Philosophy Talks - 31
​NIETZSCHE on Memory and Forgetting
5/5/2017 3:00 PM
YER : Batı Kampüs, 2008

Dr. Zeynep TALAY
Koç University, Department of Philosophy

The question of how to live is a central question of religion and philosophy. In this paper I want to say something about Nietzsche’s contribution to that question, in particular the way he incorporates an awareness of the past into it. I will discuss what he says about the way nations and cultures relate to their history and suggest some comparisons with the way individuals might do so. I will emphasise the theme of the past as a burden and how to overcome this and more broadly the theme of psychic health. Two types of burden will be prominent: the burden of single events or periods; and the abundance of fact. Key to Nietzsche’s thinking about these matters is his account of the relationship between remembering, forgetting and promising. Nietzsche thought these matters were important for individuals wanting to shape their own future. Paradoxically he thought that overcoming the burdens of the past involved taking full responsibility for that past.