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Nietzsche’s People

Yesterday, I began reading Nietzsche’s The Anti-Christ, a non-trivial lacuna in my Nie­tzsche reading to this point. I have not finished it, but I want to look at a movement that is already occurring in Nietzsche’s text—a movement I do not fully understand yet. This post is my attempt to go some way toward making sense of it. Specifically, I want to understand the relation between the private and the social in The Anti-Christ. I am using the Penguin Classics edition of Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ, which contains the Hollingdale translation of both works.

I want to start, not with Nietzsche, but with a fascinating suggestion by Gilles Deleuze, in his essay “Literature and Life” (found in Essays Critical and Clinical). He writes:

The ultimate aim of literature is to set free, in the delirium, this creation of a health or this invention of a people, that is, a possibility of life. To write for this people who are missing… (4)

The reason I start here is that I think, on this point, Deleuze is not all that far from Nietzsche’s own self-understanding of his project. Nietzsche’s 1878 book, Human, All Too Human is subtitled, “A Book for Free Spirits”. When the book was reprinted in 1886, Nietzsche wrote a new preface discussing this subtitle. A lengthy quote from this preface (from the Faber translation, University of Nebraska Press):

Whoever guesses something of the consequences of any deep suspicion, something of the chills and fears stemming from isolation, to which every man burdened with an unconditional difference of viewpoint is condemned, this person will understand […] why, when I could not find what I needed, I had to gain it by force artificially, to counterfeit it, or to create it poetically. (And what have poets ever done otherwise? And why else do we have all the art in the world?) What I always needed most to cure and restore myself, however, was the belief that I was not the only one to be thus, to see thus—I needed the enchanting intuition of kinship and equality in the eye and in desire, repose in a trusted friendship… (§1)

Thus I invented, when I needed them, the “free spirits” too, to whom this heavyhearted-stouthearted book with the title “Human, All Too Human” is dedicated. There are no such “free spirits,” were none—but, as I said, I needed their company at the time, to be of good cheer in the midst of bad things (illness, isolation, foreignness, sloth, inactivity); as brave fellows and specters to chat and laugh with, when one feels like chatting and laughing, and whom one sends to hell when they get boring—as reparation for lacking friends. That there could someday be such free spirits, that our Europe will have such lively, daring fellows among its sons of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, real and palpable and not merely, as in my case, phantoms and a hermit’s shadow play: I am the last person to want to doubt that. I already see them coming, slowly, slowly; and perhaps I am doing something to hasten their coming when I describe before the fact that fateful conditions that I see giving rise to them, the paths on which I see them coming? (§2)

Here we see Nietzsche explicitly admit that the “free spirits” to whom his book was addressed were non-existent, were his own creation. They are a people who did not yet exist, though Nietzsche saw them coming. (Nietzsche is careful to cast their coming as inevitable, and to minimize his role as, at best, a hastening of their coming, but we might wonder whether or not this is a false modesty. And yes, Nietzsche was capable of modesty when he needed it.) This may also help us understand his claim that he was born posthumously (from the foreword to The Anti-Christ: “Some are born posthumously”)—Nietzsche will not be born until after he dies, for his people will not be born until then, the free spirits that he invented.

The foreword to The Anti-Christ begins, “This book belongs to the very few. Perhaps none of them is even living yet.” In the first section of the book proper, Nietzsche begins, “Let us look one another in the face. We are Hyperboreans.” A helpful note to my edition states that the Hyperboreans were, in Greek mythology, “a race dwelling beyond the north wind (Boreas) in a country of warmth and plenty.” In these two quotes, I think Nietzsche is making it clear that he is addressing his book to a specific people, a people opposed to “modern man,” the man who sighs, “I know not which way to turn; I am everything that knows not which way to turn” (§1). It is an interpretive question I am not qualified to answer whether or not the Hyperboreans of The Anti-Christ are the same as the “free spirits” of Human, All Too Human. What I can say with some confidence is that Nietzsche is here again in the business of inventing the people to whom his book is addressed.

The book takes as a negative task the condemnation of Christianity: this task is emphasized when, in the book’s final section, Nietzsche writes, “– With that I have done and pronounce my judgment. I condemn Christianity, I bring against the Christian Church the most terrible charge any prosecutor has ever uttered” (§62). But, it seems to me, this negative task is not the sole task of the book, and possibly not even the main task—a possibility we should take very seriously given Nietzsche’s continual stressing of affirmation over negation, and of the value of looking away from what is ugly. If Nietzsche in this work does not look away, there must be some positive task, and I take that positive task to be the creation of his Hyperborean people.

