NIETZSCHE, BERGSON, AND THE PUNISHED: AN INQUIRY INTO THE MEANING AND APPLICATION OF JUSTICE

Open Access
Author:
Wilson, Hope Mckenzie
Area of Honors:
Philosophy
Degree:
Bachelor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Philip Christman, Thesis Supervisor
  • Brady Lee Bowman, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Nietzsche
  • Bergson
  • Justice
  • Mercantilism
  • Angela Davis
  • Narrative Ethics
  • Foucault
  • Derrida
Abstract:
I will contend, first, that Nietzsche’s “bad conscience” and the mercantile justice that comes with it develops in the morality of a society that reflects what Bergson calls the “morality of the closed society.” Secondly, I will argue that both thinkers make room for a self-overcoming of justice through connecting Nietzsche’s mercy to “creative emotions” that open “closed” justice. I will then contend that Nietzsche’s mercy reflects a radicalization of creative emotions that, instead of translating itself back into the law, must remain beyond the law. From this starting point, I will relate Bergson and Nietzsche’s analyses of justice to those put forth in the 20th century which have pushed towards at minimum a critique of economy and at its fullest, pushed towards prison abolition. The rationale for completing this project is to create a relation between Bergson and Nietzsche, the likes of which has not been done, while at the same time bringing both thinkers into conversation with contemporary social justice problems. In doing so, I hope to provide the grounds for a new narrative ethics.