Nietzsche's New Darwinism
Nietzsche wrote in a scientific culture transformed by Darwin. He read extensively in German and British Darwinists, and his own works dealt often with such obvious Darwinian themes as struggle and evolution. Yet most of what Nietzsche said about Darwin was hostile: he sharply attacked many of his ideas, and often slurred Darwin himself as mediocre. So most readers of Nietzsche have inferred that he must have cast Darwin quite aside. But in fact, John Richardson argues, Nietzsche was deeply and pervasively influenced by Darwin. He stressed his disagreements, but was silent about several core points he took over from Darwin. Moreover, Richardson claims, these Darwinian borrowings were to Nietzsche's credit: when we bring them to the surface we discover his positions to be much stronger than we had thought. Even Nietzsche's radical innovations are more plausible when we expose their Darwinian ground; we see that they amount to a new Darwinism.
- Electronic book text | 301 pages
- 01 Dec 2004
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
"This lucid and closely argued book offers an infinitely more rewarding approach to Nietzche than the once fashionable postmodernism."--Laird M. Easton, German Studies Review"Nietzsche's New Darwinism exemplifies the virtues that have long characterized Richardson's work and that have over the last two decades increasingly characterized the best scholarly work on Nietzsche: it is meticulously organized and carefully argued, with scrupulous attention to the demand for textual evidence in support of the interpretations it offers.... this book's clear and careful presentation of the issues makes it accessible to any patient and philosophically informed reader."--Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews