Notes on Contributors

A Note on References to Nietzsche’s Works

A Note on Translated Essays

A Note on Cross-References

Chronology of Nietzsche’s Life and Work

1 Friedrich Nietzsche: An Introduction to his Thought, Life, and Work Keith Ansell Pearson

Early Life and Thought

The Middle Period

The Final Period and Late Writings

2 Nietzsche and the Art of the Aphorism Jill Marsden

Nietzsche’s Understanding of the Aphorism

How Aphorisms Reconfigure the “Habits of the Senses”

The Art of Exegesis


3 The Aesthetic Justification of Existence Daniel Came

1 Introduction

2 The Schopenhauerian Challenge

3 “Justification”

4 The Extension of “Aesthetic Phenomenon”

5 The Aestheticization of Suffering

6 Concluding Remarks: The Ethics of Aesthetic Justification

4 Nietzsche on Individuation and Purposiveness in Nature Elaine P. Miller


The Dissertation Proposal

Shift to the Critique of Teleology

Kant’s Organicism and Critique of Teleological Judgment

Goethe’s Aesthetic Philosophy of Nature

Multiple Purposivenesses

Rationality and Purposiveness

The Legacy of the Dissertation Project in Nietzsche’s Later Work

5 The Individual and Individuality in Nietzsche Nuno Nabais

1 The Individual in the Period Prior to the Theory of the Will to Power

2 The Individual and Individuality in the Theory of the Will to Power



6 Nietzsche’s “Gay” Science Babette E. Babich

Science and Leidenschaft

The Music of the Gay Science and the Meaning of Wissenschaft

Gay Science: Passion, Vocation, Music

7 Nietzsche and Philosophical Anthropology Richard Schacht









8 Nietzsche’s Philosophy and True Religion Laurence Lampert

The Philosopher




Philosophers and Gods

9 The Naturalisms of Beyond Good and Evil Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick

1 Beyond Good and Evil and the “Magnificent Tension of the Spirit”

2 The Unveiled Truth: Preface to The Gay Science

3 Beyond Good and Evil’s “Tension of the Spirit” as it Appears in Gay Science 371 and 372

4 Gay Science 373 and 374: Values and Intentionality

5 Spir’s Relevance to Gay Science 373 and 374

6 Gay Science 374, in Light of Spir

7 The Unveiled Truth, Revisited


10 Identity and Eternal Recurrence Paul S. Loeb

1 Recurrence-Awareness

2 Recurrence-Evidence

3 Recurrence-Significance

4 Recurrence-Time

5 Recurrence-Coherence


11 Nietzsche and Cosmology Robin Small

Time, Space, and Finitude

From a Final State to Eternal Recurrence

Possibility and Time

A Dionysian World

12 Nietzsche on Time and Becoming John Richardson

1 Introduction

2 The World as Becoming

3 How Time Arises for Organisms

4 Human Time

5 Eternal Return

6 Conclusion on Realism and Idealism

13 The Incorporation of Truth: Towards the Overhuman Keith Ansell Pearson

The Weightiest Knowledge

Truth and its Incorporation

Knowledge and Self-Knowledge

14 Nihilism and Skepticism in Nietzsche Andreas Urs Sommer


1 Nihilism

2 Skepticism

3 Nihilism and Skepticism


15 The Body, the Self, and the Ego Volker Gerhardt

1 Reason as an Organ of the Body

2 The Body as the Instrument of Reason

3 The Paradox of Aesthetic Concepts

4 Hatred of the Body

5 The Meaning of the Body

6 The Living Body and its Ego

7 An “Unknown Wise Man” between Body and Ego

16 Phenomenology and Science in Nietzsche Peter Poellner

1 Introduction

2 The Idea of Phenomenology

3 Truth and the Primacy of Life

4 Diagnosing the Will To Truth: A Phenomenological Case Study

17 Naturalism and Nietzsche’s Moral Psychology Christa Davis Acampora

1 Nietzsche’s (Artful) Naturalism

2 The Subject Naturalized

3 Nietzsche’s Artful Naturalism

4 Toward an Ethos of the Agonized Subject


18 Naturalism and Genealogy Christopher Janaway

1 Methodological Naturalism

2 Nietzsche’s Antagonists in the Genealogy

3 Rée and Selflessness

4 Real History

5 Rhetorical Method and the Affects

6 Perils of Present Concepts: Causa fiendi and False Unity

7 Conclusion

19 The Philosophical Function of Genealogy Robert Guay





20 Agent and Deed in Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals Robert B. Pippin









21 Nietzsche and Ethics Paul J. M. van Tongeren

1 Introduction

2 Nietzsche’s Critique of Morality and Ethics

3 The Morality of the Critique

22 Rebaptizing our Evil: On the Revaluation of All Values Kathleen Marie Higgins

23 Nietzsche’s Fatalism Robert C. Solomon

Nietzsche on Freedom and Fatalism

Fatalism, Determinism, Destiny

Nietzsche’s Classical Fatalism

Nietzsche’s Watchword, “Become Who You Are”

Nietzsche on “Free Will”

