Nietzsche and Law

PHILOSOPHERS AND LAW, Ashgate Publishing, 2008

Posted: 5 Apr 2008

See all articles by Francis Joseph Mootz III

Francis Joseph Mootz III

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law

Peter Goodrich

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Legal scholars have only recently begun to address the radical challenges for law and legal theory that follow from Friedrich Nietzsche's pathbreaking work. This collection brings together articles from leading thinkers who consider how Nietzsche's philosophical and rhetorical interventions illuminate the failures of contemporary legal theory.

Part One considers the connections between law, political philosophy and Nietzsche's genealogy. Part Two provides a number of competing interpretations of Nietzsche's relevance for legal hermeneutics. Part Three includes articles that chart a course for legal critique that remains true to Nietzsche's radical character.

The work of prominent philosophers, including P. Christopher Smith, is joined with the work of leading legal theorists, including Philippe Nonet, and leading rhetoricians, including Marianne Constable, to provide complex and sophisticated overview of the manner in which Nietzsche problematizes law and legal theory.


Part I Political Philosophy, Genealogy, Law

What is Positive Law?, Philippe Nonet

Genealogy and Jurisprudence: Nietzsche, Nihilism and the Social Scientification of Law, Marianne Constable

The Relevance of Nietzsche to Democratic Theory: Micropolitics and the Affirmation of Difference, Nathan Widder

Nietzsche and the Nazis: The Impact of National Socialism on the Philosophy of Nietzsche, Charles M. Yablon

Part II Legal Hermeneutics

From Strife to Understanding: Pathological Argument in Nietzsche and Gadamer, P. Christopher Smith

Responding to Nietzsche: The Constructive Power of Destruktion, Francis J. Mootz III

Nietzsche's Gnosis of Law, Frederick M. Dolan

Friedrich Nietzsche, the Code of Manu and the Art of Legislation, Roger Berkowitz

African Nietzsche: Poetry, Philosophy and African Legal Thinking, Adam Gearey

It's a Positivist, It's a Pragmatist, It's a Codifier! Reflections on Nietzsche and Stendhal, Richard H. Weisberg

Nietzsche in Law's Cathedral: Beyond Reason and Postmodernism, John Linarelli

Part III Legal Critique

Law and Modernity, Peter Goodrich

We Fearless Ones: Nietzsche and Critical Legal Studies, Adam Gearey

Agonal Communities of Taste: Law and Community in Nietzsche's Philosophy of Transvaluation, H.W. Siemens

Rationalised Violence and Legal Colonialism: Nietzsche Contra Neitzsche, Joseph Pugliese

Specters of Nietzsche: Potential Futures for the Concept of the Political in Agamben and Derrida, Adam Thurschwell

Part IV Timely Reflections on the Scholarly Enterprise

We scholars, Friedrich Nietzsche (translated by Walter Kaufmann)

Keywords: Nietzsche, Law, Legal Theory, Legal Philosophy, Rhetoric, Critical Legal Theory

Suggested Citation

Mootz, Francis Joseph and Goodrich, Peter, Nietzsche and Law. PHILOSOPHERS AND LAW, Ashgate Publishing, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Francis Joseph Mootz (Contact Author)

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law ( email )

3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
United States

Peter Goodrich

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

Brookdale Center
55 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
United States
(212) 790-0484 (Phone)
(212) 790-0205 (Fax)

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