James Madison University, EE. UU.
Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, received his PhD from The New School for Social Research in New York. The work of Professor Geniusas addresses the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Hegel, James, Marion, and others. He is currently preparing a book manuscript entitled The Origins of the Horizon in Husserl’s Phenomenology.
On the Bodily Life of Subjectivity
The task of this presentation is that of showing that Nietzsche’s destructive critique of the philosophical, scientific and religious conceptions of the subject ultimately leads to the endorsement of subjectivity that is conceived in terms of a hierarchical interplay of bodily drives, instincts, and needs. My presentation is thus divided into three sections. In the first part, I will provide an overview of the central aspects of Nietzsche’s critique of the subject. In the second part, I will proceed to identify the main function that this critique serves. In the third and final part, I will argue that the conception of the subject Nietzsche defends and endorses is to be conceived in terms of a bodily multiplicity.
I will argue that much of the ambiguity that surrounds the problematic of the subject in Nietzsche’s narrative relies upon the confusion of two different senses that pertain to the notion «subject». To be a subject can either mean to be subject to someone by control and dependence, or to be tied to one’s own identity by self-knowledge. I will call the first qualification the term’s moral sense, while to the second one I will refer as the subject’s epistemological sense. I will argue that Nietzsche’s critique of the subject is first and foremost built upon the rejection of the epistemological sense, while to the second one I will refer as the subject’s epistemological sense. I will argue that Nietzsche’s critique of the subject is first and foremost built upon the rejection of the epistemological notion of the subject. And even though Nietzsche’s critique also extends into the moral framework, I will argue that the notion of the subject Nietzsche’s narrative endorses is precisely a moral one: Nietzsche’s subject is a multiplicity of subjectivities that stand in relations of control and subjection to each other. The ultimate task of this analysis is that of showing how such a multiplicity of selves should be conceived.
I will argue that Nietzsche’s identification of subjectivity with the body and his insistence that subjectivity is multiplicity address one and the same phenomenon: it is the bodily subjectivity that is to be conceived as multiplicity. The problem with such a conception, however, is that it all too easily can be subjected to the charges of relativism and nihilism. I will argue that Nietzsche’s texts provide us with the necessary resources to answer these objections. Responding to these two objections will help me bring my analysis to its end: in the final analysis, I will argue that Nietzsche’s subjectivity entails a double affirmation, conceived as the affirmation of the ruling drive and of the style of the subject’s becoming. My conclusion will draw on the hermeneutical implications of such a position: I will suggest that such a notion of selfhood can be conceived as both the text and its interpretation. On this view, subjectivity as endorsed by Nietzsche turns out to be a never-ending self searching and self-creating narrative.notion of the subject. And even though Nietzsche’s critique also extends into the moral