, ed. Charles Guignon (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), ~7o-94 9Prominent figures associated with this "turn" include Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Thomas Kuhn, W. V. Quioe, Donald Davidson, Richard Rorty, Charles Taylor, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Paul Ricoeur. ,7 Nietzsche's naturalism accords with more recent versions (e.g., that of Quine) in maintaining that there exist no supernatural entities or explanatory principles. On this view, human beings and their endowments are, like all other natural things, entirely conditional and contingent. Thus, human reason is neither more nor less than "a device for detaining [the human being] a minute within existence" (TL, 79; see also GS lO9). Yet Nietzsche does not accept the scientism advocated by these more recent philosophical naturalisms. While he embraces a broadly scientific worldview, he rejects the positivism and reductionism of the modern scientific project (see, e.g., GS 373 and GM III 24-97). It is this that leads him to propose that, in its affirmation of appearance, interpretation, and multiplicity, "art" not "science" is the naturalistic discourse par excellence (see, e.g., GM III 25). These lines of thought are developed more fully in my "Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Interpretation," International Studies in Philosophy 27, no. 3 (1995): 3-18, "Being and Its Others: Nietzsche's Revaluation of Truth," Man and Worm 29, no. 1 (1996): 43-61, and Naturalism and Interpretation: Nietzsche's Epistemology and Ontology (manuscript in preparation), chapter 1. For a comparable defense of a holistic, aestheticist naturalism, see Rorty, "Inquiry as Recontextualization: An AntiDualist Conception of Interpretation" and "Non-Reductive Physicalism," in Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Philosophical Papers, Vol. I (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 93--125.

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sche conceives o f the u n d e r s t a n d i n g as always d i r e c t e d by o n e o r a n o t h e r "interp r e t a t i o n , " e a c h o f w h i c h o p e n s u p a p a r t i c u l a r h o r i z o n o f m e a n i n g a n d value. Nietzsche goes o n to a r g u e that the w o r l d in which we find ourselves is a w o r l d o f struggle, a n d t h a t this s t r u g g l e is a m o n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , each o f w h i c h seeks to o v e r w h e l m (iiberwiiltigen, iiberwinden) the o t h e r s by i n c o r p o r a t i n g their t e r m s into its o w n a n d a r t i c u l a t i n g these t e r m s a c c o r d i n g to its o w n system. T h i s is h o w " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " is c h a r a c t e r i z e d in an i m p o r t a n t passage f r o m the Genealogy of Morals. Discussing t h e idea o f p u n i s h m e n t , Nietzsche pauses to " e m p h a s i z e [a] m a j o r p o i n t o f historical m e t h o d " - - t o distinguish the origin o f s o m e t h i n g f r o m its current purpose. H e writes: IT]he cause of the origin of a thing and its eventual utility, its actual employment in a system o f purposes, lie worlds apart: whatever exists, having somehow come into being, is again and again reinterpreted to new ends [aufneue Ansichten ausgelegt], taken over, transformed, and redirected by some power superior to it; all events in the organic world are a subduing, becoming master [ein Uberwiiltigen, Herrwerden], and all subduing and becoming master involves a fresh interpretation [ein Neu-lnterpretieren], an adjustment through which any previous "meaning" and "purpose" are necessarily obscured or even obliterated. However well one has understood the utility of a physiological organ (or of a legal institution, a social custom, a political usage, a form in art or in a religious cult), this means nothing regarding its origin . . . . [P]urposes and utilities are only signs that a will to power has become master of something less powerful and imposed upon it the character of a function; and the entire history of a "thing," an organ, a custom can in this way be a continuous sign-chain of ever new interpretations [Interpretationen] and adaptations whose causes do not even have to be related to one another but, on the contrary, in some cases succeed and alternate with one another in purely chance fashion. The "evolution" of a thing, a custom, an organ is thus by no means its progressus toward a goal, even less a logical progressus by the shortest route and with the smallest expenditure of force--but the succession of more or less profound, more or less mutually independent processes of subduing [Uberwiiltigungsprozessen], plus the resistances they encounter, the attempts at transformation for the purpose of defense and reaction, and the results of successful counteractions. The form is fluid, but the "meaning" is even more so. (GM II 12) ~s W h a t is p a r t i c u l a r l y striking, in this passage, is that w h a t Nietzsche calls "interp r e t a t i o n " e x t e n d s far b e y o n d w h a t the t e r m o r d i n a r i l y signifies. H e claims t h a t "all events in the o r g a n i c w o r l d " and, i n d e e d , " w h a t e v e r exists" essentially involve i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a n d t h a t this i n v o l v e m e n t c o n c e r n s n o t only their apprehension by subjects b u t their very constitution as objects or events. A t the e n d o f the section f r o m w h i c h the a b o v e passage is cited, Nietzsche goes so far as to i d e n t i f y " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n " with "the essence o f life, its will to power,.., the essential p r i o r i t y o f t h e s p o n t a n e o u s , aggressive, expansive, f o r m - g i v i n g

'sCf. GS 58, WP 556, 604, 643, 616.

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forces that give new interpretations and directions."'9 Nietzsche is arguing that "thinghood," " e v e n t h o o d , " "history," "development," and "evolution" are, at bottom, only manifestations o f "will to power," the incessant drive for interpretation and reinterpretation, f o r m i n g and re-forming; and that the very origin, history, and growth o f "a 'thing' " (whether it be an object, a practice, or an institution) should be seen as the consequence o f its role in a struggle a m o n g interpretations, each o f which is "aggressive" and "expansive," seeking to increase power and control over its environment. This same generalization and extension o f meaning can also be f o u n d in Nietzsche's language o f "perspective." Rather than functioning simply as an optical analog, Nietzsche calls u p o n the term "perspective" to characterize something about life in g e n e r a l - - " t h e perspective optics of life," he puts it in Beyond Good and Evil (11, my emphasis). Elsewhere in that text, he speaks o f "perspective" as "the basic condition o f all life" (Preface), claiming that " t h e r e would be no life at all if not on the basis o f perspective estimates and appearances" (34) and that "the narrowing of our perspective... [is] a condition o f life and growth" (188). We see, then, that Nietzsche's "perspective" language is quite peculiar and o u g h t not to be taken at face value. Not only is the language o f "perspective" subsumed u n d e r the b r o a d e r language o f "interpretation," but both "perspective" and "interpretation" are generalized far b e y o n d their o r d i n a r y senses. "Perspective," for Nietzsche, comes to characterize the directedness o f a particular f o r m o f life ~~toward the conditions that preserve and e n h a n c e it, conditions that are codified in the "interpretation" that directs the perspective. This can serve as a r o u g h characterization o f the notions o f "perspective" and "interpretation" as Nietzsche uses them. Yet many questions still remain. T h e o n e I want to focus on h e r e is the question o f who or what it is that has' perspectives and interpretations. We will see that the answer to this question is not, in any sense, simple. B e f o r e turning to Nietzsche's texts, I want first to consider some previous and, I believe, inadequate answers to this question.
2. THE "SUBJECT" OF P E R S P E C T I V I S M : TWO RECENT ACCOUNTS

O n e account has it that the p r o p e r subjects o f perspectives are biological species. ~' This view maintains that, t h r o u g h the process o f evolutionary natut9Cf. BGE 259, WP 643. ~oThis term is felicitous precisely because of its flexibility.It is loose enough to capture the entire range of systems of valuation that Nietzsche considers important (e.g., active and reactive, ascending and descending, weak and strong, master and slave, Dionysian and Christian, etc.), while refusing to identify perspectives with either the private points-of-viewof individuals or the fixed physico-psychologicalschemas of biological species. "~The most prominent advocate of this view is George J. Stack, who, in a series of articles, argues that Nietzsche's epistemological position is substantially akin to that of the neo-Kantian