Nietzsche on Responsibility


24 Nietzsche contra Liberalism on Freedom Herman Siemens

1 Introduction

2 Nietzsche’s Socio-Physiology and the Question of Sovereignty

3 Nietzsche versus Liberalism on Freedom and Resistance

4 Freedom and Resistance in Nietzsche’s Later Thought

5 On the Necessity of Conflict for Freedom: Nietzsche’s Critique of the Subject

25 Nietzsche and National Identity Diane Morgan




26 Nietzsche on Geophilosophy and Geoaesthetics Gary Shapiro

1 Geo-Metrics: Man as the Measurer

2 Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Philosophical Landscape Poem

3 Peoples and Fatherlands: Songs of the Earth

4 Thinking with the Earth: Toward Geoaesthetics

27 Nietzsche, Dionysus, and the Ontology of Music Christoph Cox

Music, Science, and the Interpretation of Existence

Dionysus and Apollo

The Music of Dionysus

Music, Science, and the Interpretation of Existence (Reprise)


28 Nietzsche and Evolutionary Theory Gregory Moore

The Non-Darwinian Revolution

1870–1880: The Struggle for Existence and Cultural Evolution

1880–1882: Nietzsche contra Spencer

1883–1888: The Will to Power as Bildungstrieb


29 Life and Self-Overcoming Daniel W. Conway

1 Life as Will to Power

2 Nietzsche contra “English Darwinism”

3 Life as Self-Overcoming

4 The Case of Nietzsche

5 The Law of Life

6 Concluding Critical Remarks

30 Nietzsche’s Theory of the Will to Power James I. Porter

“Claims to Power”

The Rhetoric of the Will to Power

“The world viewed from inside”: Nietzsche’s Later Atomism

“The Logic of Feeling”

31 A Critique of the Will to Power Henry Staten

A Biological Basis

Eliminating Vorstellung

Explosive Quantum

The Social Construction of Drives

On Techne

Self-Shifting Practices

Concluding Observations


Blackwell Companions to Philosophy

This outstanding student reference series offers a comprehensive and authoritative survey of philosophy as a whole. Written by today’s leading philosophers, each volume provides lucid and engaging coverage of the key figures, terms, topics, and problems of the field. Taken together, the volumes provide the ideal basis for course use, representing an unparalleled work of reference for students and specialists alike.

Already published in the series:

1. The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, Second Edition
Edited by Nicholas Bunnin and Eric Tsui-James
2. A Companion to Ethics
Edited by Peter Singer
3. A Companion to Aesthetics
Edited by David Cooper
4. A Companion to Epistemology
Edited by Jonathan Dancy and Ernest Sosa
5. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy (two-volume set), Second Edition
Edited by Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit
6. A Companion to Philosophy of Mind
Edited by Samuel Guttenplan
7. A Companion to Metaphysics
Edited by Jaegwon Kim and Ernest Sosa
8. A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory
Edited by Dennis Patterson
9. A Companion to Philosophy of Religion
Edited by Philip L. Quinn and Charles Taliaferro
10. A Companion to the Philosophy of Language
Edited by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright
11. A Companion to World Philosophies
Edited by Eliot Deutsch and Ron Bontekoe
12. A Companion to Continental Philosophy
Edited by Simon Critchley and William Schroeder
13. A Companion to Feminist Philosophy
Edited by Alison M. Jaggar and Iris Marion Young
14. A Companion to Cognitive Science
Edited by William Bechtel and George Graham
15. A Companion to Bioethics
Edited by Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer
16. A Companion to the Philosophers
Edited by Robert L. Arrington
17. A Companion to Business Ethics
Edited by Robert E. Frederick
18. A Companion to the Philosophy of Science
Edited by W. H. Newton-Smith
19. A Companion to Environmental Philosophy
Edited by Dale Jamieson
20. A Companion to Analytic Philosophy
Edited by A. P. Martinich and David Sosa
21. A Companion to Genethics
Edited by Justine Burley and John Harris
22. A Companion to Philosophical Logic
Edited by Dale Jacquette
23. A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy
ii Edited by Steven Nadler
24. A Companion to Philosophy in the Middle Ages
Edited by Jorge J. E. Gracia and Timothy B. Noone
25. A Companion to African-American Philosophy
Edited by Tommy L. Lott and John P. Pittman
26. A Companion to Applied Ethics
Edited by R. G. Frey and Christopher Heath Wellman
27. A Companion to the Philosophy of Education
Edited by Randall Curren
28. A Companion to African Philosophy
Edited by Kwasi Wiredu
29. A Companion to Heidegger
Edited by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall
30. A Companion to Rationalism
Edited by Alan Nelson
31. A Companion to Ancient Philosophy
Edited by Mary Louise Gill and Pierre Pellegrin
32. A Companion to Pragmatism
Edited by John R. Shook and Joseph Margolis
33. A Companion to Nietzsche
Edited by Keith Ansell Pearson
34. A Companion to Socrates
Edited by Sara Ahbel-Rappe and Rachana Kamtekar
35. A Companion to Phenomenology and Existentialism
Edited by Hubert L. Dreyfus and Mark A. Wrathall
36. A Companion to Kant
Edited by Graham Bird
37. A Companion to Plato
Edited by Hugh H. Benson
38. A Companion to Descartes
Edited by Janet Broughton and John Carriero
39. A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology
Edited by Sahotra Sarkar and Anya Plutynski
40. A Companion to Hume
Edited by Elizabeth S. Radcliffe
41. A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography
Edited by Aviezer Tucker


