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Western Philosophers
19th-century philosophy
Nietzsche1882
Friedrich Nietzsche in 1882
Name: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Birth: October 15, 1844 (Röcken
Death: August 25, 1900 (Weimar, Germany)
School/tradition: Precursor to Existentialism
Main interests
Ethics, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Aesthetics, Language
Notable ideas
Apollonian-Dionysian Duality, Eternal Recurrence, Will to Power, Nihilism, Herd Instinct, Overman, Attack on Christianity, Master-Slave Morality
InfluencesInfluenced
Burckhardt, Socrates, Emerson, Goethe, Heraclitus, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, Dostoevsky, Wagner |
Foucault, Heidegger, Iqbal, Jaspers, Sartre, Deleuze, Camus, Rilke, Bataille, Rand

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (IPA:[ˈnitʃə], [ˈnitʃi]) (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered around a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality. Beyond the unique themes dealt with in his works, Nietzsche's powerful style and subtle approach are distinguishing features of his writings. Although largely overlooked during his short working life, which ended with a mental collapse at the age of 44, and frequently misunderstood and misrepresented thereafter, Nietzsche received recognition during the second half of the 20th century as a highly significant figure in modern philosophy. His influence was particularly noted throughout the 20th century by many existentialist, phenomenological and postmodern philosophers.

Life Edit

Youth (1844–1869) Edit

Friedrich Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, within what was then the Prussian province of Saxony. His name comes from King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, on whose 49th birthday Nietzsche was born. Nietzsche's parents were Carl Ludwig (1813-1849), a Lutheran pastor and former teacher, and Franziska (1826-1897). His sister, Elisabeth, was born in 1846, followed by his brother Ludwig Joseph in 1848. After the death of their father in 1849 and the young brother in 1850, the family moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Franziska's mother and Carl Ludwig's two unmarried sisters, and under the guardianship of a local magistrate, Bernhard Dächsel.

After the death of Franziska's mother in 1856, the family was able to afford their own house. During this time, the young Nietzsche attended a boys' school, where he felt isolated, and later a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug and Wilhelm Pinder, both of whom came from respected families. In 1854, he began to attend a Catholic preparatory school, but after demonstrating particular talents in music and language, he was admitted to the internationally recognized Schulpforta, where he continued his studies from 1858 to 1864. Here he became friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff. He also found time to work on poems and musical compositions. At Schulpforta, Nietzsche received an important introduction to literature, particularly in regard to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and also first experienced a distance from his family life in a small-town Christian environment.

1864c

Friedrich Nietzsche, 1864.

After graduation, in 1864, Nietzsche commenced his studies in theology and classical philology at the University of Bonn. For a short time, with Deussen, he was a member of the brotherhood Frankonia, which he found uncomfortable. After one semester and to the anger of his mother, he stopped his studies in theology, and concentrated on philology, with Professor Friedrich Ritschl, whom he followed to the University of Leipzig the next year. There, he became close friends with fellow student Erwin Rohde. Nietzsche's first philological publications appeared soon after.

In 1865, Nietzsche became acquainted with the work of Arthur Schopenhauer, and Friedrich Albert Lange's History of Materialism in 1866. Both of these encounters were stimulating, encouraging him to no longer limit himself to philology and continue his schooling. In 1867, Nietzsche committed to one year of voluntary service with the Prussian artillery division in Naumburg. After a bad riding accident in March 1868, however, he revisited his philological studies while unfit for service. Later that year, Nietzsche completed the last year of studies, and had his first meeting with Richard Wagner.

Professor at Basel (1869–1879) Edit

Nietzsche187a

Friedrich Nietzsche in Basel, ca. 1875.

Based on Ritschl's support, Nietzsche received the extraordinary offer to become professor of classical philology at the University of Basel before having completed his doctorate degree or certificate for teaching. Among his philological work there, he discovered that the ancient poetic meter related only to the length of syllables, different from the modern, accentuating meter.

In accordance with his own wish, after moving to Basel, Nietzsche renounced his Prussian citizenship, and was for the rest of his life, officially stateless. Nevertheless, he served on the Prussian side during the Franco-Prussian War as a medical orderly. His time in the military was short, but he experienced much, and witnessed the traumatic effects of battle. He also contracted diphtheria and dysentery.

On returning to Basel in 1870, Nietzsche observed the establishment of the German Empire and the following era of Otto von Bismarck as an outsider and with a degree of skepticism regarding its genuineness. At the University, he delivered his inaugural lecture, 'On Homer's Personality'. Also, Nietzsche met Franz Overbeck, a professor of theology, who remained his friend throughout his life. The other most influential colleague was historian Jacob Burckhardt, whose lectures Nietzsche frequently attended.

Already in 1868, Nietzsche had met Richard Wagner in Leipzig, and sometime later, his wife, Cosima. Nietzsche admired both greatly, and during his time at Basel was a frequent guest in Wagner's 'House of the Masters' in Tribschen. The Wagners brought Nietzsche into their closest circle, and enjoyed the attention he gave to the beginning of the Festival House in Bayreuth. In 1870, he gave Cosima Wagner the manuscript of 'The Genesis of the Tragic Idea' as a birthday gift.

In 1872, Nietzsche published his first book, The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music. However, the work, in which he forewent a precise philological method to employ a style of philosophical speculation, was not well received among his classical philological colleagues, including Ritschl. In a polemic, 'Future Philology', Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff dampened the book's reception and increased its notoriety. In response, Rohde, by now a professor in Kiel, and Wagner came to Nietzsche's defense. Nietzsche remarked freely about the isolation he felt within the philological community and attempted unsuccessfully to attain a position in philosophy at Basel.

Between 1873 and 1876, Nietzsche published separately four long essays: David Strauss: the Confessor and the Writer, On the Use and Abuse of History for Life, Schopenhauer as Educator, and Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. (These four were later collected and published under the title, Untimely Meditations.) The four shared the orientation of a cultural critique, challenging the developing German culture along lines suggested by Schopenhauer and Wagner. Starting in 1873, he also accumulated notes that were posthumously published as Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks.

During this time, in the circle of the Wagners, Nietzsche met Malwida von Meysenbug and Hans von Bülow, and also began a friendship with Paul Rée, an influence for the pessimism in his early writings. However, his disappointment with the Bayreuth Festival of 1876, where he was repelled by the banality of the shows and the baseness of the public, caused him to finally distance himself from Wagner.

Most commentators agree that Nietzsche read Max Stirner, however they differ in respect to whether he was influenced by him. [1] At least one, philosopher Eduard von Hartmann, has accused him of plagiarizing Stirner.

With the publication of Human, All-Too-Human in 1878, a book of aphorisms on subjects ranging from metaphysics to morality and from religion to the sexes, Nietzsche's departure from the philosophy of Wagner and Schopenhauer became evident. Also, Nietzsche's friendship with Deussen and Rohde cooled. Nietzsche undertook more experiments, attempted to find a wife, and pursued Malwida von Meysenbug to no avail.

In 1879, after a significant decline in health, he was forced to resign his position. Since his childhood, Nietzsche had been plagued by various disruptive illnesses -- moments of shortsightedness practically to the degree of blindness, migraine headaches, and violent stomach attacks. These persistent conditions were perhaps aggravated by his riding accident in 1868 and diseases in 1870, and continued to affect him through his years at Basel, forcing him to take longer and longer holidays until regular work was no longer practicable.

Free philosopher (1879–1889) Edit

Nietzsche paul-ree lou-von-salome188

Lou Salomé, Paul Rée and Nietzsche, 1882.

Driven by his illness to find more compatible climates, Nietzsche travelled frequently and lived until 1889 as a free author in different cities. He spent many summers in Sils Maria, near St. Moritz in Switzerland, and many winters in the Italian cities of Genoa, Rapallo, and Turin, and the French city of Nice. He occasionally returned to Naumburg to visit his family, and especially during this time, he and his sister had repeated periods of conflict and reconciliation. He lived on his pension from Basel, but also received aid from friends.

A past student of his, Peter Gast (born Heinrich Köselitz), became a private secretary. To the end of his life, Gast and Overbeck were consistently faithful friends. Malwida von Meysenbug remained like a motherly patron even outside the Wagner circle. Soon Nietzsche made contact with the music critic Carl Fuchs.

Nietzsche was at the beginning of his most productive period. Beginning with Human, All-Too-Human in 1878, Nietzsche would publish one book (or major section of a book) each year until 1888, his last year of writing, during which he completed five. In 1879, Nietzsche published Mixed Opinions and Maxims, which followed the aphoristic form of Human, All-Too-Human. The following year, he published The Wanderer and His Shadow. Both were published as the second part of Human, All-Too-Human with the second edition of the latter.

