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. 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. 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. Read more Collapse About the author Walter A.

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There is creative reading as well as creative writing. Nietzsche is often repackaged as a radical thinker by an academic establishment a little in love with its own notions of radicalism. We celebrate Nietzsche for being anti-everything, but why is there no anti-Nietzsche?

We all know how Hollywood movies induce us to relate to their heroic protagonists, or how novels compel us to identify with their characters. So, in a way, Nietzsche plays on our narcissism. His writing compels us to read for victory.

Nietzsche always admired the Homeric hero, set on a circular journey of self-discovery. Because rejecting Nietzsche is never easy. To read Nietzsche like a non-Nietzschean is not to reject his arguments but to willfully accept them, even at their most reprehensible. Rather, we must allow ourselves to be the victims of these texts. To read Nietzsche like a non-Nietzschean is to refuse to collude in a fiction of intellectual elitism, superiority and dominance.

Of course, if we take this attitude, reading Nietzsche will make us feel like dirt, reminding us of our weakness and mediocrity, our irremediable exclusion from the life that is possible only for those who are healthier, and more powerful — reminding us of our being human, all-too-human. The Nietzsche of Walter Kaufmann That said, thus far I have shared the generally accepted ideas about Nietzsche without bothering to winnow the chaff from the wheat, thus generating misreadings — or incomplete readings — of some of the most abstruse passages of his work.

The doctrine of Eternal Recurrence — the bete noire of Nietzscheans and anti-Nietzscheans alike — is given a careful examination which shows its continuity with the thought of the early Nietzsche, its close relation to the Will to Power and Ubermensch conceptions, and its foundation in basic experiences of Nietzsche. The most extensive treatment in the book is reserved for the doctrine of the Will to Power.

The psychological and metaphysical aspects of this doctrine are purged of the crude interpretations given them by racists and evolutionists alike. It is, after all, the artist, the philosopher, and the saint who, having sublimated their passion, have reached — according to Nietzsche — the highest level of power, which is that of self-mastery, of self-overcoming.

This is the Nietzsche of Walter Kaufmann. It is a Nietzsche somewhat closer to the sober and scientific philosophy of the Anglo-Saxon scene than to the metaphysical and romantic tradition of Germany. He is an Aclibiadean Socrates, a sick, split-up, un-Goethean Goethe. Thus there is some truth in the prevalent Nietzschean image, but it is, to say the least, one-dimensional.

Yet, by giving us this more unfamiliar side in so thorough and superior a fashion, Kaufmann has indebted us to him enormously. He has permitted us now to gain a fuller version of this romantic ant-romantic, this irrationalist rationalist, this decadent prophet of the Ubermensch, the great and miserable Nietzsche.

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Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Start your review of Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist Write a review Shelves: philosophy , psychology , existenialism-wide , have , reviews-liked I have not read this book completely. In fact as far as I am certain, I have only read one chapter, that quite recently: chapter 6, The Discovery of the Will to Power. Despite this, I have no doubt that the book deserves the rating Ive given it, with no qualifications. I will admit that I dont know if Kaufmann has been superseded by someone else in the Nietzsche scholarship field over the last couple decades. This book first appeared in , so its not recent by any means.


Nietzsche, philosopher, psychologist, antichrist






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