42. A Companion to Aristotle
Edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos
43. A Companion to Philosophy of Literature
Edited by Jost and Hagberg
44. A Companion to Schopenhauer
Edited by Bart Vandenabeele
45. A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology
Edited by Jan-Kyrre Berg Olsen, Stig Andur Pedersen and Vincent F. Hendricks


This volume is dedicated to the memory of the lives and work of Wolfgang Müller-Lauter (1924–2001) and Jorg Salaquarda (1938–1999)

Notes on Contributors

Christa Davis Acampora is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of numerous articles on Nietzsche, and she is the co-editor of A Nietzschean Bestiary: Becoming Animal Beyond Docile and Brutal (2004).

Keith Ansell Pearson is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Research at the University of Warwick. He founded the Friedrich Nietzsche Society (UK) in 1990 and has served on the editorial board of Nietzsche-Studien since 1997. He is the author of several books, including Nietzsche contra Rousseau (1991), Viroid Life: Perspectives on Nietzsche and the Transhuman Condition (1997), Germinal Life: The Difference and Repetition of Deleuze (1999), Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual: Bergson and the Time of Life (2002), and How to Read Nietzsche (2005). He is the editor of several books, including Nietzsche and Modern German Thought (1991), The Fate of the New Nietzsche (with Howard Caygill, 1994), Deleuze and Philosophy (1997), Bergson Key Writings (with John Mullarkey, 2001), and Blackwell’s The Nietzsche Reader (with Duncan Large, 2005). His books and essays have been translated into various languages, including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish.

Babette E. Babich is Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University, New York City, and Adjunct Research Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University. She is the founding editor of the journal New Nietzsche Studies and Executive Director of the Nietzsche Society in the US. She is author of Words in Blood, Like Flowers: Philosophy and Poetry, Music and Eros in Hölderlin, Heidegger, and Nietzsche (2005), and Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Science: Reflecting Science on the Ground of Art and Life (1994). She is contributing editor of several collections, including Habermas, Nietzsche, and Critical Theory (2004), Nietzsche, Theories of Knowledge, and Critical Theory (1999), and Nietzsche, Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science (1999).

Daniel Came is Lecturer in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has published articles on Nietzsche, aesthetics, and the history of philosophy and is the editor of Nietzsche and Ethics (2006).

Maudemarie Clark is George Carleton Jr. Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University. She is the author of Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy (1990), of the entry on

Nietzsche in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and of many articles on Nietzsche. She is also co-editor of Nietzsche’s Daybreak (Cambridge, 1997), and co-translator and co-editor of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality (1998). Her most recent publication is “Nietzsche’s Post-Positivism,” co-authored with David Dudrick, in the European Journal of Philosophy (2004). She and Dudrick are currently working together on a book tentatively titled Nietzsche’s Magnificent Tension of the Spirit.

Daniel W. Conway is Professor of Philosophy at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of Nietzsche’s Dangerous Game (1997) and Nietzsche and the Political (1997). He is also the editor of Nietzsche: Critical Assessments of Leading Philosophers, in four volumes (1998) and co-editor of Nietzsche, Philosophy, and the Arts (1998).

Christoph Cox is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts. He is the author of Nietzsche: Naturalism and Interpretation (1999) and co-editor of Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. He serves on the editorial board of Cabinet magazine and writes regularly on contemporary art and music for Artforum and The Wire.

David Dudrick is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Colgate University. He is the author of “Foucault, Butler, and the Body,” in the European Journal of Philosophy (2005), and of “Nietzsche’s Shameful Science,” forthcoming in International Studies in Philosophy. He is also co-author, with Maudemarie Clark, of “Nietzsche’s Post-Positivism,” in the European Journal of Philosophy (2004). He and Clark are currently working together on a book tentatively titled Nietzsche’s Magnificent Tension of the Spirit.

Volker Gerhardt is Professor of Practical Philosophy and Legal and Social Philosophy at the Humboldt University Berlin and a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences. He is the author of many books, including Pathos und Distanz (1989), Vom Willen zur Macht. Anthropologie und Metaphysik der Macht am exemplarischen Fall Friedrich Nietzsches (1996), Der Mensch wird geboren. Kleine Apologie der Humanität (2001), and Kant. Vernunft und Leben (2002). He is the editor of numerous books on Nietzsche, Kant, political philosophy, aesthetics, and epistemology.

Robert Guay is Visiting Assistant Professor at Barnard College. He has published essays on Nietzsche in the European Journal of Philosophy and Metaphilosophy.

Kathleen Marie Higgins is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Nietzsche’s “Zarathustra”, Comic Relief: Nietzsche’s “Gay Science”, and What Nietzsche Really Said (with Robert C. Solomon), and books on music and the history of philosophy. She is the editor of Reading Nietzsche (with Robert C. Solomon), The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche (with Bernd Magnus), and books on erotic love, ethics, aesthetics, and world philosophy.