In 1881, Nietzsche published Daybreak: Reflections on Moral Prejudices, and in 1882, the first part of The Gay Science. That year he also met Lou Salomé through Malwida von Meysenbug and Paul Rée. Nietzsche and Salomé spent the summer together in Tautenburg, often with Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth as chaperone. However, Nietzsche's regard for Salomé was less as an equal partner than as a gifted student. He fell in love with her and pursued her despite their mutual friend Rée. When he asked to marry her, Salomé refused. Through various avenues of intrigue, Elisabeth broke up Nietzsche's relationship with Rée and Salomé in the winter of 1882-83. (Lou Salomé eventually came to correspond with Sigmund Freud, introducing him to Nietzsche's thought.) In the face of renewed fits of illness, in near isolation after a falling out with his mother and sister regarding Salomé, and plagued by suicidal thoughts, he fled to Rapallo, where in only ten days he wrote the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

After severing philosophical ties to Schopenhauer and social ties to Wagner, Nietzsche had few remaining friends. Now with the new style of Zarathustra, his work became even more alienating and was received only to the degree prescribed by politeness. Nietzsche recognized this and maintained his solitude, even though he often complained about it. He gave up his short-lived plan to become a poet in public, and was troubled by concerns about his publications. His books were as good as unsold. In 1885, he printed only 40 copies of the fourth part of Zarathustra, and only a fraction of these were distributed among close friends.

In 1886, he printed Beyond Good and Evil at his own expense. With this book and the appearance in 1886-87 of second editions of his earlier works (The Birth of Tragedy, Human, All-Too-Human, Daybreak, and The Gay Science), he saw his work completed for the time and hoped that soon a readership would develop. In fact, the interest in Nietzsche did arise at this time, if also rather slowly and hardly perceived by him.

During these years, Nietzsche's met Meta von Salis, Carl Spitteler, and also Gottfried Keller. In 1886, his sister Elisabeth married the anti-Semite Bernhard Förster and travelled to Paraguay to found a "Germanic" colony, a plan to which Nietzsche responded with laughter. Through correspondence, Nietzsche's relationship with Elisabeth continued on the path of conflict and reconciliation, but she would not see him again in person until after his collapse.

Nietzsche continued to have frequent and painful attacks of illness, which made prolonged work impossible. In 1887, Nietzsche quickly wrote the polemic On the Genealogy of Morals. He also exchanged letters with Hippolyte Taine, and then also with Georg Brandes, who at the beginning of 1888 delivered in Copenhagen the first lectures on Nietzsche's philosophy.

In the same year, Nietzsche wrote five books, based on his voluminous notes for the long-planned work, The Will to Power. His health seemed to be improving, and in the summer he was in high spirits. In the fall of 1888, his writings and letters began to reveal an overestimation of his status and 'fate'. He overestimated the increasing response to his writings, above all, for the recent polemic, The Case of Wagner.

On his 44th birthday, after completing The Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist, he decided to write the autobiography Ecce Homo, which presents itself to his readers in order that they, 'Hear me! For I am such and such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else.' (Preface, sec. 1, tr. Walter Kaufmann)

In December, Nietzsche began correspondence with August Strindberg, and thought that, short of an international breakthrough, he would attempt to buy back his older writings from the publisher and have them translated into other European languages. Moreover, he planned the publication of the compilation Nietzsche Contra Wagner and the poems Dionysian Dithyrambs.

On 3 January 1889, Nietzsche had a mental collapse. That day he had been approached by two Turinese policemen after making some sort of public disturbance in the streets of Turin. What actually happened is not known. The often-repeated (and apocryphal) tale is that Nietzsche saw a horse being whipped at the other end of the Piazza Carlo Alberto, ran to the horse, threw his arms up around the horse’s neck to protect it, and collapsed to the ground. In the following few days, he sent short writings to a number of friends, including Cosima Wagner and Jacob Burckhardt, which showed signs of a breakdown.

To his former colleague Burckhardt he wrote: 'I have had Caiphas put in fetters. Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner. Wilhelm, Bismarck, and all anti-Semites abolished.' (The Portable Nietzsche, trans. Walter Kaufmann)

Mental breakdown and death (1889–1900) Edit

On January 6, 1889, Burckhardt showed the letter he received from Nietzsche to Overbeck. The following day Overbeck received a similarly revealing letter, and decided Nietzsche must be brought back to Basel. Overbeck traveled to Turin and brought Nietzsche to a psychiatric clinic in Basel.

By that time, Nietzsche was fully in the grip of insanity, and his mother Franziska decided to bring him to a clinic in Jena under the direction of Otto Binswanger. From November 1889 to February 1890, Julius Langbehn attempted to cure Nietzsche, claiming that the doctors' methods were ineffective to cure Nietzsche's condition. Langbehn assumed greater and greater control of Nietzsche until his secrecy discredited him. In March 1890, Franziska removed Nietzsche from the clinic, and in May 1890 to her home in Naumburg.

During this process, Overbeck and Gast contemplated what to do with Nietzsche's unpublished works. In January 1890 they proceeded with the planned release of The Twilight of the Idols, by that time already printed and bound. In February, they ordered a 50-copy private edition of Nietzsche Contra Wagner, but the publisher C. G. Naumann secretly printed 100. Overbeck and Gast decided to withhold publishing Antichrist and Ecce Homo due to their more radical content. Nietzsche's reception and recognition enjoyed their first surge.

In 1893, Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth returned from Paraguay after the suicide of her husband. She read and studied Nietzsche's works, and piece by piece took control of them and their publication. Overbeck was eventually dismissed, and Gast finally cooperated. After the death of Franziska in 1897, Nietzsche lived in Weimar, where he was cared for by Elisabeth, who allowed people to visit the uncommunicative Nietzsche.

On August 25, 1900, Nietzsche died after contracting pneumonia. At the wish of Elisabeth, he was buried beside his father at the church in Röcken.

The cause of Nietzsche's breakdown has been the subject of speculation and remains uncertain. An early and frequent diagnosis was a syphilitic infection; however, some of Nietzsche's symptoms were inconsistent with typical cases of syphilis. Another diagnosis was a form of brain cancer. Others suggest that Nietzsche experienced a mystical awakening, similar to ones studied by Meher Baba. While most commentators regard Nietzsche's breakdown as irrelevant to his philosophy, some, including Georges Bataille, argue that the breakdown must be considered.

Key conceptsEdit

Much controversy surrounds whether Nietzsche advocated a single or comprehensive philosophical viewpoint. Many charge Nietzsche with propounding contradictory thoughts and ideas. Here are Nietzsche's main ideas.

Nihilism and the death of God Edit

After the skepticism in his early works towards the old foundations of philosophy, religion, and morality, Nietzsche experienced the absence of any meaning or purpose to the world and human existence. Nietzsche did not attribute this nihilism to an autonomous and reactive movement against culture; rather, he diagnosed nihilism as a latent presence within the very foundations of European culture, and thus, as a necessary and approaching destiny.

For Nietzsche, nihilism is the outcome of repeated frustrations in the search for meaning. The religious worldview had already suffered a number of challenges from contrary perspectives grounded in philosophical skepticism, modern science (heliocentrism superseding geocentrism, evolution superseding creationism), and internal disputes (Reformation). However, these attempts to replace God with human reason were also inadequate and unjustified.

In writings from notebooks dated from November 1887 to March 1888, Nietzsche described three steps by which 'nihilism as a psychological state' would be reached:

... first, when we have sought a 'meaning' in all events that is not there: so the seeker eventually becomes discouraged. Nihilism, then, is the recognition of the long waste of strength, the agony of the 'in vain', insecurity, the lack of any opportunity to recover and to regain composure -- being ashamed in front of oneself, as if one had 'deceived' oneself all too long.
... secondly, when one has posited a totality, a systemization, indeed any organization in all events, and underneath all events, and a soul that longs to admire and revere has wallowed in the idea of some supreme form of domination and administration ... [M]an has lost the faith in his own value when no infinitely valuable whole works through him; i.e., he conceived such a whole in order to be able to believe in his own value.
Given these two insights, ... an escape remains: to pass sentence on this whole world of becoming as a deception and to invent a world beyond it, a true world. But as soon as man finds out how that world is fabricated solely from psychological needs, and how he has absolutely no right to it, the last form of nihilism comes into being: it includes disbelief in any metaphysical world and forbids itself any belief in a true world.
(The Will to Power, Book I, sec. 12, ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann [2])

Nietzsche sees this intellectual condition as a new challenge to European culture, which has extended itself beyond a sort of point-of-no-return. Nietzsche conceptualizes this with the famous statement, 'God is dead', which appears prominently in The Gay Science and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, suggesting the impending, yet obscure, crisis that European thought faces in the wake of the irreparable disturbances to its traditional foundations. Nietzsche treats this phrase as more than a provocative declaration, but almost reverently, as it represents the potential of a nihilism that arrests growth and progress in the midst of an overwhelming absurdity and meaninglessness:

The greatest recent event -- that 'God is dead', that the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable -- is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe. For the few at least, whose eyes -- the suspicion in whose eyes is strong and subtle enough for this spectacle, some sun seems to have set and some ancient and profound trust has been turned into doubt; to them our old world must appear daily more like evening, more mistrustful, stranger, 'older'. But in the main one may say: The event itself is far too great, too distant, too remote from the multitude's capacity for comprehension even for the tidings of it to be thought of as having arrived as yet. Much less may one suppose that many people know as yet what this event really means -- and how much must collapse now that this faith has been undermined because it was built upon this faith, propped up by it, grown into it; for example, the whole of our European morality. This long plenitude and sequence of breakdown, destruction, ruin, and cataclysm that is now impending -- who could guess enough of it today to be compelled to play the teacher and advance proclaimer of this monstrous logic of terror, the prophet of a gloom and an eclipse of the sun whose like has probably never yet occurred on earth?
(Gay Science, Book V, sec. 343, trans. Walter Kaufmann)

The first instance of the phrase occurs at the beginning of Book III of The Gay Science (section 108), and again prominently in section 125.

