Aphorisms and Fragments

  • Guy ElgatEmail author


This chapter’s aim is to explore various views on the relation of the aphoristic and fragmentary form to philosophy: what philosophical purpose does this form serve? What is the philosophy behind the use of the aphoristic form (what specific content about the world, human psychology, and so on is communicated implicitly by the use of this form)? What is the meta-philosophy behind its use (what view about philosophy specifically informs the use of the aphoristic form)? Can aphorisms or fragments be organized to form an integrated philosophical whole? The chapter focuses on the exemplary case of Nietzsche’s use of fragments and aphorisms.


Form Nietzsche Psychology Meta-philosophy Whole 


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Works by Others

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For Further Reading

  1. Cooper, Neil. 1995. Aphorisms in Philosophical Thinking. Bradley Studies 5 (2): 162–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Faber, Marion. 1986. The Metamorphosis of the French Aphorism: La Rochefoucauld and Nietzsche. Comparative Literature Studies 23 (3): 205–217.Google Scholar
  3. Marton, Scarlett. 2011. Afternoon Thoughts. Nietzsche and the Dogmatism of Philosophical Writing. In Nietzsche on Instinct and Language, ed. J. Constâncio and M.J.M. Branco. Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  4. Morson, Gary S. 2003. The Aphorism: Fragments from the Breakdown of Reason. New Literary History 34 (3): 409–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Shapiro, Gary. 1984. Nietzschean Aphorism as Art and Act. Man and World 17 (3): 399–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Westerdale, Joel. 2013. Nietzsche’s Aphoristic Challenge. Berlin: de Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Art Institute of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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