The University of Warwick, Inglaterra
«A Study in Ambiguity: Nietzsche and Merleau-Ponty on the Question of Truth», is the title of his thesis. His supervisor is Keith Ansell-Pearson.
Nietzsche’s Critique of Natural Sciences and the Physics of Incorporation
In this paper, I wish to offer some remarks regarding Nietzsche’s critique of natural sciences and the conception of life that it entails. I will do so through an examination of Nietzsche’s concepts of amor fati and incorporation (Einverleibung). Nietzsche’s approval of science until the Gay Science is polemical: science is Nietzsche’s favoured partner in rejecting moral prejudices. However, the discovery of the common roots of morality and science in asceticism led Nietzsche to expose the prejudices of science itself. These prejudices stem from the structure of all judgment (be it moral, religious or conceptual) insofar as they rely on a false division of reality into objective, particular entities. Overcoming the structure of judgment then becomes a central concern of Nietzsche’s after the Gay Science. It is in this context that one should understand the thought of amor fati. As we are told in many places, love (amor) must be understood in opposition to judgment. This has consequences for the concept of Fate, which is first presented in conjunction with love in amor fati. In Plutarch and Emerson, Nietzsche encountered fate as the element of the consubstantiality of self and world: fate is reality insofar as it affects an individual. It is only against such a background that one can establish that scientific entities result from an arbitrary solidification of arbitrarily defined «pieces of fate». As it has been pointed out, this critique of the object of science against the background of fate is coupled in Nietzsche with a critique of its subject, because fate is also the name of a reality that affects us from the inside (one’s «granite of fate»). The concept of amor fati thus appears as an attempt to overcome traditional natural science towards what one might call a physics of fate: the new approach of fate proposed by Nietzsche is in fact both a transposition of the natural object into the world of the subject, and a reverse transposition of the subject into the world of the object. If judgment must be understood as differenciation, and insofar as fate is understood as the co-apartenance of self and world, we must understand amor fati as Nietzsche’s attempt towards the de-differenciation of self and world. At the very same time as the elaboration of amor fati, Nietzsche developed a concept designed to take this physics of de-differentiation further: incorporation.
By transcending the internal/external divide and turning the different into the same, incorporation reduces all objects to one unique substance (drives) and thus opens to a physics cleared of fictional distinctions. Nietzsche describes the mechanics of incorporation as a process of re-direction of the incorporated drives in conformity to the direction of the incorporator. It is in this context that one may propose a sketch of amor fati as incorporative device. As de-differentiation, amor fati makes the individual capable of incorporating and being incorporated. Indeed, when envisaged in connection to fatalism, incorporation is given a double dimension: successful incorporation means the unification of the self (as unification to one’s «granite of fate») as well as the incorporation of one’s self to fate. This double incorporation is key to the economy of life which seeks the maximum harmony of all drives.