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Friedrich Nietzsche's Moral Philosophy - A Twofold Thesis:

Part One Attempting a Faithful Account of his Master Morality; Part Two Being a Critical Discussion

by

Anders Klitgaard
University of Aarhus, Denmark
Winter 1992/93

 

Abstract

A fierce crusade against previous scholarly treatments of Nietzsche, the dissertation insists Nietzsche cannot be grasped by conventional academic means. The dissertation therefore proposes to write a dramatic dialogue in which Nietzsche's language and actions can be observed. By meticulously copying Nietzsche's style, the dialogue presents his philosophy as he encounters Socrates and various Kierkegaardian pseudonyms -- each interlocutor characterized by the unique style we know and love/fear from the writings of Nietzsche, Plato, and Kierkegaard, respectively. Thus the dissertation seeks to observe what has been neglected by previous accounts, viz. the Nietzschean thought that a philosophy cannot be detached from the style in which it was written. Nietzsche's moral philosophy is bound up with his style; indeed, the dissertation contends, the scholarly reception Nietzsche has so far received is nothing but the voice of that slave morality he condemns. As an aid in the attempt to convey what is entailed by the master morality he celebrates, the dissertation tries to outline a semantics of style. By refusing to discus Nietzsche's philosophy by way of philosophical concepts, the dissertation aims at being able to grasp the religious meaning inherent in what must otherwise be regarded as paradoxes and nonsense. The dissertation concludes by reflecting on the highly suggestive power inherent in the writings of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, and the peril of being entrapped by those writings.

 

Read the dissertation (language: Danish)