Nietzsche as Critic and Captive of Enlightenment

Doctoral Dissertation

© 1995 by Lewis Call

University of California, Irvine

Note: This online version of my dissertation contains no italics, as I have not had time to mark up the entire work in HTML. I ask the reader to forgive the resulting inaccuracies in quotation; all quotes are exact, apart from the lack of emphasis.

Introduction: Nietzsche as Critic and Captive of Enlightenment

"What is Enlightenment?" This question, asked by Immanuel Kant as he stood at the heart of the seventeenth century Enlightenment and again by Michel Foucault in our own century, is in many ways the defining intellectual question of our time. We must ask it because Enlightenment continues to be part of our intellectual and cultural tradition; as we strive to further our knowledge at the university, to reform and improve society in South Central Los Angeles and to promote the cause of individual liberty in Sarajevo, we are all children of the Enlightenment. Yet Enlightenment is also an intellectual movement that carries with it some sobering dangers. It is a totalizing and, some would say, totalitarian ethos; by making universal claims about humans and about their societies and their politics, Enlightenment threatens to silence unenlightened voices and discourses.1 It may well be, then, that Enlightenment is something that we will wish to overcome. But it is not a movement that is easy to surpass. Some of the most important intellectual work of this century has been concerned with the possibilities of escaping the tradition of the Enlightenment.2

This attempt to overcome Enlightenment, however, has a history that begins well before our century, and one of the most important episodes in this history is to be found in the nineteenth century with Friedrich Nietzsche. Before postmodernism and poststructuralism, Nietzsche provided a virulent and comprehensive critique of the Enlightenment. The attack on Enlightenment is a thread that runs through his entire corpus. An examination of his work makes it clear, however, that Nietzsche was unable to overcome this pervasive, intractable tradition. Despite his best efforts, Nietzsche's work contains persistent elements of Enlightenment.

This dissertation is an inquiry into the status, nature and extent of Nietzsche's critique of Enlightenment. It is also an attempt to explore the limitations of that critique. I would like to make clear at the outset that when I use the terms "Enlightenment" or "Enlightened" I am referring to a very particular aspect of a very broad intellectual movement. Quite simply, I am talking about Nietzsche's Enlightenment: as this is a work about Nietzsche, I select for discussion aspects of the Enlightenment that are directly relevant to his work. The six intellectual figures I discuss as representatives of the Enlightenment--Descartes, Rousseau, Kant, Mill, Darwin and Spencer--are all figures whom Nietzsche directly attacks in his work. Furthermore, as I shall make clear below, I believe that they represent essential aspects of Enlightenment thought. Descartes and Darwin promoted an Enlightened faith in human reason, science and progress. Rousseau and Mill showed a very Enlightened concern with human liberty and freedom. Kant represents the attempt to construct an Enlightened morality through the use of reason, and Spencer made an attempt to synthesize Enlightened science and politics. These are not the only authors who represent the Enlightenment, by any means. But these six individuals do represent the Enlightenment that Nietzsche encountered. And as such, they are indispensable to a clear understanding of his response to that Enlightenment. They provide, in short, the historical context without which we cannot fully understand Nietzsche's critique.

It should be clear by now that the Enlightenment I am discussing covers a fairly broad time period. Certainly one could make a case that the Enlightenment was a phenomenon of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and that it did not extend into the nineteenth century in any significant way. I wish to argue against this interpretation for two reasons. First, I do not believe that this approach adequately accounts for the influence that the Enlightenment retained, particularly in matters of science and politics, through the nineteenth century and indeed to the present day. Second, and more importantly for the present work, I do not believe that Nietzsche saw the Enlightenment as something that ended with the French Revolution. The problem of Mill, Darwin and Spencer was not, as Nietzsche saw it, that they were intellectually or culturally dangerous in an isolated way. Rather, it was that they represented an insidious nineteenth century manifestation of his old enemy, Enlightenment: older, wiser and more clever, and thus all the more threatening.

It is not a coincidence that the three nineteenth century figures I have selected are all English. Nineteenth century England represented in Nietzsche's eyes the Enlightened society achieved. In its political forms, in its unquestioning faith in the possibilities of science and industry, in its unshakable confidence that it represented better than any other nation the future of human progress, England stood for the Enlightenment that Nietzsche despised. I would also like to say a word about the social status of these six men. They were all, with the qualified exception of Rousseau, members of the aristocracy or the comfortable middle class. I make no attempt to deal with the kind of lower-class Enlightenment that Robert Darnton explores3, not because it is unimportant, but again, because it was unimportant to Nietzsche. The Enlightenment that he attacked was the Enlightenment of elites, and it is with this Enlightenment that we must be concerned if we wish to explore his critique.