Amor fati and the eternal recurrence Edit

In response to the constraining and defeating aspects of nihilism, Nietzsche began to seek a sense of bold, cheerful experimentation. Nietzsche seems to identify his own self as the remaining constraint after the death of the Gods, writing that 'the seal of liberation' is 'no longer being ashamed in front of oneself.' (Gay Science, Book III, sec. 275, trans. Walter Kaufmann)

Nietzsche acknowledged that after having liberated himself from the Gods and their morality, he has yet to answer for what he is liberated: he suffers as a protagonist without an antagonist. At the beginning of Book IV of The Gay Science, Nietzsche celebrates the new year and the strength he attributes to the month of January. He writes that his 'wish' is:

I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who makes things beautiful. Amor fati (love of fate): let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer.
(Gay Science, Book IV, sec. 276, trans. Walter Kaufmann)

This attitude of creativity and challenge carries Nietzsche further to the idea of 'the eternal recurrence', an intellectual and existential test. Eternal recurrence means that time runs its course and then repeats exactly and infinitely. Thus, the absurdities and pains of life must be endured not only once, but repeatedly and forever. Nietzsche imagines that the nihilist would find this thought torturous, but for one who has learned to be a 'Yes-sayer', it should be bliss. At the end of Book IV of The Gay Science, juxtaposed with what becomes the beginning of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche writes:

What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence -- even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!'
Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.' If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, 'Do you desire this once more and innumerable times more?' would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?
(Gay Science, Book IV, sec. 341, trans. Walter Kaufmann)

The eternal recurrence is also discussed prominently in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which Nietzsche wrote after The Gay Science. And he gives strangely lucid consideration of the eternal recurrence in various sections in the collection of notes under the title of The Will to Power. Particularly interesting here is the idea that, towards the end of his life, Nietzsche seems to use the eternal recurrence as something to simply consign himself to the pointlessness of existence. He says 'Everything seems far too valuable to be so fleeting...My only consolation is...the sea will cast it up again' (Will to Power, section 1026. trans Walter Kaufmann). This can be thought of as one of the things that has fitted Nietzsche in to the category of existentialism. But furthermore, the ruminations on eternal recurrence in The Will to Power include some of Nietzsche's attempts to actually prove it as a cosmological thesis (see Arthur Danto, Nietzsche as Philosopher for a detailed analysis of these efforts). Interestingly, in his letters and notebooks, Nietzsche says that he thinks eternal recurrence may even disprove the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, but this is often glossed over as his insanity had at this point begun to set in.


Overman Edit

There is some controversy over who or what Nietzsche considered an overman (or "superman"; in German, Übermensch). Not only is there some basis to think that Nietzsche was skeptical about individual identity and the notion of subject, but there was never a concrete example of the overman.

Nietzsche coined the terms herd instinct or slave morality, which represents the kind of morality or ideology produced by a group of people, such as a culture or a society. The herd instinct is the inevitable consequence of society, and it is considered extremely difficult for an individual to take on a value or moral system apart from the society within which one is embedded.

The overman cannot be defined with respect to how much power one wields over others (although the overman, having overcome himself, will consequently dominate those who have not), but rather to the extent to which one is, in Nietzsche's words, "judge and avenger and victim of one's own law." This is in contrast to the Christian notion that humans are created beings whose purpose is to obey the dictates of their Creator.

Nietzsche never set out who was, or was not, an overman. Perhaps the overman is a state of human-being having bypassed himself (which could be said "post-human"). The overman was possibly an ideal or a theoretical construct designed to point out that it is difficult, if not impossible, to break free from society's ideological and moral grasp. As an intellectual exercise, contemporary thinkers have asked who or what could have been an overman. Could rulers such as Stalin or Hitler be overman? According to Nietzsche, this is most unlikely, given that rulers represent the moralities and ideologies of their time, as opposed to breaking free from them.

In his text on the "tyrants of democracy", Nietzsche opposed the covert artists overmen to the political leaders, which Nietzsche despised. A discussion of how Nietzsche relates to Hitler and the Nazis is below. Is the concept of the overman more limited to intellectual and artistic figures such as Goethe and Wagner? This seems more likely, especially given that Nietzsche held Wagner in very high esteem early in his life. However, he totally broke with him writing Nietzsche against Wagner (Wagner's antisemitism and germanism being one of the reasons of the rupture), and thus could certainly not considered him as the artist that he waited for.

How Other Philosophers Have Interpreted Nietzsche's Overman Edit

Nietzsche's critique of the subject makes it impossible to reduce the "overman" or any other individual person to an individual subject, thus assimilating him as a kind of hero: "there is no doer behind the doing", wrote Nietzsche. We attribute a subject as a cause of the event, because we need this "grammatical fiction"; but in fact, there is no more subject than there is any substance, because both presuppose an eternally identical world, whereas world is always in a state of flux and change. There is no substance, there is no subject and there is no causality are Nietzsche's most radical thesis.

In his Nietzsche, Heidegger himself, although later rightly criticized for his membership in the NSDAP, criticized this more or less deliberate misunderstanding of Nietzsche's philosophy, based in a scientist conception and on a biological interpretation of Nietzsche's thought. Mazzino Montinari's edition of the posthumous fragments and philological criticisms of the fake Will to Power, as Gilles Deleuze's particular reading of Nietzsche, would be essential moments of the revealing of this caricature.

Master morality and slave morality Edit

Nietzsche argued that there were two types of morality, a master morality that springs actively from the 'noble man' and a slave morality that develops reactively within the weak man. These two moralities are not simple inversions of one another, they are two different value systems; master morality fits actions into a scale of 'good' or 'bad' whereas slave morality fits actions into a scale of 'good' or 'evil'.

Nietzsche defined master morality as the morality of the strong-willed. For these men the 'good' is the noble, strong and powerful, while the 'bad' is the weak, cowardly, timid and petty. Master morality begins in the 'noble man' with a spontaneous idea of the 'good', then the idea of 'bad' develops in opposition to it. (On the Genealogy of Morals, First Essay, Section 11) He said: "The noble type of man experiences itself as determining values; it does not need approval; it judges, "what is harmful to me is harmful in itself"; it knows itself to be that which first accords honor to things; it is value-creating." (Beyond Good and Evil)

Slave morality begins in those people who are weak, uncertain of themselves, oppressed and abused. The essence of slave morality is utility: the good is what is most useful for the community as a whole. Since the powerful are few in number compared to the masses of the weak, the weak gain power vis-a-vis the strong by treating those qualities that are valued by the powerful as "evil," and those qualities that enable sufferers to endure their lot as "good." Thus patience, humility, pity, submissiveness to authority, and the like, are considered good.

Slave morality begins in a ressentiment that turns creative and gives birth to values. (Ressentiment was a term coined by Nietzsche to describe the feeling of the weak, unhealthy and ugly towards those who have fared better in life.) The slave regards the virtues of beauty, power, strength and wealth as 'evil' in an act of revenge against those who have them in abundance. (On the Genealogy of Morals, First Essay, Section 10) Slave morality is therefore a reactionary morality because 'good' does not spring creatively from the individual but develops as a negation of the values of the powerful. The noble person conceives of goodness first and later determines what is 'bad' while the slave conceives of 'evil' first and fashions his own conception of 'good' in opposition to this.

One of the main themes in Nietzsche's work is that ancient Roman society was grounded in master morality, and that this morality disappeared as the slave morality of Christianity spread through ancient Rome. Nietzsche was concerned with the state of European culture during his lifetime and therefore focused much of his analysis on the history of master and slave morality within Europe. Occasional references, however, also suggest that he meant these terms to be applied to other societies.

However, as with so many ideas in Nietzsche's work, there is no material manifestation of this idea, no hard and fast difference between that which is created by the master morality and that created by the slave. While Nietzsche stated repeatedly that the master morality was necessary for the advancement of humanity (through overhuman - übermenschiese - deeds), he gave examples of where these advances were made through the use of the tenets of the slave morality. The second essay of On the Genealogy of Morals is an indication of this insight, as well as his longstanding fascination for Jesus. Mastery for Nietzsche was the creation of values, and a recurring theme (especially in Thus Spoke Zarathustra) is how even what might seem bad can be, must be, taken up into a masterful life. As Zarathustra says (in Part II, Manly Prudence) : "he who lives amongst men must know how to wash himself with dirty water." Nietzsche gives a concise investigation of how any idea might be used masterfully in the ninth aphorism of Beyond Good on Evil, concerning Stoicism.

