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Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography

by Rüdiger Safranski

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488643,496 (4.03)2
Nietzsche is considered one of the most controversial philosophers of the modern age. His writings signalled a major turn in the history of western philosophy and his influence is so profound that today not even the casual reader can ignore his life and ideas.
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A critical reappraisal of Nietzsche's thought and its relation to his life. This is a worthy addition to the shelves of Nietzsche criticism and exegesis. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 15, 2022 |
Safranski's treatment of Nietzsche's life is, as the subtitle indicates, predominately a philosophical biography. As such, speculations regarding Nietzsche's love interests, or details pertaining to the causes of his mental collapse and behavior during the subsequent decade leading up to his eventual death, remain sparse and are left largely unexplored. The reader who is looking for insight into these themes will be disappointed with this book. That said, what actually makes it into the book is admirably balanced and thorough, and gives an excellent chronological account of the development of Nietzsche's thought as it related to his life. From his early work in philology and his engagement with the works of Schopenhauer and Wagner, to his later developments and semi-obsession with ideas like the eternal recurrence, Ubermensch and will to power, Safranski does a fantastic job of contextualizing Nietzsche's thought with the intellectual trends of his day. One gets a strong sense that although many of Nietzsche's ideas may have been selectively appropriated by a variety of crowds for some esoteric and less that respectable purposes, his trajectory stood alone and he likely never would have aligned himself with any sort of organized group or systematic philosophy -- a true wanderer and pillar unto himself. ( )
2 vote gergacheck | Jul 15, 2011 |
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It is absolutely unnecessary, and not even desirable, for you to argue in my favor; on the contrary, a dose of curiosity, as if you were looking at an alien plant with ironic distance, would strike me as an incomparable more intelligent attitude toward me. - Nietzsche in a letter to Carl Fuchs, July 29, 1888.
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Nietzsche experienced music as authentic reality and colossal power.
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Nietzsche is considered one of the most controversial philosophers of the modern age. His writings signalled a major turn in the history of western philosophy and his influence is so profound that today not even the casual reader can ignore his life and ideas.

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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