Throughout the portion of the book I have read, Nietzsche consistently highlights that he is critiquing Christianity from a particular perspective—in this sense, the very act of critique reveals not just the flaws of Christianity, but what the critical perspective takes to be virtuous. The negative and positive tasks are thus inseparable, and so the final act of pronouncing judgment is equally a positive affirmation of the perspective from which the judgment comes. In condemning Christianity, Nietzsche sets himself and his Hyperboreans positive tasks. It is these that I wish to understand, though here I may achieve only the asking of a few pertinent questions.

I will proceed by looking first at what speaks to privacy in the first 18 sections of the book (what I have thus far read), and then I will look to what seems inherently social. Following that, I shall try to make some sense of where things stand.

In §4, Nietzsche suggests that a “higher type of man”, a type that stands opposed to collective humanity, has at times been realized by particular individuals, but only by chance, as a “lucky hit.” Nietzsche then characterizes the depravity/décadence of an individual as the loss of instinct, as the preference of what is harmful to it (§6). In §11, against Kant as a moralist, Nietzsche writes,

A virtue has to be our invention, our most personal defence and necessity: in any other sense it is merely a danger. […] The profoundest laws of preservation and growth demand the reverse of this [= “impersonal and universal” duty & virtue]: that each one of us should devise his own virtue, his own categorical imperative. […] What destroys more quickly than to work, to think, to feel without inner necessity, without a deep personal choice, without joy? as an automaton of ‘duty’? It is virtually a recipe for décadence, even for idiocy…

Here, then, is the personal aspect of Nietzsche’s view: individual higher men are to be produced; décadent individuals have lost their instinct for life; individuals must create their own virtues. These are the classic individualist themes in Nietzsche. But there is a more social side to the work as well, which is first seen in his very need to address it to a group of kindred spirits.

Thus Nietzsche speaks of the “formula of our happiness” (§1), of the “first principle of our philanthropy” (§2), and he characterizes a collective task: “To be physician here, to be inexorable here, to wield the knife here – that pertains to us, that is our kind of philanthropy, with that are we philosophers, we Hyperboreans!” (§7). Theologians are characterized as “our antithesis” (§8). Intermixed with what I (quite selectively) quoted from §11 is the following: “A people perishes if it mistakes its own duty for the concept of duty in general.” The whole of §14 is dedicated to illustrating the ways in which “we have learned better” what are the criteria for reality and unreality.

Thus we have, on the one hand what is personal and individual, and on the other hand what is institutional and social. How do these relate? Specifically, what is the relation between a people and a person: what is their relation in terms of values especially? In §3, Nietzsche sets out his primary problem:

The problem I raise here is not what ought to succeed mankind in the sequence of species (– the human being is a conclusion –): but what type of human being one ought to breed, ought to will, as more valuable, more worthy of life, more certain of the future.

This more valuable type has existed often enough already: but as a lucky accident, as an exception, never as willed. He has rather been the most feared, he has hitherto been virtually the thing to be feared – and out of fear the reverse type has been willed, bred, achieved: the domestic animal, the herd animal, the sick animal man – the Christian…

This goes some way to illuminating the relationship. Let me start by looking at what Nietzsche wants to take down: Christianity. As I read this passage, Nietzsche is suggesting that Christianity as an institution has served to breed Christians as individuals—sick individuals. Christianity as an institution is thus inimical to the cultivation of higher types of individuals—though of course Nietzsche recognized that the higher type had been achieved at times within Christian culture, despite having never been willed.

This suggests some clarification of the relationship between the Hyperboreans and the higher type. The Hyperboreans, as physicians, have the task of setting up social institutions that will breed the higher type. They are to create a context in which the higher type will be willed rather than feared. Nietzsche’s view is thus not solely for individuals: he really does wish to see the arising of a particular people.

But a tension still remains. Nietzsche seems to slide back and forth between peoples and persons. Thus, in §11, he suggests that each individual must have find his own categorical imperative, but then speaks of a people mistaking its particular duty for duty-in-itself. He moves from virtue as something fundamentally individual (think of the private virtue of Zarathustra) to something that characterizes a people. He extends this thought in §16, where he discusses the creation of Gods: “A people which still believes in itself still also has its own God.” The Jews have their God, for which they are the chosen people; Christians by contrast have a cosmopolitan God—a degeneration of the Israelites’ God. Gods are something social; they reflect the belief of a culture in itself—or the loss of that belief in a “perishing” people.

