Understanding Genealogy: History, Power, and the Self

Understanding Genealogy: History, Power, and the Self © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/187226308X335976 Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2008) 295–314 www.brill.nl/jph Understanding Genealogy: History, Power, and the Self * Martin Saar Institute for Political Science, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany saar@em.uni-frankfurt.de Abstract Th e aim of this article is to clarify the relation between genealogy and history and to suggest a methodological reading of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals . I try to determine genealogy’s specifi c range of objects, specifi c mode of explication, and specifi c textual form. Genealogies in general can be thought of as drastic narratives of the emergence and transformations of forms of subjectivity related to power, told with the intention to induce doubt and self-refl ection in exactly those readers whose (collective) history is narrated. Th e main interest in understanding the con- cept of genealogy and revisiting Nietzsche’s introduction of it into philosophy lies in understanding how a certain way of writing and a certain textual practice func- tion that successfully call into question current judgments, institutions and prac- tices. Nietzsche’s example, I argue, can provide a paradigm for a critical practice that accounts for historical processes of subject formation in terms http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Philosophy of History Brill

Understanding Genealogy: History, Power, and the Self

Journal of the Philosophy of History, Volume 2 (3): 295 – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2008 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1872-261X
eISSN
1872-2636
D.O.I.
10.1163/187226308X335976
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2008 DOI: 10.1163/187226308X335976 Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (2008) 295–314 www.brill.nl/jph Understanding Genealogy: History, Power, and the Self * Martin Saar Institute for Political Science, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany saar@em.uni-frankfurt.de Abstract Th e aim of this article is to clarify the relation between genealogy and history and to suggest a methodological reading of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals . I try to determine genealogy’s specifi c range of objects, specifi c mode of explication, and specifi c textual form. Genealogies in general can be thought of as drastic narratives of the emergence and transformations of forms of subjectivity related to power, told with the intention to induce doubt and self-refl ection in exactly those readers whose (collective) history is narrated. Th e main interest in understanding the con- cept of genealogy and revisiting Nietzsche’s introduction of it into philosophy lies in understanding how a certain way of writing and a certain textual practice func- tion that successfully call into question current judgments, institutions and prac- tices. Nietzsche’s example, I argue, can provide a paradigm for a critical practice that accounts for historical processes of subject formation in terms

Journal

Journal of the Philosophy of HistoryBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2008

Keywords: NIETZSCHE; SUBJECT; POWER; GENEALOGY; FOUCAULT; CRITIQUE

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