NIETZSCHE AS PHILOSOPHER by Arthur C. Danto

NIETZSCHE AS PHILOSOPHER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Nietzsche has merited all manner of reaction. Santayana termed his thought ""genialimbecility""; Heidegger and Jaspers, Lowith and Sartre, among others, place him in the forefront of modernism or the existential school; for Walter Kaufmann he is primarily au ""educator""; and to the popular mind, some weird conglomeration of proto-fascist, Social Darwinist, and Romantic. No one, to this reviewer's knowledge, has approached the man's philosophy as a whole very largely from the somewhat austere vantage point of logical analysis, which is what Columbia's Professor Danto has done in a highly original, briskly elegant, often quite brilliant study. Remarks Danto: ""Men had to be made to understand that everything was possible if they were to be moved to try anything at all, Nietzsche felt, and his philosophy, therefore, is one of total conceptual permissiveness."" Therein lies his famous Nihilism and the various constellations: Eternal Recurrence, Zarathustra, the Will to Power, the Apollonian and Dionysiac phases of art, and amor fati. Nietzsche's ideas of perspectivism, irrationality, morality, psychology and religion, his repudiation or transformation of early work, his aphoristic method and philological concerns- all these aspects Professor Danto examines with systematic grace, sometimes, rather wittily, at Nietzsche's expense. No apologia, but a coolly objective exposition, bound to cause a stir in philosophic circles, and very rightly so.

Publisher: Macmillan