Homo Natura: Nietzsche, Philosophical Anthropology and Biopolitics

Homo Natura: Nietzsche, Philosophical Anthropology and Biopolitics

by Vanessa Lemm

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Overview

Nietzsche coins the enigmatic term homo natura to capture his understanding of the human being as a creature of nature and tasks philosophy with the renaturalisation of humanity. Following Foucault’s critique of the human sciences, Vanessa Lemm discusses the reception of Nietzsche’s naturalism in philosophical anthropology, psychoanalysis and gender studies. She offers an original reading of homo natura that brings back the ancient Greek idea of nature and sexuality as creative chaos and of the philosophical life as outspoken and embodied truth, perhaps best exemplified by the Cynics’ embrace of social and cultural transformation.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781474466714
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publication date: 03/12/2020
Series: Incitements
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.32(w) x 7.48(h) x (d)

About the Author

Vanessa Lemm is Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Flinders University, Australia. She is an internationally recognised expert on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and has published widely on Nietzsche, biopolitics and contemporary political philosophy. She is the author of Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life (Fordham University Press, 2014), Nietzsche’s Animal Philosophy: Culture, Politics and the Animality of the Human Being (Fordham University Press, 2009) and Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols (EUP, forthcoming).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; Introduction: Who Is Homo Natura?; 1. Kantianism, Naturalism and Philosophical Anthropology; 2. Humanism beyond Anthropocentrism; 3. Psychoanalysis and the Deconstruction of Human Nature; 4. Biopolitics, Sexuality and Social Transformation; Conclusion: Posthumanism and Community of Life; Appendix; References; Index

What People are Saying About This

This book offers what may well be the finest appreciation to date of Nietzsche’s relation to philosophical anthropology. It is certainly the most provocative. Lemm makes a strong case for reading Nietzsche as a thinker of the historicity of human nature, and in so doing she mounts an important challenge to simple-minded naturalistic and positivistic appreciations of him. The book abounds in fresh insights and suggests new and novel directions for thinking. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in the contemporary pertinence of Nietzsche’s modes of thinking, as well as in issues concerning bio-politics and in the possibilities of post-humanist thinking.

Utrecht University Rosi Braidotti

Erudite and provocative, this book breathes new life into Nietzsche’s insight that there is no essence to human beings, other than their capacity for transformation, metamorphosis and becoming. Replacing the binary opposition of nature to culture with a dynamic continuum, Nietzsche challenges us to think differently about what it means to be human. Lemm argues forcefully for Nietzsche’s inspirational role in contemporary debates on new materialism, posthumanism and the re-naturalisation of philosophy. An illuminating and timely intervention.

Vanderbilt University Kelly Oliver

Lemm’s book is highly original and makes a stunning contribution to contemporary Nietzsche scholarship. In fact, the book shows how Nietzsche’s influence on contemporary philosophy goes far beyond what others have imagined. This is a must read for anyone serious about understanding Nietzsche’s thought and his legacy.

Keith Ansell-Pearson

This book offers what may well be the finest appreciation to date of Nietzsche’s relation to philosophical anthropology. It is certainly the most provocative. Lemm makes a strong case for reading Nietzsche as a thinker of the historicity of human nature, and in so doing she mounts an important challenge to simple-minded naturalistic and positivistic appreciations of him. The book abounds in fresh insights and suggests new and novel directions for thinking. It will appeal to anyone with an interest in the contemporary pertinence of Nietzsche’s modes of thinking, as well as in issues concerning bio-politics and in the possibilities of post-humanist thinking.

author of 99 Theses for the Revaluation of Value&# Brian Massumi

In Homo Natura Vanessa Lemm delves into Nietzsche's enigmatic, and often misunderstood, exhoration "to place the human back among the animals." With rigourous scholarship and original analysis, Lemm brings us to an understanding of what "naturalism" this is: not one advancing a biological reductionism. To the contrary, it finds in nature a principle of creativity and generativity that carries a surplus of life over any existing order, so that in returning to nature the human can exceed itself. Among its many merits, Lemm's reinterpretation of the body in Nietzsche's posthumanism offers a provocative reading of the centrality of gender and sexuality to the most radical aspects of his thinking. Homo Natura is a key text for those interested in what Nietzsche's philosophy can offer for contemporary feminism and Anthropocene thought.

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