Another complication ensues when we look at §13, where Nietzsche writes:

Let us not undervalue this: we ourselves, we free spirits, are already a ‘revaluation of all values’, an incarnate declaration of war and victory over all ancient conceptions of ‘true’ and ‘untrue’. […] We have had the whole pathos of mankind against us – its conception of what truth ought to be; every ‘thou shalt’ has hitherto been directed against us…. Our objectives, our practices, our quiet, cautious, mistrustful manner – all this appeared utterly unworthy and contemptible to mankind.

In my prior understanding of Nietzsche—in keeping with what I quoted earlier about each individual having his own categorical imperative—I understood the revaluation of all values as an individual task. Here, however, Nietzsche sees it as a social one, one incarnated in all Hyperboreans.

What am I to take away from this? On the one hand, Nietzsche is an individualistic philosopher, but there seems to be a social element to his thought that I did not previously appreciate. Is this to be understood as the need to create a culture with institutions that promote the development of the higher type, that will the higher type? Is it to be seen as recognition that the highest creative movements that Nietzsche recognizes can be instantiated at the level of peoples and not just in individuals? Are Nietzsche’s Hyperboreans themselves individuals of the higher type, or mere breeders of the higher type? How does the duty of a people relate to the duty of an individual? If Gods are creations of peoples, then they reflect public, shared virtues—how do public and shared virtues interact with private virtues? What is the implication of the Hyperboreans being a creation of Nietzsche the individual have for all of this?

I do not know the answers to these questions—I hope that when I have completed the book I shall have gained some insight. I would, of course, appreciate any suggestions from readers familiar with Nietzsche’s thought.

  1. 2013/08/04 at 16:12

    I’ve been reading a lot of Nietzsche lately. I’m not really sure that I fully understand what he is saying. In fact, I’m certain I don’t understand completely. And yet I feel comfortable in reading him and knowing that I think that I almost understand. Sometimes the dialogue is more the answer to the question than the actual answer itself, it seems.

    • 2013/08/04 at 16:18

      My experience with reading Nietzsche is that feeling of almost but not quite fully understanding is tricky: at each point I feel that, and yet if I look at my understanding of Nietzsche over time it has really changed quite radically. I do think there is some merit to thinking that the experience of undergoing these revisions of view is at least as valuable as coming to a correct interpretation.

    • 2013/08/04 at 16:28

      True. Nietzsche and philosophy in general is something that can be read over and over. Time doesn’t change the words, but our place in time changes the meaning of those words. I love Nietzsche in that what I thought about his work 3 years ago is not what I think about his work today. Great blog, by the way. I’m certain I’ll stop back to read more and more.

  2. 2013/08/05 at 04:41

    Very interesting, dyssebeia! I certainly recognise the urge to write about Nietzsche before having finished the book.
    I think your approach to The Antichrist is very interesting, but I’m hesitant to comment on it because I only know the book from the biographies I’ve read.
    You start with the new preface to Human, All Too Human, and Nietzsche’s description of the free spirit. What puzzles me is that Nietzsche wrote a large part of HH when he was in Sorrento with, among others, Paul Rée. I think they were ‘kindred spirits’ at the time. Rée was working on The Origin of the Moral Sensations, and in his foreword he called Nietzsche the father of that book (and himself the mother). Both were writing aphorisms during the day and reading the French aphorists with the assembled inhabitants of the villa in the evenings. Because of what happened later, the friendship between Nietzsche and Rée turned sour and it is certain that Nietzsche spent one very lonely winter in Italy. So, what I’d like to say is that sometimes, I suspect that Nietzsche wrote his new prefaces incorporating the ideas he later developed. Or even reshaping his earlier thoughts. And I think the free spirit is such an idea, that only took shape after HH was first printed. Nietzsche had intense friendships, with one other boy at Pforta, with Rée and with Peter Gast. (The friendship with Rée seems to be almost on equal terms.) I think in his later works, like in the Antichrist, the loneliness and the ‘untimeliness’ came to the foreground more, but like everything else with Nietzsche, it is multi-layered.
    As are his views on Christianity; I really like your idea of looking for the positive affirmation in relation to this! I suspect Nietzsche wanted to scare some people off with his bold statements about Christianity, but there must be more to it than that. After all, he was convinced from a very young age that Christianity as an organised religion was falling apart even without pushing it. He was more interested in what would happen after that, I think.
    Sorry for writing at such length. I am very curious to see what you come up with when you’ve finished the book!

