Braunstein, Phillip Jacques. “Eclipsing Thought”, Boston College, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3750.
My thesis attempts to determine the relationship between Homer, Plato, and Nietzsche by tracing Nietzsche's inversion of Platonism with respect to Homer's poetry. I argue that Nietzsche's inversion of Platonism, an inversion that does not just swap the terms of the Platonic hierarchy of intelligible and sensible but subverts the hierarchy itself, entails a specific engagement with Homer. The engagement proceeds with specific attention to the themes of eternal recurrence, nihilism, homelessness and homecoming, and the revaluation of the sensible world. In addition to tracking the threefold of Homer/Plato/Nietzsche, the subtext of the thesis aims at a reconsideration of Heidegger's delimitation of Nietzsche as a metaphysician. My investigation demands a reconsideration of Heidegger's claim that Nietzsche does not return to the beginning as beginning, i.e., Nietzsche's thought remains trapped within Platonism and the metaphysical tradition. Thus Spoke Zarathustra serves as a focal point for this reconsideration since the Zarathustra period contains a preponderant occupation with a revaluation of all prior values, including the Homeric source of many of these values. This direct encounter with the values portrayed in Homer is also prefigured by the Homeric shadow that appears in the aftermath of the overturning of Platonism.