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ral selection, each species develops a particular "physico-psychological organization" that mediates its view of the world and ensures that each member of the species apprehends and comprehends just enough of the world, and only in such a way, as to safeguard its survival and flourishing. While every member of the species can adopt different "perspectives" in a limited sense (e.g., by changing position or entering into different circumstances), these nevertheless remain within the general "perspective" of the species as a whole, which is not in any member's power to change. It is certainly the case that Nietzsche's "perspective" language most frequently appears in contexts that discuss the conditions necessary for particular species (especially humans) to preserve themselves and to enhance their power. ~2 Yet, the interpretation of perspectivism generated by this account commits Nietzsche to a position that, I believe, he does not accept: the position that every species is in principle unable to apprehend both the world as it is in itself and the world as it is apprehended by other species.'3 Nietzsche does not seem to believe, for example, that there is anything like a specifically human "perspective," a unified and coherent totality rigorously differentiable from the "perspectives" of other species. First of all, Nietzsche's naturalism commits him to regard all living beings as, in fundamental respects, similar.24 He claims, for instance, that the human process of cognition is only a more complex and specialized form of the process of ingestion ("incorporation" or "assimilation") found in the protoplasm.~5 Indeed, a central theme of Nietzsche's later work is the notion that knowledge is only a form of will to power, the drive to incorporate and subdue found in all organisms and species. ~6 Secondly, Nietzsche argues that the human species itself does not have a unified worldview, but rather is divided into a host of antagonistic "perspectives" or "interpretations": e.g., master and slave, Dionysian and Christian, Homeric and Platonic, Roman and Judaic, and various hybrids of these.'7
philosopher, F. A. Lange, whose work Nietzsche read and praised early in his career. See Stack, "Kant, Lange, and Nietzsche: Critique of Knowledge," in Nietzsche andModern German Thought, ed. Keith Ansell-Pearson (London: Routledge, 1991), 3o--58, and "Nietzsche's Evolutionary Epistemology," Dialogos 59 0992): 75 - l ~ " S e e , e.g., BGE Preface, i i 34, 188, and WP 259, 293,616, 678, 789, 9o4 . "3The more general Kantian metaphysical realism implicit in this account is rejected by Nietzsche's harsh critique of dualism and the notion of the thing in itself. See, e.g., GS 54, 354, TI II 2, TI III 6, TI IV 6, WP 552, 567 . 241 argue for this position in Naturalism and Interpretation: Nietzsche's Epistemology and Ontology, chapter 2. 'sSee WP 5oo, 5Ol, 51o, 51 l, 654, 666. ~6See BGE 13, 36, GM II 12, and WP 466-617. 27On master vs. slave, see BGE 26o and GM I. On Dionysian vs. Christian, see EH IV 9 and WP 1051 and 1o52. On Homeric vs. Platonic, see GM III 25. On Roman vs. Judaic, see GM I 16. On the various hybrids of these, see GM I 16, BGE 26o, and 2oo. In the oft-cited GM III 12,

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Such differences o f perspective, for Nietzsche, are not merely m i n o r differences o f opinion; on the contrary, they designate significantly different modes o f perception, desire, cognition, evaluation, and action that compose d i f f e r e n t forms o f life. T h u s , r a t h e r than demarcating insurmountable divisions between species, perspectives m a r k both extra- and intra-species differences and similarities. According to Nietzsche, the biological field is crossed by a c o n t i n u u m o f perspectives, n o n e o f which is in principle disjoint f r o m another, but each o f which can be shown to differ f r o m others in i m p o r t a n t respects and to significant degrees. 's T h e subject o f perspectivism, then, must be something o t h e r than biological species. Clark and Leiter present an account o f perspectivism that explicitly rejects the skepticism e n d o r s e d by the "species view." Instead, they construe perspectivism as a doctrine limited to the description o f h u m a n knowledge. Claiming that the doctrine simply draws an analogy between a commonsense conception o f h u m a n vision and a c o m m o n s e n s e conception o f h u m a n knowing, Clark and Leiter maintain that the subject o f perspectivism is simply the ordinary, individual, h u m a n viewer/knower. Leiter~9 begins f r o m the obvious premises that "necessarily, we see an object f r o m a particular perspective: e.g., f r o m a certain angle, f r o m a certain distance, u n d e r certain conditions," and "the m o r e perspectives we e n j o y - the m o r e angles we see the object f r o m - - t h e better o u r conception o f what the object is actually like will be."3o H e goes on to argue, by analogy, that "necessarily, we know an object f r o m a particular perspective: i.e., f r o m the standpoint o f particular interests and needs," and "the m o r e perspectives we e n j o y - - t h e m o r e interests we employ in knowing the o b j e c t m t h e better o u r conception o f what the object is like will be."~' His a r g u m e n t concludes that, contrary to an overzealous skepticism, "we do indeed have knowledge o f the world, t h o u g h it is n e v e r disinterested, n e v e r complete, and can always benefit f r o m additional non-distorting [cognitive] perspectives."3~ Nietzsche argues that we should learn to inhabit "a variety of perspectivesand affective interpretations in the service of knowledge"--evidence against the view that we inhabit only some one, unified, "human" perspective. 28For a similar argument, see Alexander Nehamas, "Immanent and Transcendent Perspectivism in Nietzsche," Nietzsche-Studien 19 (1983): 476-77 . 29While Leiter is more explicit on this issue, I take Clark's view to be substantially the same. 30Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 344. Cf. Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, x 9 9 3~9
3~Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 345. Cf. Clark: "our beliefs are about an independently existing world [and] they can be true only if they c o r r e s p o n d to it, that is, get it 'the way it is' " (Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, 39, also see 135-37). 32 Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 346. C f. Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, 134-35.

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T h i s account thus maintains that, j u s t as there is no visual perspective that in principle is unavailable to us, so too t h e r e is no knowledge that in principle escapes o u r grasp. Unlike the skeptical account, this realist account has the benefit o f a c k n o w l e d g i n g Nietzsche's claim that we have access to o t h e r perspectives. It suggests that, j u s t as we can gain a new visual perspective on the object o f vision by c h a n g i n g o u r position relative to it, so too can we gain d i f f e r e n t cognitive perspectives on the object o f knowledge by bringing different sets o f cognitive interests to b e a r u p o n it. Moreover, insofar as it grants the interest-ladenness o f all inquiry, it suggests that we m i g h t c o m e to a p p r e c i a t e a n d a c k n o w l e d g e the legitimacy o f perspectival interests o t h e r t h a n o u r own, even if we ourselves d o not share them.33 Yet this construal o f the subject o f perspectivism also runs into difficulties. F o r e m o s t a m o n g these, I think, is its a s s u m p t i o n o f a pre-given subject w h o has perspectives or interpretations. According to the c o m m o n s e n s e account o f vision called u p o n by the realist interpretation, w h e n I m o v e a r o u n d an object, t h e r e is a c h a n g e o f perspective but no c h a n g e o f subject; that is, it is the same I that takes u p different perspectives. Perspectives are cumulative a n d thus, too, is knowledge. While o n e c a n n o t simultaneously inhabit d i f f e r e n t perspectives, o n e can nonetheless consecutively take u p a n u m b e r o f d i f f e r e n t perspectives on the s a m e object a n d thus gain a richer visual sense o f it. T h e situation is analogous in the cognitive case, according to the realist account. It a r g u e s that, a l t h o u g h o u r k n o w l e d g e is always "interested," we can bring a variety o f "cognitive interests" to b e a r u p o n an object a n d thus c o m e to know it better. O n c e again, across these d i f f e r e n t sets o f "cognitive interests," t h e r e is a central, stable subject w h o consecutively occupies these d i f f e r e n t sets o f interests a n d thus a c c u m u l a t e s a m o r e c o m p l e t e knowledge o f the object on which these interests are b r o u g h t to bear. Leiter writes: " T h e m o r e perspectives we e n j o y - - f o r e x a m p l e , the m o r e interests we e m p l o y in knowing the o b j e c t - - t h e b e t t e r o u r c o n c e p t i o n o f what the object is like will be."34 T h i s view does, o f course, receive s o m e s u p p o r t f r o m the passage privileged by b o t h Clark a n d Leiter. A f t e r all, in that passage, Nietzsche claims that: " T h e r e is only a perspective seeing, only a perspective 'knowing'; a n d the more affects we allow to speak a b o u t a thing, the more eyes, d i f f e r e n t eyes, we can use to observe the thing, the m o r e c o m p l e t e will o u r 'concept' o f this thing, o u r 'objectivity', be" (GM I I I x 2). This certainly lends s o m e c r e d e n c e to the ss Leiter claims that "there are an infinity of interpretive interests that could be brought to bear" on the object of knowledge ("Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 345-46). Similarly, Clark writes: "We are, after all, finite creatures with a limited amount of time to discover truths, whereas there are surely an infinite number of truths to discover. We should therefore expect people with different interests to discover different truths" (Nietzscheon Truth and Philosophy, x35). s4Leiter, "Perspectivism in Nietzsche," 345-