    • 2013/08/05 at 09:51

      Thanks for the historical detail. I knew about the relationship generally but did not know that Nietzsche did have a good friend at the time of writing HATH. I agree that Nietzsche’s 1886 preface is honest to 1886 Nietzsche much more than 1878 Nietzsche, though I don’t think that strongly undermines my reading. Nietzsche’s asking us to look at it in that way in hindsight, and I’m fine with indulging him. Interestingly, in one section of The Anti-Christ he moves from “I” mode to “we” mode and writes “we free spirits”, so he may think of the Hyperboreans as his free spirits from before. I’m not sure. (I didn’t catch this while writing this post.)

      In terms of looking for the positive affirmation behind the condemnation, I think it’s essential—I think the work would be a failure by Nietzsche’s own standards if it weren’t there. Deleuze (a philosopher I’m coming to lump with Nietzsche and Emerson as a philosopher of creativity) in an interview wrote: “It is only in the name of new creation that you can oppose.” This seems exactly right and I think Nietzsche would agree: it is the child that justifies the lion. Deleuze actually explicitly extends the point to Nietzsche in another interview: “Spinoza and Nietzsche are philosophers whose critical and destructive powers are without equal, but this power springs from affirmation, from joy, from a cult of affirmation and joy, from the exigency of life against those who would mutilate and mortify it.”

      I will definitely try to write something upon completing the book. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. 2013/08/27 at 15:49

    I would suggest reading essay two of section two of Genealogy of Morals, or read it again if you have, to help with your questions. And I would reconsider what you suggest about Nietzsche advocating “institutions of the higher type” as that term is quite contradictory to Nietzsche’s perspective for institutions limit man from becoming that “higher type,” however you believe it is.

    • 2013/08/27 at 16:07

      Thank you, Afshin. I’ve read that work, but not recently. It’s been on my re-read list for a while now. I will be sure to keep these questions in mind when I do get around to it.

      I am a bit perplexed by your comment about institutions (and if you are right about Nietzsche then I am perplexed by Nietzsche). One of Nietzsche’s aims, as I understand him, is to promote a culture where the “higher type” is willed and not merely an accident. His criticism of Christianity is (in part) that it wills precisely the opposite. That suggests to me that it is the wrong kind of institution, not that it is in the wrong simply for being an institution. Really, the very thought that the higher type should be willed seems to me to imply the need for some sort of institution. But perhaps I am making an error here (I can already see where one might at least start an objection), so I would appreciate any response you have.

    • 2013/08/27 at 18:02

      It’s not that I object to your understanding of Nietzsche’s quite ambiguous positivist notion of “higher type” as it’s continued to be debated and discussed. I’m merely questioning its categorization of it where it becomes merely a concept; to say the “higher type” (however it may be defined) can become a shared notion to such a degree that it can then be “chosen” and then “passed on” via an institution of some sort implies many things and at the very least there is the implication that there are categorical imperatives attached to it which are born from mere concepts not of the will. So here at the very least the notion of will must be defined.

      If you have Twilight of the Idols on hand, read §38 under the section titled, “Skirmishes of an Untimely Man.” I’ve copied and pasted it below from the pdf that I have:

      “My idea of freedom. – Sometimes the value of a thing is not what you get with it but what you pay for it, – what it costs. Here is an example. Liberal institutions stop being liberal as soon as they have been attained: after that, nothing damages freedom more terribly or more thoroughly than liberal institutions. Of course people know what these institutions do: they undermine the will to power, they set to work levelling moun- tains and valleys and call this morality, they make things small, cowardly, and enjoyable, – they represent the continual triumph of herd animals. Liberalism: herd animalization, in other words . . . As long as they are still being fought for, these same institutions have entirely different effects and are actually powerful promoters of freedom.

