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Nietzsche and Rée

Robin Small

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199278077
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602702 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199278075.001.0001
Nietzsche and Rée

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This book is about the relationship of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) and Paul Rée (1849–1901). During a close friendship lasting for seven years, the two shared ideas and developed a new and original approach to philosophy and ethics. There followed a dramatic break, brought about in part by personal factors but also by a divergence in their directions as thinkers. For Nietzsche, the period of collaboration was a crucial stage in his development, and a springboard for his most characteristic and radical contributions to philosophy. Nietzsche gave the label ‘Réealism’ to the naturalistic philosophy presented in Rée’s work, which gave him the opportunity to break away from metaphysical romanticism and to refine his writing style by adopting a disciplined, aphoristic mode of expression. As an approach to moral psychology, ‘Réealism’ drew on the evolutionary theory of natural selection to explain the moral concepts of good, evil, conscience and justice. Nietzsche developed this project in his own way in a series of works starting with Human, All-Too-Human. Yet, he eventually came to criticise and reject ‘Réealism’ as inadequate to the task of a radical ‘revaluation of values’, and replaced the ‘historical approach’ with his own genealogy of morality.

Keywords: altruism; egoism; evolutionary theory; genealogy of morality; historical philosophy; moral psychology; naturalism; revaluation of values

Book.  272 pages. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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Table of Contents

<i>End of a Friendship</i> in Nietzsche and Rée

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<i>The Aftermath</i> in Nietzsche and Rée

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<i>Egoism Rehabilitated</i> in Nietzsche and Rée

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