The Paradox of Ontologically Violent Resistance

By James Comotto, Washington College Introduction In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire refers to “an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.” (44) This violence is a sort of ontological violence because it “interferes with the individual’s ontological and historical vocation to be more fully human.” (Freire 44) In refusing to recognize the oppressed as self-affirmed beings, the oppressors perceive them as mere objects — things to be manipulated or ignored for one’s own sake. The acts of dehumanization resulting from this ontological violence enlist the oppressed in a struggle to resist. … Continue reading The Paradox of Ontologically Violent Resistance

Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on the Ethical

By Raj N. Patel .. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are two great thinkers of the 19th century who had numerous points of philosophical intersection. Both had a distaste and suspicion for religious authority and instead emphasized individualism and subjectivity. However, one main area of disagreement between them the conception of the “ethical”: Nietzsche had a great distaste toward a conventional universal moral code of behavior, whereas it is precisely this universal ethic that characterizes Kierkegaard’s “ethical stage of life” which constitutes an important presupposition for his notion of the “religious stage of life”. In this paper, I will explore Kierkegaard and … Continue reading Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on the Ethical

Ethical Transvaluation and Consequentialism

By Helen Ciacciarelli
As secularized accounts of morality’s social origins, the theories of Machiavelli and Nietzsche call for a transvaluation of morality. If we analyze their systems of thought through the distorting, reductive lens of modern connotations, we see the repugnancy of Nietzsche’s anti-Semitism or the cold, calculating, seemingly self-interested tactics of Machiavelli; as a consequence, we fail to delve deeper into the complexity of these works. This dismissive approach needs to be replaced with a detailed examination of how these figures redefine the notions of good and evil as the foundations of their philosophy and political theory. Continue reading Ethical Transvaluation and Consequentialism

Implications of the Ascetic Ideal on Knowledge and Truth

By SHANE STEINERT-THRELKELD The ascetic ideal is a seemingly self-denying force characterized by “poverty, humility, chastity” (3:8, 108) [1]. It is piety embodied, sensuality restrained. That such an ideology has flourished and recurred (as Nietzsche references with India) throughout societal development is a seeming paradox: the dominant ideal of humanity is a life-denying one. How, or rather why, then, has the ascetic ideal triumphed? Where does it come from? One easy answer is that there were no competing ideals. This answer, because it is elliptical, ultimately fails to satisfy. For instance: why did no other ideals form? Was it impossible … Continue reading Implications of the Ascetic Ideal on Knowledge and Truth

Creative Force of Ressentiment

By CUONG NGUYEN In Friedrich Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals, he states the “the slave revolt in morality begins when ressentiment itself becomes creative and gives birth to values” (GM Essay 1; 10). This idea of ressentiment is prevalent in Nietzsche’s philosophy because it corresponds to the idea of master and slave morality and, most importantly, explains how the lower slaves are able to overcome the higher masters and change the dominant morality to the slave morality. Ressentiment is the driving force that causes the anger and hatred of the slaves to rebel against the higher and noble masters. As Nietzsche … Continue reading Creative Force of Ressentiment