Nietzsche: Socialist, Anarchist, Feminist

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Robert C. Holub, University of California at Berkeley

In its ascription of a tripartite personality to Nietzsche, my title recalls the most important book of the American Nietzsche reception, Walter Kaufmann’s Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist, which appeared in 1950 and has gone through four editions. Kaufmann’s volume was important precisely because it allowed the American public to speak again of Nietzsche after he had been associated for a dozen years with the National Socialists, with war, with anti-Semitism, with immorality and barbarism, and with a system of values inimical to the American and western way of life. Kaufmann’s monograph, as well as his many subsequent translations of Nietzsche’s writings, removed him from the political sphere and placed him in the role of existential theorist, whose main concerns were being, art, the human mind, and creativity. Kaufmann thereby acted as an important midwife in the birth of Nietzsche as a philosopher, an event that takes place only after the Second World War.

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