Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth Century Philosophy, M. Forster & K. Gjesdal, eds. (2014)
33 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2012 Last revised: 24 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 23, 2013
This essay offers a philosophical overview of the central themes of Nietzsche's philosophy, addressing (1) the primary intellectual influences on his work (esp. the PreSocratics, Schopenhauer, and Lange); (2) the style in which he writes and his philosophical reasons for it; (3) his philosophical naturalism and its role in his conception of the mind and agency; (4) his critique of morality and its connection with the idea that there can be an "aethestic" justification for existence, notwithstanding the terrible truths about human existence (such as suffering and death); and (5) competing interpretations of his views on truth and knowledge. Certain well-known Nietzschean ideas -- like "will to power," "eternal recurrence," and perspectivism -- are also located and explained within this philosophical framework.
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