Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist / Edition 4

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Princeton 2013 Softcover Reprint Edition with new format. 540 pages. Softcover. Brand new book. 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. Read more Show Less

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Overview

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.

A passionately written biography of Nietzsche, a classic in the portrayal of his ideas; a search for new values, criticism of culture and the nature of the overman.

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Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
Mr. Kaufmann has produced what may be called the definitive study of Nietzsche's life and thought-an informed, scholarly, and lustrous work.
From the Publisher
"Mr. Kaufmann has produced what may be called the definitive study of Nietzsche's life and thought-an informed, scholarly, and lustrous work."—The New Yorker
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691019833
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1975
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 532
  • Product dimensions: 9.04 (w) x 6.06 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2002

    The Best Guide to Nietzsche's Thought Available

    Professor Kaufmann's book clears up the popular misconceptions of Nietzsche's thought and demonstrates how pertinent his philosophy. If you haven't read Jaspers', Heidigger's, etc comments on Nietzsche don't--this book will save you the trouble; and if you have, Kaufmann's book will enlighten you as to why such earlier Nietzsche 'scholars' were, to put it mildly, wrong. It is refreshing to know that a book exists that puts Nietzsche not only in the pantheon of philosophers, but perhaps makes the case that he is one of the discipline's greatest.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 9, 2013

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    Posted March 26, 2010

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