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Life DrawingA Deleuzean Aesthetics of Existence$
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Gordon C.F. Bearn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244805

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244805.001.0001

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Yes and No

Yes and No

Chapter:
(p.18) One Yes and No
Source:
Life Drawing
Author(s):

Gordon C. F. Bearn

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823244805.003.0002

In the wake of his early fascination with Arthur Schopenhauer’s dark pessimism, Friedrich Nietzsche discovered that Yes had an energizing and terrifying power in ancient Greek tragedy. In Albert Camus’s 1942 essay The Myth of Sisyphus, repetition drives home the pointlessness of existence, the call of suicide. Western philosophy is a philosophy of negation; it is afraid of Yes. Rene Descartes’s philosophy is a perfect example of a philosophy motivated by fear of error, but it was, nevertheless, a constructive philosophy. It was constructive in the very weakest sense: affirmation by double negation. To be worthy of what happens to you, you need to use what happened, without ressentiment, in creation, in becoming. Ressentiment exercises its spiritual revenge by reversing the values of the nobles, a reversal tackled by Nietzsche in terms of the predator-prey relationship.

Keywords:   pointlessness, Friedrich Nietzsche, tragedy, Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, repetition, existence, philosophy, double negation, ressentiment

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