Friedrich Nietzsche is a fascinating figure for many reasons. Unlike previous philosophers who sought a dispassionate and neutral stance, Nietzsche connects his life and times to his works. Similarly, the message of Nietzsche’s work doesn’t come from what he says, but in his approach to life. Third, it is a mistake to seek systematicity in his work, for it is change that should be valued; to always say the same thing is to miss the point of life. And finally, Nietzsche is a philosopher who wants you to engage his texts critically, which is one reason he used the epigram to convey some of his messages.
Such an unsystematic and critical thinker is difficult to reconcile with the approach to knowledge that sees it as something relatively fixed. Doubtless this is one reason he has been called a dangerous relativist and a callous anti-humanist. The danger of Nietzsche’s philosophy is something he himself realized; thus the claim that his was a philosophy of the future, not of his own time. An interesting question for today’s world is whether Nietzsche’s prediction of an Übermensch is possible given what we have since learned about evolution and human psychology. Whether or not Nietzsche’s ideal is a possibility, he has left us with much to ponder. The following papers relate Nietzsche’s work to topics like action, justice, and naturalism. Enjoy!
- Tobias Kuehne, “Nietzsche’s Ethics of Danger,” Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Spring 2018.
- James Pearson, “Nietzsche on the Sources of Agonal Moderation,” Journal of Nietzsche Studies, Spring 2018.
- Paul Katsafanas, “Nietzsche’s account of self-conscious agency,” Philosophical Explorations, March 2018.
- Christopher Cordner, “Justice and Unconditional Valuing in Nietzsche’s genealogy,” Philosophical Forum, Spring 2017.
- Aaron Ridley, “Nietzsche, Nature, Nurture,” European Journal of Philosophy, March 2017.
See the Routledge APA member page for more books on Friedrich Nietzsche. APA members get a 20% discount on all books.
Have a suggestion for the What Are You Reading column? Contact us here.