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Reevaluating Nietzsche

When I was in high school, I was on a Nietzsche kick for awhile; I knew I didn't agree with him about everything, but I did about most things. I was libertarian then, and while N's political philosophy does suggest a kind of individualism, it wasn't explicitly political about it (although N was more-or-less against strong states). If I had to just pick a political ideology for him, I'd probably say "anarchoprimitivist", although that's not quite right either; maybe anarchoclassicist would be more accurate (although over my life I've only met one or two people who might fit that category).

I'm hosting a 2-hour philosophy session on Nietzsche on Monday. It's going to examine the idea of the Übermensch (as I prefer to translate it, transcendant man), and is an alternative to a monthly session run by a local philosophy professor; naturally I'm preparing materials for the class, and expect to give a 15-20 minute lecture at the start. It'll focus on N's "Also Sprach Zarathustra", but I'll be giving the context of Herder, Sturm und Drang, Schopenhauer, and bits of the rest of N's works.

I haven't revisited N much recently; rereading Also Sprach (in English this time; my German copies of his works were lost in one of the most recent moves, and it'd take too long to skim auf D anyhow) is making it clear how far I've since moved away from N, although some ideas I haven't departed from at all. If I ever get around to it (and given that some things have been on the backburner forever, like the grand critique of the LessWrong movement that's still unfinished, don't hold your breath), I think I'm going to want to write about the good and bad bits of N sometime after monday. There are two things that I find particularly important from him:

  • What a philosopher should be
  • Critique of the Spirit of Gravity
And at least one thing that I need to think more about (Critique of the Last Man as nemesis to the Transcendant man).

I like how rich the tapestry is here though.

I'll post the final version of the notes for the meeting sometime after the meeting.