Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist

Synopsis


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.

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