According to Nietzsche, the Cartesian proofs for the existence of God are all examples of logic only a master from the nobility would invent. Thomas Aquinas' notions of what constitutes the "good life" is a particular example of what "good" might mean to a master. Nietzsche claimed that such notions of the good life would have their root in the discipline and punishment Aquinas received as a child from the hands of his father.

Christianity as an institution and Jesus Edit

In Nietzsche's book the Anti-Christ, Nietzsche fights against how Christianity has become an ideology set forth by institutions like churches, and how churches have failed to represent the life of Jesus. It is important, for Nietzsche, to distinguish between the religion of Christianity and the person of Jesus. Nietzsche attacked Christian religion as it was represented by churches and institutions for what he called its "transvaluation" of healthy instinctive values. Transvaluation is the process by which the meaning of a concept or ideology can be reversed to its opposite. He went beyond agnostic and atheistic thinkers of the Enlightenment, who felt that Christianity was simply untrue. He claimed that it may have been deliberately propagated as a subversive religion (a "psychological warfare weapon" or what some would call a "memetic virus") within the Roman Empire by the Apostle Paul as a form of covert revenge for the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple during the Jewish War.

Nietzsche contrasts the Christians with Jesus, whom he greatly admires. Nietzsche argues that Jesus transcended the moral influences of his time by creating his own set of values. As such Jesus represents a step towards the overman. Ultimately, however, Nietzsche claims that, unlike the overman, who embraces life, Jesus denied reality in favor of his "kingdom of God," and that Jesus' refusal to defend himself, and subsequent death, were logical consequences of this total disengagement. Nietzsche then analyzes the history of Christianity, finding it to be a progressively grosser distortion of the teachings of Jesus. He criticizes the early Christians for turning Jesus into a martyr and Jesus' life into a story of the redemption of mankind in order to gain power over the masses, finding them to be cowardly, vulgar, and resentful. He argues that Christianity had become more and more corrupted, as successive generations further misunderstood the life of Jesus. By the 19th century, Nietzsche concludes, Christianity had become so worldly as to be a parody of itself--a total inversion of a worldview which was, in the beginning, nihilistic.

The Will to Power: the book and concept Edit

The 'Will to Power': the book Edit

In 1894 (after Nietzsche's death), his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, founded the Nietzsche-Archiv in Naumburg, which she would later transfer to Weimar. The culmination of this organization was the publishing, in Leipzig between 1894 and 1926, of the Großoktavausgabe edition. It was first edited by C. G. Naumann, then by Kröner. In these 20 volumes, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche included part of Nietzsche's posthumous fragments, which she gathered together and entitled The Will To Power. With Peter Gast, she claimed that Nietzsche had died before completing his magnum opus, which he allegedly would have wanted to name "The Will to Power, in Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values". This compilation of Nietzsche's posthumous fragments, selected and ordered under his sister's authority, led to the book commonly known as The Will to Power. Until Colli & Montinari's edition, this would form the basis for all successive editions, including the 1922 Musarion edition, often commonly used to this day.

While researching materials for the Italian translation of Nietzsche's complete works in the 1960s, philologists Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari decided to go to the Archives in Leipzig to work with the original documents. From their work emerged the first complete and chronological edition of Nietzsche's posthumous fragments, which Förster-Nietzsche had cut up, mixed and paste together, according to her own antisemitic views (which were one of the reasons of the lack of understanding with her brother). The complete works make up 5 000 pages, compared to the 3 500 pages of the Großoktavausgabe. In 1964, during the International Colloque on Nietzsche in Paris, Colli & Montinari met Karl Löwith, who would put them in contact with Heinz Wenzel, editor for Walter de Gruyter's publishing house. Heinz Wenzel would buy the rights of the complete works of Colli & Montinari (33 volumes in German) after the French Gallimard edition and the Italian Adelphi editions.

Before Colli & Montinari's philological work, the previous editions led readers to believe that Nietzsche had organized all his work toward a final structured opus called The Will to Power. In fact, if Nietzsche did consider the eventuality of writing such a book, he changed plans before his collapse. The title of The Will to Power, which appears for the first time at the end of the summer of 1885, would be replaced by another plan at the end of August 1888. This new plan was title Project for an inversion of all values, and ordered the multiple fragments in a completely different way than the one chosen by Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche.

In fact, according to Montinari, the previous editions, which all depended of the Großoktavausgabe, were technically nonsense, as Nietzsche's fragments were cut up in various places and ordered according to his sister's will; and a case of revisionism, as it was left to his sister to artificially combine Nietzsche's fragments into an unified opus magnum (whose very concept is alien to Nietzsche's philosophy and style of writing), whose meaning was distorted according to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche's anti-semitic and Germanist biases. Gilles Deleuze himself saluted Montinari's work declaring:

"Tant qu'il ne fut pas possible aux chercheurs les plus sérieux d'accéder à l'ensemble des manuscrits de Nietzsche, on savait seulement de façon vague que La Volonté de puissance n'existait pas comme telle telle (...) Nous souhaitons que le jour nouveau, apporté par les inédits, soit celui du retour à Nietzsche
"As long as it was not possible for the most serious researcher to accede to the whole of Nietzsche's manuscripts, we only knew in a loose way that the Will to Power did not exist as such (...) We only wish now that the new dawn brought on by this previously unpublished work will be the sign of a return to Nietzsche

Furthermore, this critical philological work, a milestone in the Nietzsche studies, which proved case-by-case all the distortions accomplished by Nietzsche's sister on his posthume fragments, also put into question, which had already been done before, the possible cenceforonception of a Nietzschean magnum opus, given his style of writing and thinking. So The 'Will to Power' (as a book) may not have been written by Nietzsche. But the concept of Will to power in itself certainly is central in Nietzsche's philosophy, so much that Heidegger considered it to form, with the thought of the eternal recurrence, the basis of his thought. [3]

Will to power: concept Edit

The concept of Will to power is a concept of Nietzsche's thought, which led to many interpretations, some of whom, such as the Nazi interpretation of it as a "will of power", were deliberate attempts of political instrumentation.

The Will to power must first of all thought taking into account Nietzsche's roots and violent critic of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer posited a will to live, in which living things were motivated by sustaining and developing their own lives. Nietzsche instead posited a will to power, in which living things are not just driven by the mere need to stay alive, but in fact by a greater need to wield and use power, to dominate others, and to make them weaker. Thus, Nietzsche regarded such a will to live as secondary to the primary will to power. Henceforth, he opposed himself to social darwinism and plain darwinism, as he contested the validity of the concept of "adaptation", which he considered a simple and weak will to live [4].

One possible interpretation of "will to power" is that it is a process of expansion and venting of creative energy that he believed was the basic driving force of nature. This interpretation would suggest that he believed it to be the fundamental causal power in the world, the driving force of all natural phenomena and the dynamic to which all other causal powers could be reduced. Indeed, the will to power must not be understood in a psychological or subjective way, but rather in a "cosmic way". That is, according to this theory, Nietzsche in part hoped the will to power could be a "theory of everything," providing the ultimate foundations for explanations of everything from whole societies, to individual organisms, down to mere lumps of matter.

Nietzsche perhaps developed the will to power concept furthest with regard to living organisms, and it is there that the concept is perhaps easiest to understand. There, the will to power is taken as an animal's most fundamental instinct or drive, even more fundamental than the act of self-preservation; the latter is but an epiphenomenon of the former. According to Nietzsche, the will to power is the basic means through which living things "interpret" or interact with the world, and, in this sense, the world is "will to power, and nothing else besides,".

Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength — life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results.Beyond Good and Evil

The will to power is something like the desire to exert one's will in self-overcoming, although this "willing" may be unconscious. Indeed, it is unconscious in all non-human beings; it was the frustration of this will that first caused man to become conscious at all. The philosopher and art critic Arthur C. Danto says that "aggression" is at least sometimes an approximate synonym. However, Nietzsche's ideas of aggression are almost always meant as aggression toward oneself, as the energy a person motivates toward self-mastery. In any case, since the will to power is fundamental, any other drives are to be reduced to it; the "will to survive" (i.e. the survival instinct) that biologists (at least in Nietzsche's day) thought to be fundamental, for example, was in this light a manifestation of the will to power.

My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (—its will to power) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement ("union") with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on.Beyond Good and Evil s.636, Walter Kaufmann translation.

Not just instincts but also higher level behaviors (even in humans) were to be reduced to the will to power. In fact, Nietzsche considered consciousness itself to be the a form of instinct. This includes both such apparently harmful acts as physical violence, lying, and domination, on one hand, and such apparently non-harmful acts as gift-giving, love, and praise on the other. In Beyond Good and Evil, he claims that philosophers' "will to truth" (i.e., their apparent desire to dispassionately seek objective truth) is actually nothing more than a manifestation of their will to power; this will can be life-affirming or a manifestation of nihilism, but it is will to power all the same.

