Immanence: A life… Friedrich Nietzsche


  • Arno Böhler University of Vienna



Nietzsche, ascetic ideal, world-behind, lived-body, body, art, artistic research, arts-based-philosophy, Philosophy on Stage, performance, Iimmanence


I will argue in this text that the very foundation of a transcendent interpretation of life is based on a hidden aggression of living beings against life itself. Nietzsche was probably the first who discovered the fact that “metaphysical believes” are finally grounded in a false image of thought, which avoids––not arbitrarily, but constitutively––to have a close look at the instinctive activities, operative in a body.

In order to understand what is finally at stake for Nietzsche in the problem transcendence versus immanence, one therefore has to understand his new concept of the body. The body, not as a massive thing in itself, but a worldwide being, exposed to a multitude of forces, subconsciously operative in the cellar regions of a body as well as in the worldwide affections, a body is exposed to in its being-in-the-world.

In the second part of my paper I will address the research-festival Philosophy on Stage#4, Nietzsche et cetera (Tanzquartier Wien 2015) as an example, in which philosophy is realized as an artistic research practice that gives back to philosophy its corporeality, materiality and fleshly sensibility by staging philosophy. A way of philosophising, which counters the classical ascetic image of thought and thus demands a new species of “artist-philosophers,” able and willing to demand, in line with Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, to “stay true to the earth”.

Author Biography

Arno Böhler, University of Vienna

Arno Böhler is an associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Vienna. He is the founder of the performance festival Philosophy on Stage and currently heads the „Artist-Philosophers: Philosophy AS Arts-based-Research” research project at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): AR275-G21. He is the co-founder of BASE (research centre for artistic research and arts-based philosophy, India) and the director of the residence programme there.

Research visits at the University of Bangalore, the University of Heidelberg, at New York University and Princeton University. Invitations to visiting professorships at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Vienna, at the University of the Arts Bremen, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Max Reinhardt Seminar) and at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. In 1997, together with actress Susanne Granzer, founder of wiener kulturwerkstätte GRENZ-film.


Böhler, Arno, and Susanne Granzer. 2015. “Philosophy on Stage#4.” Fanfold for the research festival Philosophy On Stage#4, Vienna, Austria, 26–29 November.

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How to Cite

Böhler, Arno. 2017. “Immanence: A life… Friedrich Nietzsche”. Performance Philosophy 3 (3):576-603.