This article explores how a nonreductionist account of Nietzsche's influence on Michel Foucault can enrich our understanding of key concepts in singular works of both philosophers. I assess this exegetical strategy by looking at the two dichotomies Apollinian/Dionysian and ars erotica/scientia sexualis in The Birth of Tragedy and volume 1 of The History of Sexuality, respectively. After exploring the relation between these two dichotomies, I link the science of sexuality to the Apollinian art instinct via the existence of Socratic culture and argue against the “pleasure of analysis” as a sublated form of (Dionysian) ars erotica. These considerations lead to the notions of history in Nietzsche's and Foucault's philosophies that result in situating the polyvalent Ursprung of Greek tragedy and the descent of ars erotica and scientia sexualis in an antimetaphysical and nonteleological picture of historical development.

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