Talk by Andrew Huddleston

The History and Philosophy of Science research group of the Institute of Philosophy cordially invites you to a talk by Dr. Andrew Huddleston (Birkbeck College, University of London) entitled "Nietzsche on the Health of the Soul". The talk is scheduled at 4 pm on the 9th of November.

Health (particularly of the soul [Seele]) is a central concept in Nietzsche’s work. Yet in the most philosophically-sophisticated secondary literature on Nietzsche, there has been fairly little sustained treatment of just what Nietzschean health consists in. In this paper, I aim to provide an account of some of the central marks of this psychic health: resilience, discipline, vitality, a certain positive condition of the will to power, a certain tendency toward integration, and so on. This exposition and discussion will be the main task of the paper. Then in the concluding section of the paper, I consider a line taken in some related secondary literature, which would suggest that health might ultimately be understood in formal or dynamic terms, relating to one’s will to power and/or the unity of one’s drives. I will present the beginnings of an argument against such an account of health. In focusing on the formal and dynamic side exclusively, it cannot get the full story. In particular, it seems to me to miss the normative dimension that is essential if we are to understand health properly. As I shall suggest, the core concept of Nietzschean health is not fully explicable except by reference to normative terms.

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