banner of electronic resources

The principle of agon in Nietzsche's thought (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Author Tuncel, Yunus.
ISBN/ISSN 0599857196
Broad Subject Literature
Summary This dissertation explores the notion of agon in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, which he develops by way of his interpretation of ancient Greek culture and thought. Notions akin to agon are strife, struggle, fight, and war, all of which are also studied, as they pertain to the thought of agon. The exploration is done in two parts: the first part studies Nietzsche's early works (1869--74), the period in which he is primarily focused on ancient Greek civilization, and develops an understanding of the notion of agon. This part relies on his posthumous writings of this period, especially those written in 1871--72, which are published in Colli and Montinari's Kritische Studienausgabe, volume 7, section 16. A translation of this section from German to English is added to the dissertation as an appendix. The second part traces the development of this notion in the later period of Nietzsche's writings in which he undertakes the critique of morality of good and evil.

Agon means contest in ancient Greek. In Nietzsche's thought, however, agon takes on different meanings. By taking clues from KS 7, 16, Part I examines agon in the realms of destruction, suffering, conflict, individual and formation of the individual, language, culture, myth, religion, rhapsody, art and spectacle. If one could speak of an agonal culture or world-order, what makes it agonal? This question is addressed in Part I. Part II, on the other hand, relies on the interpretation of agon done in the previous part and builds on it in order to show the presence of the thought of agon in Nietzsche's later writings although the word agon or any of its derivatives such as agonistic or agonal rarely appears in this period. Some of the areas visited in Nietzsche's philosophy of this period are cruelty, confrontation, chaos, difference, multiplicity and the psyche of agon,inner conflict, instincts and agonal body, and Nietzsche's philosophical "war-praxis." Finally, the dissertation tries to keep in perspective the relevance and significance of the thought of agon for contemporary issues.

Language English
Warning: Use of the files is restricted to purposes of research and education only. Other uses and excessive downloading are strictly prohibited. Violators will lose library privileges, face disciplinary actions and may be prosecuted.
Available at :
Click to view the dissertation via Digital dissertation consortium
Authorized remote access from Current HKU staff and students
Format E-theses
Location Web Mounted


* Tips on accessing HKUL E-resources