Christopher Janaway is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton, and was previously Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College of the University of London. He is the author of several works on Schopenhauer and aesthetics, and editor of Willing and Nothingness: Schopenhauer as Nietzsche’s Educator. He is currently completing a book on Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals.

Laurence Lampert is Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University Indianapolis. He is the author of Nietzsche’s Teaching: An Interpretation of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” Nietzsche and Modern Times: A Study of Bacon, Descartes, and Nietzsche, Leo Strauss and Nietzsche, and Nietzsche’s Task: An Interpretation of “Beyond Good and Evil.”

Paul S. Loeb is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Puget Sound. He is the author of numerous articles on Nietzsche and is currently completing a book about Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

Jill Marsden is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Bolton Institute. She has written articles on various aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy and is the author of After Nietzsche: Notes Towards a Philosophy of Ecstasy (2002).

Elaine P. Miller is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is the author of The Vegetative Soul: From Philosophy of Nature to Subjectivity in the Feminine (2001), as well as articles on Nietzsche, Kant, Hegel, and Irigaray. She is also the co-editor of Returning to Irigaray (forthcoming).

Gregory Moore is Lecturer in German Studies at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Nietzsche, Biology, and Metaphor (2002) and co-editor with Thomas Brobjer of Nietzsche and Science (2004).

Diane Morgan is Lecturer in Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. She is the author of Kant Trouble: Obscurities of the Enlightened (2000), and is currently working on a book project “Cosmopolitics and the Future of Humanism.”

Nuno Nabais is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lisbon. He is the author, in Portuguese, of The Metaphysics of the Tragic: Studies on Nietzsche (1998), The Evidence of Possibility: The Modal Question in Husserl (1999), and The Genealogy of the Sublime: From Kant to Deleuze (2005).

Robert B. Pippin is the Raymond W. and Martha Hilpert Gruner Distinguished Service Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, the Department of Philosophy, and the College at the University of Chicago. He has been a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and the winner of the Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the humanities. He is the author of several books, including Kant’s Theory of Form, Hegel’s Idealism: The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness, Modernism as a Philosophical Problem, and Henry James and Modern Moral Life. A collection of recent essays, Die Verwirklichung der Freiheit, was published in 2005.

Peter Poellner is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Warwick. He is the author of Nietzsche and Metaphysics (1995), and of numerous articles on Nietzsche and phenomenology. He is currently completing a book Value in Modernity.

James I. Porter is Professor of Classical Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Nietzsche and the Philology of the Future and The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the “Birth of Tragedy” (both 2000). He is the editor of Constructions of the Classical Body (1999), Before Subjectivity? Lacan and the Classics (with Mark Buchan; special issue of Helios, Fall 2004), and Classical Pasts: The Classical Traditions of Greece & Rome (2005). His current projects include The Material

Sublime in Greek & Roman Aesthetics and Nietzsche and the Seductions of Metaphysics: Nietzsche’s Final Philosophy.

John Richardson is Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Existential Epistemology: A Heideggerian Critique of the Cartesian Project (1986), Nietzsche’s System (1996), and Nietzsche’s New Darwinism (2004). He is the co-editor with Brian Leiter of the collection Nietzsche (2001).

Richard Schacht is Professor of Philosophy and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois. His books include Alienation, Hegel and After, Nietzsche, The Future of Alienation, Making Sense of Nietzsche, and, with Philip Kitcher, Finding an Ending: Reflections on Wagner’s Ring.

Gary Shapiro is Tucker-Boatwright Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Richmond. He is the author of Nietzschean Narratives (1989), Alcyone: Nietzsche on Gifts, Noise, and Women (1991), Earthwards: Robert Smithson and Art after Babel (1995), and Archaeologies of Vision: Foucault and Nietzsche on Seeing and Saying (2003). His current projects are concerned with European philosophy and environmental aesthetics.

Herman Siemens teaches modern philosophy at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. Since 1998 he has been working together with other Nietzsche scholars on the Nietzsche Dictionary project, based at the University of Nijmegen. At the same time he has been conducting research into Nietzsche’s concept of the agon, a cultural and ethical ideal of limited conflict derived from Greek antiquity.

Robin Small teaches at Auckland University, New Zealand. He is the author of Nietzsche in Context (2001), and Nietzsche and Rée: A Star Friendship (2005). He is the editor of A Hundred Years of Phenomenology (2001) and Paul Rée: Basic Writings (2003). He has also published articles on Hegel, Marx, Husserl, and Kafka.

Robert C. Solomon is Quincy Lee Centennial Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of more than 40 books, including The Passions, In the Spirit of Hegel, About Love, A Passion for Justice, A Short History of Philosophy, Ethics and Excellence, The Joy of Philosophy, and Not Passion’s Slave. His most recent book is Living with Nietzsche: What the Great “Immoralist” has to teach us. He is the co-editor of Reading Nietzsche and co-author of What Nietzsche Really Said (both with Kathleen Marie Higgins).

