Recent & forthcoming essays
2020. "Wagner as Nietzsche's Exemplar: Freedom and Democracy." Review of Politics 82(4): 628-631.
This is a book symposium essay on Jeffrey Church's Nietzsche's "Unfashionable Observations," based on a roundtable originally delivered at APSA in 2019.
2019. "The relationship between science and philosophy as a key feature of Nietzsche’s metaphilosophy," in Nietzsche’s Metaphilosophy: The Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy, edited by Matthew Meyer and Paul S. Loeb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
I clarify Nietzsche’s approach to the relationship between philosophy and the natural and physical sciences. I treat the relationship between Nietzsche and the sciences in his free spirit writings as a key aspect of Nietzsche’s metaphilosophy, on the basis that our understanding of how philosophy ought to be done rests in significant part on whether or not we agree that the sciences must inform, or constrain, philosophical investigations in at least some respects.
2019. "Experimentation, Curiosity, and Forgetting." Journal of Nietzsche Studies 50.1: 11-32.
I examine how curiosity is grounded in Nietzsche’s critique of customary morality. I argue that Nietzsche’s positive account of active forgetting is compatible with his treatment of curiosity as a key virtue, and that it can be shown to actively support curiosity. To support the latter claim, I suggest that Nietzschean memorial courtesy can be defined as the application of politeness about memory toward ourselves, toward others, or with regard to specific matters of inquiry.
2019. "Decolonizing bioethics via African philosophy: Moral neocolonialism as a bioethical problem." In Debating African Philosophy: Perspectives on Identity, Decolonial Ethics, and Comparative Philosophy, edited by George Hull, 43-59. London: Routledge.
I argue that moral neocolonialism is a real problem for bioethics, and that it merits continuing investigation as part of developing bioethics in African contexts. I consider why some scholars reject moral neocolonialism as a problem. I use evidence from Widdows (2007) in conjunction with resources from African philosophy to differentiate between direct and indirect moral neocolonialism. I show how both forms occur in African bioethical contexts, and how African philosophy supports treating moral neocolonialism as a real problem. I consider and respond to some anticipated objections to my view from bioethics and from moral philosophy before suggesting further directions for inquiry.
2018. "Dawn." In The Nietzschean Mind, edited by Paul Katsafanas, 37-52. New York: Routledge.
I provide an overview of Nietzsche's ethics in Dawn. I begin with an account of Nietzsche's critiques of customary morality, and of pity and compassion. In contrast to Nietzsche's critical engagement with modern morality, I lay out an account of Nietzsche's positive, experimental, approach to the ethical. Throughout, I examine the key role of mood and its social transmission in sustaining both modern morality and Nietzsche's experimental alternative.
2017. "Distributed Survival." AJOB-Neuroscience 8(3): 183-184.
Jecker and Ko’s (2017) adoption of a narrative approach to identity has the potential to help patients, families, and professional caregivers to improve neurosurgical intervention care as well as the patient experience. I am sympathetic to their account, but in this essay, I argue that their argument would benefit from incorporating further attention to (i) distributed cognition and (ii) the complexity of loving relationships.
James Tiberius Kitten, 2001-2016
Friend; philosopher; senior research assistant.