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By Richard Schacht

Few philosophers were as broadly misunderstood as Nietzsche. His detractors and fans alike have usually essentially misinterpreted him, distorting his perspectives and intentions and criticizing or celebrating him for purposes faraway from the perspectives he truly held. Now Nietzsche assesses his position in eu idea, concentrating upon his writings within the final decade of his efficient existence.

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Nietzsche

Few philosophers were as generally misunderstood as Nietzsche. His detractors and fans alike have usually essentially misinterpreted him, distorting his perspectives and intentions and criticizing or celebrating him for purposes faraway from the perspectives he truly held. Now Nietzsche assesses his position in ecu proposal, concentrating upon his writings within the final decade of his efficient lifestyles.

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They also tend to take for granted the supreme importance and intrinsic value of ‘knowledge for the sake of knowledge,’ and in many cases the possibility of ‘absolute knowledge’ as well; and to regard as self-evident and unconditionally and universally binding ‘moral definitions in which former cultural conditions are reflected’ (WP 407). They commonly are naively disposed to ‘believe that there are “immediate certainties”; for example, “I think,” or as the superstition of Schopenhauer put it, “I will” ’ (BGE 16).

The latter, larger point is certainly to be distinguished from the former, and may perhaps be less reluctantly conceded. If it is granted, however, then a step at least has been taken in the direction of the broadening of the conception of philosophy along the former lines. The development of novel interpretations of things, Nietzsche insists, is a genuinely innovative affair, by no means consisting simply in reasoning straightforwardly from various facts, or in coming to see some feature of the world the way it actually is.

The philosophical enterprise I One way of approaching the question of Nietzsche’s conception of philosophy is to consider the sorts of issues and problems with which he takes it to be the business of philosophy to deal. And the most obvious indications of his thinking along these lines are 11 PHILOSOPHERS AND PHILOSOPHY provided by his own choices of subjects in his various writings in which he engages in what he expressly regards as philosophical inquiry. From The Birth of Tragedy onward, for example, he addresses himself repeatedly to the nature of art and its relation to life, as well as to larger questions pertaining to human nature and the character of reality more generally.

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