My reasons for selecting these six men as representatives of Nietzsche's Enlightenment are hopefully clear. I would now like to say something about the basic principles that these men represent. I want to cite four principles which are fundamental to the essence of Enlightenment as Nietzsche understood it. First, the Enlightenment held that human beings are rational creatures who exist independently of any metaphysical force, such as God. Ernst Cassirer argues that in the eighteenth century, power could be understood in terms of a single word: reason. Reason represented the central, unifying point for eighteenth century European thought; it was all that the Enlightenment longed for and all that it achieved.4 This is certainly not far from the truth. Reason was certainly one of the most important characteristics of the eighteenth century Enlightenment. And the concept of rational autonomy that is implied by this belief in universal reason was equally crucial: it profoundly influenced the shape of Enlightened science and politics, and it was the subject of a sustained critique by Nietzsche. It will thus be with us throughout the present work.

This belief in the rational autonomy of human beings implies a definite kind of politics, and this is the second aspect of Enlightenment thought I wish to consider. If humans are sovereign, independent subjects who are meant to use their reason, then they must naturally be opposed to those who would keep them locked in the dark world of tradition and superstition, notably the aristocrats and priests. Indeed, an Enlightened politics would be opposed to any force or idea that might in any way restrict the radical freedom implied by rational autonomy. As Peter Gay notes, the Enlightenment can be understood as a program of secularism, humanity and above all freedom in its many forms; it is humanity's claim to be recognized as adult, responsible beings.5 This claim manifests itself in various ways: it develops into Rousseau's radical attempt to form a human community in which all individuals cede their rights to the whole, yet retain their freedom. It can also be seen in Mill's liberal utilitarianism, which attempts to reconcile a Benthamite priority on pleasure maximization with a vindication of the importance of liberty. And it can be seen in Spencer's attempt to find a scientific justification for liberalism even as that liberalism was attacked on all sides by the forces of social unrest. What unites all these Enlightened positions is a belief that humans fundamentally are or should be free in a political sense; that is, that they should enjoy individual liberty unfettered by the oppression of an unjust state.

Human rationality also implies for Enlightened thinkers an attempt to gain knowledge and understanding of the natural world. As Norman Hampson writes, "human reason, operating by means of careful observation and checking its conclusions by further observation or experiment, could for the first time in the history of man reveal the mechanism of the natural world in which he had lived for so long like a fearful and wondering child."6 In many ways, the extreme rationalism of Descartes, its traditional alternative, empiricism, and the debate between them constitute the part of the Enlightenment which had the greatest influence in the nineteenth century. Darwin owed much of his faith in science and scientific progress to his Enlightened forebears, and Spencer's Enlightened politics acquired their distinctive character only when he added to them a very Enlightened kind of science.

Finally, the Enlightened thinkers were generally confident in their belief that they could use rational principles to solve problems of social interaction, just as they used rationality to understand and control the natural world. This belief lead to the Enlightened faith in social progress and a corresponding optimism that the ideals of the Enlightenment would eventually culminate in a utopian society. Hampson refers to this as an "unprecedented optimism concerning the nature of man and his ability to shape his material and social environment to his own convenience."7 As we shall see, Nietzsche opposed this Enlightened faith in progress as naive; however, it was here that he had the most trouble eluding the influence of Enlightenment. It was the Enlightenment's utopianism that remained with Nietzsche even through his most radical critiques.

My first chapter is a brief sketch of Nietzsche's Enlightenment, by which I mean the Enlightenment that he encountered, criticized and ultimately reproduced. It may seem strange to find that Nietzsche is largely absent from the pages of this sketch, but that is intentional. The goal of this chapter is to set the stage for Nietzsche's critique through a discussion of the six Enlightened thinkers mentioned above. I discuss Descartes as the author who instituted both the Enlightenment's faith in reason and the rational, autonomous individual subject who is at the heart of Enlightenment discourse. I then turn to Rousseau as a representative of the political Enlightenment, using his concepts of the general will and the social contract to articulate a tension in his work between the needs of the community and those of the autonomous individual. Turning to Kant, I discuss the attempt to construct an Enlightened morality based entirely on rationality, which nonetheless ironically reconstructs the Christian morality it claims to supersede. I then turn to the Enlightenment of the nineteenth century, discussing Mill as a political thinker confronted, much as Rousseau was, with a tension between individual and society, a tension which Mill resolved in favor of the individual. I discuss nineteenth century Enlightened science, describing Darwin as a thinker who translated the Enlightened faith in reason and progress into a workable scientific paradigm. I conclude this chapter with an examination of the work of Spencer, whose attempt to incorporate reason and progress, science and individuality into a single, unified theory in many ways represents the culmination of nineteenth century Enlightenment thought.