Andreas Urs Sommer is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Greifswald, Germany. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Princeton University and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Germanic Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. He is the author of several books, including Der Geist der Historie und das Ende des Christentums. Zur “Waffengenossenschaft” von Friedrich Nietzsche und Franz Overbeck (1997), Friedrich Nietzsches “Der Antichrist.” Ein philosophisch-historischer Kommentar (2000), and Die Hortung. Eine Philosophie des Sammelns (2000). He has also edited several volumes, including Im Spannungsfeld von Gott und Welt (1997), Existenzphilosophie und Christentum. Albert Schweitzer und Fritz Buri. Briefe 1935-1964 (2000), and Lohnt es sich, ein guter Mensch zu sein? Und andere philosophische Anfragen (2004). He is co-editor of the letters of Franz Overbeck (Werke und Nachlass, volume 8, forthcoming).

Henry Staten is Lockwood Professor in the Humanities and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of Wittgenstein and Derrida (1986), Nietzsche’s Voice (1990) and Eros in Mourning: From Homer to Lacan (2002).

Paul J. M. van Tongeren is Professor of Philosophy at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. He is the author of Reinterpreting Modern Culture: An Introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Philosophy (1999) and chief editor of the Nietzsche Dictionary.

A Note on References to Nietzsche’s Works

With the exception of Kritische Studienausgabe (KSA) and The Will to Power (WP), where only one edition of each exists, the contributors to this volume have used different editions and translations of Nietzsche’s texts. Where no details of Nietzsche’s texts are given at the end of an essay this is because the contributor has relied exclusively on their own translations. References to KSA are not given in chapter bibliographies to avoid unnecessary repetition; references appear extensively throughout the volume. When citing from the German editions of Nietzsche’s works contributors have sought to provide reference to an English source where available. Unless stated otherwise, references given throughout the text are to aphorism and section numbers, not page numbers, for example GS 54, BGE 36. A reference to KSA gives first the volume number followed by the note number (e.g. KSA 9, 11 [141]). Where a text by Nietzsche is divided into chapters or parts with separately numbered sections, these are cited by an intermediate roman numeral – for example, GM I. 12, Z II – followed by title of the particular discourse. Twilight of the Idols is cited by the abbreviation (TI) followed by the title of the particular chapter and then section number, for example, TI, “Expeditions of an Untimely Man,” 14. The third chapter of Ecce Homo contains parts with separately numbered sections on Nietzsche’s books, and these are referenced as, for example, EH, “BT,” 3, EH, “Z,” 2, and so on.

The following system of abbreviations has been used throughout the text:

Books Published by Nietzsche or Prepared for Publication by Nietzsche

A The Anti-Christian
AOM Assorted Opinions and Maxims (volume 2, part 1, of Human, All Too Human)
BGE Beyond Good and Evil
BT The Birth of Tragedy
CW The Case of Wagner
D Daybreak
EH Ecce Homo
GM On the Genealogy of Morality
GS The Gay Science
HH Human, All Too Human (this refers to volume 1 only)
NCW Nietzsche contra Wagner
TI Twilight of the Idols
UM II The Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life (second Untimely Meditation)
UM III Schopenhauer as Educator (third Untimely Meditation)
WS The Wanderer and his Shadow (volume 2, part 2, of Human, All Too Human)
Z Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Unpublished Essays and Books

HC “Homer’s Contest”
PTAG “Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks”
TL “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense”

Posthumous Selections from Nietzsche’s Notebooks

LN Writings from the Late Notebooks
WP The Will to Power. Ed. and trans. R. J. Hollingdale and Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1967

German Editions of Nietzsche’s Works and Letters

In referring to Nietzsche’s works in German the vast majority of contributors have utilized the following edition:

KSA Sämtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe, 15 volumes. Ed. G. Colli and M. Montinari. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1967–77; Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1980.

KSA Nachlass Volumes

Over half of this edition of Nietzsche’s works is made up of posthumously published notebooks or Nachlass.

Volume 1 includes both Nietzsche’s first-published text, Birth of Tragedy (1872), and Nachlass writings of 1870–3, including pieces cited by contributors in this volume such as: “On the Pathos of Truth” (pp. 755–61), “Homer’s Contest” (pp. 783–93), Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks (pp. 799–813), and “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense” (pp. 873–91).

Volumes 2–6 cover the texts and materials Nietzsche published or prepared for publication during his lifetime.

Volume 7 =Nachlass 1869–74

Volume 8 =Nachlass 1875–9

Volume 9 = Nachlass 1880–2

Volume 10 = Nachlass 1882–4

Volume 11 = Nachlass 1884–5

Volume 12 = Nachlass 1885–7

Volume 13 = Nachlass 1887–9

Volume 14 = the editors’ commentary on volumes 1–13

Other References to Nietzsche’s Works

The following are occasionally referenced:

BAW Friedrich Nietzsche, Werke und Briefe. Historisch-Kritische-Gesamtausgabe. Ed. J. Mette and K. Schlechta. Munich: Beck, 1933–.
GOA Friedrich Nietzsche, Werke. Grossoktav-Ausgabe, 19 volumes. Ed. E. FörsterNietzsche, Peter Gast, et al. Leipzig: Naumann/Kröner, 1894–.
KGW Werke. Kritische Gesamtausgabe, ca. 40 volumes. Established G. Colli and M. Montinari, continued by W. Müller-Lauter and K. Pestalozzi. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1967–.
KSB Sämtliche Briefe. Kritische Studienausgabe Briefe, 8 volumes. Ed. G. Colli and M. Montinari. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter; Munich: dtv, 1986.