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notion o f perspective accumulation proposed by the realist interpretation. Yet one of the major problems with this interpretation is that it focuses too narrowly on this passage and, more specifically, on the optical m e t a p h o r presented in the passage, to the neglect of other features of the passage and Nietzsche's other central concerns. As I have indicated, it neglects to discuss the explicit connection between perspective and interpretation developed in this passage, a connection which we have seen to be fundamental to an understanding of perspectivism. F u r t h e r m o r e - - a n d more important for the present discussion--it fails to take into account another central feature of Nietzsche's later work: his critique of the notion of a pre-given subject--what he calls "ego-substance" (TI III 5).
3. N I E T Z S C H E ' S C R I T I Q U E OF " E G O - S U B S T A N C E "

A critique of the notion of mental- or subject-substance is found t h r o u g h o u t Nictzschc's later work.35 This critique is a result of his naturalism, which is both antimetaphysical (against the posit of any otherworldly entity or explanatory principle) and holistic (against every absolute foundation or origin). Thus, Nictzschc considers theological the belief that there must be some "being" or subject-substratum "behind doing, effecting, becoming" (GM I 13). To assume such a being is to posit an otherworldly entity that initiates the happenings, effects, and appearances that constitute the natural world while remaining outside that world, u n c h a n g e d by its contingencies and exigencies.36 T h e notion o f ego-substance is also a form of the "myth of the given," what Nietzschc calls the m y t h of "immediate certainties," those simplc, atomic, unities that are supposed to serve as the absolute foundation of all being and knowing.37 Nietzsche's naturalism rejects the idea that there is any entity that is not essentially d e p e n d e n t u p o n other entities for its genesis and continued existence, and the idea that there is any fundamental, obvious fact that need not justify itself by relation to other "facts." For, according to Nictzschc, there arc "facts" only against the background of a particular interpretation, and the only entities that exist arc natural, i.e., essentially relational and contingent, entities.3S Thus, in rejecting the foundational presuppositions of "materialistic atomism," Nietzsche also rejects what he calls "soul a t o m i s m . . . . the belief which regards the soul as something indestructible, eternal, indivisible, as a monad, as an a t o m o n " (BGE 12). Such an idea, he claims, is not only supernatu35See, e.g., BGE 12, 16, 17, ~9, 34, 54, GM I 13, TI III 5, TI VI 3, WP 229, 37o, 477, 48 x-92, 53 t, 545-53, 631-3236See TI III 5, TI VI 3, WP 487. 37See BGE 16, 17, 19, 34. Other "immediate certainties" repudiated by Nietzsche are God, the thing in itself, substance, and cause. 3SSee WP 481, BGE 34, and GM I 13.

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ral, b u t also fails to account satisfactorily for i m p o r t a n t features o f h u m a n psychology,~9 which reveals the subject to be an a m a l g a m a t i o n o f c o m p e t i n g impulses a n d drives r a t h e r t h a n an atomic unity. As Nietzsche h i m s e l f acknowledges, this critique o f mental substance stems f r o m the critique o f that notion by H u m e a n d Kant.4o Following H u m e , Kant argues that, since the subject or self is not discoverable a m o n g the contents o f e x p e r i e n c e , s o m e o t h e r justification m u s t be sought for its postulation. Nietzsche takes u p this line o f t h o u g h t in Beyond Good and Evil w For Nietzsche, as f o r K a n t a n d H u m e , we only ever e x p e r i e n c e impressions, actions, a n d effects, but n e v e r the "subject" that is s u p p o s e d to have those impressions or initiate those actions a n d effects.4' Yet, whereas K a n t c a m e to r e g a r d the notion o f the self as a f o r m a l r e q u i r e m e n t o f reason a n d to posit the antinaturalistic notions o f n o u m e n a l self a n d n o u m e n a l causality, Nietzsche c o m e s to r e g a r d the self as m e r e l y a g r a m m a t i c a l habit that s u p p o r t s a m o r a l fiction. For the radical empiricist N i e t z s c h e - - w h o m a i n t a i n e d neither Kant's distinctions between intuition, u n d e r s t a n d i n g , a n d reason, n o r Kant's conviction that practical reason m u s t be t a k e n for g r a n t e d a n d its postulates d e d u c e d - - w e have justification only f o r belief in actions, effects, doings, becomings, a n d a p p e a r a n c e s ; a n d it is m e r e l y a "seduction o f l a n g u a g e " that leads us to posit a " 'being' b e h i n d doing, effecting, becoming; 'the d o e r ' is m e r e l y a fiction a d d e d to the d e e d - - t h e d e e d is everything" (GM I 13).42 F u r t h e r m o r e , this linguistic habit serves the Christian, m o r a l p u r p o s e o f m a k i n g s o m e isolable thing, i.e., a specific subject, responsible a n d accountable for these actions a n d deeds. T h e s e p a r a t i o n o f d o e r f r o m deed, the subsequent r e m o v a l o f this d o e r f r o m the c o n d i t i o n e d a n d contingent world o f effects a n d h a p p e n i n g s , and, finally, the ascription o f a "free will" to this subject, Nietzsche argues, serve to isolate s o m e b e i n g as responsible for every eventuality a n d to claim that this being was free to d o otherwise.43 O f course Nietzsche also criticizes d e t e r m i n i s m , the notion o f " u n f r e e will" soTrue to his naturalism, Nietzsche regards psychology as "the queen of the sciences," "the path to the fundamental problems" (BGE 23), against the Kantian view that claimed this role for epistemology and metaphysics. 40On Kant, see BGE 54. Hume is certainly the precursor to Nietzsche's critique of metaphysical conceptions of causality and the self, a fact that Nietzsche seems to briefly acknowledge in WP 55o. For more comparison between Hume's and Nietzsche's critiques of the self, see Nicholas Davey, "Nietzsche and Hume on Self and Identity," Journal of the British Societyfor Phenomenology 18, no. I (1987): 14-29. For a comparison between Nietzsche's and Kant's critiques of the self, see Richard Schacht, Nietzsche(London: Routledge, 1983), 138-4o. 4~For Kant on the phenomenality of "inner sense," see the Critiqueof Pure Reason, B67-69, 152-59. For Nietzsche on the "phenomenality of the inner world," see WP 477, 4794, For more on our metaphysical seduction by the subject-predicate form, see BGE 16, 17, 19, 34, 54, T I III 5, WP 48~, 484 .
4sSee B G E 21, 219, GM I 13, T I III 5, T I V 6, T I VI 3, 7 - 8 .

