Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton Classics)

Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton Classics)

Language: English

Pages: 560

ISBN: 0691160260

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This classic is the benchmark against which all modern books about Nietzsche are measured. When Walter Kaufmann wrote it in the immediate aftermath of World War II, most scholars outside Germany viewed Nietzsche as part madman, part proto-Nazi, and almost wholly unphilosophical. Kaufmann rehabilitated Nietzsche nearly single-handedly, presenting his works as one of the great achievements of Western philosophy.

Responding to the powerful myths and countermyths that had sprung up around Nietzsche, Kaufmann offered a patient, evenhanded account of his life and works, and of the uses and abuses to which subsequent generations had put his ideas. Without ignoring or downplaying the ugliness of many of Nietzsche's proclamations, he set them in the context of his work as a whole and of the counterexamples yielded by a responsible reading of his books. More positively, he presented Nietzsche's ideas about power as one of the great accomplishments of modern philosophy, arguing that his conception of the "will to power" was not a crude apology for ruthless self-assertion but must be linked to Nietzsche's equally profound ideas about sublimation. He also presented Nietzsche as a pioneer of modern psychology and argued that a key to understanding his overall philosophy is to see it as a reaction against Christianity.

Many scholars in the past half century have taken issue with some of Kaufmann's interpretations, but the book ranks as one of the most influential accounts ever written of any major Western thinker. Featuring a new foreword by Alexander Nehamas, this Princeton Classics edition of Nietzsche introduces a new generation of readers to one the most influential accounts ever written of any major Western thinker.



















mathematics and drawing. In 1861 he wrote an enthusiastic essay on his "favorite poet," Friedrich Hölderlin, "of whom the majority of his people scarcely even know the name." Hölderlin had spent the last decades of his life in hopeless insanity, but sixty years after Nietzsche wrote his essay, Hölderlin was widely recognized as Germany's greatest Nietzsche's Life as Background of His Thought 23 poet after Goethe. The teacher wrote on the paper, "I must offer the author the kind advice to

genius. Now Bayreuth became the center of political 16 Ibid., 601. 192. Ibid., 297. 19 Ibid., 598. 20 Ibid., 435. Newman's searching scholarship, his exposure of Frau FörsterNietzsche's many inaccuracies, and his minute attention to detail are more impressive than his memory for some of the more important points. Thus we are told (494) that "nothing is more certain than that in 1875 Nietzsche was still heart and soul with Wagner in all essentials." Nor does Newman's elaborate proof that

greater extent. Stefan Sonns had no access to Nietzsche's and Rée's unpublished correspondence and actually thought that most of it was lost (Das Gewissen in der Philosophie Nietzsches, 1955, 34); but his dissertation takes 50 NIETZSCHE: PHILOSOPHER, PSYCHOLOGIST, ANTICHRIST Fortunately, we have enough documents beyond April 1882 to reconstruct what happened. Though Lou's letters to both Rée and Nietzsche are largely lost, Lou kept about two dozen letters from each of them (through December

strength far beyond that of normal men. Nietzsche's turn of mind is thus dialectical in two ways. First, in the very limited sense which was developed in the discussion of his method: he refused to accept "rough-fisted" answers and insisted on treating the most venerable dogmas as questionable hypotheses. Secondly, it now appears that his thought is dialectical also insofar as he shows a special appreciation of the negative: also my "Goethe and the History of Ideas," in the Journal of the History

philosophy and his last attempt to solve his value problem before he temporarily abandoned it to write in a different vein, it may be well to inquire once more concerning Nietzsche's concept of nature. The principle of life with which he started differed significantly from Lessing's "providence" and from Kant's "nature" by not being purposive. The notion of the improved physis, however, suggests that nature may have a purpose after all, and the exhortation to gain power to "aid the physis" seems

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