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Nietzsche's Human, All Too Human and the Problem of Culture

  • Paul Franco

Human, All Too Human has received less critical attention than many of Nietzsche's other works, and yet it constitutes a crucial turning point in Nietzsche's overall philosophical development. This essay argues that the problem of culture that had preoccupied Nietzsche in his earlier works continues to animate his thinking in Human, All Too Human, but his position on this problem changes fundamentally. Instead of attributing the fragmentation of modern culture to the uncontrolled growth of science and looking to art and myth to restore cultural unity, Nietzsche now explores the possibility of grounding culture on scientific knowledge. This new concept of culture requires a critique of the Wagnerian romantic-artistic cultural project, which Nietzsche reveals rests on erroneous religious, moral, and ultimately metaphysical assumptions. The radical critique of these latter assumptions forms a bridge to Nietzsche's mature philosophy.

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The Review of Politics
  • ISSN: 0034-6705
  • EISSN: 1748-6858
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-politics
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