Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor

Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor

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Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor explores the German philosopher's response to the intellectual debates sparked by the publication of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. By examining the abundance of biological metaphors in Nietzsche's writings, Gregory Moore questions his recent reputation as an eminently subversive and (post-) modern thinker, and shows how deeply Nietzsche was immersed in late nineteenth-century debates on evolution, degeneration and race. The first part of the book provides a detailed study and interpretation of Nietzsche's much disputed relationship to Darwinism. Uniquely, Moore also considers the importance of Nietzsche's evolutionary perspective for the development of his moral and aesthetic philosophy. The second part analyzes key themes of Nietzsche's cultural criticism - his attack on the Judaeo-Christian tradition, his diagnosis of the nihilistic crisis afflicting modernity and his anti-Wagnerian polemics - against the background of fin-de-siecle fears about the imminent biological collapse of Western civilization.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 238 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17mm | 520g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521812305
  • 9780521812306

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. Evolution: 1. The physiology of power; 2. The physiology of morality; 3. The physiology of art; Part II. Degeneration: 4. Nietzsche and the nervous age; 5. Christianity and degeneration; 6. Degenerate art; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'Gregory Moore's Nietzsche, Biology and Metaphor addresses an area of Nietzsche studies that has for long called for such a detailed and well-informed work? Moore's success lies in uncovering the subtleties, both historical and intellectual, of Nietzsche's complex position on evolution, nature and the human.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Deeply researched and closely argued, dispassionately and lucidly written, and skilfully integrating an extraordinary quantity of recondite primary materials, this book is a landmark in Nietzsche studies and an exemplary work of intellectual history.' Journal of European Studies 'I found Moore's book of considerable interest ...' History of Political Thought 'This is an excellent scholarly work that is essential to anyone interested in Nietzsche's cultural milieu and the intellectual influences on his work.' European Journal of English Studies 'This is one of the best products of the 'new historical' school of Nietzsche interpretation. This book overlaps with recent work on Nietzsche's relation to Darwinism but raises many broader issues. ... Neitschze, Biology and Metaphor makes a new and valuable contribution to our understanding of Friedrich Neitzsche.' British Journal for the History of Philosophy "Moore offers the first detailed examination in English of Niezsche's knowledge of and response to 19th-century debates surrounding evolutionary theory.... This book should be a part of every academic library. It will interest students and scholars of Nietzsche, German culture, 19th-century intellectual history, and the history of science. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty." Choice
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About Dr. Gregory Moore

Gregory Moore is Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
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