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( B G E 21). B u t this is n o t t h e place to delve into w h a t w o u l d be a l e n g t h y discussion o f Nietzsche's p h i l o s o p h y o f m i n d o r m o r a l t h e o r y . I simply w a n t to indicate t h a t a critique o f the n o t i o n o f a p r e - g i v e n s u b j e c t - s u b s t r a t u m is basic to Nietzsche's n a t u r a l i s m . T h e p o i n t is that, f o r Nietzsche, the a s s u m p t i o n o f s u c h a " f r e e will" b e h i n d e v e r y action seeks the s o u r c e o f t h e c o n t i n g e n t a n d the c o n d i t i o n a l in s o m e t h i n g given a n d u n c o n d i t i o n e d , in short, s o m e t h i n g u n w o r l d l y . A c c o r d i n g to Nietzsche, this scenario " d e p r i v e s b e c o m i n g o f its i n n o c e n c e " - - a n d it is the p r i m a r y goal o f Nietzsche's p r o j e c t to r e s t o r e the "innocence of becoming.'44

4" NIETZSCHE'S CONCEPTION OF SUBJECTIVITY: "THE SUBJECT AS MULTIPLICITY"45


T h i s d o e s n o t m e a n , h o w e v e r , t h a t we s h o u l d alter the s u b j e c t - p r e d i c a t e struct u r e o f o u r g r a m m a r o r t h a t we s h o u l d c o m p l e t e l y d o away with the n o t i o n o f 'subject' (or 'soul' o r ' e g o ' o r 'wi11').46 " B e t w e e n ourselves," Nietzsche writes, it is not at all necessary to get rid o f " t h e s o u l " . . , and thus to renounce one of the most ancient and venerable hypotheses . . . . But the way is open for new versions and refinements of the soul-hypothesis; and such conceptions as "mortal soul," "soul as subjective multiplicity," and "soul as social structure of the drives and affects," want henceforth to have citizens' rights in science (BGE 1~). T h u s , Nietzsche's rejection o f t h e n o t i o n o f subject as causa sui, causa prima, o r soul a t o m leads h i m to c o n s t r u c t an alternative c o n c e p t i o n o f subjectivity. F o l l o w i n g a r e c u r r e n t strategy, he begins by r e v e r s i n g o u r c o m m o n linguistic a n d p h i l o s o p h i c a l habits, a r g u i n g that w h a t is p r i m a r y are actions, deeds, accidents, a n d b e c o m i n g s , r a t h e r t h a n subjects, doers, substances, o r beings. A naturalistic t h e o r y , Nietzsche c o n t e n d s , m u s t start f r o m these f o r m e r a n d c o n s t r u c t t h e latter o u t o f t h e m , r a t h e r t h a n vice versa. H e n c e , j u s t as Nietzsche c o m e s to c o n c e i v e o f " a t h i n g " as "the s u m o f its effects" (WP 551), so, too, d o e s h e c o m e to c o n c e i v e o f the subject as the s u m o f its actions a n d passions. Nietzsche's initial p r e m i s e is that the n a t u r a l w o r l d in which we are situated 44See TI VI 7-8. 4sThis discussion has benefited from several fine analyses of Nietzsche's theory of the self: Tracy Strong, "Texts and Pretexts: Reflections on Perspectivism in Nietzsche," Political Theory 13, no. 2 (1985): 164-89, Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, a985), chap. 6, and Davey, "Nietzsche and Hume," and "Nietzsche, the Self, and Hermeneutic Theory,"Journal of the British Societyfor Phenomenology 18, no. 3 0987) : 272-84. 46These terms are used more or less interchangeably by Nietzsche. He alternately speaks of the soul-atom (BGE 12), the subject-atom (GM I 13, WP 488, 636), and the ego-atom (BGE 17, WP 635), "the soul as subjective multiplicity" (BGE 12) and "the subject as multiplicity" (WP 49o, cf. 492). In various passages, he identifies "soul" and "subject" (WP 485), the 'T' and "the will" (BGE 19), "doer," "will," and "ego" (TI III 5), "subject," "ego," and "doer" (WP 488), It should be noted that what is often translated as "the ego" is, in German, simply das Ich, "the I."

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a n d t h a t w c o b s e r v e is, first a n d f o r e m o s t , a w o r l d o f b e c o m i n g , i.e., a w o r l d o f m y r i a d actions, h a p p e n i n g s , effects, a n d a p p e a r a n c e s . Yet we can a n d d o i n d i v i d u a t e this b e c o m i n g into p a r t i c u l a r sets o r assemblages. T h e subject, Nietzsche a r g u e s , is j u s t such an assemblage. Subjectivity in g e n e r a l is c h a r a c terized by a specific set o f activities a n d a p p e a r a n c e s ; a n d e a c h p a r t i c u l a r subject is i n d i v i d u a t c d by a p e c u l i a r subset o f those activities, by a disposition to act in a p a r t i c u l a r m a n n e r a n d direction.47 Yet, f o r Nietzschc, this u n i t y is o n l y a relative unity. T h e u n i t y o f the subject is t h e u n i t y o f a disposition, m e r e l y a probability that g r o u p s t o g e t h e r a r a n g e o f m o r e o r less similar a n d m o r e o r less c o n n e c t e d activities f o r the p u r p o s e o f simplification a n d calculation.a8 Subjects, Nietzsche tells us, a r c i r r e d u c i b l e multiplicities.a9 T h e disposition t h a t c o m p o s e s t h e m is itself m a d e u p o f m i c r o d i s p o s i t i o n s - - w h a t Nictzsche variously calls "drives" (Triebe), "desires" (Begierden), "instincts" (Instinkte), " p o w e r s " (Mtichte), "forces" (Kri~fte), "impulses" (Reize, Impulse), "passions" (Leidenschaflen), "feelings" (Gef~hlen), "affects" (Affekte), p a t h o s (Pathos), etc. S t a r t i n g f r o m the p r e m i s e that t h e r e are, first a n d f o r e m o s t , actions, b c c o m i n g s , a n d a p p e a r a n c e s , Nietzschc posits "affects"5o as the i n t e r i o r states that h e l p to explain a n d p r e d i c t these actions, b e c o m i n g s , a n d appearances.51 T h e s e affects a r e as close as o n e c o m e s to a " b o t t o m floor" in Nictzsche's multileveled t h e o r y o f subjectivity. W i t h this hypothesis, Nietzsche w o u l d s e e m to bc a r g u i n g t h a t the subject is n o t an a t o m i c u n i t y simply b e c a u s e it can itself bc f u r t h e r b r o k e n d o w n into c o m p o n e n t parts. T h a t is, h c w o u l d s e e m to be r e p l a c i n g o n e sort o f "subject a t o m i s m " with a n o t h e r , t a k i n g c o n s i d e r a b l e 47Nietzsche writes: " 'the subject' is... a created entity ... a capacity.., fundamentally, action collectively considered with respect to all anticipated actions (action and the probability of similar actions)" (WP 556). Cf. WP 485 . 4sSee WP 561: "All unity is unity only as organization and co-operation: no differently than a human community is a unity--as opposed to an atomistic anarchy; it is a pattern of domination that signifies a unity but/s not a unity." 49See BGE 12, 19, WP 488-02, 636, 660. This Nietzschean conception of subjectivity has more recently been advocated by Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault. See Foucault and Deleuze, "Intellectuals and Power," in Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews by Michel Foucault, ed. Donald F. Bouchard, trans. Donald F. Bouchard and Sherry Simon (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), ~o6, and Foucault, "The Confession of the Flesh," in Power/ Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, ed. Colin Gordon (New York: Pantheon, 198o), ~o8. 501 will use 'affect' as a general term to encompass the host of other associated terms, since the term seems to combine the active senses of 'drive' and 'desire' with the more passive senses of 'passion' and 'feeling'. Moreover, the term in its various forms (affectus/affectio, der Affekt, l'affect/ l'affection) has a long and rich history in philosophy (from the Scholastics to Spinoza, Kant to Deleuze), rhetoric, and musical aesthetics. 5, See BGE 36, WP 619, 635. Note that, in WP 619, the translation should read "an inner world [not: will] must be ascribed to it."