      On closer inspection, it is the war that produces these effects, the war for liberal institutions which, being a war, keeps illiberal institutions in place. And the war is what teaches people to be free. Because, what is freedom anyway? Having the will to be responsible for yourself. Maintaining the distance that divides us. Becoming indifferent to hardship, cruelty, deprivation, even to life. Being ready to sacrifice people for your cause, yourself included. Freedom means that the manly instincts which take pleasure in war and victory have gained control over the other instincts, over the instinct of ‘happiness’, for instance. People who have becomefree (not to mention spirits who have become free) wipe their shoes on the miserable type of well-being that grocers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats dream about. A free human being is a warrior. – How is freedom measured in individuals and in peoples? It is measured by the resistance that needs to be overcome, by the effort that it costs to stay on top. Look for the highest type of free human beings where the highest resistance is constantly being overcome: five paces away from tyranny, right on the threshold, where servitude is a danger. This is true psychologically, if you understand ‘tyrant’ to mean the merciless and terrible instincts that provoke the maximal amount of authority and discipline against themselves – Julius Caesar, the most magnificent type -; this is true politically as well, just look at history. The peoples with any value at all became valuable, and not through liberal institutions: great danger made them into something deserving of respect, the danger that first made us know our resources, our virtues, our arms and weapons, our spirit, – the danger thatforces us to be strong . . . First principle: you must need to be strong, or else you will never become it. – Those great hothouses for the strong, for the strongest type of people ever to exist, aristocratic communities in the style of Rome and Venice, understood freedom in precisely the sense I understand the word: as something that you have and do not have, that you will, that you win …”

      And here’s just an excerpt from section two of essay two of Genealogy of Morals:

      “By way of contrast, let us place ourselves at the other end of this enormous process, at the point where the tree finally bears its fruit, where society and moral custom finally reveal the *end* to which they were merely a means: there we find the ripest fruit on their tree the *sovereign individual,* the individual who resembles no one but himself, who has once again broken from the morality of custom, the autonomous supramoral individual (since ‘autonomous’ and ‘moral’ are mutually exclusive).”

    • 2013/08/29 at 07:16

      Thanks Afshin. I see (and feel) your point. Institutions have an inherently conservative nature that cuts against the higher type’s revaluation of all values—since an institution will of course seek to preserve its own values against that higher type.

      But I still wonder whether there might not be some way in which institutions could still be of the utmost importance. An institution will create a certain sort of person with a certain sort of values, and these values will always be publicly shareable ones, whereas the higher type is characterized precisely by a private, unnamable virtue (I’ve posted on this before). But Nietzsche’s work and his critique of Christianity is full of the lamentation of the (shared) virtues of Christianity and of praise of other virtues (cruelty, hardness, good cheer, etc.), virtues which are clearly shareable and namable (i.e. public). Because of that I at least suspect that Nietzsche might be envisioning a society in which the dominant institutions promote those virtues, and that such a society would be more suited for producing the higher type. Of course the institution cannot produce the higher type “directly” as it were, by imparting the right virtues, since the higher type isn’t characterized by the sort of virtues that can be imparted. But it might be that having certain public virtues imparted makes the development of such higher types more likely AND makes society more receptive to the higher type (as opposed to the seething hatred with which Christianity—for Nietzsche—receives the higher type).

      Basically I think institutions may have an important role to play even if we don’t take the higher type as a “concept” (in your phrase). And I think seeing that helps make sense of why it’s so important for Nietzsche to critique Christianity so heavily: he wants different, healthier institutions (such as those exemplified by the Greeks).

    • 2013/08/29 at 14:06

      Dyssebeia, I’m not sure what your point is now. Are you arguing whether Nietzsche asserted value on social constructs or are you arguing whether you personally believe them by having inserted your own value judgments? If you’re trying to do the former then I would suggest you develop your arguments more closely to the source as possible. If it’s the latter then I don’t see the point of engaging this discussion as this is essentially a subjective point with which there are no reason for objections.

      I’m afraid you’re putting the cart before the horse here if you’re suggesting what you believe Nietzsche is arguing. I originally suggested that you must first define what you mean by “will” and you did not, let alone specifically reference how Nietzsche sees it. You instead continued this discussion with the assumption that the intellect plays a central role, capable of commanding the development of the spirit. That is a very big assumption and one that you’ll find Nietzsche objects to time and again in his texts.

      In section 124 in Daybreak, Nietzsche writes the following: “We laugh at him who steps out of his room at the moment when the sun steps out of its room, and then says: ‘I will that the sun shall rise’; and at him who cannot stop a wheel, and says: ‘I will that it shall roll’; and at him who is thrown down in wrestling, and says: ‘here I lie, but I will lie here!’ But, all laughter aside, are we ourselves ever acting any differently whenever we employ the expression ‘I will’?

      To talk about the will with respect to Nietzsche, one must not forget that Nietzsche attacks any assertion that the will is born from the intellect alone. It is for that reason that many find his writing challenging as he essentially undermines the belief born from the phrase, “I think, therefore I am.” To posit that because a thought has entered the mind, it is because the mind conjured it is what is being assumed here.

