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Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist,…
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Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist (1950)

by Walter Arnold Kaufmann

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853216,220 (4.16)6
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    Young Nietzsche by Carl Pletsch (galacticus)
    galacticus: Kaufmann revived Nietzsche studies in the English speaking world.
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Walter Kaufmann’s Nietzsche conquered a massive hurdle; take the misunderstood philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and renew his image into that of a genius before his time. Kaufmann had a great deal against him; Nietzsche’s sister had controlled his image, and she was a horrible racist twit who didn’t understand his works. Compounding the issue was the fact that most people that who wrote about him didn’t understand his works either. When the Nazis took advantage of his writings and letters, they heavily edited what was printed or took his writings out of context. Is it any surprise then that he was accused of being a racist proto-nazi? It didn’t help that he spent the last years of his life insane.

Kaufmann’s book took Nietzsche and reexamined him under a different perspective, taking into account his early upbringing and all of the other events that produced him. The book goes through his philosophy point by point with a thorough and scholarly air while being divided into four parts. The first covers Nietzsche’s background, the second covers the development of his philosophy, the third covers his philosophy of power and the last section contains a synopsis of all of this. Kaufmann’s commentary on the meaning of God is Dead was especially enlightening and interesting.

As I said in a previous review, Nietzsche is someone that I had first heard of in school. I don’t remember exactly when or how that occurred. I was not aware that this book was the catalyst for Nietzsche being an acceptable figure to study again or that the first edition of this book is already almost seventy years old as of this review. I also thought that the book would be more of a biography than what it turned out to be. It certainly covers a bit of his life, but most of the book focuses on his Philosophy.

All in all, this book is fantastic. If you have read Nietzsche and came away confused, this book is an excellent remedy for that. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
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. ( )
1 vote humeirah | Jun 29, 2016 |
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To my wife and children, Hazel, Dinah and David
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Nietzsche became a myth even before he died in 1900, and today his ideas are overgrown and obscured by rank fiction.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691019835, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:23 -0400)

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.… (more)

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