The following three chapters form my account of Nietzsche's critique of this Enlightenment tradition. Chapter Two deals with his attack on the origins of Enlightenment. Here I discuss Nietzsche's critique of Cartesian rationality, which he held to be a representation of human existence that was both misleading and dangerous. I then examine those parts of Nietzsche's corpus which he labeled Nietzsche contra Rousseau; here I attempt to explain Nietzsche's hostility to Rousseau's politics. As I hope to make clear both here in this chapter and the one that follows it, I feel that this hostility derives from Nietzsche's conviction that the autonomous subject of Enlightened political discourse is hopelessly inadequate. The third critique I explore in Chapter Two is Nietzsche's critique of Kant; Nietzsche felt that Kant's rational version of Christian morality was an abomination that only prolonged the kind of Christian malaise that Nietzsche felt was impeding true human progress.

Chapter Three takes us into the world of nineteenth century politics. Here I examine Nietzsche's vitriolic attacks on the political systems of his time, in which I include liberalism, socialism, nationalism and anarchism. I then place these critiques within the broader context of a more fundamental attack that Nietzsche made on the very concept of the Enlightened subject. These critiques constitute, in my view, a refutation of the dominant conception of the individual subject available to a nineteenth century European intellectual. I conclude this chapter with an examination of Nietzsche's critique of Mill, which I take to be a case study of Nietzsche's rejection of nineteenth century political forms. The importance to nineteenth century political thought of liberalism in general and Mill in particular make a consideration of this theorist to whom Nietzsche referred as a "blockhead" imperative.

In Chapter Four I turn to the question of science. Here I examine Nietzsche's attack on nineteenth century rationality and the scientific method. For Nietzsche the unquestioning faith in the ability of rational science to address and solve the problems of the world was unsustainable. It represented, furthermore, an illusory solution that concealed what Nietzsche felt were the real paths to progress: self-overcoming and the overman. Here the two targets of Nietzsche's wrath are Darwin and Spencer. Nietzsche's objection to Darwin was that he promoted through his theory of evolution a false idea of progress based on the rationality and science that Nietzsche rejected. Nietzsche's problems with Spencer ran deeper, for Spencer adopted the kind of Darwinian science that Nietzsche has already denounced, but he added to it a politics of liberal individualism that was quite at odds with Nietzsche's concept of human existence.

Nietzsche gives us, then, a detailed and sustained critique of the Enlightenment on several levels. He attacked both the early Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the later Enlightenment of his own nineteenth century. He attacked the Enlightened ideal of rationality and the rational, autonomous subject; he went on to critique the politics of that subject. He added to this critique an attack on scientific rationalism and the cult of progress.

What Nietzsche did not do, however, was escape Enlightenment. Though he was constantly critical of the Enlightenment's tendency to privilege rationality above all else, Nietzsche frequently expressed a grudging and sometimes enthusiastic appreciation for the possibilities of a less exclusive kind of rationality. His relentless assault on conventional ideas of Enlightened subjectivity did not prevent him from developing a radically new concept of individual selfhood, which he named overman. His attack on the world view of Enlightened scientists did not preclude his use of scientific rigor in his own work. And on the issue of progress, Nietzsche's critique was especially limited. Nietzsche had his own concept of progress, and it was a very Enlightened kind of idea. The goal of his philosophy, especially in Zarathustra, was to improve and perfect humanity. This attempt to create a utopia or ideal society was, of course, a very Enlightened project. The irony of Nietzsche's relationship with the Enlightenment, then, is that despite his virulent and profound critique of its rationality, its politics and its science, he retained its faith in progress and its desire to construct a better world. Chapter Five discusses the dimensions of Nietzsche's utopian project and makes clear the extent to which he retained Enlightened ideas on this issue.

This is a work of intellectual history, by which I mean that I intend to explore Nietzsche's thought within a historical context. In this case, the context that concerns me is that of the major intellectual ethos that Nietzsche wrote within and against: the Enlightenment. I feel that Nietzsche's work cannot fully be understood without reference to an intellectual ethos that prompted him to expend such intellectual energy attempting to refute it, and that in the end trapped him within its discourse. Yet this is a book about Nietzsche, and so the Enlightenment must remain simply a context, while the texts upon which I rely are, for the most part, Nietzsche's. This is not a book about the Enlightenment; rather it is a book about a brilliant thinker's struggles with Enlightenment. It is my hope that an account of this struggle may prove instructive or helpful for the rest of us as we try to work out for ourselves whether it is possible or desirable to overcome Enlightenment, and if so how we should go about it.

