Nietzsche in what can be considered a critique of Cartesian reasoning at one point uses the identity of a flash with the lightning that 'produced it as a metaphor for famously saying that there's no doer behind the doing:

For, in just the same way as people separate lightning from its flash and take the latter as an action, as the effect of a subject which is called lightning, so popular morality separates strength from the manifestations of strength, as if behind the strong person there were an indifferent substrate, which is free to express strength or not. But there is no such substrate; there is no "being" behind the doing, acting, becoming. "The doer" is merely made up and added into the action – the act is everything. People basically duplicate the action: when they see a lightning flash, that is an action of an action: they set up the same event first as the cause and then yet again as its effect.

Are there any other answers to Nietzsche's question: if this is the case, who is speaking?

(this comes from the discussion of Mallarmé in The Return Of Language from chapter 9 called Man And His Doubles in The Order Of Things by Foucault on pages 332-333)

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    I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you asking which philosophers Nietzsche is attacking here? Or asking who agrees with Nietzsche on this point? – Michael Dorfman Aug 28 '12 at 6:59
  • so it would be about who formulates this as Nietzsche did (with no doer behind the doing) but still provides an answer to the question 'who is speaking?'.. One perspective for example is Blanchot, who says that 'who is speaking' is the answer to the question 'who is speaking?', where in the question 'who' is part of a request for a name, in the answer 'who is speaking' it is a 'who' that is the entity that is speaking, so one answer to 'who is speaking?' is 'who is speaking' .. so my question is just looking for other philosophers or scholars who have responded to the question in this form – Dr Sister Aug 28 '12 at 8:00
  • Egad, what a confused analogy. It gets lightning wrong, and "strong" people wrong, and the analogy hardly fits even so. Can you pick something else to illustrate what the question is? – Rex Kerr Aug 28 '12 at 19:31
  • Egad indeed Rex Kerr! do you mean the analogy of a lightning that flashes and doers that do? what makes it a bad fit? the question is: who are some philosphers/scholars who provide an answer to Nietzsche's question 'who is speaking?' – Dr Sister Aug 29 '12 at 0:21
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    the answer i'm looking for here would look something like: Walter Kaufman in [name of publication] addresses this question, as does ... . etc. i'm not after people here's own critique, just published material of philosophy. – Dr Sister Aug 29 '12 at 0:34

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