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Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life$
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Vanessa Lemm

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262861

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262861.001.0001

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“Falling in Love with Becoming”

“Falling in Love with Becoming”

Remarks on Nietzsche and Emerson

(p.264) (p.265) 15 “Falling in Love with Becoming”
Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life

Dieter Thomä

Fordham University Press

Nietzsche’s critique of “neighborly love” is usually associated with his dismissal of Christian morality. It is much more fruitful though to see this critique as part of a positive task which consists in the exploration and appraisal of the “love to the furthest”. The distinction between the nearest and the furthest does not hint at spatial differences, but at temporality. The love of the furthest should not be read as a denigration of what is near to you but rather as an attempt to come to grips with the process of “becoming”. Nietzsche’s “falling in love with becoming” requires him to develop a new concept of a person that allows for self-affirmation or self-reliance as well as for “overcoming” the self or self-abandonment. This re-reading of personal identity goes along with a revised notion of sociality and sociability that dismisses self-complacency as blindly affirming the present or some kind of achieved status (or stasis) and seeks to do justice to the affirmation of becoming. Nietzsche’s considerations are deeply indebted to the thought of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose “The soul becomes” could have also served as a fitting title for this paper. Elucidating Nietzsche’s relation to Emerson paves the way to a systematic reconstruction of Nietzsche’s philosophy of becoming.

Keywords:   Life, Nietzsche, Soul, Becoming, Emerson

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