Chapter One: Nietzsche's Enlightenment

Nietzsche saw the Enlightenment as broad and bold, powerful and terrifying. He believed that it spanned several centuries and that it encompassed most of Western Europe. It was, for him, an arrogant intellectual ethos that made troubling universal assertions about the nature of human existence and society. The Enlightenment that Nietzsche found insisted that humans were rational, autonomous subjects, that they deserved and could attain political freedom. It also asserted that humans could and should seek knowledge of the natural world and that they must use that knowledge along with their own rationality to perfect their societies. Nietzsche attacked the Enlightenment on each of these points, though he ironically retained profound sympathies for many aspects of Enlightened thought. Neither his critiques nor the limitations of those critiques can be understood fully, however, without a brief consideration of the tradition that Nietzsche confronted. Here, then, is Nietzsche's Enlightenment.


The priority of reason in the Enlightenment is one of its most essential features; this priority provides the basis for many of its other characteristics. It seems only sensible, then, to begin our exploration of the Enlightenment with the man who defined the Enlightenment as rational: RenÄ Descartes. Descartes's faith in reason is present throughout his works; it is apparent explicitly but also (and perhaps more significantly) at the deeper level of method. Descartes's method is one of the enduring contributions he made to the intellectual tradition that is the Enlightenment. This contribution is most clear, perhaps, in his Discourse on Method. Here he develops rules of intellectual procedure: "the first [is] never to accept anything as true that I [do] not know to be evidently so: that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to include in my judgments nothing more than what presented itself so clearly and distinctly to my mind that I might have no occasion to place it in doubt."1 This emphasis on "clear and distinct" perceptions pervades Descartes's work; it represents an attempt to exclude from consideration any sensory data, concept or idea that might be illusory, uncertain or irrational. Descartes also vows "to conduct [his] thoughts in an orderly way, beginning with the simplest objects and the easiest to know, in order to climb gradually, as by degrees.╩.╩."2 Here he is stating his intent to reorder the very way in which his mind works, if necessary, to enable him to pursue things rationally. The trick , of course, is that Descartes didn't really believe that much reordering would in fact be necessary, since he felt that rationality is how a human mind works anyway. What the Discourse represents more than anything else is a manifesto for rationality, a radical claim concerning the universal applicability of reason and a statement that reason will from now on be the primary criterion of knowledge. Thus Descartes writes: "what satisfied me the most about this method was that, through it, I was assured of using my reason in everything, if not perfectly, at least to the best of my ability."3 The Discourse announced to intellectual Europe that reason had arrived.

Reason in Descartes is granted a priority over other possible sources of knowledge, such as sensory data. As Louis Loeb argues, "the priority of reason [in Descartes] is grounded in the superiority of reason as a source of true belief, in the greater truth-conduciveness of reason: whereas reason is infallible, sense-perception is fallible."4 Descartes believed that we simply have no choice of whether or not to accept reason as our primary source of knowledge. Loeb writes: "the priority of reason over sense-perception ultimately rests on the greater irresistibility of reason."5 Reason and only reason, Descartes claims, can lead to absolute certainty. This insistence on the priority of reason had clear and important implications for late seventeenth century intellectual life. As John Cottingham notes, "Philosophy, including physical science, became in Descartes a self-contained discipline, guided by the light of reason; it has no need to be supplemented by revelation, scripture, or ecclesiastical teaching."6 Here we see the profundity of Descartes's project: he was creating reason as a substitute for revealed religion. He was establishing a new first principle, something in which he hoped new thinkers could believe as strongly as older thinkers had believed in the power of revelation. We must not underestimate the importance of this move: as Peter Schouls writes, "reason is autonomous [in Descartes] in the sense that its own trustworthiness, no less than the trustworthiness of the results obtained through its use, is not established through the introduction of elements which, themselves, are not 'rational;' that, for example, it is not elements furnished by faith which allow one to trust reason."7 Reason in Descartes's thought is entirely independent and autonomous; it is the foundation upon which the structure of Enlightenment is to be built.

One is tempted to ask at this point: why reason? What is it about rationality that Descartes believed made it a suitable candidate for the lofty position of first principle? That Descartes had an extremely strong faith in his method and in reason in general is clear; as Evert van Leeuwen notes, the Discourse "has a rhetorical function: it must persuade everybody that the Cartesian method is the only one in which the mind can be perfected."8 Yet what explains the particular character of the Cartesian method? What made him choose reason?

