A New Approach to the Question of Nietzsche's Political Philosophy: A Review of Tamsin Shaw's Nietzsche's Political Skepticism (2007)
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, January 2009
16 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2008
Date Written: December, 19 2008
Against the two dominant strands in the secondary literature on Nietzsche's political philosophy - one attributing to Nietzsche a kind of flat-footed commitment to aristocratic forms of social ordering, the other denying that Nietzsche has any political philosophy at all-Tamsin Shaw stakes out a new and surprising position: namely, that Nietzsche was very much concerned with the familiar question of the moral or normative legitimacy of state power, but was skeptical that with the demise of religion, it would be possible to achieve a practically effective normative consensus about such legitimacy that was untainted by the exercise of state power itself. Although, as I will argue, there are reasons to be quite skeptical that Nietzsche was interested in anything like these questions, Shaw has laid down a clear and invigorating challenge to existing scholarship on Nietzsche's politics, and it is one worth meeting.
Keywords: Nietzsche, political philosophy
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