A Note on Translated Essays

The essays by Volker Gerhardt, Nuno Nabais, Andreas Urs Sommer, and Paul van Tongeren have been translated by Colin King, Christopher Rollason, Carol Diethe, and Thomas Hart respectively. Each essay was further refined and edited by the editor.

A Note on Cross-References

A system of cross-referencing has been deployed throughout the volume to help readers quickly identify relevant essays. Only essays outside the section in which a particular essay appears are cross-referenced; readers should consider examining all the essays in any given section where an essay they wish to consult appears. A number of essays in the volume could have been placed in more than one section. The decision where to place an essay was done on the basis of its overriding theme and where it would gain its greatest pertinence. Several constructions of this volume were possible. Although the final construction is a piece of artifice, it has not been put together in an arbitrary fashion.

Chronology of Nietzsche’s Life and Work

1844 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche born in Röcken (Saxony) on October 15, son of Karl Ludwig and Franziska Nietzsche. His father and both grandfathers are Protestant clergymen.
1846 Birth of sister Elisabeth.
1849 Birth of brother Joseph; death of father due to “softening of the brain” following a fall.
1850 Death of brother; family moves to Naumburg.
1858–64 Attends renowned Pforta boarding school, where he excels in classics.
1862 Writes his first philosophical essays on fate, history, and freedom of the will under the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
1864 Enters Bonn University to study theology and classical philology.
1865 Follows his classics professor to Leipzig University, where he drops theology and continues with studies in classical philology. Discovers Schopenhauer’s philosophy.
1867–8 Military service in Naumburg, until invalided out after a riding accident.
1868 Back in Leipzig, meets Richard Wagner for the first time and becomes a devotee. Increasing disaffection with philology: plans to go to Paris to study chemistry.
1869 Appointed Extraordinary (Associate) Professor of Classical Philology at Basel University and teacher of Greek at the associated grammar school. Awarded doctorate without examination; renounces Prussian citizenship and applies for Swiss citizenship without success (he lacks the necessary residential qualification and is stateless for the rest of his life). Begins a series of idyllic visits to the Wagners at Tribschen, on Lake Lucerne. Gives inaugural lecture “On Homer’s Personality.” Meets the historian Jacob Burckhardt and the theologian Franz Overbeck.
1870 Promoted to full professor and gives public lectures on “The Greek Music-Drama” and “Socrates and Tragedy.” Composes sketches for a drama on the philosopher Empedocles, which anticipates many of the themes of The Birth of Tragedy. Participates in the Franco-Prussian War as volunteer medical orderly, but contracts dysentery and diphtheria at the front within a fortnight. Spends Christmas with Wagner and present at the first performance of the Siegfried Idyll at Tribschen.
1871 Nietzsche works intensively on The Birth of Tragedy. Germany unified; founding of the Reich. Nietzsche granted his first period of leave of absence from his university “for the purpose of restoring his health.”
1872 Publishes The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music. Lectures “On the Future of our Educational Institutions”; attends laying of foundation stone for Bayreuth Festival Theatre. Gives Cosima Wagner Christmas present of “five prefaces to unwritten books,” which include “On the Pathos of Truth” and “Homer’s Contest.”
1873 Publishes first Untimely Meditation: David Strauss the Confessor and the Writer. Drafts the essay “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense” but refrains from publishing it.
1874 Publishes second and third Untimely Meditations: On the Use and Disadvantage of History for Life and Schopenhauer as Educator. Relationship with Wagner begins to sour, and makes his last private visit to him in August. They do not see each other for nearly two years.
1875 Meets musician Heinrich Köselitz (Peter Gast), who idolizes him and becomes his disciple. Attends a spa in the Black Forest seeking a cure to his violent headaches and vomiting.
1876 Publishes fourth and last Untimely Meditation: Richard Wagner in Bayreuth. Attends first Bayreuth Festival but leaves early and subsequently breaks with Wagner. Further illness; granted full year’s sick leave from the university. Spends time with Paul Rée in Sorrento where both write and where he also meets Wagner for the last time.
1877 Travels alone in Italy and Switzerland; arrives back in Basel and resumes teaching duties.
1878 Publishes Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits, which confirms the break with Wagner and who declines to read the book.
1879 Publishes supplement to Human, All Too Human, Assorted Opinions and Maxims. Finally retires from teaching on a pension; first visits the Engadine, summering in St Moritz.
1880 Publishes The Wanderer and his Shadow. First stays in Venice and Genoa.
1881 Publishes Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. First stay in Sils-Maria. Composition of notes and sketches on “the thought of thoughts,” the eternal return of the same. Sees Bizet’s Carmen for the first time and adopts it as the model antithesis to Wagner.
1882 Publishes The Gay Science. Spends time with Rée in Genoa, travels to Rome where he eventually meets with Lou Andreas-Salomé and becomes infatuated with her. Salomé spurns his marriage proposals. By the end of the year Nietzsche realizes he has been abandoned by Rée and Salomé and is physically and emotionally exhausted.
1883 Publishes Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One, Parts I and II (separately). Death of Wagner. Spends the summer in Sils and the winter in Nice, his pattern for the next five years. Increasingly consumed by writing.
1884 Publishes Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part III.
1885 Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Part IV, printed but circulated to only a handful of friends.
1886 Publishes Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Sketches out plans for a magnum opus in several volumes entitled The Will to Power: Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values, which he continues to work on into 1888.
1887 Publishes On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic.
1888 Begins to receive public recognition: Karl Spitteler publishes first review of his work as a whole in the Bern Bund and Georg Brandes lectures on his work in Copenhagen. Discovers Turin, where he writes The Wagner Case: A Musician’s Problem. Completes, in quick succession, Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize with a Hammer (first published 1889), The Antichristian: Curse on Christianity (first published 1895), Ecce Homo, or How to Become What You Are (first published 1908), Nietzsche contra Wagner: Documents of a Psychologist (first published 1895), and Dionysus Dithyrambs (first published 1892).
1889 Suffers mental breakdown in Turin (3 January) and taken by Overbeck to the university clinic at Basel where the diagnosis is “progressive paralysis” or general paresis (the diagnosis cannot be taken as fact); later transferred to the university clinic at Jena. Twilight of the Idols published 24 January, the first of his new books to appear after his collapse.
1890 Discharged into the care of his mother in Naumburg.
1894 Elisabeth founds Nietzsche Archive in Naumburg (moving it to Weimar two years later).
1895 Publication of The Anti-Christian and Nietzsche contra Wagner. Elisabeth becomes the owner of Nietzsche’s copyright.
1897 Mother dies; Elisabeth moves Nietzsche to Weimar.
1900 Nietzsche dies in Weimar on 25 August.

