Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Stocking, Charles

2nd Supervisor

Boulter, Jonathan



For Nietzsche, the subject is aesthetically creative, meaning that the subject is a dynamic process of self-transformation that involves not only the subject’s sense of self, but the meaning of their world. In my first chapter, I look at "On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense" to show how Nietzsche deconstructs rationalist epistemology in order to show that knowledge and meaning are an aesthetic activity. In my second chapter, I look at "On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life" to argue that Nietzsche sees creativity as a passionate, sublime overflow, a rupture with the present that artistically reconfigures meaning. In my last chapter, I turn to Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, comparing key passages to Nietzsche’s analysis of Greek tragic drama in The Birth of Tragedy in order to outline the structure of the “mystical intuition” at the core of Greek thought in the tragic age.