Nietzsche's Notes, Nietzsche's Philosophy


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Virginia Tech


Disagreement on what kind of philosopher Nietzsche was (e.g., the first postmodern or a traditional) stems, in part, from what weight his unpublished writings are given in various interpretations of his philosophy. I argue that the unpublished material can sometimes assist in interpreting passages from Nietzsche's published work, but that it should not be given equal interpretive status as books Nietzsche himself authorized for publication. Since this issue alone is not decisive for understanding what kind of philosopher Nietzsche was (contra current debates which reduce the ambiguity to this issue), I characterize three genres of Nietzsche scholarship, and argue that contemporary analytical accounts are best understood as appropriations of things Nietzsche said for solving current philosophical problems, rather than accurate representations of what Nietzsche himself was up to. This leads me to conclude that, probably, Nietzsche was the father of a whole new kind of philosophizing that finds later expression in such thinkers as Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Rorty, and recent literary theory.



interpretation, unpublished material, Nietzsche