Author(s): Walter Arnold Kaufmann
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.
"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
Walter A. Kaufmann (1921-1980) was professor of philosophy at Princeton University and a world-renowned scholar and translator of Nietzsche.
Foreword by Alexander Nehamas vPreface to the Fourth Edition (1974) xiPreface to the Third Edition (1968) xiiiPreface to the Second Edition (1956) xixPreface to the First Edition (1950) xxiA Note on the Citations 2Prologue: The Nietzsche Legend 3Part I: Background1. Nietzsche's Life as Background of His Thought 212. Nietzsche's Method 723. The Death of God and the Revaluation 96Part II: The Development of Nietzsche's Thought4. Art and History 1215. Existenz versus the State, Darwin, and Rousseau 1576. The Discovery of the Will to Power 178Part III: Nietzsche's Philosophy of Power7. Morality and Sublimation 2118. Sublimation, Geist, and Eros 2289. Power versus Pleasure 25710. The Master Race 28411. Overman and Eternal Recurrence 307Part IV: Synopsis12. Nietzsche's Repudiation of Christ 33713. Nietzsche's Attitude toward Socrates 391Epilogue: Nietzsche's Heritage 412Appendix: Nietzsche's "Suppressed" Manuscripts 424Four Letters: Commentary and Facsimile Pages 459Bibliography and Key to Abbreviations 483Index 511