The Invention of Invention

Ruth Abbey

in Nietzsche's Middle Period

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195134087
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785766 | DOI:
 The Invention of Invention

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The image of Friedrich Nietzsche as a radical critic of the western philosophical tradition pervades the literature dedicated to his thought. He is often depicted as a sui generis thinker, whose thoughts evolve out of his peculiar genius. Yet this image is accepted partly because of the picture he draws of himself, for in his later works, Nietzsche repeatedly invents himself as inventor rather than legatee. Only with a knowledge of middle period writings is it possible to see how Nietzsche has constructed this image of himself. The works of the middle period disclose a thinker who presents himself as constructively engaged with the western intellectual tradition, as continuing some of its ideas, expanding some of its possibilities, and repudiating other of its claims. This chapter discusses Nietzsche’s distinctive writing style in the middle period works. It then uses some of his reflections on interpretation to question the view that Nietzsche advocates an ad hominem analysis of the work of others.

Keywords: Nietzsche; western philosophicy; radical; ad hominem

Chapter.  5685 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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