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By Rene Descartes

By way of calling every little thing into doubt, Descartes laid the foundations of recent philosophy. He deduced that humans include minds and our bodies; that those are completely unique ''substances''; that God exists and that He guarantees we will belief the facts of our senses. Ushering within the ''scientific revolution'' of Galileo and Newton, Descartes' principles swept apart old and medieval traditions of philosophical tools and research.

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The Dionysian impulse helps the individual to confront life, but instead of removing the immediate terror of life, it clothes this terror in a sense of bliss. This is achieved through the Dionysian capacity to reveal a further dimension of reality that would otherwise remain inaccessible to us: it is in the realm of collectivity (where individuality forms a cosmic unity with nature) that we feel bliss. This realm, or ‘primal unity’ as Nietzsche calls it, is equivalent to the Schopenhauerian ‘Will’ or Kantian ‘thing-in-itself’, in that it constitutes mankind’s true and real nature.

The extremes themselves are . . obliterated to the point of similarity’ (TI, ‘Expeditions of an Untimely Man’, 37). It is different for the Übermensch: ‘It is in precisely this compass of space, in this access to opposites that Zarathustra feels himself to be the highest species of all existing things’ (EH, ‘TSZ’, 6). The Übermensch, however, does not merely represent opposites in their multitude; rather, he symbolizes the unification and synthesis of opposites that is appropriate to the further promotion of creativity.

This is achieved through the Dionysian capacity to reveal a further dimension of reality that would otherwise remain inaccessible to us: it is in the realm of collectivity (where individuality forms a cosmic unity with nature) that we feel bliss. This realm, or ‘primal unity’ as Nietzsche calls it, is equivalent to the Schopenhauerian ‘Will’ or Kantian ‘thing-in-itself’, in that it constitutes mankind’s true and real nature. And it is through the Dionysian impulse that man blends with the authentic nature of reality.

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