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Between Life and Existence. Nietzsche and French Existentialism

Entre vie et existence. Nietzsche et l’existentialisme français

Zwischen Leben und Existenz. Nietzsche und der französische Existenzialismus

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Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 by Anastasia Giardinelli

Summary

Our symposium therefore aims to close this research gap by including all relevant disciplines (philosophy, literary studies, history of ideas ...). Contributions can deal with biographical aspects of the subject (to what extent did the French existentialists really read Nietzsche?), comparisons of the respective philosophies, or with questions pertaining to the topicality of the theses and matters discussed. We endeavor to cover the travel and accommodation costs for the speakers, but cannot guarantee them at the present time.

Announcement

International symposium at the Nietzsche-Dokumentationszentrum (Nietzsche Documentation Centre), Naumburg (Germany) 31. 7. - 2. 8. 2020

Presentation

A joint event of Sartre-Gesellschaft (Sartre Society), Friedrich Nietzsche Stiftung (Friedrich Nietzsche Foundation), Nietzsche-Gesellschaft (Nietzsche Society), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für französischsprachige Philosophie (German Society for Francophone Philosophy).

It is not self-evident that Nietzsche should be considered a pioneer of French existentialism given the dearth of explicit references to him in the works of (among others) Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Nevertheless, the systematic proximity between the topics of existentialism and those that preoccupied Nietzsche is striking: Like the existentialists, Nietzsche grapples with the fundamental meaninglessness of the world, places the individual at the center of his thinking, is interested in the psychological and above all the physiological side of its existence, and criticizes one-sided approaches to the world that do not do justice to the diversity of reality. Like Nietzsche, the existentialists often experiment with forms of writing between literature and philosophy and try to broaden the philosophical vocabulary through a creative use of language.

The reception of Nietzsche’s thought by French existentialism is of interest not only because it involves philosophical questions that remain vital to this day, but also because it represents an interesting and particular case in the history of appropriations of Nietzsche’s thought. It is clearly distinct both from the postmodernist line of his reception as well as from the appropriation of this thought within the German-speaking world, for example by the Frankfurt School. In particular, Nietzsche’s individualism became a center of interest for French existentialism.

Of specific interest here is the appropriation of Nietzsche’s thought by French existentialism with regard to the oft-discussed question of its political impact. Recent studies have drawn attention to the fact that Beauvoir’s feminism takes up some Nietzschean impulses, as does Frantz Fanon’s criticism of racism. In Albert Camus’ important contribution to the philosophy of political dissidence, L’Homme révolté (1951), Nietzsche is sharply criticized, but it is obvious that it is precisely in this rejection that Camus remains connected to Nietzsche’s spirit. The same may also apply to Jean Améry’s criticism of Nietzsche’s criticism of resentment in the light of his experience as a survivor of the Shoah.

Few studies have specifically investigated the relationship between Nietzsche and French existentialism. Our symposium therefore aims to close this research gap by including all relevant disciplines (philosophy, literary studies, history of ideas ...). Contributions can deal with biographical aspects of the subject (to what extent did the French existentialists really read Nietzsche?), comparisons of the respective philosophies, or with questions pertaining to the topicality of the theses and matters discussed.

We endeavor to cover the travel and accommodation costs for the speakers, but cannot guarantee them at the present time.

Submission Guidelines

We kindly invite abstracts in one of the conference languages of up to 300 words, accompanied by a brief description of the proposer’s current institutional location and academic rank, to the address paul.stephan[at]philosophie.uni-freiburg.de

by February 29, 2020

Organizing committee

  • Paul Stephan (Freiburg/Hannover)
  • Alfred Betschart (Chur)
  • Andreas Urs Sommer (Freiburg)

Languages: German, French, and English

We look forward to interesting and relevant submissions from scholars of all qualification levels.

Places

  • Naumburg, Federal Republic of Germany

Date(s)

  • Saturday, February 29, 2020

Keywords

  • Nietzsche, existentialisme, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus, individualisme

Contact(s)

  • Paul Stephan
    courriel : paul [dot] stephan [at] philosophie [dot] uni-freiburg [dot] de

Information source

  • Stephan Paul
    courriel : paul [dot] stephan [at] philosophie [dot] uni-freiburg [dot] de

To cite this announcement

« Between Life and Existence. Nietzsche and French Existentialism », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, https://calenda.org/753700

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