[Anything which] is a living and not a dying body... will have to be an incarnate will to power, it will strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominant — not from any morality or immorality but because it is living and because life simply is will to power... 'Exploitation'... belongs to the essence of what lives, as a basic organic function; it is a consequence of the will to power, which is after all the will to life.Beyond Good and Evil s.259, Walter Kaufmann translation.

As indicated above, the will to power is meant to explain more than just the behavior of an individual person or animal. It is not psychological, nor intentional or subjective.

It should be noted, however, that a biological interpretation of Will to Power such as this is but one of many possible - indeed, Nietzsche scholarship is replete with interpretations, largely due to Nietzsche's elusive style. Others might suggest that the will to power is not really as central a concept in Nietzsche's thought. Indeed, it appears that Nietzsche himself might have agreed, when he suggests, in Ecce Homo, that his notion of eternal recurrence of the same is his most central thought, and the central theme of his most famous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. However, Heidegger, and also Deleuze, would argue that both concepts, the will to power and the thought of the eternal recurrence, were to be thought together.

Style Edit

Nietzsche is unique among philosophers for what is widely regarded as the remarkable power and effectiveness of his prose style - particularly as manifested in Zarathustra. The indigestible 'heaviness' long associated with German-language philosophy is eschewed, with puns and paradoxes abounding, and aphoristic brevity rubbing shoulders with parable and even poem in his rhetoric. The end result is a manner of philosophical writing which, being "pitched half-way between metaphor and literal statement" is "something quite extraordinary" (J.P. Stern).

His work has been described as 'half philosophic, half poetic'; the fact that it can thus manage to convince the reader emotionally as well as intellectually is no doubt one reason for its appeal (especially among creative artists) - but it also means that the theory behind the metaphors is never fully or clearly written out.

One problem inevitably caused by this is that the boundaries of his thinking are not easily discerned: for example, many people not only feel that Nietzsche's term Übermensch conjures up the 'pure Aryan' of Hitlerian mythology, but further assume that it must have been accompanied by the complementary lesser human or sub-human 'Untermensch' - whereas this latter term is in fact a creation of Nazi racial ideology.

Another vulnerability entailed by Nietzsche's style is that nuances and shades of meaning are very easily lost - and all too easily gained - in translation. Here the Übermensch is a case in point: the equivalent 'Superman' found in dictionaries and in the translations by Thomas Common and R.J. Hollingdale may create an unfortunate association with the heroic comic-character 'Superman' - while other logical alternatives which one might propose ('Over-human?' 'Above-human?' 'Super-human?' 'Beyond-human?') are either uselessly clumsy or smack of a 'political correctness' foreign to Nietzsche's outlook. Walter Kaufmann's 'Overman' would perhaps be more serviceable - were it not for the overtone of hierarchical authoritarianism which it introduces. A little used alternative is 'Hyper-man.' It is as precisely Greek (which Nietzsche knew quite well) as 'Superman,' without the pop-political connotations.

Regardless of the translation, it is illuminating to think of 'Über' in relationship to the development of the individual subject. The Übermensch is the being that overcomes the "great nausea" associated with nihilism; that overcomes that most "abysmal" realization of the eternal return. He is the being that "sails over morality," and that dances over gravity (the "spirit of gravity" is Zarathustra's devil and archenemy). He is a "harvester" and a "celebrant" who endlessly affirms his existence, thereby becoming the transfigurer of his consciousness. He is initially a destructive force, excising and annihilating the insidious 'truths' of the herd, and consequently reclaiming the chaos from which pure creativity is born. It is this creative existence that justifies suffering without displacing it in some "afterworld." He is the lightning that brings the frenzy of religious ecstasy to earth -- complete with suffering and birth pangs.

Place in contemporary ethical theory Edit

Nietzsche's work addresses ethics from several perspectives; in today's terms, we might say his remarks pertain to meta-ethics, normative ethics, and descriptive ethics.

As far as meta-ethics is concerned, Nietzsche can perhaps most usefully be classified as a moral skeptic; that is, he claims that all ethical statements are false, because any kind of correspondence between ethical statements and "moral facts" is illusory. (This is part of a more general claim that there is no universally true fact, roughly because none of them more than "appear" to correspond to reality). Instead, ethical statements (like all statements) are mere "interpretations."

Sometimes, Nietzsche may seem to have very definite opinions on what is moral or immoral. Note, however, that Nietzsche's moral opinions may be explained without attributing to him the claim that they are "true." For Nietzsche, after all, we needn't disregard a statement merely because it is false. On the contrary, he often claims that falsehood is essential for "life." Interestingly enough, he mentions a 'dishonest lie,' discussing Wagner in The Case of Wagner, as opposed to an 'honest' one, saying further, to consult Plato with regards to the latter, which should give some idea of the layers of paradox in his work.

In the juncture between normative ethics and descriptive ethics, Nietzsche distinguishes between "master morality" and "slave morality." Although he recognises that not everyone holds either scheme in a clearly delineated fashion without some syncretism, he presents them in contrast to one another. Some of the contrasts in master vs. slave morality:

  • "good" and "bad" interpretations vs. "good" and "evil" interpretations
  • "aristocratic" vs. "part of the 'herd'"
  • determines values independently of predetermined foundations (nature) vs. determines values on predetermined, unquestioned foundations (Christianity).

These ideas were elaborated in his book On the Genealogy of Morals in which he also introduced the key concept of ressentiment as the basis for the slave morality.

The revolt of the slave in morals begins in the very principle of ressentiment becoming creative and giving birth to values — a ressentiment experienced by creatures who, deprived as they are of the proper outlet of action are forced to find their compensation in an imaginary revenge. While every aristocratic morality springs from a triumphant affirmation of its own demands, the slave morality says 'no' from the very outset to what is 'outside itself,' 'different from itself,' and 'not itself'; and this 'no' is its creative deed. (On the Genealogy of Morals)

Nietzsche's assessment of both the antiquity and resultant impediments presented by the ethical and moralistic teachings of the world's monotheistic religions eventually led him to his own epiphany about the nature of God and morality, resulting in his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Nietzsche is also well-known for the statement "God is dead". While in popular belief it is Nietzsche himself who blatantly made this declaration, it was actually placed into the mouth of a character, a "madman," in The Gay Science. It was also later proclaimed by Nietzsche's Zarathustra. This largely misunderstood statement does not proclaim a physical death, but a natural end to the belief in God being the foundation of the western mind. It is also widely misunderstood as a kind of gloating declaration, when it is actually described as a tragic lament by the character Zarathustra.

"God is Dead" is more of an observation than a declaration, and it is noteworthy that Nietzsche never felt the need to advance any arguments for atheism, but merely observed that, for all practical purposes, his contemporaries lived "as if" God were dead. Nietzsche believed this "death" would eventually undermine the foundations of morality and lead to moral relativism and moral nihilism. To avoid this, he believed in re-evaluating the foundations of morality and placing them not on a pre-determined, but a natural foundation through comparative analysis.

Political views Edit

What is good? Everything that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself. What is Bad? Everything that is born of weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance has been overcome. Not contentedness but more power; not peace but war; not virtue but fitness. The weak and the failures shall perish like fish: first principle is our love of man. And they shall even be given every possible assistance. What is more Harmful than any vice? Active pity for all the failures and all the weak: Christianity. —Nietzsche, The Antichrist.

During the First World War and after 1945, many regarded Nietzsche as having helped to cause the German militarism. In fact, the German right-wing did not appreciate Nietzsche's thought until the rise of the Nazis. Nietzsche was popular among left-wing Germans in the 1890s. Many Germans read Thus Spoke Zarathustra and were influenced by Nietzsche's appeal of unlimited individualism and the development of a personality. The enormous popularity of Nietzsche led to the subversion debate in German politics in 1894/1895. Conservatives wanted to ban the work of Nietzsche. Nietzsche influenced the Social-democratic revisionists, anarchists, feminists and the left-wing German youth movement.

During the interbellum, various fragments of Nietzsche's work were appropriated by National Socialists, notably Alfred Bäumler in his reading of The Will to Power. During the period of Nazi rule, Nietzsche's work was widely studied in German (and, after 1938, Austrian) schools and universities. The Nazis viewed Nietzsche as one of their "founding fathers." They incorporated much of his ideology and thoughts about power into their own political philosophy (without consideration to its contextual meaning). Although there exist some significant differences between Nietzsche and Nazism, his ideas of power, weakness, women, and religion became axioms of Nazi society. The wide popularity of Nietzsche among Nazis was due partly to Nietzsche's sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, a Nazi sympathizer who edited much of Nietzsche's works. However, Nietzsche disapproved of his sister's antisemitic views. Furthermore, Mazzino Montinari, one of editors of Nietzsche's posthumous works in the 1960s, argued that Förster-Nietzsche had deliberately cut extracts, changed their order, and added false titles to the posthumous fragments, thus constituting the fake Will to power [1].

