MPhil Ch0: Nietzsche on Memory

Nietzsche On Memory

Timothy Lawrence Short

Submitted to UCL for the degree of Master of Philosophical Studies

October 30, 2013


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Thanks to Tom Stern, who supervised this thesis.

Declaration

I, Timothy Lawrence Short, confirm that the work presented in this thesis is my own. Where information has been derived from other sources, I confirm that this has been indicated in the thesis.


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Abstract

It is argued that Nietzsche recognises multiple types and roles for memory. These types and roles must be understood in order to grasp some of his themes. The types are Individual and Organic Memory. The Individual type is composed of Passive Memory – further divided into Imposed and Inhibitory Memory – and Active Memory. The passive aspects are associated with Nietzsche’s concept of Slave morality and reactivity. The active aspects are associated with Nietzsche’s more positively evaluated, stronger types of individual. Organic Memory is a separate type of memory also present in humans. It is unlike what we commonly understand by the term ‘memory’, for several reasons. It reaches back to past generations: some of our instincts now result from ‘memories’ of actions of our ancestors. Further, it is not restricted to humans. Two of Nietzsche’s key themes are Dionysos versus Apollo and his Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence. Both are ways of understanding our psychology and its origins. These themes are examined in the context of his typology of memory. It is argued that the Übermensch’s ability to affirm the Doctrine is due to his possession of more of the active type of memory. The synthesis of Dionysian and Apollonian drives to form the tragic and then the theoretical is discussed via the suggestion that an excess of Passive Memory produces the resulting deleterious aspects. The ethical project can be seen as a call to use memory more actively. Nietzsche is often invoked in the context of discussions of Collective Memory. It is shown that this is a mistake since Nietzsche does not in fact recognise such a memory type.

Main text word count: 29999


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Contents

Declaration 3

Abstract 5

1 Introduction 9

1.1 Importance Of Memory To Nietzsche………………. 11

2 Types And Roles Of Memory In Nietzsche 13

2.1 Introduction…………………………… 13
2.1.1 Valorisation……………………….. 13
2.1.2 Multiple Roles Of Memory ……………….. 15
2.2 Individual Memory……………………….. 16
2.2.1 Passive/Reactive Aspects Of Individual Memory . . . . . . . . 16
2.2.2 Active Aspects Of Individual Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.3 Organic Memory ………………………… 33

3 The Role Of Nietzsche’s Memory Types 41
3.1 Dionysos Versus Apollo …………………….. 42
3.1.1 Nietzsche’s Claims In BT ………………… 42
3.1.2 Links To Memory ……………………. 44
3.2 Doctrine And Übermensch……………………. 51
3.2.1 Doctrine Of Eternal Recurrence……………… 51
3.2.2 The Übermensch …………………….. 54
3.2.3 Importance Of Memory …………………. 55

4 A Collective Memory Type? 59
4.1 Introduction…………………………… 59
4.2 What Is Collective Memory? ………………….. 60
4.3 Does Nietzsche Recognise Collective Memory?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
4.3.1 Historical Sense……………………… 63
4.3.2 Indebtedness of Societies…………………. 69


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5 Conclusion 75

Bibliography ……………………………. 76

Author: Tim Short

I went to Imperial College in 1988 for a BSc(hons) in Physics. I then went back to my hometown, Bristol, for a PhD in Particle Physics. This was written in 1992 on the ZEUS experiment which was located at the HERA accelerator in Hamburg (http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1354624/). I spent the next four years as a post-doc in Hamburg. I learned German and developed a fondness for the language and people. I spent a couple of years doing technical sales for a US computer company in Ireland. In 1997, I returned to London to become an investment banker, joining the legendary Principal Finance Group at Nomura. After a spell at Paribas, I moved to Credit Suisse First Boston. I specialized in securitization, leading over €9bn of transactions. My interest in philosophy began in 2006, when I read David Chalmers's "The Conscious Mind." My reaction, apart from fascination, was "he has to be wrong, but I can't see why"! I then became an undergraduate in Philosophy at UCL in 2007. In 2010, I was admitted to graduate school, also at UCL. I wrote my Master's on the topic of "Nietzsche on Memory" (http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1421265/). Also during this time, I published a popular article on Sherlock Holmes (http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1430371/2/194-1429-1-PB.pdf). I then began work on the Simulation Theory account of Theory of Mind. This led to my second PhD on philosophical aspects of that topic; this was awarded by UCL in March 2016 (http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1475972/ -- currently embargoed for copyright reasons). The psychological version of this work formed my book "Simulation Theory". My second book, "The Psychology Of Successful Trading: Behavioural Strategies For Profitability" is in production at Taylor and Francis and will be published in December 2017. It will discuss how cognitive biases affect investment decisions and how knowing this can make us better traders by understanding ourselves and other market participants more fully. I am currently drafting my third book, wherein I will return to more purely academic philosophical psychology, on "Theory of Mind in Abnormal Psychology." Education: I have five degrees, two in physics and three in philosophy. Areas of Research / Professional Expertise: Particle physics, Monte Carlo simulation, Nietzsche (especially psychological topics), phenomenology, Theory of Mind, Simulation Theory Personal Interests: I am a bit of an opera fanatic and I often attend wine tastings. I follow current affairs, especially in their economic aspect. I started as a beginner at the London Piano Institute in August 2015 and passed Grade One in November 2016!

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