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Nietzsche and Buddhism : A Study in Nihilism and Ironic Affinities - Robert G. Morrison

Nietzsche and Buddhism

A Study in Nihilism and Ironic Affinities

Hardcover Published: 1st April 1997
ISBN: 9780198235569
Number Of Pages: 384

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Robert Morrison offers an illuminating comparative study of two linked and interactive traditions that have had great influence in twentieth-century thought:Buddhism and the philosophy of Nietzsche. Nietzsche saw a direct historical parallel between the cultural situation of his own time and of the India of the Buddha's age: the emergence of nihilism as a consequence of loss of traditional belief. Nietzche's fear, still resonant today, was that Europe was about to enter a nihilistic era, in which people, no longer able to believe in the old religious and moral values, would feel themselves adrift in a meaningless cosmos where life seems to have no particular purpose or end. Though he admired Buddhism as a noble and humane response to this situation, Nietzsche came to think that it was wrong in not seeking to overcome nihilism, and constituted a threat to the future of Europe. It was in reaction against nihilism that he forged his own affirmative philosophy, aiming at the transvaluation of all values. Nietzsche's view of Buddhism has been very influential in the West; Dr Morrison gives a careful critical examination of this view, argues that in fact Buddhism is far from being a nihilistic religion, and offers a counterbalancing Buddhist view of the Nietzschean enterprise. He draws out the affinities and conceptual similarities between the two, and concludes that, ironically, Nietzsche's aim of self-overcoming is akin to the Buddhist notion of citta-bhavana (mind-cultivation). Had Nietzsche lived in an age where Buddhism was better understood, Morrison suggests, he might even have found in the Buddha a model of his hypothetical Ubermensch.

Industry Reviews

This is an important book; a comparative study which explores convincingly and in detail the remarkable similarities and areas of philosophic agreement between Nietzsche and Buddhism .... engagingly written. * International Journal for Philosophy of Religion *

Abbreviationsp. ix
Nietzsche's Buddhismp. 1
Introductionp. 3
Nietzsche on Buddhismp. 7
Is Buddhism a Form of 'Passive Nihilism'?p. 30
How Did Nietzsche Reach his Understanding of Buddhism?p. 52
Ironic Affinitiesp. 61
Introductionp. 63
Nietzsche's View of Manp. 64
The Buddha as a 'Profound Physiologist'p. 96
Nietzsche's 'Little Things', the 'Body' and the Buddhist Khandhasp. 103
'God's Shadow' and the Buddhist 'No-Self' Doctrinep. 114
'The Will to Power' and 'Thirst'p. 132
'Self-Overcoming' and 'Mind-Development'p. 155
'Learning to See' and 'Seeing and Knowing Things as they Really Are'p. 197
Epiloguep. 223
Bibliographyp. 227
Glossaryp. 243
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198235569
ISBN-10: 0198235569
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 1st April 1997
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.1 x 14.73  x 2.34
Weight (kg): 0.46