I am grateful to Duncan Large for allowing me to use his now standard Chronology of Nietzsche, which I have amended and enlarged.

Friedrich Nietzsche: An Introduction to his Thought, Life, and Work


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) exerted an extraordinary influence on twentieth-century thought and continues to be a major source of inspiration for work being done today in all the branches of philosophical inquiry. Nietzsche was first and foremost an intellectual revolutionary who sought to change the way we think about existence and how we actually live. To this end he constructed new tasks and projects and put forward new ways of interpreting and evaluating existence.

Nietzsche’s philosophical legacy, however, is a complex one. Nietzsche aptly characterized his manner of doing philosophy when, in a letter to a friend, he spoke of his “whole philosophical heterodoxy,”1 Most of his texts are aphoristic in style, his meaning is deliberately enigmatic, and he plays all kinds of tricks on his readers. One commentator, Eugen Fink, has argued that the metaphors and images that abound in Nietzsche’s writings must be translated into thoughts if we are not to hear in them only an opulent, overloaded, and loquacious voice.2 In spite of his heterodoxy and the difficulties presented by his philosophical style, Nietzsche’s influence on modern trajectories of thought has been enormous and he continues to be utilized for important philosophical ends. His ideas exerted an influence on almost every important intellectual movement of the last century, including existentialism, structuralism, and post-structuralism. Aspects of his thought have had an influence on major philosophical figures in both North America and Great Britain, including Stanley Cavell, Richard Rorty, and Bernard Williams. Today he is the subject of a wide array of philosophical treatments, having been adopted by philosophers both of so-called “analytical” persuasions and so-called “continental” ones. Philosophical appreciation of Nietzsche has perhaps never been in a healthier state. Today there are lively debates over every aspect of his thinking, and sophisticated academic studies of his ideas are published on a regular basis.This volume showcases the full range of work currently being done in the area of Nietzsche studies and appreciation. This includes close textual analysis and exegesis, the treatment of Nachlass material, clarification of aspects of his core doctrines and concepts, including some of the most difficult aspects, the consideration of Nietzsche’s ideas in relation to fundamental philosophical problems that continue to occupy the attention of philosophers, and critical engagement with these ideas. The volume profiles contemporary thinking on Nietzsche’s unpublished material and published texts and reflects trends in recent scholarship, such as the renewed focus on Nietzsche’s naturalism and interest in his philosophy of time, of nature, and of life. There are instructive treatments of Nietzsche in relation to both established philosophical projects, such as phenomenology, and new ones, such as geophilosophy. The aim of the volume is essentially twofold: to illuminate core aspects of Nietzsche’s thinking and to show the continuing relevance for philosophy of many of his ideas and projects and tasks. By way of an introduction to the essays that follow I wish to offer a synoptic guide to Nietzsche’s thought, life, and work.3

Early Life and Thought

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844 in Röcken, a tiny village near Lützen in Saxony. His father was a Lutheran pastor and was to die only five years after Nietzsche’s birth as a result of softening of the brain. The experience of death, of its brute eruption into life and the violent separations it effects, took place early in Nietzsche’s life, and the deaths of both his father and his brother Joseph (who was to die before his second birthday) continued to deeply affect Nietzsche throughout the course of his adolescent life and into maturity.

On the death of his father Nietzsche’s family, which included his mother, his sister Elisabeth, and two unmarried aunts, relocated to Naumburg. Nietzsche began learning to play the piano and composed his first philosophical essay, “On the Origin of Evil.” In 1858 he entered Pforta school in the Saale valley and was a student at this famous boarding school for six years. During this formative period of his youth he developed a love of various writers and poets, including Friedrich Hölderlin and Lord Byron. It is also during this period that he composed his first essay in classical philology and isolated pieces of philosophical reflection, such as “Fate and History.”

