Critical Affinities

Nietzsche and African American Thought

Edited by Jacqueline Scott & A. Todd Franklin
Foreword by Robert Gooding-Williams

Subjects: African American Studies
Series: SUNY series, Philosophy and Race
Paperback : 9780791468623, 287 pages, September 2006
Hardcover : 9780791468616, 287 pages, September 2006

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Table of contents

Robert Gooding-Williams
Note on Abbreviations
Introduction: The Art of the Cultural Physician
Part I: Diagnoses
1. Kindred Spirits: Nietzsche and Locke as Progenitors of Axiological Liberation
A. Todd Franklin
2. Nietzsche, Ressentiment, Lynching
John Pittman
3. Double Consciousness and Second Sight
Kathleen Marie Higgins
4. Of Tragedy and the Blues in an Age of Decadence: Thoughts on Nietzsche and African America
Lewis R. Gordon
Part II: Prescriptions
5. Ecce Negro: How To Become a Race Theorist
Paul C. Taylor
6. Nietzsche’s Proto-Phenomenological Approach to the Theoretical Problem of Race
Daniel W. Conway
7. The Price of the Ticket: A Genealogy and Revaluation of Race
Jacqueline Scott
Part III: Regimens of Recovery
8. Unlikely Illuminations: Nietzsche and Frederick Douglass on Power, Struggle, and the Aisthesis of Freedom
Christa Davis Acampora
9. Masculinity and Existential Freedom: Wright, Ellison, Morrison, and Nietzsche
Cynthia Willett
10. Why Nietzsche (Sometimes) Can’t Sing the Blues, or Davis, Nietzsche, and the Social Embeddedness of Aesthetic Judgments
James Winchester
List of Contributors

Explores convergences between the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and African American thought.


Critical Affinities is the first book to explore the multifaceted relationship between the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and various dimensions of African American thought. Exploring the connections between these two unlikely interlocutors, the contributors focus on unmasking and understanding the root causes and racially inflected symptoms of various manifestations of cultural malaise. They contemplate the operative warrant for reconstituted conceptions of racial identity and recognize the existential and social recuperative potential of the will to power. In so doing, they simultaneously foster and exemplify a nuanced understanding of what both traditions regard as "the art of the cultural physician." The contributors connote daring scholarly attempts to explicate the ways in which clarifying the critical affinities between Nietzsche and various expressions of African American thought not only enriches our understanding of each, but also enhances our ability to realize the broader ends of advancing the prospects for social and psychological flourishing.

Jacqueline Scott is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University of Chicago. A. Todd Franklin is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College.