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Natural selection, levelling, and eternal recurrence : how Nietzsche addressed Darwinism in his effort to surpass the body-mind-dichotomy

Sven Gellens (UGent) and Benjamin Biebuyck (UGent)
(2021) SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA. 36(1). p.139-158
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Abstract
This paper addresses the ongoing debate on Nietzsche’s relationship to Darwinism, pursuing the specific meaning of Nietzsche’s integrative account of evolution in his writings. Exploring the evolutionary vocabulary in his discussion of the will to power and his criticism of Malthus’s concept of adaptation, the article claims that the so-called explicit Anti-Darwin position in Nietzsche’s late writings is part of his encompassing attempt to surpass the narrow margins of a strictly anatomical-biological or socio-Darwinist concept of evolution. That Nietzsche does so by using biological vocabulary shows his eagerness to map the impact of biological and cultural forces on humankind’s evolution. This article wants to put the contemporary debate on culture and evolution in a broader historical perspective. At the same time, it also wants to contribute to a better understanding of Nietzsche’s philosophical anthropology, and in particular, of his changing ideas on weakness and strength, on the intellect and eternal recurrence as a principle of selection – ideas Nietzsche developed in his effort to surpass the traditional dichotomy of body and mind.
Keywords
Evolution, Darwin, Nietzsche, eternal recurrence, will to power, body, adaptation, mind, selection, CULTURAL-EVOLUTION

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MLA
Gellens, Sven, and Benjamin Biebuyck. “Natural Selection, Levelling, and Eternal Recurrence : How Nietzsche Addressed Darwinism in His Effort to Surpass the Body-Mind-Dichotomy.” SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA, vol. 36, no. 1, 2021, pp. 139–58, doi:10.21464/sp36109.
APA
Gellens, S., & Biebuyck, B. (2021). Natural selection, levelling, and eternal recurrence : how Nietzsche addressed Darwinism in his effort to surpass the body-mind-dichotomy. SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA, 36(1), 139–158. https://doi.org/10.21464/sp36109
Chicago author-date
Gellens, Sven, and Benjamin Biebuyck. 2021. “Natural Selection, Levelling, and Eternal Recurrence : How Nietzsche Addressed Darwinism in His Effort to Surpass the Body-Mind-Dichotomy.” SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA 36 (1): 139–58. https://doi.org/10.21464/sp36109.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Gellens, Sven, and Benjamin Biebuyck. 2021. “Natural Selection, Levelling, and Eternal Recurrence : How Nietzsche Addressed Darwinism in His Effort to Surpass the Body-Mind-Dichotomy.” SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA 36 (1): 139–158. doi:10.21464/sp36109.
Vancouver
1.
Gellens S, Biebuyck B. Natural selection, levelling, and eternal recurrence : how Nietzsche addressed Darwinism in his effort to surpass the body-mind-dichotomy. SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA. 2021;36(1):139–58.
IEEE
[1]
S. Gellens and B. Biebuyck, “Natural selection, levelling, and eternal recurrence : how Nietzsche addressed Darwinism in his effort to surpass the body-mind-dichotomy,” SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 139–158, 2021.
@article{8677749,
  abstract     = {{This paper addresses the ongoing debate on Nietzsche’s relationship to Darwinism, pursuing the specific meaning of Nietzsche’s integrative account of evolution in his writings. Exploring the evolutionary vocabulary in his discussion of the will to power and his criticism of Malthus’s concept of adaptation, the article claims that the so-called explicit Anti-Darwin position in Nietzsche’s late writings is part of his encompassing attempt to surpass the narrow margins of a strictly anatomical-biological or socio-Darwinist concept of evolution. That Nietzsche does so by using biological vocabulary shows his eagerness to map the impact of biological and cultural forces on humankind’s evolution. This article wants to put the contemporary debate on culture and evolution in a broader historical perspective. At the same time, it also wants to contribute to a better understanding of Nietzsche’s philosophical anthropology, and in particular, of his changing ideas on weakness and strength, on the intellect and eternal recurrence as a principle of selection – ideas Nietzsche developed in his effort to surpass the traditional dichotomy of body and mind.}},
  author       = {{Gellens, Sven and Biebuyck, Benjamin}},
  issn         = {{0352-7875}},
  journal      = {{SYNTHESIS PHILOSOPHICA}},
  keywords     = {{Evolution,Darwin,Nietzsche,eternal recurrence,will to power,body,adaptation,mind,selection,CULTURAL-EVOLUTION}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{139--158}},
  title        = {{Natural selection, levelling, and eternal recurrence : how Nietzsche addressed Darwinism in his effort to surpass the body-mind-dichotomy}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.21464/sp36109}},
  volume       = {{36}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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