This image is the cover for the book From Kant to Nietzsche

From Kant to Nietzsche

“Schopenhauer contributed the concept of the will-to-live; Nietzsche that of the will-to-power; and de Gaultier that of the will-to-illusion.” —Wilmot E. Ellis

Can you construct your own reality? What if you don’t trust your senses, but you want to live a happy, productive life? How should you make moral decisions? What do you believe to be true? Do you believe in a supreme being? How do you decide your moral compass?

This work by the author of Le Bovarysme treats the tendency to think of things other than they are as a living source of art. Jules de Gaultier sees this sort of behavior not as a moral or ethical problem, but an aesthetic problem. His metaphysical position has a long and complicated history which can be traced back to the philosophical musings of Kant, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. This book was his first published work, and serves as a thought-provoking introduction to his philosophy.

Jules de Gaultier

Jules de Gaultier was a poet and philosopher. He worked as a civil servant in the Ministry of Finance until he retired in 1919. Following his retirement, he devoted his time to writing poetry and philosophical tracts. From Kant to Nietzsche was originally written as a series of essays published by Mercure de France, to which de Gaultier was an extensive contributor. It was followed almost immediately by Le Bovarysme, which discusses and contemplates Emma Bovary’s life in Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary. These books and their critique of bourgeois philosophy became the basis of a philosophical movement, Bovarysme, that acknowledges the human tendency to seek escape from the mundanity of everyday life through the use of idealization and romanticism. This literary and psychological concept has been elevated to a philosophy that outlines a technique for creating meaning and purpose in life by the use of the will to illusion. From Kant to Nietzsche follows the evolution of de Gaultier’s ideas and influences as they relate to the philosophy of Kant and Nietzsche.

Philosophical Library/Open Road Media