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Download An Introduction to Nietzsche as Political Thinker: The by Keith Ansell-Pearson PDF

By Keith Ansell-Pearson

This can be a full of life and interesting advent to the contentious subject of Nietzsche's politics, tracing the improvement of his pondering and confronting without delay his appropriation via the Nazis. the major rules of the need to strength, everlasting go back and the overman are mentioned and all Nietzsche's significant works analyzed intimately. This textbook could be crucial for all scholars of Nietzsche and of the background of political principles. It incorporates a chronology of Nietzsche's lifestyles and works, and a advisor to additional examining.

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In spite of all that has been written about Nietzsche since the Second World War it remains the case that anyone who approaches his work for the first time, especially in the domain of politics, does so with these Nazi connotations. How Nietzsche's legacy 29 did this fateful association of Nietzsche with Nazism come about? The dissemination and reception of Nietzsche's philosophy after his mental collapse in 1889 was very varied. His work did not immediately appeal to the right, as one might expect given its aristocratic pretensions and distaste for socialism.

What Nietzsche argues for is the assimilation of the Jews, not their 'extermination'. Even this short account should serve to show that the Nazi appropriation of Nietzsche was crude and highly selective. Can Nietzsche be saved from such massive abuse? One commentator expresses what I believe is the appropriate response to this question when he writes: Nietzsche's works certainly make me feel uneasy. But my uneasiness is not due to the clumsy abuse of Nietzsche by the Nazis. I can only understand the persistence of the widespread label of Nietzsche as Nazi, if I interpret this name-calling as our defense mechanism, as our strategy, our excuse for not having to deal with Nietzsche.

Ibid. 8) If we know who Nietzsche is, we can decide for ourselves whether we come before him or after him, whether we are for or against him. The overriding aim of Nietzsche's philosophy is to promote autonomy in his readers. It cannot be without significance that he closes the foreword to Ecce Homo with an important passage from Thus Spoke £arathustra. Zarathustra descends to humankind, after enduring ten years in solitude, to teach the meaning of God's death. However, what he seeks is neither followers nor disciples, but companions and fellowcreators : You had not yet sought yourselves when you found me.

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