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f o r c e a w a y f r o m his critique of"ego-substance."5~ I n d e e d , in The Will to Power, Nietzsche seems to say that the "subjects" o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a n d perspectives are affects: [M]oral evaluation is an interpretation, a way of interpreting. The interpretation itself is a symptom of certain physiological conditions, likewise of a certain spiritual level of ruling judgments: Who interprets?--Our affects (WP ~54).53 It is our needs that interpret the worM: our drives and their For and Against. Every drive is a kind of lust to rule; each 6ne has its perspective that it would like to compel all the other drives to accept as a norm (WP 481).54 H e r e , Nietzsche s e e m s to a r g u e that e v e r y affect is o r has a p a r t i c u l a r " F o r a n d Against"55 t h a t m a k e s it a kind o f instinctive i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a p a r t i c u l a r m a n n e r o f c o n s t r u i n g a n d r e s p o n d i n g to its e n v i r o n i n g conditions. O n the basis o f these texts, o n e m i g h t r e a s o n a b l y a r g u e t h a t t h e r e is a simple a n s w e r to t h e q u e s t i o n " W h o o r w h a t is t h e subject o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a n d perspectives?" a n d t h a t this a n s w e r is simply: " o u r affects."56 Yet, while affects a r e in s o m e sense primitive, f o r Nietzsche, h e r e f u s e s to c o n c e i v e t h e m as entities, m u c h less the atomic, singular, a n d u n i f i e d entities t h a t c o u l d be the p r o p e r b e a r e r s o f perspectives a n d interpretations.57 First o f all, o n a microlevel, Nietzsche thinks o f affects as an o r g a n i c f o r m o f the basic " f o r c e - p o i n t s " posited by R o g e r Boscovich to replace t h e materialist atom.58 Boscovich m a i n t a i n s t h a t these basic items are " n o t . . . particles o f m a t t e r in which p o w e r s s o m e h o w inhere"59 but d y n a m i c , differential "centers" within a force-field. 6~ T h e y are, as it were, t e m p o r a r y d a m s o r a c c u m u l a t i o n s o f force, r a t h e r t h a n subsisting entities. S e c o n d , o n a m o r e macrolevel, affects are t e n d e n c i e s a n d processes ("becomings") r a t h e r t h a n definite entities ("be-

5~This charge is made by Davey, "Nietzsche and Hume," 23, 26. 5sCf. D 119, BGE 187. 54Cf. WP 567 . 5.~Cf. BGE 284. 56Sarah Kofman takes Nietzsche to be claiming this. See Nietzscheand Metaphor, trans. Duncan Large (Stanford: Stanford University Press, t993), 93ff. and 135ff. 5~WP 67o warns against the reification and hypostatization of affects. 58See BGE 12, 36. On Boscovich and Nietzsche's relationship to Boscovich, see Kaufmann's note to BGE 12, George J. Stack, "Nietzsche and Boscovich's Natural Philosophy," Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 62 ( ~981): 69-87, Claudia Crawford, The Beginnings of Nietzsche's Theory of Language (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1988), 87-89, 298-99 , and Alistair Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature and Cosmology (Berlin: Peter Lang, 199o), chap. 5. 59Charles C. Gillispie, The Edge of Objectivity (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 196o), 455, quoted in Kaufmann's note to BGE 1~. 60Cf. Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), 6: "Every force is thus essentially related to another force. The being of force is plural, it would.be absolutely absurd to think of force in the singular." This notion of being as an irreducible plurality is at the heart of Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche.

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ings"). 61 "Fear," "love," " e x u b e r a n c e , " ressentiment, a n d "envy," for e x a m p l e , arc not a d e q u a t e l y described as "things"; rather, they are what Nietzschc calls " d y n a m i c q u a n t a o f force or drive" that have their specific expression a n d direction. T h i r d , affects arc, by definition, relational: they relate o n e state o f affairs to a n o t h e r . As the notions o f "drive" a n d "impulse" suggest, affects arc a pulling or p u s h i n g o f the o r g a n i s m in one direction or another. 6~ Finally, Nictzschc a r g u e s that it m a k e s no sense to speak o f an affcct in isolation f r o m o t h e r affects. W e h a v e sccn that hc considers affects to be, in a r u d i m e n t a r y sense, interpretive. Like the interpretations described in Genealogy I I I 12, each affect is or has a " F o r a n d Against" (FiZz und Wider) "that it would like to c o m p e l all the o t h e r drives to accept as a n o r m " (WP 4 81). Yet, j u s t as i n t e r p r e tations arc always essentially e n g a g e d in a struggle with o t h e r interpretations, just as each i n t e r p r e t a t i o n always begins f r o m a n d tends toward o t h e r i n t e r p r e tations that it r e i n t e r p r e t s or by which it is r e i n t e r p r e t e d , so too cach affect is always e n g a g e d in a struggle with o t h e r affects, each o f which "would like to c o m p e l the other[s] to accept [it] as a n o r m . " Affects, Nietzsche tells us, arc " d y n a m i c q u a n t a in a relation o f tension to all o t h e r d y n a m i c quanta: their essence lies in their relation to all other quanta, in their 'effect' u p o n the s a m e " (WP 635, m y italics).63 I n d e e d , the world is a "becoming," for Nietzsche, precisely because it is essentially c o m p o s e d o f these volatile relations. "My idea," Nictzsche writes (speaking h e r e o f "bodies," t h o u g h the same holds for affects a n d interpretations), "is that every specific b o d y strives to b e c o m c m a s t e r o v e r all space a n d to e x t e n d its force ( - - i t s will to power:) a n d to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually e n c o u n t e r s similar efforts o n the p a r t o f o t h e r bodies a n d e n d s by c o m i n g to an a r r a n g e m e n t ('union') with those o f t h e m that are sufficiently related to it: thus they conspire together for power. A n d the process goes o n - - " (WP 636).64 I n s t e a d o f individual affects each with its own i n t e r p r e t a t i o n or perspective, then, what we e n c o u n t e r arc always "unions" o f affects. T h i s description comes closer to c a p t u r i n g Nictzschc's idea o f "perspective" or " i n t e r p r e t a tion." While each affect is or has an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n in a r u d i m e n t a r y sense, 6, See WP 556: "One may not ask: 'whothen interprets?' for the interpretation itself, as a form of will to power, has existence (but not as a 'being,' but rather as a process,a becoming)as an affect." 6, See BGE 19: "in willing there is, first, a plurality of sensations, namely, the sensation of the state 'awayfrom which', the sensation of the state 'towardswhich', the sensation of this ~rom' and 'towards' themselves, and then also an accompanying muscular sensation, which even without our putting into motion 'arms and legs', begins its action by force of habit as soon as we 'will' anything." 6sAgain, the language of"dynamic quanta" is the language of"affect" extended to encompass "all efficient force" (BGE 36). What holds for the more general language of "dynamic quanta," therefore, also holds for the subcategory of "affect." 64Cf. GS 333, where Nietzsche describes knowledge and understanding as a contract that temporarily settles accounts between struggling drives and relates them to one another in a nonantagonistic way. Cf. also WP 567 .

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Nietzsche tends to think o f interpretations a n d perspectives as hierarchical a g g r e g a t e s o f affects in which s o m e d o m i n a t e a n d others are subordinate. 65 I n s t e a d o f b e i n g the p r o p e r subjects o f interpretations a n d perspectives, then, affects t u r n o u t to be "subjects" only in a political sense: namely, m e m b e r s o f the hierarchical s t r u c t u r e o f an interpretation. T h i s description recalls o u r earlier characterization o f interpretations as systems o f evaluation directed by particular needs. But what is it that unifies a particular system a n d what m a k e s a particular set o f needs d o m i n a n t ? Nietzsche tells us that every i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and perspective is oriented toward the p r e s e r v a t i o n a n d e n h a n c e m e n t o f a specific level o f organization in life, f r o m the individual to the g r o u p , the species, or life as a whole. 66 Are the "subjects" o f perspectivism, then, p e r h a p s j u s t these particular levels o f life? I n a sense, the answer is yes; for a particular perspective does r e p r e s e n t the "point o f view" o f a particular type, g r o u p , culture, people, etc. Yet, once again, these perspectives are n e v e r e n c o u n t e r e d in isolation. T h a t is, we n e v e r c o m e across these perspectives i n d e p e n d e n t o f the individual h u m a n beings to w h o m they are attributed. A n d each individual cuts across all the various levels o f life: h u m a n beings are individuals as well as m e m b e r s o f communities, cultures, subcultures, races, classes, genders, nationalities, religions, political parties, etc. T h u s , on the o n e h a n d , we always e n c o u n t e r perspectives within individual subjects, while, on the o t h e r h a n d , individual subjects are a g g r e g a t e s o f these perspectives a n d their f o r m s o f life. F o r Nietzsche, the individual subject is an a g g r e g a t e on two l e v e l s - - w h a t are usually called "the physical" a n d "the spiritual," "body" a n d "soul." According to Nietzsche, however, these do not f o r m the two sides o f an opposition between d i f f e r e n t kinds o f entity, but only a difference o f d e g r e e along a c o n t i n u u m f r o m the m o r e or less u n c h a n g e a b l e to the m o r e or less changeable. First, a subject has a quantitative identity insofar as it is b o r n with a basic physical unity: an integral body. Yet even this basic unity a n d identity are only relative, since, a c c o r d i n g to Nietzsche, the b o d y itself is "a political structure," "an aristocracy" (WP 660) 67 or "oligarchy" (GM I I 1 ) - - a hierarchy o f organs, 65This view of interpretation has recently been suggested by Alan Schrift and Mark Fowler. Fowler writes: "As I see it, a Nietzschean perspective can be correctly characterized as being a certain configuration of affects--or perhaps better, a certain 'commonwealth of affects'.., which are related in such a way that some of these affects are dominant and so responsible for imposing order on what would otherwise be a chaos of motives and emotions . . . . A perspective is just a structure of affects governed by a basic dominant affect (or small cluster of them)" ("Having a Perspective," 115-16). Also see Schrift, Nietzzche and the Question of lnterpretation: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction (New York: Routledge), chap. 6. 66"Insight: all estimation of value involves a certain perspective: that of the maintenance of the individual, a community, a race, a state, a church, a faith, a culture" (WP 259). 67In BGE ~59, Nietzsche also notes that "the body" is an "aristocracy."