It is worth noting that Nietzsche's thought largely stands opposed to Nazism, its apology of Germanism, its nationalism and its antisemitism. However, Nietzsche did spoke of a "big politic", considered as a "European politics", which understanding has remained quite obscure. He also made several references to eugenics, which were at that time - as racism - common ideologies [5].

In particular, Nietzsche despised anti-Semitism and held a very high opinion of European Jewry. While some of his writings on "the Jewish question" were critical of the Jewish population in Europe, this criticism was equally, if not more strongly, applied to the English, the Germans, and the rest of Europe. However, he also praised the strength of the Jewish people. For instance, in Beyond Good and Evil, he wrote: "The Jews, however, are beyond any doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race now living in Europe; they know how to prevail even under the worst conditions..." However, his venomous attack upon many of the religious principles of the Jews throughout his work brings confusion to many readers. This ambiguity is perhaps best expressed in part 250 of Beyond Good and Evil:

What Europe owes to the Jews?—Many things, good and bad, and above all one thing of the nature both of the best and the worst: the grand style in morality, the fearfulness and majesty of infinite demands, of infinite significations, the whole Romanticism and sublimity of moral questionableness—and consequently just the most attractive, ensnaring, and exquisite element in those iridescences and allurements to life, in the aftersheen of which the sky of our European culture, its evening sky, now glows—perhaps glows out. For this, we artists among the spectators and philosophers, are—grateful to the Jews. (emphasis added)

He also despised nationalism. He took a dim view of German culture as it was in his time, and derided both the state and populism (however, he valorised strong leadership, and it was this last tendency that the Nazis took up) (see Nietzsche against Wagner). As the joke goes: "Nietzsche detested Nationalism, Socialism, Germans and mass movements, so naturally he was adopted as the intellectual mascot of the National Socialist German Workers' Party." He was also far from being a racist, believing that the "vigour" of any population could only be increased by mixing with others. In The Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche says, "...the concept of 'pure blood' is the opposite of a harmless concept." Furthermore, in Ecce Homo Nietzsche claims Polish descent - even aristocratic Polish ancestry - a claim for which there is no evidence. This is most probably another satyrical attack on the rising German nationalism - like the Poles who had no nation-state (see The Partition of Poland)and through his claim he suggests that he would rather associate with a stateless people (Nietzsche was himself stateless since moving to Basel) than join the 'herdish' nationalism of the German unification. Through his claim he also takes attention away from his given names (after Frederick William II of Prussia) to his surname, which carries no such grandeur - he does not want to be judged as a German. Ultimately the claim is a dissassociation of nationalism.

As for the idea of the "blond beast," Walter Kaufmann has this to say in The Will to Power: "The 'blond beast' is not a racial concept and does not refer to the 'Nordic race' of which the Nazis later made so much. Nietzsche specifically refers to Arabs and Japanese, Romans and Greeks, no less than ancient Teutonic tribes when he first introduces the term... and the 'blondness' obviously refers to the beast, the lion, rather than the kind of man."

While his thought shares little with Nazism, it should not be supposed that he was strongly liberal either. One of the things that he seems to have detested the most about Christianity was its emphasis on pity and how this leads to the elevation of the weak-minded. Nietzsche believed that it was wrong to deprive people of their pain, because it was this very pain that stirred them to improve themselves, to grow and become stronger. It would overstate the matter to say that he disbelieved in helping people; but he was persuaded that much Christian pity robbed people of necessary painful life experiences, and robbing a person of his necessary pain, for Nietzsche, was wrong. He once noted in his Ecce Homo: "pain is not an objection to life."

Nietzsche often referred to the common people who participated in mass movements and shared a common mass psychology as "the rabble", and "the herd." He valued individualism above all else, although his understanding of it was quite different from the classical liberal conception of the individual subject (See above). While he had a dislike of the state in general, he also spoke negatively of anarchists and made it clear that only certain individuals should attempt to break away from the herd mentality. This theme is common throughout Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

While it will thus be appreciated that a political 'flavour' is easy to discern in Nietzsche's writings, one must stress that his work does not in any sense propose or outline a 'political project'. The man who stated that 'The will to a system is a lack of integrity' was consistent in never devising or advocating a specific 'system' of governance - just as, being a champion of individual struggle and self-realisation, he never concerned himself with 'mass movements' or with the organisation of 'groups' and 'political parties' that bartered and haggled for political power. In this sense, Nietzsche could almost be called an anti-political thinker.

Nor can one easily speculate about what might have been his 'everyday' political preferences or reactions, since little documentation exists and he eschewed any political affiliation or label. There are some liberal tendencies in his beliefs, such as his distrust of strong punishment for criminals, as evidenced by his criticism of the death penalty found in his early work. However, Nietzsche had much disdain for liberalism, and spent much of his writing contesting the thoughts of Immanuel Kant. Nietzsche believed that "Democracy has in all ages been the form under which organizing strength has perished," that "Liberalism [is] the transformation of mankind into cattle," and that "Modern democracy is the historic form of decay of the state"(Nietzsche, der Antichrist). Ironically, since World War II, Nietzsche's influence has generally been clustered on the political left, particularly in France by way of post-structuralist thought (Gilles Deleuze and Pierre Klossowski are often credited for writing the earliest monographs to draw new attention to his work, and a 1972 conference at Cérisy-la-Salle is similarly regarded as the most important event in France for a generation's reception of Nietzsche). However, in the United States, Nietzsche appears to have exercised some influence upon certain conservative academics (see, for example, Leo Strauss and Allan Bloom), though he is also widely read by the radical left.

Gender views Edit

Nietzsche's comments on women have provoked a great deal of discussion. Given modern sensitivities regarding the sexes and the rise of feminism, Walter Kaufmann has gone so far as to call these remarks an embarrassment. The fact that Nietzsche also mocked men and manliness has not saved him from the charge of sexism. However, the women he came into contact with typically reported that he was amiable and treated their ideas with much more respect and consideration than they generally expected from educated men in that period of time, amidst various sociological circumstances of the time (e.g., patriarchy). Much of Nietzsche's commentary on women (and men) should be read in light of his revaluation of values and his continuing encouragements for humanity to reach for something higher - why, for example, push for women's involvement in politics when women can direct their energies toward something more? Moreover, some of his statements on women seem to prefigure the criticisms of postfeminism against prior feminisms, particularly those that claim prior feminisms do violence to women by positing and privileging Woman in their place. In this connection Nietzsche was acquainted with the work On Women by Schopenhauer and was probably influenced by it to some degree. As such, some statements scattered throughout his works seem to attack women in a similar vein.

Nietzsche's view of women is informed foremost by their role (rather, potential) as mothers, and does not extend much further than that. "Let your hope say: 'May I bear the Overman!'" he councils them in 'Old and Young Women' (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Book I, sec. 18). Considering that Nietzsche places the creation of things greater than oneself as the central task of a noble life, this is a very sympathetic view of woman whereby she can act in as praiseworthy a fashion as man by the nature of her sex - it is an exultation of womanhood, of womanhood as maternity. This, and the distinction between the sexes as seen by Nietzsche can be seen clearest in the following aphorism:

When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is generally something wrong with her sexual nature. Barrenness itself conduces to a certain virility of taste; man, indeed, if I may say so, is “the barren animal.”
(Beyond Good and Evil, sec. 144, trans. Helen Zimmern)

This is contrary to the then (and still) prevailing view of Woman as the recepticle of male fertility (exemplified by Sigmund Freud's views on women). Nietzsche states here, a continuation of his anti-nihilism and his belief that fruitfulness is meaning, that it is exactly because man has no natural avenue for a meaningful existence that he sets himself into fruitful pursuits. Woman, however, is herself a source of fertility.

Nietzsche places real value in woman, a unique value: woman isn't weaker as much as she is different, And, indeed, Nietzsche believed there were radical differences the essence of the genders. "Thus," said Nietzsche through the mouth of his Zarathustra, "would I have man and woman: the one fit for warfare, the other fit for giving birth; and both fit for dancing with head and legs" (Zarathustra III. [56, "Old and New Tables," sect. 23.])—that is to say: both are capable of doing their share of humanity's work, with their respective physiological conditions granted and therewith elucidating, each individually, their potentialities.

The obvious problem presented with such a view is the narrowness of what is considered a noble path for women: only maternity is a womanly virtue. And while Nietzsche allows woman a hand in her life, it is the supporting hand.

