Nietzsches New Darwinism

Hardcover | September 30, 2004

byJohn Richardson

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Nietzsche wrote in a scientific culture transformed by Darwin. He read extensively in German and British Darwinists, and his own works dealt often with such obvious Darwinian themes as struggle and evolution. Yet most of what Nietzsche said about Darwin was hostile: he sharply attacked many ofhis ideas, and often slurred Darwin himself as mediocre. So most readers of Nietzsche have inferred that he must have cast Darwin quite aside. But in fact, John Richardson argues, Nietzsche was deeply and pervasively influenced by Darwin. He stressed his disagreements, but was silent about severalcore points he took over from Darwin. Moreover, Richardson claims, these Darwinian borrowings were to Nietzsche's credit: when we bring them to the surface we discover his positions to be much stronger than we had thought. Even Nietzsche's radical innovations are more plausible when we expose theirDarwinian ground; we see that they amount to a new Darwinism.

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Nietzsche wrote in a scientific culture transformed by Darwin. He read extensively in German and British Darwinists, and his own works dealt often with such obvious Darwinian themes as struggle and evolution. Yet most of what Nietzsche said about Darwin was hostile: he sharply attacked many ofhis ideas, and often slurred Darwin himself...

John Richardson is at New York University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:300 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.91 inPublished:September 30, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195171039

ISBN - 13:9780195171037

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"Nietzsche's New Darwinism exemplifies the virtues that have long characterized Richardson's work and that have over the last two decades increasingly characterized the best scholarly work on Nietzsche: it is meticulously organized and carefully argued, with scrupulous attention to the demandfor textual evidence in support of the interpretations it offers.... this book's clear and careful presentation of the issues makes it accessible to any patient and philosophically informed reader."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews