2006 Abstracts Stage 2

Hendrix, Hippies and Humanism: an Analysis of the Realisation of Postmodern Aesthetic and Ethical Values within Western Culture during the 1960s

William Milne, 2006, Stage 2

Territory: The Jimi Hendrix song Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). Aims and Objective: To analyse 1960’s culture and counterculture movements in terms of their aesthetical and ethical values with reference to Nietzsche’s philosophies. I intend to demonstrate that with the aid of music and the arts people at this time began to turn away from traditional pre-war values and began to experiment with more subjective, postmodern views of the world and humanity’s relation to it. Concepts: The underlying concept of my project is: ‘Ethical redemption through the means of aesthetical values’; this is closely related to Nietzsche’s conception of art as being ‘the highest dignity of mankind’. I am also investigating the concept of ‘slave and master moralities’ as theorised by Nietzsche to analyse the shift away from pre-war traditional values (for example, Christian doctrines) towards a more individual style of ethics, as can be witnessed in hippy communes and in relation to the civil rights movements and the sexual revolution. The ‘will to power’ in relation to these concepts will be the basis of my conclusion as to what extent this era can be said to be one of the defining periods of the shift of humanity towards post-modernism, especially within western culture and society. Sources: I will reference a wide variety of sources both on the structure of 1960’s culture and on Nietzsche’s philosophy as well as on post-modern philosophy. My main texts, however, will be: • Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, • Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, • David Henderson, ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: The Life of Jimi Hendrix, • John Morton Blum, Years of Discord. American Politics and Society, 1961-1974.

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