Continental Philosophy

Friedrich Nietzsche

Could Nietzsche be interpreted as advocating oppression?

Some people have, indeed, interpreted Nietzsche in this way because he does celebrate the strong overcoming the weak. When the Nazis came to power in Germany, Nietzsche’s sister tried to benefit by presenting her brother’s works to them as an appropriate philosophy for the Third Reich. This tarnished Nietzsche’s reputation until Walter Kaufmann, in his own translations and edited editions of Nietzsche’s works in the 1960s, reinterpreted him as a philosopher of individual freedom. Most current philosophers who like Nietzsche believe that he meant every individual has the freedom to become strong and detach himself from the “herd.”


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