On his fifteenth birthday Nietzsche declared that he had been “seized” and taken over by an “inordinate desire for knowledge and universal enlightenment.” In an autobiographical fragment dated 1868/9 he reveals it was only in the final stages of his education at Pforta that he abandoned his artistic plans to be a musician and moved into the field of classical philology. He was motivated by a desire to have a counterweight to his changeable and restless inclinations. The science of philology on which he chose to focus his labors was one he could pursue with “cool impartiality, with cold logic, with regular work, without its results touching me at all deeply” (Nietzsche’s mature approach to the matter of knowledge could not be more different!).4 When he got to university Nietzsche realized that although he had been “well taught” at school he was also “badly educated”; he could think for himself but did not have the skills to express himself and he had “learned nothing of the educative influence of women.”5

In October 1864 Nietzsche commenced his undergraduate studies in theology and classical philology at Bonn University. He attended the lectures of the classicist Friedrich Ritschl, who was later to play an influential role in securing Nietzsche’s professorship at Basel. In his first year of university life he underwent the rite of passage offered by a duel and began his journey of alienation from his mother and sister by refusing to take communion. In 1865 he moved university to study just classical philology, following his teacher Ritschl to Leipzig. He speaks of his move from Bonn to Leipzig in a letter to his sister Elisabeth dated June 11, 1865, where he states that if a person wishes to achieve peace of mind and happiness then they should acquire faith, but if they want to be a disciple of truth, which can be “frightening and ugly,” then they need to search. In his second year of university he discovered Schopenhauer, who suited his melancholic disposition at the time, and in 1866 he found a veritable “treasure-chest” of riches in Friedrich Albert Lange’s magisterial study History of Materialism. In 1867 Leipzig University awarded him a prize for his study of Diogenes Laertius and he spent the third year of his university studies in military service.

In early 1869 Nietzsche, who had recently begun to feel disaffected with his chosen subject of study and research, was appointed to Basel University as Extraordinary Professor of Classical Philology (he was to apply for the Chair in Philosophy a few years later when it became vacant, but was not successful). Nietzsche assumed the role and duties of a professor at the age of 24 without completing his dissertation or postgraduate thesis.

Although Nietzsche often criticized the discipline of philology he had been trained in for its scholasticism and pedantry, the importance it places on the arts of reading and interpretation deeply informed his work. He repeatedly stresses the importance of knowing how to read well. He presents himself in untimely or unfashionable terms as a friend of slowness (lento) and as the teacher of slow reading. The contemporary age is an age of quickness; it no longer values slowness but seeks to hurry everything. Philology can be viewed as a venerable art that demands that its practitioners take time so as to become still and slow. More than anything it is an art that teaches one how to read well, which consists in reading slowly and deeply, and with the aid of which one looks and sees in a certain and specific manner: cautiously, observantly, “with doors left open” and “with delicate eyes and fingers” (D, preface, 5). Nietzsche believes that reading should be an art, for which rumination is required. He stresses that an aphorism has not been deciphered just because it has been read out; rather, an art of interpretation or exegesis needs to come into play. On Nietzsche’s specific art of the aphorism see the essay by Jill Marsden (chapter 2).

Nietzsche had made the personal acquaintance of Wagner in November 1868 in Leipzig, and he made his first visit to the composer and his mistress (later wife) Cosima von Bulow at their house “Tribschen” near Lucerne not long after his arrival in Basel in April 1869. Between 1869 and 1872 Nietzsche would make over 20 visits to Tribschen. Nietzsche became a devotee of Wagner and considered himself to be in the presence of genius. This devotion did not last, and in his later writings he approaches Wagner as a case study that offers instructive lessons in how to read the signs and symptoms of pathological modernity (CW, preface).

In 1870 and 1871 Nietzsche lectured on topics, such as Socrates and tragedy and the “Dionysian world-view,” that would form the basis of his first book, The Birth of Tragedy. He had the intimation that he was about to give birth to a “centaur” with art, philosophy, and scholarship all growing together inside him. In the Franco-Prussian War Nietzsche served for a few weeks as a medical orderly, but was invalided out when he contracted dysentery and diphtheria himself; on his return to Basel he began to suffer from insomnia, and he was to suffer from serious bouts of ill health and migraine attacks throughout the rest of his life. He wrote most of The Birth of Tragedy while on convalescent leave from his university, in 1871, and it was published at the beginning of 1872. Upon its publication Nietzsche’s book met with vehement rejection by the philological community, and after being rejected by his mentor, Ritschl, Nietzsche had to admit that he had fallen from grace and was now ostracized from the guild of philologists. In 1873 Nietzsche worked on various projects, such as “Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks,” the essay “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense,” and his Untimely Meditations. Nietzsche planned several dozen of these but only four actually materialized, and he regarded the whole exercise of writing them as a way of extracting everything he saw as negative in himself.

The Birth of Tragedyder Scheinende,Rausch).Ursprung