Choose an application
In this thesis, I will argue that mimesis, while not mentioned, is not absent from §354 of Nietzsche’s The Gay Science. It lies behind the role of origin and can be substantiated by Nietzsche’s frequent reference to mimetic phenomena throughout his middle period. Since Nietzsche claims that consciousness belongs to a social or herd nature then mimesis, as an instinctive acquisitive drive, is necessary before the origin of consciousness. Before there is an origin of consciousness, there is the human species as a mimetic animal and without consciousness. Without consciousness they are not unconscious but simply present, animals that exist according to the truth of their state, driven by the acquisitive function of mimesis and their instinct. It is out of this original mimetic function, the driving force of the species instinct, that allows for an origin of any kind, and in this case an origin of consciousness. Endangerment alone is not sufficient as a catalyst for the need for communication and the rise of consciousness. Rather, mimesis is the coordinating factor that allows for the rise of consciousness through the individual’s acquisition of its species state of endangerment, which results in a conceptualization of a need for communication between individuals onto the species. A faculty for mimesis allows the species to recognize its state of endangerment and respond as such. It must then precede the origin of consciousness if consciousness is a developmental response to the pressure of endangerment.