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tissues, a n d cells, each o f which has a particular role a n d function. I n a healthy body, these various parts fulfill their functions in service o f the whole; while in a sick or d y i n g body, this relation o f parts to whole (and thus the integrity o f the body) is t h r e a t e n e d or dissolving. 68 F u r t h e r m o r e , the relatively p r e - g i v e n unity o f the b o d y is not an eternal verity but the p r o d u c t or result o f " i n t e r p r e tation" (in Nietzsche's b r o a d sense o f the word), i.e., o f millennia o f evolutionary struggle. Second, a n d m o r e i m p o r t a n t for the p r e s e n t discussion, a subject has a qualitative identity insofar as it is or has a m o r e or less stable "character" or "self." But this unity, too. is an aggregate, and, m o r e o v e r , one that is intimately related to the physical, bodily aggregate. I n d e e d , Nietzsche a r g u e s that the organizational unity o f the b o d y provides the p r o p e r m o d e l for theorizing a b o u t the "soul," "self," or "subject": The body and physiology as the starting point: why?--We gain the correct idea of the nature of our subject-unity, namely as regents at the head of a communality . . . . also of the dependence of these regents upon the ruled and of an order of rank and division of labor as the conditions that make possible the whole and its parts. In the same way, how living unities continually arise and die and how the "subject" is not eternal; in the same way, that the struggle expresses itself in obeying and commanding, and that a fluctuating assessment of the limits of power is part of life. The relative ignorance in which the regent is kept concerning individual activities and even disturbances within the communality is among the conditions under which rule can be exercised . . . . The most important thing, however, is: that we understand that the ruler and his subjects are of the s a m e k i n d , all feeling, willing, and thinking. (WP 49 2) T h i s last r e m a r k is i m p o r t a n t ; for it suggests that the body not only presents the a p p r o p r i a t e f r a m e w o r k for a conception o f the self, but also that the latter is actually r o o t e d in the f o r m e r - - i n the affects, which are at once "physical" a n d "spiritual," i.e., interpretive.69 T h e affects, then, are the point o f contact between "body" a n d "soul." In m i r r o r i n g formulas, Nietzsche tells us that "the soul" is a "social s t r u c t u r e o f the drives and affects" (BGE 12), while the " b o d y is but a social s t r u c t u r e c o m p o s e d o f m a n y souls" (BGE 19). We could s u m m a r i z e this by saying that the self (the physical-spiritual "subject-unity") is a composite o f m a n y "souls," each o f which has its own perspective, its own a r r a n g e m e n t o f drives a n d affects, Fors a n d Againsts. T h e self is thus an a g g r e g a t e o f m a n y 6SOn this process of growth and decay, wee WP 678. Also see GM II 19 and WP 643, on "physiological organs" as interpretive constructions. 69See BGE 19: "'we are at the same time the commanding aru/the obeying parties"; Z I 4: " 'Body am I, and soul'--thus speaks the child . . . . But the awakened and knowing say: body am I entirely, and nothing else; and soul is only a word for something about the body"; and Z II 17: "Since I have come to know the body better.., the spirit is to me only quasi-spirit; and all that is 'permanent' is also a mere parable."

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d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , each o f w h i c h is affective, r o o t e d i n t h e v a r i o u s d r i v e s , i m p u l s e s , desires, a n d p a s s i o n s o f the body.7o T h i s i d e a r u n s t h r o u g h o u t Nietzsche's d i s c u s s i o n s o f subjectivity, selfllood, a n d c h a r a c t e r . F o r i n s t a n c e , i n two s i m i l a r n o t e s f r o m 1884 , h e writes: [A]II sorts of contradictory estimations and therefore contradictory drives swarm within one man. This is the expression of the diseased condition in mankind, in contrast to the animals, in which all existing instincts satisfy very specific tasks--this contradictory creature has however in its nature a great method of knowledge: he feels many Fors and A g a i n s t s - - h e raises himself to j u s t i c e - - t o a comprehension beyond the estimation of good and evil. T h e wisest m a n would be the richest in contradictions, who has feelers for all kinds of men" and, in the midst, his great moments of grandiose harmony--a rare occurrence even in u s l - - a sort of planetary m o v e m e n t - - . (WP 259)7 ~ In contrast to the animals, m a n has cultivated an abundance of contrary drives and impulses within himself: thanks to this synthesis he is master of the earth.--Moralities are the expression of locally limited orders of rank in this multifarious world of drives: so that m a n should not perish through their contradictions. Thus a drive as master, its opposite weakened, refined, as the impulse that provides the stimulus for the activity of the chief drive. T h e highest man would have the greatest multiplicity of drives, in the relatively greatest strength that can be endured. Indeed, where the plant "man" shows itself strongest, one finds driving instincts that powerfully conflict with one another . . . . but are controlled. (WP 966)7 ~ H e r e , as e l s e w h e r e , N i e t z s c h e a r g u e s t h a t t h e h u m a n s u b j e c t is a m u l t i p l i c i t y . I n c o n t r a s t with a n i m a l s , w h o a r e c o m p o s e d o f o n l y a few, very specific, instinctive "perspectives," h u m a n beings are far more c o mp le x - - c o lle c tio n s of a vast a r r a y o f c o m p e t i n g instincts, affects, drives, desires, beliefs, a n d capacities, a n d t h u s o f a vast a r r a y o f p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . H e n c e , h u m a n b e i n g s a r e at o n c e v e r y richly e n d o w e d a n d very f r a g i l e creatures.73 N i e t z s c h e c o n t e n d s that, f o r t h e m o s t part, h u m a n b e i n g s h a v e b e e n u n 70See GS Preface 2. 7~Cf. GS 297 and KSA 11, 188" 26 [149]: "Justice, as the function of a broad panoramic power that looks beyond the narrow perspectives of good and evil and thus has a broader horizon of advantage--the intention to preserve something that is more than this or that person," cited in Heidegger, Nietzsche, Vol III, 147, Krell's translation modified. 7, Cf. BGE 284, WP 933, 88 t. 73Cf. WP 684: "The richest and most complex forms--for the expression 'higher type' means no more than this--perish more easily: only the lowest preserve an apparent indestructibility . . . . Among men, too, the higher types, the lucky strokes of evolution, perish most easily as fortunes change. They are exposed to every kind of decadence: they are extreme, and that almost means decadents. . . . This is not due to any special fatality or malevolence of nature, but simply to the concept 'higher type': the higher type represents an incomparably greater complexity--a greater sum of co-ordinated elements: so its disintegration is also incomparably more likely. The 'genius' is the sublimest machine there is--consequently the most fragile." Cf. also A 14: "relatively speaking, man is the most bungled of all the animals, the sickliest, and not one has strayed more dangerously from his instincts. But for all that, he is, of course, the most interesting."Cf. GS 3ol 3o2, Z I 5 , GMI 16, III 13.

