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Travis J. Denneson

Nietzsche's The AntiChrist (1999)

The author engages in an exposition of Nietzsche's The AntiChrist, paying particular attention to Nietzsche's argument that Christianity has poisoned philosophy with this nihilistic rejection of the body in favor of pure spirit.

Society and the Individual in Nietzsche's The Will to Power (1999)

The author illuminates the central ideas and themes in the section of The Will to Power entitled "The Will to Power as Society and Individual." The author argues that Nietzsche is quite concerned with the damaging effects of society and the Judeo-Christian moral tradition on individuals. These overpowering forces suppress a human being's natural instincts toward the acquisition of power, thus keeping a person at the level of the herd, left to make peace with mediocrity. Nietzsche sees this keeping-in-check of the individual's instincts as nothing less than a revolt against nature.

Wittgenstein on Seeing (1999)

Through an analysis of aspect-seeing in Wittgenstein's Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology, the author delves into the conceptual confusions of mind-body dualism. Denneson elucidates the Wittgensteinian point that dualists are grammatically confused when they conflate the verbs "to see" and "to interpret" forgetting that interpretation is a conscious act over and above the natural and publicly-accessible act of seeing. The dualists' grammatical confusion leads to such untenable notions as the Cartesian "brain in a vat" whereby seeing is believed to be a private activity occurring in a private hidden world. Seeing, Denneson reminds us, is a "brute fact, neither having nor requiring verification in the form of a physicalist account ... We do not each exist as a brain in a vat" but rather we exist "as a whole creature, as a conundrum made of physical material that is, in some enigmatic and marvelous way, much more than the sum of its parts."