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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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Nietzsche and the Nineteenth-Century Debate on Teleology

Nietzsche and the Nineteenth-Century Debate on Teleology

(p.67) 4 Nietzsche and the Nineteenth-Century Debate on Teleology
Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life

Mariana A. Cruz

Fordham University Press

In this article, I outline Nietzsche’s position on the teleological explanations of organic life. I focus on the analysis of the concept of Zweckmässigkeit trying to show that its critique involves questioning not only the idea of goal but adequacy and functionality as well, ubiquitous in biological explanations and directly linked, in Adolf Trendelenburg’s philosophy, to the search for a scientifically valid perspective for a foundation of morality. My analysis is centered on Aristotelian explanations drawn from Adolf Tredelenburg’s philosophy and on the biological insights drawn from Johannes Müller. Furthermore, I develop Nietzsche’s critique of their scientific-philosophical position by considering certain views taken from cellular theories and the Pre-platonic philosophers. My paper focuses on fragments from the early writings of Nietzsche’s philosophy between 1867 and 1873, –posthumously published– in particular Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalt der Griechen and Zur Teleologie.

Keywords:   Nietzsche, Trendelenburg, Teleology, Kant

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