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able to control the conflict o f interpretations and perspectives that compose them. Pushed and pulled in multiple directions, the majority o f h u m a n beings have shown themselves to be incontinent, unable not to r e s p o n d to the myriad stimuli to which they are continually subjected.74 As a defense against this wanton and painful condition, h u m a n beings have resorted to a drastic means o f achieving o r d e r , control, and power: they have declared the entire r a n g e o f affects evil and resolved to extirpate them.75 T h o u g h it would a p p e a r to be a r a t h e r rare and e x t r e m e manifestation, Nietzsche argues that it is "one o f the most widespread and e n d u r i n g o f all p h e n o m e n a " (GM III 1 0.76 H e discerns this kind o f evaluation not only in the practices o f the religious ascetic but also in those o f the rationalist philosopher (who distinguishes mind and body and sets the f o r m e r above the latter), and the scholar-scientist (who strives for objectivity conceived as "contemplation without interest").77 Indeed, "[a]part f r o m the ascetic ideal," Nietzsche maintains, "man, the h u m a n animal, had no m e a n i n g so far" (GM III 28). 78 T h e ascetic solution is not only extreme, but self-defeating. For, in the guise o f extirpating the affects and denying the multiplicity o f perspectives, it simply endorses o n e affective perspective and rejects all the others. It, too, manifests a will to power and thus a privileged interpretation and d o m i n a n t set o f affects. Disgusted with sensuous existence, it plots revenge t h r o u g h the separation o f mind and body, and the elevation o f the "spiritual" and "antinatural" over the bodily and natural. This situation is certainly p a r a d o x i c a l - for it sets a particular will o f life against life itself,79 an affect against all affects, 8~ " n a t u r e against something that is also nature" (WP ~ 8 ) - - b u t it is nonetheless prevalent. T h i s strange p h e n o m e n o n , Nietzsche argues, is "the expression of the diseased condition in man," a sign o f nihilism, decadence, and the d e g e n e r a t i o n o f life. 8' In this condition, h u m a n beings are primarily reactive and negative. T h e y declare their contradictory n a t u r e evil and surmise that there must be a better c o n d i t i o n - - a good, noncontradictory, extranatural condition and world. 8~ T h u s , they c o m e to exemplify that u n n u a n c e d , binary morality o f ressentiment, 74See TI II 9, TI V 2, A 3o, WP 778. 75See BT/SC l, TI V, WP 228, 383-88. 76See GM III 13 and A 8- 9. 77On both of these, see GM III 12, 23-28. Also see TI II. 78Cf. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, where Nietzsche contends that this ascetic ideal is such a pervasive feature that it can be said to characterize humanity as a whole; hence, Zarathustra's condemnation of "man" and call for the "overman." ~9See TI V. a~ BGE 117. s~This theme runs throughout GM III, TI, and WP. s, See WP 579-

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w h i c h d e c l a r e s a n o t h e r (in this case, t h e n a t u r a l a n d p h y s i c a l ) evil a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y i n f e r s t h a t it (in this case, t h e s p i r i t u a l ) m u s t i t s e l f r e p r e s e n t t h e good.83 Yet, t h e c o n t r a d i c t o r y s w a r m o f d r i v e s in h u m a n b e i n g s also p r e s e n t s a n o t h e r possibility. N i e t z s c h e c o n t e n d s t h a t t h e r e a r e r a r e h u m a n b e i n g s in w h o m t h e m a n y c o n t r a r y d r i v e s , affects, p e r s p e c t i v e s , a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a r e m a n a g e d a n d o r g a n i z e d i n t o a r i c h a n d p o w e r f u l u n i t y . I n s u c h b e i n g s , all t h e a f f e c t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a r e a l l o w e d to e x p r e s s t h e m s e l v e s , b u t in t h e s e r v i c e o f t h e whole.84 S u c h h u m a n b e i n g s "give style" to t h e i r characters. Nietzsche explains: T o "give style" to one's c h a r a c t e r - - a great and rare art! It is practiced by those who survey all the strengths and weaknesses o f their nature and then fit them into an artistic plan until every one o f them appears as art and reason and even weaknesses delight the eye. H e r e a large part o f second nature has been added; there a piece o f original nature has been r e m o v e d - - b o t h times through long practice and daily work at it. Here the ugly that could not be removed is concealed; there it has been reinterpreted and made sublime [Erhabene umgedeutet]. Much that is vague and resisted shaping has been saved and exploited for distant views; it is meant to beckon toward the far and immeasurable. In the end, when the work is finished, it becomes evident how the constraint o f a single taste governed and formed everything large and small . . . . It will be the strong and domineering natures that enjoy their finest gaiety in such constraint and perfection u n d e r a law o f their own . . . . Conversely, it is the weak characters without power over themselves that hate the constraint o f style. (GS 29o)85 A g a i n s t t h e s e n s u a l i s t a n d r e l a t i v i s t w h o s u b m i t s i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y to all d r i v e s a n d p e r s p e c t i v e s , a n d a g a i n s t t h e ascetic w h o a t t e m p t s to a n n i h i l a t e t h e p a s sions a l t o g e t h e r , N i e t z s c h e o p p o s e s t h e " h i g h e s t h u m a n , " w h o a f f i r m s t h a t life is e s s e n t i a l l y a f f e c t i v e , a n d t h a t it e s s e n t i a l l y involves t h e will to p o w e r ( t h e f o r m i n g , s h a p i n g , o r g a n i z i n g , e x p a n s i v e d r i v e o f all life). T h e " h i g h e s t h u m a n " is o n e c a p a b l e o f i n c o r p o r a t i n g t h e m u l t i p l i c i t y o f a f f e c t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e s a n d e m p l o y i n g t h e m in t h e s e r v i c e o f t h e w h o l e . T h u s , N i e t z s c h e says, s u c h a asSee BGE a6o and GM I 1o. s4See BGE aoo. 85One finds this same idea throughout Nietzsche's notes of the late ~88os. See, e.g., WP 46, 384, 778, 881, 928, 933, 962ff-, 1o14- This notion also appears in a much earlier text, where Nietzsche writes: "since we are the outcome of earlier generations, we are also the outcome of their aberrations, passions, and errors, and indeed of their crimes; it is not possible wholly to free oneself from this chain. If we condemn these aberrations and regard ourselves as free of them, this does not alter the fact that we originate in them. The best we can do is confront our inherited and hereditary nature with our knowledge of it, and through new, stern, discipline combat our inborn heritage and implant in ourselves a new habit, a new instinct, a second nature, so that our first nature withers away. It is an attempt to give oneself, as it were a posteriori, a past in which one would like to originate in opposition to that in which one did originate:--always a dangerous attempt . . . . But here and there a victory is nonetheless achieved, and for the combatants... there is even a noteworthy consolation: that of knowing that this first nature was once a second nature and that every victorious second nature will become a first" (UM II 3).

