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Notes on "Time as History" by George Grant

"Time as History" by George Grant

i) "Is Christianity fundamentally committed to the unicity of the historical process [linear time, with one sacrifice]? If so, one has to give up Platonism. I hope not, but I am not sure." (p.xxx) ed.note

ii) "Like sexuality, or religion, or music, language transcends the inward-outward distinction." (p.8)

iii) "Like food, language not only makes human existence possible, but can also confine it." (p.7)

iv) "The word 'history' [in the English world] does not mean a particular kind of reality, because it is used about all forms of reality [natural studies, religious studies, anthropology]." (p.11)

v) Man as accidental God, as the final God made by history, or as God's co-creator. (p.13)

vi) Those who "concieve time as history are turned towards...the future." (p.16)

vii) The determination to make the future different from the past; 'characteristic' (p.16)

viii) "Will" as also an "auxilary of the future tense" (p.17)

ix) The tension between [reasonable] planning for the future and necessity (p.18)

x) The greater ability of a collectivity to control chance. (p.18)

xi) "The presence of the future in out imagining is one reason why men are so effective in their doing." (p.19)

xii) "But human beings have more history [than birds] because they are capable of a more differentiated doing [due to our imagining of the future and power to plan; thus to introduce 'novelty']" (p.19)

xiii) Men more historical than animals, Western men more historical than others. (p.20)

xiv) 'Will' has seperated from both thinking and feeling. (p.21-22)

xv) Willing as the cessation of deliberation in favour of creating history, one way or another. (p.22)

xvi) "Desiring" as the language of dependence, distinct from the language of control expressed by "willing". (p.23)

xvii) Grant's re-reading of the Greek heroes, tacitly against Nietzsche, as meant to bring "into immediacy the beauty of a trusted order"; not a re-creation of a new one. (p.24)

xviii) "Upon our will to do has been placed the whole burden of meaning" [; meaning must be created in a act of will] (p.24)

xix) "The coming together of willing and reasoning lies essentially in the method [objectification] that has made possible the successes of modern science." (p.25)

xx) When Marx wrote of changing the world, he still belonged that changing was not an end in itself..." (p.26); now, endless negation. (p.27)

*Essay III*
xxi) The equal participation of the Greeks and the Bible in both thought and reverence. (p.29)

xxii) Philosophers study man as eternal, while Nietzsche, following Darwin argued for his historicity. (p.36)

xxiii) "Nietzsche uses the word 'bridge' to describe the human process... between the beasts we were and what we may yet be..." (p.37)

xxiv) Nietzsche and the finality of becoming (Heraclitean overtones). (p.37)

xxv) Nietzsche: natural science has purged other species of purpose, why not Man? (p.38); "Purpose" has been preserved only in the domain of morality, to save the idea of good and evil.

xxvi) Nietzsche laments the loss of the last, great horizon of Christianity, thus admitting chaos and the truth of meaninlessness into the world. (p.38-41)

xxvii) "Only that which has no history can be defined." (p.41)

*Essay IV*
xxviii) The last man and the nihilists at the end of history (p.44-46)
        a) The last men: secularized Christians with a bare, dry, inherited rationality (p.45), base happiness.
        b) The nihilists: cannot give-up their will. (p.45-46), those who have nothing to will v. those who would will nothing. (p.46)

xxix) Neither deserves to be masters of the Earth. (p.47)

xxx) Nietzsche: progression without necessity, "Marx without a safety net or pseudo-Christian faith". (p.48)

xxxi) " I may be allowed to note that the absence of all nets is a truth that those of us who trust in God must affirm." -- Grant, (p.48)

xxxii) Nazis' "hysterical self-pity" disqualified them (along with their vengefulness) from being ubermensch. (p.49)

xxxiii) "Should the last-men or the nihilists control the e-media (an aside on Leni Reisenshtahl)" (p.50)

xxxiv) The will denied and the spirit of revenge (p.51); history as revenge events.

xxxv) Amor fati as teh overcoming of the spirit of vengeance (p.54); outside of the shelter of eternity (as in Plato, Christianity).

*Essay V*
xxxvi) The revolt of the youth in N.A. strikes deeper notes of Nietzsche than Marx. (p.58)

xxxvii) "The thought of Nietzsche is a fate for modern men..." (p.58), "In partaking in it, we can come to judgements about the modern project..."

xxxviii) "[Time as history] It is not a conception we are fitted for." (p.58)

xxxix) Intimations of perfection goes against amor fati. (p.60)

xxxx) Nietzsche's contemplation of endless time (not timelessness) would not free us from the spirit of revenge, but "drive men mad". (p.60)

xxxxi) Amor fati would require us to love the technological necessity which created our circumstances. (p.63)

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