The Corner

Nietzsche One of The Greats? Tosh

Jonah, to quote your reader once again:

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.

Wishing the reader no disrespect, this strikes me as both useless—to say that something is “in the water” is to suggest only that nothing more specific about it can be demonstrated—and utterly untrue. Nietzsche’s theory of the ubermensch very consciously rejects the great moral tradition of the West and is (or certainly should be) repugnant to conservative thought, while the strange etymological theories on which he rests his notions of going beyond “good” and “evil” cannot bear scrutiny. Compared with Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas, Nietzsche is a crank.

What has Steve Hayward to say about this?


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