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p e r s o n raises h i m o r h e r s e l f to "knowledge," '~}ustice," a n d "an estimation b e y o n d g o o d a n d evil." Yet this necessitates a redescription o f "knowledge" a n d '~ustice." "Knowle d g e " can no longer m e a n " o b j e c t i v i t y . . . u n d e r s t o o d as ' c o n t e m p l a t i o n without interest'," f o r this is "a nonsensical absurdity" (GM I I I 1 ~) that denies the affective c h a r a c t e r o f all life a n d the affective perspectives a n d interpretations that are the very conditions for any knowledge whatsoever. Similarly, '~ustice" carl no l o n g e r m e a n the equalization o f power, the p r e v e n t i o n o f struggle, a n d the insurance o f peace, for this r e p r e s e n t s "a principle hostile to life" (GM 11 11), since it denies "the relations o f s u p r e m a c y u n d e r which the p h e n o m e n o n o f 'life' comes to be" (BGE 19). s6 Rather, for these "higher types," "knowle d g e " a n d '~justice" signify the affirmation o f affective life a n d o f the organizing force that controls it in the service o f the subject as a whole. T h e r e is no better f o r m u l a t i o n o f these aims t h a n the passage on perspectivity cited at the outset. For the " h i g h e r types," "knowledge" a n d '~justice" are precisely "the ability to have one's For a n d Against under control a n d to e n g a g e a n d d i s e n g a g e t h e m , so that o n e knows how to e m p l o y a variety o f perspectives a n d affective i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s in the service o f knowledge. ''sT Such a n u a n c e d , multifaceted estimation is i n d e e d s o m e t h i n g o t h e r t h a n the binary, slavish morality o f "good a n d evil." It points toward a d i f f e r e n t ethics: a m o d e l o f practice firmly r o o t e d in the ethos, one that extols self-control a n d fine discrimination in the estimation o f the particular passions a n d actions a p p r o p r i ate for e v e r y given situation, ss I n d e e d , perspectivism m i g h t be seen as encapsulating Nietzsche's c o n c e p t i o n o f practical wisdom: it advocates the cultivation o f a variety o f affective centers within an overall organization (the subject) that is finely a t t u n e d to its capacities and e n v i r o n m e n t , aware o f the affective perspectives that are a p p r o p r i a t e to a given circumstance, a n d able skillfully to d e p l o y these perspectives as required. S6jean Granier construes "knowledge" and 'Justice" in this way, i.e., as attempts to see things as they are, to "be true" to a putative ontological ground: "the text of Being." See his "Perspectivism and Interpretation," in The New Nietzsche, ed~ David B. Allison (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1977), 199. s7Cf. BGE 284, where Nietzsche describes "nobility" as the ability "[t]o have and not have one's affects, one's for and against, at will; to condescend to them, for a few hours; to seat oneself on them as on a horse . . . . " s8This formulation invites comparison with Aristotle's ethics ofarete. Robert C. Solomon draws just such a comparison, arguing that Nietzsche's "affirmative ethics" is much closer to Aristotle's than to that of any other ethicist in the Western philosophical tradition. See "A More Severe Morality: Nietzsche's Affirmative Ethics," in From Hegel to Existentialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), to5-2 t. A similar comparison is made, with reservations, by Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 193- Martha Nussbaum has recently argued that it is not Aristotle but the Roman Stoics that provide the proper antecedent for Nietzsche's conception of ethics and self-formation. See her "Pity and Mercy: Nietzsche's Stoicism," in Nietzsche, Genealogy, Morality, 139-67.

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5- THE SUBJECT AS INTERPRETATION Let me conclude by making explicit the result o f this discussion for the issue at hand, the issue o f the "subject" o f perspectivism. C o n t r a r y to recent views, we have seen that the subject o f perspectivism cannot simply be the individual h u m a n k n o w e r p r e s u p p o s e d as atomic and given; for Nietzsche maintains, rather, that the h u m a n subject is a multiplicity that is constantly being achieved, accomplished, produced. Moreover, the subject does not have these various perspectives and interpretations; rather, they are what the subject is. According to Nietzsche, the subject is nothing over and above the various physical/spiritual affective perspectives and interpretations that compose it, and the relationships between these perspectives and interpretations. This is not mysterious p r o v i d e d that we take seriously Nietzsche's conception o f the subject as a political organization. Every such organization is a m o r e or less t e m p o r a r y u n i o n o f various individuals and groups that often have d i f f e r e n t experiences, views, and desires but agree (or are m a d e to agree) about some central ideas, practices, and goals which supervene and serve to unify the m e m b e r s h i p . T h e force o f the organization resides in the collective power o f its members, in their ability to struggle in a particular direction and yet be flexible and responsive to changing circumstances by drawing u p o n the capacities o f its individual m e m b e r s o r subgroups. T h e r e is no organization without these members, and no m e m b e r s h i p without the existence o f the organization as a whole. Nietzsche argues that the subject is just like this.S9 It is nothing over and above the sum and a r r a n g e m e n t o f the affective perspectives and interpretations that c o m p o s e it. T h e s e are not, and need not be, h o m o g e n e o u s . I n d e e d , Nietzsche argues that the m o r e h e t e r o g e n e o u s they a r e - - p r o v i d e d that they maintain some c o h e r e n c e - - t h e richer and m o r e flexible the whole will be.9O This union, however, is "mortal"; it is a changeable entity. Different circumstances force the acquisition o f new perspectives a n d / o r the loss o f old ones, thus altering the overall structure. And, if these changes are significant e n o u g h , or if particular factions cease to remain subordinate to the whole, the whole is t h r e a t e n e d o r falls apart. Nietzsche writes: No subject "atoms." The sphere of the subject constantly growing or decreasing, the center of the system constantly shifting; in cases where it cannot organize the appropriate mass, it breaks into two parts. On the other hand, it can transform a weaker subject s9Along the lines of Quine's "web of belief," Richard Rorty has described the subject in a similar fashion--as a self-reweaving web of beliefs and desires distinct from which there is no subject or "self." See his "Inquiry as Recontextualization," 93-94- Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe have recently developed in detail this political model of subjectivity. See their Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical DemocraticPolitics (London: Verso, 1985). 0oThis is a basic theme of Nietzsche'slater work. See GS 295-97,344, 373, 375, GM I 11 12, TI V 3, 6, WP 259, 41o, 6oo, 655, 88x, 933, 1o51.

THE "SUBJECT" OF NIETZSCHE'S PERSPECTIVISM

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into its functionary without destroying it, and to a certain degree form a new unity with it. No "substance," rather something that in itself strives after greater strength, and that wants to "preserve" itself only indirectly (it wants to surpass itself--). (WP 488) W e t h u s d i s c o v e r n o t o n l y t h a t the h u m a n subject is a fabricated entity, b u t t h a t its f a b r i c a t i o n takes the s a m e f o r m as the fabrication o f an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Recall that, in his h i g h l y g e n e r a l i z e d a c c o u n t o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n (GM I I 11), N i e t z s c h e writes: whatever exists, having somehow come into being, is again and again reinterpreted to new ends, taken over, transformed, and redirected by some power superior to it; all events in the organic world are a subduing, a becoming master, and all subduing and becoming master involves a fresh interpretation, an adjustment through which any previous "meaning" and "purpose" are necessarily obscured or obliterated. I f "all e v e n t s in t h e o r g a n i c w o r l d " are s u b m i t t e d to this process, it is n o t s u r p r i s i n g t h a t this d e s c r i p t i o n also applies to t h e f o r m a t i o n o f subjectivity. I n d e e d , we find t h a t Nietzsche n o t only views the subject as a multiplicity o f m i c r o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s a n d m i c r o p e r s p e c t i v e s ; he also views the subject itself as a m a c r o i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h e p o i n t is simply that, f o r Nietzsche, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n goes all the way d o w n a n d all the way up. R a t h e r t h a n positing the subject as s o m e t h i n g r e m o v e d f r o m t h e r e a l m o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , s o m e t h i n g t h a t stands b e h i n d a n d fabricates i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , we find that, f o r Nietzsche, the subject itself is f a b r i c a t e d by a n d as an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . T h u s , the f a m o u s p a s s a g e w h i c h claims t h a t t h e r e a r e n o facts b u t only i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , c o n c l u d e s : "Everything is subjective," you say; but even this is interpretation [Auslegung]. T h e "subject" is nothing given [nichts Gegebenes], but something added, fabricated, and stuck behind [etwas Hinzu-Erdichtetes, Dahinter-Gestecktes].Ol--Finally, is it necessary to posit an interpreter [Interpreten] behind the interpretation [Interpretationen]? Even this is fiction, hypothesis [Dichtung, Hypothese]. (WP 4 81 )9 2

University of Chicago

~ Cf. BGE 34: "Why couldn't the world that concerns us--be a fiction? And if somebody asked, 'but to a fiction there surely belongs an author?'--couldn't one answer simply: why? Doesn't this 'belongs' perhaps belong to the fiction, too? Is it not permitted to be a bit ironical about the subject no less than the predicate and object?" This dissolution of subject and object into the general field of "interpretation" might be compared with Heidegger's attempt to dissolve this pair into the general field of "being-in-the-world" (Beingand Time, Division I). Laclau and Mouffe provide a fine overview of more recent Continental attempts to dissolve the subject-object opposition into the general field of "structure" (Ahhusser), "discourse" (Foucauh), and "differance" (Derrida). See Hegemonyand SocialistStrategy, chap. 3.

(sub, under, jacere, to throw).

9, Here, Nietzsche calls attention to the etymology of the term "subject": "to throw under"