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Nietzsche's Philosophy of History


  • Date Published: July 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107027329

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About the Authors
  • Nietzsche, the so-called herald of the 'philosophy of the future', nevertheless dealt with the past on nearly every page of his writing. Not only was he concerned with how past values, cultural practices and institutions influence the present - he was plainly aware that any attempt to understand that influence encounters many meta-historical problems. This comprehensive and lucid exposition of the development of Nietzsche's philosophy of history explores how Nietzsche thought about history and historiography throughout his life and how it affected his most fundamental ideas. Discussion of the whole span of Nietzsche's writings, from his earliest publications as a classical philologist to his later genealogical and autobiographical projects, is interwoven with careful analysis of his own forms of writing history, the nineteenth-century paradigms which he critiqued, and the twentieth-century views which he anticipated. The book will be of much interest to scholars of Nietzsche and of nineteenth-century philosophy.

    • The first complete investigation of Nietzsche's philosophy of history
    • The first attempt to explicate the development of Nietzsche's historiographical forms
    • Shows that Nietzsche's meta-history represents an important forerunner of a leading conception today
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[T]he first systematic overview of Nietzsche's work on history to plot all the details of his thinking about history and the philosophy of history with scrupulous care … this book is a meticulous work of scholarship. It will be indispensable for future discussions of the topic. Highly recommended.' Richard White, Choice Reviews Online

    '… a strong combination of philology, intellectual history, and philosophical interpretation … Jensen has explicated [Nietzsche's views] convincingly without eschewing complexities and framed them in a way that validates beyond doubt his claims regarding the importance of understanding Nietzsche's philosophy of history.' Mason Golden, British Journal for the History of Philosophy

    'This tightly argued and elegantly written book is the first comprehensive study of Nietzsche's philosophy of history … Exhibiting an enviable command of both primary and secondary sources, Jensen develops his argument by focusing on the question of objectivity and the value of historical description and explanation … Jensen's book is an important contribution that both clarifies and complicates our understanding of Nietzsche's philosophy of history. Any account of Nietzsche's 'historical philosophizing', and of his genealogical project, will have to take Jensen's insights on board.' Christian Emden, Journal of Nietzsche Studies

    'The scholarly erudition of Jensen's book is impressive. He displays a deep knowledge of Nietzsche's texts and notebooks and of the texts of many contemporaries of Nietzsche, some of whom have fallen into obscurity. Jensen does careful philological work in drawing on these in a usefully informative way, so that the reader learns a great deal about Nietzsche's intellectual milieu and influences … those who approach the topic later will need to grapple with his interpretation.' Andrew Huddleston, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

    'Jensen shows himself immersed in Nietzsche's cultural and philosophical background to a higher degree than many more-established scholars … his is an excellent book for scholars, giving a broadly chronological account of the nature and development of Nietzsche's thinking about an under-discussed topic.' Tom Stern, The Times Literary Supplement

    'In charting the evolution of Nietzsche's philosophy of history, Anthony Jensen is particularly effective in showing how each book (or period) builds on and deviates from its predecessors. Jensen writes very well, and he advances his narrative at an agreeably crisp pace. Deftly interspersing philosophical and historical analyses, he provides a rich and persuasive account of Nietzsche's development as a thinker and scholar. This is commendable accomplishment - original, lucid, and likely to make a positive impact.' Daniel Conway, Texas A&M University

    'By placing Nietzsche's thought in its intellectual-historical context, while at the same time deploying contemporary terminology, Jensen produces a succinct, memorable, and effective response to the question as to whether or not Nietzsche's writings … are governed by a discernible and distinctive philosophy of history.' Peter Fenves, History and Theory

    '… a comprehensive and profound study of Nietzsche's philosophy of history, which Jensen carries out with great rigor, precision, and a mastery of sources, without neglecting clarity and simplicity of exposition. [It] proves extremely valuable for understanding not only the roots and development of Nietzsche's devotion to historical research, but also the importance this takes within his own philosophical project. It positions Nietzsche in the historiographical context of his time and helps to elucidate the influence of his thought upon contemporary philosophy of history … This is a reference work for any researcher who is interested in Nietzsche's philosophy of history.' Marta Faustino, translated from Práticas da História

    '… it is obvious that Jensen's volume represents an exceptional piece of scholarship, both in the breadth of its survey and in the detail of its research. This book is certain to become an important resource for philosophers of history and Nietzsche scholars alike, and to provoke renewed attention to this important, but under-investigated area of research.' Andrew Jampol-Petzinger, New Nietzsche Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107027329
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 150 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Philological centaurs
    2. Early meta-history and context
    3. Aesthetic intuition and the history of tragedy
    4. History and historians
    5. Positivism and perspectivism
    6. Genealogy as history
    7. Autobiography as history
    Epilogue: Nietzsche's influence on philosophy of history.

  • Author

    Anthony K. Jensen, Providence College, Rhode Island
    Anthony K. Jensen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Providence College. He is Associate Editor of The Journal of Nietzsche Studies and his articles, translations and reviews appear in journals including Nietzsche-Studien, The Journal of the History of Philosophy, the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Epoche and New Nietzsche Studies.

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