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Prophets of Extremity

Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida

Allan Megill (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 423 pages
ISBN: 9780520060289
May 1987
$33.95, £24.95
In this book, the author presents an interpretation of four thinkers: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. In an attempt to place these thinkers within the wider context of the crisis-oriented modernism and postmodernism that have been the source of much of what is most original and creative in twentieth-century art and thought.
Preface
Key to Abbreviations
Introduction

Part I: Friedrich Nietzsche as Aestheticist
1. Nietzsche and the Aesthetic
2. Nietzsche and Myth

Part II: Martin Heidegger and the Idealism of Nostalgia
3. Heidegger and Crisis
4. Heidegger's Aestheticism

Part III: Michel Foucalt and the Activism of Discourse
5. Foucault and Structuralism
6. Beyond Structuralism

Part IV: On the Meaning of Jacques Derrida
7. The Deconstruction of Crisis
8. The Deconstruction of Art

Conclusion
Notes
A Note on Texts
Index
Allan Megill is professor of history at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Prophets of Extremity: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida and Karl Marx: The Burden of Reason (Why Marx Rejected Politics and the Market), and editor of Rethinking Objectivity.
"The 'extremities' of the four thinkers anatomized in this lucid, learned and commendably skeptical study--Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida--are crises. But they are crises of a very different order from those we would freely acknowledge to define our present condition: economic, environmental, moral, political. In the frantic self-portrait titled 'Ecce Homo,' Nietzsche warns of 'a crisis without equal on earth . . . against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far.' In a late interview, Heidegger said, 'Only a god can save us.' . . . Save us from what, for what? Allan Megill, an associate professor of history at the University of Iowa, is fascinated by the cataclysmic diagnosis of his four extremists, but also dubious."--Arthur C. Danto, New York Times

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