The Corner

Nietzsche Bleg

From a reader:

Dear Jonah:

The influence of Nietzsche is comparable to the influence of Plato,

Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hegel, or Kant. People don’t directly state

their indebtedness to him any more than you or I credit water for the

wonderful state of our health. Nietzsche is one of those great

philosophers–like Napoleon’s a great general–who is in the water we drink

and the air we breath, and that is as true for liberals as it is for

conservatives.

All the best,

Brian [name/address withheld]

Me: I certainly take Brian’s point and largely agree with it. However, leftwing philosophers and intellectuals do more than accept our/their debt (or burden) from him. They embrace him. Foucault, for example, called himself a Left-Nietzschean. Derrida, Sartre all those dudes were in constant — and generally favorable — dialogue with Nietzsche. Right? What I want to know if there are any American conservatives who’ve behaved similarly.

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