Art, Life and Form. On Nietzsche and the Aesthetics of Existence

Alberto Giacomelli


The paper aims to investigate the peculiar relationship between art and life in the context of Nietzsche’s thought. We mean to show how Nietzschean aesthetics is not conceived as a theoretical and rational reflection that abstractly investigates the conditions of possibility of beauty and art: on the contrary, aesthetics is understood by Nietzsche as a practice aimed at shaping life in a beautiful form. The topic of the Lebens-form is considered as a common thread of an original exegesis of human types as aesthetic symbols of life within Nietzsche’s philosophy. Nietzsche’s notion of “becoming who we are” will therefore be understood as an ability to affirm and realize one’s life in all its potential. The Dionysian conception of art, which is considered in The Birth of Tragedy as an ecstatic inebriation that stimulates life and saves man from the tragedy of pain, will then be compared with the idea of ars vivendi, referring to the notion of wisdom and to the Hellenistic-Roman practice of ἄσκησις.


Lebensform; wisdom; existence

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