Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Nietzsche's Free Spirit Works
A Dialectical Reading


  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108474177

£ 75.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Between 1878 and 1882, Nietzsche published what he called 'the free spirit works': Human, All Too Human; Assorted Opinions and Maxims; The Wanderer and His Shadow; Daybreak; and The Gay Science. Often approached as a mere assemblage of loosely connected aphorisms, these works are here re-interpreted as a coherent narrative of the steps Nietzsche takes in educating himself toward freedom that executes a dialectic between scientific truth-seeking and artistic life-affirmation. Matthew Meyer's new reading of these works not only provides a more convincing explanation of their content but also makes better sense of the relationship between them and Nietzsche's larger oeuvre. His argument shows how these texts can and should be read as a unified project even while they present multiple, in some cases conflicting, images of the free spirit. The book will appeal to anyone who is interested in Nietzsche's philosophy and especially to those puzzled about how to understand the peculiarities of the free spirit works.

    • Allows a new and holistic understanding of 'the free spirit works' - aphorisms set down by Nietzsche in his middle period
    • Argues that these works should be understood not as a series of isolated thoughts but as a coherent, unfolding narrative of self-education
    • Shows how the free spirit works can be read as a unified project even while they present multiple, sometimes conflicting, images of freedom
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a superb intellectual history of Nietzsche's philosophical quest to emancipate his self-legislating spirit from the debilitating influences of metaphysics, religion, morality, and the scientific desire for truth at all costs.' Paul S. Loeb, University of Puget Sound, Washington

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108474177
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Interpreting Nietzsche's free spirit works
    2. A defense of the dialectical reading
    Part I. The Ascetic Camel:
    3. For the love of truth: Human, All Too Human
    4. An Epicurean in exile: Assorted Opinions and Maxims and The Wanderer and His Shadow
    Part II. The Dragon-Slaying Lion:
    5. Undermining the prejudices of morality: Daybreak
    6. The Selbstaufhebung of the will to truth: The Gay Science I–III
    Part III. The Dionysian Child:
    7. Incipit Tragoedia: from The Gay Science IV to Thus Spoke Zarathustra
    8. Incipit Parodia: from the free spirit to the philosophy of the future?

  • Author

    Matthew Meyer, University of Scranton, Pennsylvania
    Matthew Meyer is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Reading Nietzsche through the Ancients (2014) and a co-editor of Nietzsche's Metaphilosophy (Cambridge, forthcoming).

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.