Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (Princeton Classics)
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.
"ambiguity" and "romanticism"—how Bertram, then himself the disciple of another "Master," projected his own problems into his Nietzsche. His. evaluation was accepted by E. Gundolf, op. cit., 31: "apostasy." Nietzsche's Life as Background of His Thought 37 not take religion lightly, and her cast of mind helped to suggest to Wagner another way of salvation when the theme of redemption seemed all but exhausted by his previous music dramas: there was yet Christianity, and Wagner wrote Parsifal.
in bed. Bad days, to be sure, had gone immediately before and also followed immediately—nevertheless the experience remained most surprising and agreeable . . . The following day, June 26, Nietzsche wrote Lou to suggest that she spend part of the summer with him at Tautenburg (about fifteen miles east of Weimar): My dear friend, half an hour from the Dornburg on which the old Goethe enjoyed his solitude, lies Tautenburg in the midst of beautiful woods. There my good sister has fixed up an
of premises which cannot be questioned within the framework of the system—and these basic assumptions give expression to the mental make-up of the philosopher. This affirmation of the goodness or value of systems contains, implicitly (an sich, as Hegel would say), a negative truth about systems—and Nietzsche proceeds to state this truth explicitly (für sich). The thinker who believes in the ultimate truth of his system, without questioning its presuppositions, appears more stupid than he is: he
well known, seems never to have questioned the existence of the moral law as a synthetic judgment a priori—i.e., as a proposition which is neither tautological nor dependent on empirical observation, and yet knowable by, and binding on, all rational beings. On the basis of this moral law, Kant sought to establish the freedom of the will, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of God and a moral world-order—all the while assuming the possibility of synthetic judgments a priori as an
ineluctably moribund—a dying tree that cannot be saved by grafting new fruit on it. We may recall his conception of the philosopher as a doctor—a surgeon. The health of our civilization appeared to him to be severely threatened: it looked impressively good, but seemed to Nietzsche thoroughly undermined—a diagnosis which, though trite today, was perhaps no mean feat in the eighteeneighties. Under the circumstances, one could humor the patient and let him die, or put hypocrisy and flattery aside,