      Nietzsche broke down the will into three constitutive parts: the bodily feelings of the will, the commandeering thought, and the meta-feeling of superiority (the feeling that the thought commands everything else). In each of these parts, Nietzsche breaks down the assumptions that are born from it which lead to one believing as if the intellect can overpower the will itself.

      In section 19 of Beyond Good and Evil (BGE), Nietzsche writes his understanding of the phenomenology of willing in great detail: “[I]n every act of willing there is, to begin with, a plurality of feelings [Gefühlen], namely: the feeling of the state away from which, the feeling of the state towards which, and the feeling of this ‘away from’ and ‘towards’ themselves. But this is accompanied by a feeling of the muscles that comes into play through a sort of habit as soon as we ‘will,’ even without our putting ‘arms and legs’ into motion. Just as feeling — and indeed many feelings — must be recognized as ingredients of the will, thought must be as well. In every act of will there is a commandeering thought, — and we really should not believe this thought can be divorced from the ‘willing,’ as if some will would then be left over! Third, the will is not just a complex of feeling and thinking; rather it is fundamentally an affect [ein Affekt]; and specifically the affect of the command. What is called ‘freedom of the will’ is essentially the affect of superiority with respect to something that must obey: ‘I am free, “it” must obey’ — this consciousness lies in every will. … A person who wills —, commands something inside himself that obeys, or that he believes to obey.”

      The “affect” of the will, in Nietzsche’s terms, is describing the consequential feeling of the thought that “I am willing,” e.g., “I have walked towards my desk, opened this laptop and I am writing this message to send away to you.” The mere identification of this will which has thereby commanded this body, which is me, to do the things in the example that I have described and is the basis of my superior feeling that the will was born from my mind and nothing more. Yet this identification does not thereby lead to the understanding from where the will has been born despite my feeling of superiority of commanding myself to do something.

      This paradox where I am both commanding and obeying the will is something that Nietzsche examines further in the same section, BGE 19: “[W]e are, under the circumstances, both the one who commands and the one who obeys, and as the obedient one we are familiar with the feelings of compulsion, force, pressure, resistance, and motion that generally start right after the act of willing. On the other hand, however, we are in the habit of ignoring and deceiving ourselves about this duality by mean of the synthetic concept of the ‘I.'”

      Nietzsche in section 17 of BGE already address this underlying assumption that because “I think” or at least believe that I have willed a thought, therefore “I” exist: “It is … a falsification of the facts to say that the subject ‘I’ is the condition of the predicate ‘think.’ It thinks: but to say the ‘it’ is just the famous old ‘I’ — well that is just an assumption or opinion, to put it mildly, and by no means an ‘immediate certainty.’ In fact, there is already too much packed into the ‘it thinks’: even the ‘it’ contains an interpretation of the process, and does not belong to the process itself.”

      So with all of that said, I would once again suggest you examine your understanding of the concept of will and its phenomenology with respect to Nietzsche’s writing. And then once you have established a concrete understanding of it, see how it is incongruent to your value judgments of institutions. What is the purpose for such institutions? To create a landscape amenable to the hyper type? But why would the higher type wish for that when he understands the will as Nietzsche sees it or how this higher type is understood? Or worse yet, how would a higher type be that if it must go through a conditioning process to “become” a higher type? Wouldn’t that be a contradiction of terms? And how are the virtues to be agreed upon and then instilled? There are many assumptions that are being asserted here, most of which are antithetical to Nietzsche’s understanding of the will and to the “sovereign man” as I quoted earlier from Genealogy of Morals.

      I’m afraid to say that this discussion has reached an impasse as there are many elements in this discussion that are being forsaken. I have offered this post though to at least challenge you once more to examine your assumptions of Nietzsche. But to continue this discussion prior to that happening would be a disservice to both of us, as it would become nothing more than me merely proffering you quotes while you continue to maintain the conjectured objection that Nietzsche believes otherwise. So with that said, I wish you luck in your journey and I hope you will give time to examining your line of thought so that if you showcase this position for another time, you at least have it anchored with the text, and maybe then someone else can entertain a discussion with you based on the understanding and interpretations of Nietzsche’s texts. But for now I believe this discussion has reached its end. -A

  1. 2013/08/06 at 12:46
  2. 2013/08/07 at 18:02
  3. 2013/08/21 at 10:45
  4. 2013/09/07 at 16:38
  5. 2014/04/03 at 07:08

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