Getting over nihilism: Nietzsche, Heidegger and the appropriation of tragedy

  • James Crooks


The paper examines what might best be called thestructural influence of Greek tragedy on Heidegger's interpretation/criticism of Nietzsche and explores briefly some of its consequences. In doing so, it develops three interrelated theses: 1) that situating the definitively modern experience of nihilism in the intellectual paradigm of 19th-century German Hellenism, both Nietzsche and Heidegger appropriate tragedy as the narrative model of Western history, 2) that what Heidegger calls their confrontation orAuseinandersetzung arises at the level of ‘metaphysical’ dramaturgy (i.e., filling out and realizing the model), and 3) that the position that emerges out of thisAuseinandersetzung leads him back to certain discursive paradigms of Plato and Aristotle. The motivation of these arguments is to show that, ‘metaphysical’ differences notwithstanding, bot Nietzsche and Heidegger describe what they take to be the crisis of the modern world in classical terms.


Classical Tradition Greek Tragedy Professional Classicist Loeb Classical Library Narrative Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Crooks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBishops UniversityLennovilleCanada

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