Living with Nietzsche: What the Great "Immoralist" Has to Teach Us

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Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most popular and controversial philosophers of the last 150 years. Narcissistic, idiosyncratic, hyperbolic, irreverent—never has a philosopher been appropriated, deconstructed, and scrutinized by such a disparate array of groups, movements, and schools of thought. Adored by many for his passionate ideas and iconoclastic style, he is also vilified for his lack of rigor, apparent cruelty, and disdain for moral decency.
In Living with Nietzsche, Solomon suggests that we read Nietzsche from a very different point of view, as a provocative writer who means to transform the way we view our lives. This means taking Nietzsche personally. Rather than focus on the "true" Nietzsche or trying to determine "what Nietzsche really meant" by his seemingly random and often contradictory pronouncements about "the Big Questions" of philosophy, Solomon reminds us that Nietzsche is not a philosopher of abstract ideas but rather of the dazzling personal insight, the provocative challenge, the incisive personal probe. He does not try to reveal the eternal verities but he does powerfully affect his readers, goading them to see themselves in new and different ways. It is Nietzsche's compelling invitation to self-scrutiny that fascinates us, engages us, and guides us to a "rich inner life." Ultimately, Solomon argues, Nietzsche is an example as well as a promulgator of "passionate inwardness," a life distinguished by its rich passions, exquisite taste, and a sense of personal elegance and excellence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book reflects Solomon's long engagement with Nietzsche, drawing not only upon his previously published works but also on a range of student reactions to Nietzsche and a life of reading Nietzsche , culling favorite passages that resonate in different contexts, and changing opinions concerning doctrines.this book is pleasantly conversational and may be useful for those who are attracted by Nietzsche's passion but find the doctrines of the will to power or the Ubermensch hard to love with." — The Review of Metaphysics

"Robert Solomon's Living with Nietzsche is a superb book on Nietzsche's ethics. Several reasons support this assessment: First, Solomon brings to center stage Nietzsche's many constructive contributions to ethical theory and practice...Second, he evaluates many of Nietzsche's major claims...Third, although Nietzsche's ethics differs from Kantian and consequentialist moralities, Solomon argues that it contributes to the recently revived Aristotelian tradition of virtue ethics...Fourth, he provides a balanced and nuanced account of Nietzsche's views that incorporates texts written in all of Nietzsche's periods and styles...Solomon correctly understands that the key to Nietzsche's preferred virtues is overflowing energy, enthusiasm, and inspiration. Also, Solomon's expertise in the theory of emotions helps him clarify Nietzsche's complex views on this topic."—William R. Schroeder, Mind

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195306774
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/20/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert C. Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Philosophy and Business and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of more than twenty-five books including Passion for Wisdom (OUP, 1999), The Joy of Philosophy (OUP, 1999), What Nietzsche Really Said (2000), Introducing Philosophy (OUP, 2002), What is an Emotion? (OUP, 2002), Spirituality for the Skeptic (OUP, 2002), and Not Passion's Slave (OUP, 2002).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Living with Nietzsche
1. Nietzsche ad Hominem
2. Nietzsche's Moral Perspectivism
3. Nietzsche's Passions
4. Nietzsche on Resentment, Love, and Pity
5. Nietzsche's Affirmative Ethics
6. Nietzsche's Virtues: What Would He Make of Us?
7. Nietzsche's Existentialism
Selected Bibliography

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