"Comparing man and woman generally, one may say that woman would not have the genius for adornment, if she had not the instinct for the secondary role."
(Beyond Good and Evil, sec. 145, trans. Helen Zimmern)

However, Nietzsche is unclear in whether this image of woman is a product of nature or of nurture: while his language suggests the former, being above all a philosopher of ethics he only explicitly discusses the attitudes, tendencies and values that are the latter. It is notoriously difficult and misleading to generalise from Nietzsche's writing: he was not a systemic philosopher. The implication exists that woman can take a different path than the one he has laid out, even if it contradicts her 'nature'. Nietzsche certainly never reprimanded any woman for taking a non-maternal role - in final reading he is not even a proscriptive philsopher, since his emphasis on the transvaluation of all values would not allow it. What Nietzsche would have done when faced with women like Virginia Woolf or Emily Dickinson who seemingly offered up their maternal instincts to follow careers as artists, as those 'higher men' Nietzsche admired, is a matter for debate, though his philosophy does not allow for them.

There have been several scholarly attempts to address the woman question in Nietzsche's writing. Peter J. Burgard's Nietzsche and the Feminine and Frances Nesbitt Oppel's Nietzsche on Gender: Beyond Man and Woman both read Nietzsche's statements on women as being yet another series of word-games amongst word-games, meant to challenge the reader and incite inspection of the concepts involved. French post-structuralist theorist Jacques Derrida made a similar argument in his 'Spurs'.

Kierkegaard and Nietzsche Edit

Many philosophers believe Nietzsche, aside from the name, knew little of the 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855). Georg Brandes, a Danish philosopher, wrote to Nietzsche in 1888 asking him to study the works of Kierkegaard, to which Nietzsche replied that he would. [6] Nietzsche was unable to undertake this task before his mental collapse in 1889. However, recent research believed Nietzsche was exposed to the works of Kierkegaard, through secondary literature. Aside from Brandes, Nietzsche owned and read a copy of Hans Lassen Martensen’s Christliche Ethik (1873) in which Martensen extensively quoted and wrote about Kierkegaard’s individualism in ethics and religion. Nietzsche also read Harald Høffding’s Psychologie in Umrissen auf Grundlage der Erfahrung (ed. 1887) which expounded and critiqued Kierkegaard’s psychology. Thomas Brobjer believes one of the works Nietzsche wrote about Kierkegaard is in Morgenröthe, which was partly written in response to Martensen's work. In one of the passages, Nietzsche wrote: Those moralists, on the other hand, who, following in the footsteps of Socrates, offer the individual a morality of self-control and temperance as a means to his own advantage, as his personal key to happiness, are the exceptions. Brobjer believes Kierkegaard is one of "those moralists" [7].

Both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, considered precursors to Existentialism (or as existentialists themselves), criticized the rational, idealistic, and systematic structures of philosophy and wrote instead on the importance of the individual and the self-affirmation of the individual’s own values and beliefs. Both philosophers wrote in a fairly unsystematic way and with similar literary style. They attacked what they saw as the detrimental effect of Christendom on the population. Both Kierkegaard and Nietzsche condemned Christian churches for perverting Christianity and straying from the values of Jesus. However, they differ in their view of whether religion can continue to play an important part in an individual's life. Kierkegaard believed that Christian belief and faith is a much more individualistic and personal experience, filled with dread and joy, than is afforded by the comfortable social gathering of Christendom, while Nietzsche believed Christians are slaves to religion and must be freed from its baneful influence.

Throughout the 20th century (and into the 21st century), there have been growing studies of Kierkegaardian-Nietzschean comparisons. The most prominent early scholars who studied this aspect of the two philosophers include Georg Brandes, Karl Jaspers, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Karl Lowith. J. Kellenberger in his work Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, identified major points of comparison:

  • The similiarities of their lives, for example:
  • Kierkegaard and Nietzsche's passion for life and philosophy
  • Kierkegaard's knight of faith and Nietzsche's overman
  • Kierkegaard's faith-based psychology and Nietzsche's power-based psychology
  • Kierkegaard's embrace of religion and Nietzsche's rejection of religion
  • Abraham and Fear and Trembling and Zarathustra and Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  • Kierkegaard's joyfulness of faith and Nietzsche's joyful acceptance of life
  • Kierkegaard's "crowd" and Nietzsche's "herd"

Reception of Nietzsche Edit

In his 1916 Egotism in German Philosophy, American philosopher George Santayana dismissed Nietzsche as a "prophet of Romanticism".

Among the first to recognize Nietzsche's importance was the German novelist Thomas Mann, who showed Nietzsche's influence in his novels, especially his 1947 Doktor Faustus. In 1936, Martin Heidegger lectured on the "Will to Power as a Work of Art", and would later publish four large volumes of lectures on Nietzsche.

In 1938, the German existentialist Karl Jaspers commented about the influence of Nietzsche:

The contemporary philosophical situation is determined by the fact that two philosophers, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, who did not count in their times and, for a long time, remained without influence in the history of philosophy, have continually grown in significance. Philosophers after Hegel have increasingly returned to face them, and they stand today unquestioned as the authentically great thinkers of their age. ... The effect of both is immeasurably great, even greater in general thinking than in technical philosophy ...
—Jaspers, Reason and Existenz

Early twentieth century thinkers influenced by Nietzsche include: philosophers Georg Brandes, Henri Bergson, Martin Buber, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus; theologian Paul Tillich; novelists Hermann Hesse, André Malraux, André Gide, and D. H. Lawrence; psychologists Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May; popular philosopher Ayn Rand; poets Rainer Maria Rilke, James Douglas Morrison, and William Butler Yeats; and playwrights George Bernard Shaw and Eugene O'Neill. American writer H.L. Mencken was an avid reader and translator of Nietzsche's works and has been called "the American Nietzsche."

According to Ernest Jones, biographer and personal acquaintance of Sigmund Freud, Freud had frequently referred to Nietzsche as having "more penetrating knowledge of himself than any man who ever lived or was likely to live" (Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud). Nevertheless, Jones also reports that Freud emphatically denied that Nietzsche's writings influenced his psychological discoveries, since Freud had been disinterested in philosophic works as a medical student. He formed his opinion about Nietzsche later in life.

Nietzche's appropriation by the Nazis, combined with the advent of analytic philosophy, insured that he was almost completely ignored in Great Britain and the United States until at least 1950. Analytic philosophers often charactized Nietzsche as more of a literary figure than a philosopher.

In 1950, the German-American philosopher Walter Kaufmann published Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, which, along with Kaufmann's accurate translations of Nietzsche's major works, began the gradual restoration among English-speaking philosophy departments of Nietzsche as an important nineteenth century philosopher. Kaufmann was a strong advocate of Nietzsche, but even he had some criticism:

It is evident at once that Nietzsche is far superior to Kant and Hegel as a stylist; but it also seems that as a philosopher he represents a very sharp decline. (p 79)

Recognition of Nietzsche's philosophy grew substantially in the later 20th century, especially among French post-structuralist philosophers. Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Michel Foucault are all heavily indebted to Nietzsche.

Other thinkers influenced by Nietzsche include "Death of God" theologian Thomas Altizer, and novelists Nikos Kazantzakis, Mikhail Artsybashev, and Lu Xun, and literary critic Harold Bloom.

Works Edit

Writings and philosophyEdit

  • Aus meinem Leben, 1858
  • Über Musik, 1858
  • Napoleon III als Praesident, 1862
  • Fatum und Geschichte, 1862
  • Willensfreiheit und Fatum, 1862
  • Kann der Neidische je wahrhaft glücklich sein?, 1863
  • Über Stimmungen, 1864
  • Mein Leben, 1864
  • Homer und die klassische Philologie, 1868
  • Über die Zukunft unserer Bildungsanstalten
  • Fünf Vorreden zu fünf ungeschriebenen Büchern, 1872 comprised of:
  1. Über das Pathos der Wahrheit (On the Pathos of Truth)
  2. Gedanken über die Zukunft unserer Bildungsanstalten (Thoughts on the Future of Our Educational Institutions)
  3. Der griechische Staat (The Greek State)
  4. Das Verhältnis der Schopenhauerischen Philosophie zu einer deutschen Cultur (The Relation between a Schopenhauerian Philosophy and a German Culture)
  5. Homer's Wettkampf (Homer's Contest)
  • Die Geburt der Tragödie, 1872 (The Birth of Tragedy)
  • Über Wahrheit und Lüge im aussermoralischen Sinn, 1873 (On Truth and Falsity in an Extra-Moral Sense)
  • Die Philosophie im tragischen Zeitalter der Griechen (Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks)
  • Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen (The Untimely Meditations) comprised of:
  1. David Strauss: der Bekenner und der Schriftsteller, 1873 (David Strauss: the Confessor and the Writer)
  2. Vom Nutzen und Nachtheil der Historie für das Leben, 1874 (On the Use and Abuse of History for Life)
  3. Schopenhauer als Erzieher, 1874 (Schopenhauer as Educator)
  4. Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, 1876

