The concepts of health and sickness in Nietzsche's philosophy

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Turkey

Approval Date: 2009


Supervisor: BARIŞ PARKAN


The purpose of the present study is to assess the role of the concepts of health and sickness in Nietzsche’s philosophy. While doing this, our basic presupposition will be that these concepts owe their special place to their being the new criteria for Nietzsche’s project of revaluation of all existing values. Nietzsche was philosophizing in the face of the crisis of 19th century Europe, that is, nihilism. According to him, Western traditional thought is based on an otherworldly oriented conception of life the values of which are nothing but a negation of life. Although these values had served man’s justification of living for a long time, they reached their expiration by the ‘death of god’ resulting from the materialistic tendency of the flourishing natural sciences of the 19th century. The ‘death of god’ paved the way for a devaluation of once most valuable values, of which the most notable are ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Thus, Nietzsche’s project of revaluation needs new evaluative criteria as well, which is ‘health’ and ‘sickness’. In this study, I will argue that, Nietzsche situates a physiological understanding of these concepts at the very heart of his revaluation and their somehow metaphorical application to culture and modern society is based on a physiological conception of them as well.