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L’attualità dell’inattuale metodo genealogico nietzscheano


The subject of this paper is the untimely character in Nietzsche’s philosophy considered from a contemporary hermeneutic standpoint. Assuming that Nietzsche has worked outside the conceptual and behavioural schemes ruling his age, I will address the question of which part of his untimely thought is still timely. My aim is to show that this part is the genealogic method and that the genealogy is a way to intend knowledge characterized by a specific Weltanschauung. Indeed, the Nietzsche’s genealogy is founded on the distinction between the origin and the ultimate usefulness. What is now a determinate phenomenon or the meaning of a term is something different from and not teleologically tied to that by which it was brought about. This character of the genealogical method is what makes it an untimely and critical method. It deconstructs the concept of history and of knowledge in general, intended as something proceeding in a progressive and teleological manner through cumulative addition, because the genealogy shows that the knowledge changes since what is useful for the man, for the satisfaction and the full accomplishment of his life, changes. In this connection I will emphasize that, also because of Nietzsche’s assumption of Darwin’s evolutionist paradigm, the genealogic method turns out to be timely even under the following respects, which in my view are connected: 1) the relation between knowledge and life-will; 2) the denial of the progress of knowledge and history as well as of the attainment of final goals. As regards the first point, I will show the timely character of Nietzsche’s philosophy in light of Habermas’ anti-historicist interpretation of Nietzsche’s thought, which captures the link that tightens theory and practical interests. As regards the second point, I will emphasize the timely character of the genealogic method in connection with the contemporary evolutionary theory, particularly Gould’s concept of exaptation; this connection point out that the Nietzschean genealogic method detects the difference between the original usefullness of a structure and her timely usefullness and that between the one and the other there isn’t a causal teleologic relationship.