Beauty, Art and the Artist
A look at how Europe went from Kant’s ethical idealism to Nietzsche’s will to power as manifested in fascism including evolution philosophies from Kant, to Hegel, to Heidegger, to Nietzsche.
This paper questions whether society is an imitation of philosophy or vice versa. The writer argues that it is an amalgamation of the two. He looks at the developments of philosophy between the time of Kant and Nietzsche and whether they influenced society. He believes that in the idea of beauty, art, and the artist, these otherwise disparate philosophers are all tied together and that through this unity philosophy was allowed to progress.
“How did Europe go from Kant’s moral duty to Nietzsche’s Will to Power? It seems an unfathomable leap, one that occurred more due to societal changes than due to the philosophical influence of the thinkers. It isn’t, however, that simple. Does life imitate art, or vice versa, or in this case philosophy and society. I believe it is an amalgamation of the two, with the philosophers influencing the society in varying degrees, many times tapping the undercurrent that already exists, but sometimes, with great thinkers, pushing society in wild new directions. The thinkers we have studied are these great thinkers, shaping society with their philosophies. Therefore, there is a connection in the change of the philosophical tradition that occurred from Kant to Nietzsche. The simple answer would be the death of God made this change, the resultant rise in atheism throughout Europe, but once again it is subtler and more complex than that, no Ockham’s Razor here. We must explore the reason for the death of God, and the reason Kant’s ethical idealism began to fail in the first place. Kant began as the last great Platonist. Hegel, with the vagary of his Geist opened Pandora’s box and allowed Nietzsche’s ideas to flourish. Nietzsche killed God, and Heidegger, in his own inimitable way, brought him back again as Being.”