Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Philosophy

Major Professor

Stephen Turner

Keywords

borderlands, colonialism, mestizaje, race, ressentiment, violence

Abstract

This project attempts a joint reading of the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Frantz Fanon. This task, however, is problematic because this body of work is in tension or contradictory. These problems are so acute that a careful reading method is necessary to successfully carry out this reading. In order to facilitate this reading I elaborate and apply a particular philosophical methodology, Mestizaje. The methodology is intended to address works that are contradictory by attempting to read the texts as they are presented while at the same time balancing their positions. The goal is to honestly reflect the thought of each thinker and to illuminate a perspective that incorporates but transcends their respective positions.

What the application of Methodological Mestizaje finds is that while Nietzsche and Fanon stand in tension to one another, their respective works share several interesting and important convergences. In particular, they share thoughts on ressentiment, morality and violence. With ressentiment, Nietzsche creates the concept and two manifestations of it, while Fanon works with the concept to develop a third manifestation of this form of moral valuation. Furthermore, their works share the view that morality and violence are fundamental to understanding the origin, development and possible overcoming of a morality.

This work contributes to the area of Africana Studies by offering a picture of Nietzsche that addresses concerns of these areas of study. Additionally, Methodological Mestizaje intends to follow in the tradition of non-ideal theory. Finally, while each thinker contributes to the discussion of ressentiment, morality and violence, their positions taken together reveal a broad and thorough perspective on colonialism and its concomitant morality, including their inception, and consequent progression and persistence in the current world.

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