Conclusion

  • Peter R. Sedgwick
Chapter

Abstract

We have followed Nietzsche upon a path that begins with his criticism of economic culture and ends with the employment of economy as a tool for articulating his vision of human potential. Economy bestows upon humankind the gift of being able to become more than it is. As such, it articulates the condition of futurity that is fulfilled in the figures of sovereign individual, in the allegorical figure of the overman and in the philosophers of the future. In their transcendence of norms these images of human potential represent possible answers to the question posed by Nietzsche in Human, All Too Human as to ‘whether mankind could transform itself from a moral to a knowing mankind’ (Human, All Too Human, 107).1 As Nietzsche is all too well aware, a knowing humanity is also always already an economically organised one. Modern Europe, a mass society, a sphere of burgeoning mass culture, increasingly decentralised, flowing, shifting and redistributing itself as a result of the impetus given to it by ever more efficient industrialised production, can lead to an accumulation of the very forces that he sets his hopes by. This hope marks the opening of a dichotomy between Nietzsche’s earlier texts, separating the Untimely Meditations, the Human, All Too Human volumes and the Daybreak from the writings that begin with The Gay Science and culminate in the Genealogy and Twilight of the Idols.

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Notes

  1. Friedrich Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, trans. R.J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  2. Friedrich Nietzsche. Human, All Too Human, vols I and II (which includes Assorted Opinions and Maxims and The Wanderer and His Shadow), trans. R.J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
  3. Friedrich Nietzsche. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality, trans. R.J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).Google Scholar
  4. Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science, trans. Walter Kaufmann (New York: Vintage Books, 1974).Google Scholar
  5. Friedrich Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra, trans. Walter Kaufmann, in The Viking Portable Nietzsche (New York: Penguin, 1976).Google Scholar
  6. Friedrich Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Walter Kaufmann, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche (New York: Modern Library, 1968).Google Scholar
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  8. Friedrich Nietzsche. Twilight of the Idols, trans. Walter Kaufmann, in The Viking Portable Nietzsche (New York: Penguin, 1976).Google Scholar
  9. Friedrich Nietzsche. The Antichrist, trans. Walter Kaufmann, in The Viking Portable Nietzsche (New York: Penguin, 1976).Google Scholar
  10. Friedrich Nietzsche. Ecce Homo, trans. Walter Kaufmann, in Basic Writings of Nietzsche (New York: Modern Library, 1968).Google Scholar
  11. Friedrich Nietzsche. The Will to Power, trans. Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale (New York: Vintage Books, 1968).Google Scholar
  12. Friedrich Nietzsche. ‘On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense’, trans. Daniel Breazeale, in The Nietzsche Reader, eds Keith Ansell Pearson and Duncan Large (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006).Google Scholar
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© Peter R. Sedgwick 2007

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  • Peter R. Sedgwick

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