Major English translationsEdit

  • The Birth of Tragedy, 1872
  • in: 'Basic Writings of Nietzsche', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Modern Library, 2000, ISBN 0679783393
  • in: 'The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings', trans. Ronald Spiers, Cambridge University Press, 1999, ISBN 0521639875 (also contains: 'The Dionysiac World View' and 'On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense')
  • in: 'The Birth of Tragedy and the Case of Wagner', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Vintage, 1967, ISBN 0394703693
  • in: 'The Birth of Tragedy & the Genealogy of Morals', trans. Francis Golffing, Anchor Books, 1956, ISBN 0385092105
  • trans. Shaun Whiteside, Penguin Classics, 1994, ISBN 0140433392
  • The Untimely Meditations, 1873-6
  • Human, All Too Human, 1878
  • trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN 0521567041 (also contains: Mixed Opinions and Maxims, 1879 and The Wanderer and His Shadow, 1880)
  • trans. Gary Handwerk, Stanford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0804726655
  • The Dawn, 1881
  • The Gay Science, 1882, 1887
  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1883-5
  • Beyond Good and Evil, 1886
  • On the Genealogy of Morals, 1887
  • in: 'Basic Writings of Nietzsche', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Modern Library, 2000, ISBN 0679783393
  • in: 'On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo', trans. Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale, Vintage, 1989, ISBN 0679724621
  • in: 'The Birth of Tragedy & the Genealogy of Morals', trans. Francis Golffing, Anchor Books, 1956, ISBN 0385092105
  • as 'On the Genealogy of Morality', trans. Maudemarie Clark and Alan J. Swensen, Hackett Publishing Company, 1998, ISBN 0872202836
  • in: 'On the Genealogy of Morality and Other Writings', trans. Carol Diethe, Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0521406102 (also contains: 'The Greek State', 1872 and 'Homer on Competition', 1872)
  • The Case of Wagner, 1888
  • in: 'Basic Writings of Nietzsche', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Modern Library, 2000, ISBN 0679783393
  • in: 'The Birth of Tragedy and the Case of Wagner', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Vintage, 1967, ISBN 0394703693
  • in: 'The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols and Other Writings', trans. Judith Norman, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521016886 (also contains: 'The Case of Wagner', 1888 and 'Nietzsche contra Wagner', 1888)
  • Twilight of the Idols, 1888
  • in: 'The Portable Nietzsche', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Penguin, 1977, ISBN 0140150625
  • trans. Richard Polt, Hackett Publishing Company, 1997, ISBN 0872203549
  • in: 'Twilight of the Idols and the Anti-Christ', trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Penguin Classics, 1990, ISBN 0140445145
  • in: 'The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols and Other Writings', trans. Judith Norman, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521016886 (also contains: 'The Case of Wagner', 1888 and 'Nietzsche contra Wagner', 1888)
  • The Antichrist, 1888
  • Ecce Homo, 1888
  • in: 'Basic Writings of Nietzsche', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Modern Library, 2000, ISBN 0679783393
  • in: 'The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols and Other Writings', trans. Judith Norman, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521016886 (also contains: 'The Case of Wagner', 1888 and 'Nietzsche contra Wagner', 1888)
  • trans. R. J. Hollingdale, Penguin Books, 1993, ISBN 0140445153
  • Nietzsche contra Wagner, 1888
  • in: 'The Portable Nietzsche', trans. Walter Kaufmann, Penguin, 1977, ISBN 0140150625
  • in: 'The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols and Other Writings', trans. Judith Norman, Cambridge University Press, 2005, ISBN 0521016886 (also contains: 'The Case of Wagner', 1888 and 'Nietzsche contra Wagner', 1888)
  • The Will to Power and Other Posthumous Collections
  • ed. and trans. Walter Kaufmann, Vintage, 1968, ISBN 0394704371
  • 'Writings from the Late Notebooks', ed. Rüdiger Bittner, Cambridge University Press, 2003, ISBN 0521008875
  • 'Philosophy and Truth: Selections from Nietzsche's Notebooks of the Early 1870s', ed. and trans. Daniel Breazeale, Prometheus Books, 1990, ISBN 1573925322
  • Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, trans. Marianne Cowan, Regnery Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0895267101
  • The Pre-Platonic Philosophers, trans. Greg Whitlock, University of Illinois Press, 2001, ISBN 0252025598

PhilologyEdit

  • De fontibus Laertii Diogenii
  • Über die alten hexametrischen Nomen
  • Über die Apophthegmata und ihre Sammler
  • Über die literarhistorischen Quellen des Suidas
  • Über die Quellen der Lexikographen

PoetryEdit

MusicEdit

This is not a complete list. A title not dated was composed during the same year as the title preceding it. Further information for many of the below listed works may be found at this site annotated within the time of their composition and this site (both depict Nietzsche's musical thought and development). Most songs available for listening are excerpts.
  • Allegretto, for piano, before 1858, listen
  • Hoch tut euch auf, chorus, December 1858
  • Einleitung (trans: Introduction), piano duet
  • Phantasie, piano duet, December 1859
  • Miserere, chorus for 5 voices, summer 1860
  • Einleitung (or: Entwürfe zu einem Weihnachtsoratorium), oratorio on piano, December 1861
  • Huter, ist die Nacht bald hin?, chorus (in fragments)
  • Presto, piano duet
  • Overture for Strings (?)
  • Aus der Tiefe rufe ich (?)
  • String Quartet Piece (?)
  • Schmerz ist der Grundton der Natur (?)
  • Einleitung, orchestral overture for piano
  • Mein Platz vor der Tur, NWV 1, solo voice and piano, autumn 1861, listen
  • Heldenklage, piano, 1862
  • Klavierstuck, piano
  • Ungarischer Marsch, piano
  • Zigeunertanz, piano
  • Edes titok (or: Still und ergeben), piano
  • Aus der Jugendzeit, NWV 8, solo voice and piano, summer 1862, listen
  • So lach doch mal, piano, August 1862
  • Da geht ein Bach, NWV 10b, listen
  • Im Mondschein auf der Puszta, piano, September 1862
  • Ermanarich, piano, September 1862
  • Mazurka, piano, November 1862
  • Aus der Czarda, piano, November 1862, listen
  • Das zerbrochene Ringlein, NWV 14, May 1863, listen
  • Albumblatt, piano, August 1863
  • Wie sich Rebenranken schwingen, NWV 16, summer 1863, voice and piano, listen
  • Nachlang einer Sylvestenacht, duet for violin and piano, January 2 1864, listen
  • Beschwörung, NWV 20, listen
  • Nachspiel, NWV 21, listen
  • Ständchen, NWV 22
  • Unendlich, NWV 23, listen
  • Verwelkt, NWV 24, listen
  • Ungewitter, NWV 25, 1864, listen
  • Gern und gerner, NWV 26, listen
  • Das Kind an die erloschene Kerze, NWV 27, listen
  • Es winkt und neigt sich, NWV 28, listen
  • Die junge Fischerin, NWV 29, voice and piano, June 1865, listen
  • O weint um sie, choir and piano, December 1865
  • Herbstlich sonnige Tage, piano and 4 voices, April 1867
  • Adel Ich muss nun gehen, 4 voices, August 1870
  • Das "Fragment an sich", piano, October 1871
  • Kirchengeschichtliches Responsorium, chorus and piano, November 1871
  • Manfred-Meditation, 1872, final ver. 1877, listen
  • Monodie à deux (or: Lob der Barmherzigkeit), piano, February 1873
  • Hymnus an die Freundschaft (trans: Hymn to Friendship; also: Festzug der Freunde zum Tempel der Freundschaft, trans: Festival of Friends at the Tempel of Friendship), piano, December 29 1874, listen
  • Gebet an das Leben (trans: Prayer to Life), NWV 41, solo voice and piano, 1882, text by Lou Andreas-Salome, listen
  • Hymnus an das Leben (trans: Hymn to Life), chorus and orchestra, summer 1887

Of interest to psychologistsEdit

  • Zupancic, A. (2003). The shortest shadow: Nietzsche's philosophy of the two. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Note Edit

  • ^ a b See Mazzino Montinari and Paolo d'Iorio's comments about the edition of 'The Will to Power', in "'The Will to Power' does not exist" Sigrid Oloff-Montinari original italian edition;Centro Montinari (Italian); the definite proof of the inexistence of a work by Nietzsche called The Will to Power was edited in French under the title Edition critique des Oeuvres philosophiques complètes établie d'après les manuscrits originaux de l'auter et comprenant une part de textes inédits ("Critical edition of the complete philosophical Opus established according to the original manuscrits and containing a part of previously unpublished texts"), by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Gallimard, Paris, 1967.
  • ^  See Pierre Klossowski, Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle (1969)
  • ^  See Barbara Stiegler, Nietzsche et la biologie PUF, 2001 ISBN 2130507425

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^  Laska, Bernd A., Ein dauerhafter Dissident: 150 Jahre Stirners "Einziger": eine kurze Wirkungsgeschichte, LSR-Verlag (1996)
  2. ^  Brobjer, Thomas H., Philologica: A Possible Solution to the Stirner-Nietzsche Question, The Journal of Nietzsche Studies - Issue 25, Spring 2003, pp. 109-114 (Penn State University Press, 2003).

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