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September 18 , 2010

Nietzsche's Culture of Humanity

Beyond Aristocracy and Democracy in the Early Period


Nietzsche scholars have long been divided over whether Nietzsche is an aristocratic or a democratic thinker. Nietzche's Culture of Humanity overcomes this debate by proving both sides wrong. Jeffrey Church argues that in his early period writings, Nietzsche envisioned a cultural meritocracy that drew on the classical German tradition of Kant and Herder. The young Nietzsche's 'culture of humanity' synthesized the high and low, the genius and the people, the nation and humanity. Nietzsche's early ideal of culture can shed light on his mature period thought, since, Church argues, Nietzsche does not abandon this fundamental commitment to a cultural meritocracy. Nietzche's Culture of Humanity argues that Nietzsche's novel defense of culture can overcome some persisting problems in contemporary liberal theories of culture. As such, this book should interest Nietzsche scholars, political theorists and philosophers interested in modern thought, as well as contemporary thinkers concerned with the politics of culture.

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