Vanessa Lemm on Nietzsche: Truth, Embodiment and Consciousness (IPT Talk Series 2022/23)

Giannis Stamatellos's picture
March 23, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Intellectual History, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Psychology
Dear colleagues, 
Apologies for cross-posting. 
The Institute of Philosophy and Technology is pleased to invite you to the following event

IPT Talk Series 2022-23

23 March 2023, 20.00-21.00 (Greece time) (Online)

Vanessa Lemm
(University of Melbourne)
Nietzsche: Truth, Embodiment and Consciousness

Against those who see in “consciousness” the highest stage of human development, Nietzsche praises the body as infinitely superior, as a “marvellous bringing together of the most multiple life” (KSA 11:37[4] 11.576). Nietzsche recommends following the “guiding-thread of the body” in all matters of scientific inquiry (KSA 11:26[432] 11.266), especially in relation to matters of the spirit (KSA 11:26[374] 11.249) and claims that “the body is a much more remarkable thought than the old ‘soul’” (KSA 11:36[35] 11.565). Nietzsche’s treatment of the question of the value of truth for life follows the “guiding-thread of the body”: for him, truth is not a function of the intellect’s capacity for representation, but rather of the body’s capacity for incorporation. From the perspective of the body, the crucial question of truth becomes whether and how can truth be embodied or incorporated. Only when truth is lived and is manifested physically in and through one’s body does it constitute true knowledge rather than mere illusion. In the Platonic understanding of philosophy, life is indeed associated with error, and that is why truth can be attained only by the intellect transcending the body in the form of an immortal soul or spirit, and philosophical life becomes the practice of learning how to die. But once truth is understood from the perspective of life, as Nietzsche does, then the question becomes: how can life overcome its reliance on error and become truthful to itself while at the same affirming life in its totality. In my talk, I will present Nietzsche’s conception of the body as the starting point for a new understanding of truth, consciousness and what it means to lead a truthful life.
                                                                                          Please register here
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Giannis Stamatellos, PhD
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