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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. Featuring a new foreword by Alexander Nehamas, this Princeton Classics edition of Nietzsche introduces a new generation of readers to one the most influential accounts ever written of any major Western thinker.
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Table of Contents

Foreword by Alexander Nehamas v Preface to the Fourth Edition (1974) xi Preface to the Third Edition (1968) xiii Preface to the Second Edition (1956) xix Preface to the First Edition (1950) xxi A Note on the Citations 2 Prologue: The Nietzsche Legend 3 Part I: Background 1. Nietzsche's Life as Background of His Thought 21 2. Nietzsche's Method 72 3. The Death of God and the Revaluation 96 Part II: The Development of Nietzsche's Thought 4. Art and History 121 5. Existenz versus the State, Darwin, and Rousseau 157 6. The Discovery of the Will to Power 178 Part III: Nietzsche's Philosophy of Power 7. Morality and Sublimation 211 8. Sublimation, Geist, and Eros 228 9. Power versus Pleasure 257 10. The Master Race 284 11. Overman and Eternal Recurrence 307 Part IV: Synopsis 12. Nietzsche's Repudiation of Christ 337 13. Nietzsche's Attitude toward Socrates 391 Epilogue: Nietzsche's Heritage 412 Appendix: Nietzsche's "Suppressed" Manuscripts 424 Four Letters: Commentary and Facsimile Pages 459 Bibliography and Key to Abbreviations 483 Index 511

About the Author

Walter A. Kaufmann (1921-1980) was professor of philosophy at Princeton University and a world-renowned scholar and translator of Nietzsche.


"Illuminating."--New York Times "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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