The answer has to do, I think, with the second great pillar of Cartesian thought: science. Reason is essential to Descartes not simply as an end to itself, but as that which permits science. As Gary Hatfield notes, the mature Descartes envisioned "a comprehensive, unified physics of the entire universe, in which all explanations of natural phenomena are reduced to a few principles governing matter in motion."9 What is important to realize here is that Descartes began his intellectual career as a scientist and only later turned to philosophy as a source of metaphysical justification for his scientific pursuits. Science was and continued to be of primary importance for him; indeed it often seems to have been more important to him than were his philosophical ideas. As Wayne Cristaudo writes, "the dualism and the epistemology are underlaborers to physics [in Descartes].╩.╩. one has to get on with the business of scientific practice which cannot proceed without the rules and ideas supplied by the mind."10 Rationality, then, derives its importance as a necessary condition for scientific pursuits.

We can go further than this and specify what kinds of scientific pursuits Descartes meant to justify. The intellectual labor of the Discourse is not meant to justify science in any abstract or nebulous way; Descartes intended for it to vindicate a particular kind of knowledge, knowledge that was "useful in life" and promoted "the general welfare of mankind."11 Descartes is seeking in the Discourse the metaphysical underpinnings of a practical philosophy. Margaret Jacob notes that Descartes "sought to convert practical, but educated men of business and trade, among others, to the new mechanical philosophy."12 Descartes represents the beginnings of the primacy of reason in Enlightened thought, but just as importantly, he represents the beginnings of practical science. "The reward Descartes promises for those who follow his scientific method is nothing less than mastery over nature," as Jacob notes.13 It was this reward that would inspire thinkers such as Darwin and Spencer to pursue the Cartesian scientific project into the nineteenth century. The Cartesian advocacy of science--and specifically of practical science dedicated to the project of improving humanity's lot--lies at the very heart of the Enlightenment. As Walter Soffer puts it, Descartes, along with Francis Bacon, "inaugurate[s] the Enlightenment notion of a science-society harmony dedicated to perpetual progress."14 With the trinity of reason, science and progress, Descartes lays the cornerstone of Enlightenment.

There is one final aspect of Cartesian thought that we must consider as we explore the ways in which Descartes contributed to the foundations of Enlightenment, and that is the Cartesian subject. Descartes's writing is the birthplace of the rational/autonomous individual who becomes the subject of most if not all Enlightenment discourse; as such Descartes's work has profound implications for the political and social thought of the Enlightenment. We can trace the birth of this new kind of subject to the Cartesian cogito of the Meditations on First Philosophy. Descartes writes: "Even though there may be a deceiver of some sort, very powerful and very tricky, who bends all his efforts to keep me perpetually deceived, there can be no slightest doubt that I exist, since he deceives me; and let him deceive me as much as he will, he can never make me be nothing as long as I think that I am something."15 This is the very heart of the Cartesian rational subject: I think, therefore I am. Descartes goes on to emphasize how fundamental thought is to a human being: "thought is an attribute that belongs to me; it alone is inseparable from my nature."16 Thought, and specifically rational thought, is for Descartes what constitutes us as individuals, as we can clearly and distinctly see from these passages. A thinking being is for Descartes "a being which doubts, which understands, which conceives, which affirms, which denies, which wills, which rejects, which imagines also, and which perceives."17 These are the characteristics of rationality and of rational beings as Descartes defines them; they are not only what we do, they are who we are. Descartes begins with a process (rationality) and from it he establishes a new kind of individual, a new kind of self: the rational, autonomous self that will come to be the standard-bearer of Enlightenment. As Walter Soffer notes, "the hallmark of Descartes' self-instruction is rational autonomy. His goal is not to become part of an asymptotic progress towards truth, but rather to establish a definitive, ahistorical, unalterable new beginning--'firm and lasting' foundations."18 And to a large extent he accomplished this. He gave the Enlightenment its beginning by giving it a subject for its discourse, a subject who relies not on God but on reason. Rational autonomy was Descartes's gift to those who followed, and it was a gift they used well.


It is in the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau that the political implications of the new Cartesian subjectivity begin to become apparent. At first glance, it may seem odd to think that Rousseau advocated an Enlightened politics, since he was in fact quite critical of many other aspects of Enlightened thought. In the "First Discourse," for example, he attacks science, claiming that "astronomy was born from superstition.╩.╩.geometry from avarice; physics from vain curiosity.╩.╩.Thus the sciences and arts owe their birth to our vices; we would be less doubtful of their advantages if they owed it to our virtues."19 It is clear right away that Rousseau is no Descartes. Gone is the unquestioning faith in reason and science; it has been replaced by an extreme skepticism about the moral qualities and effects of these Enlightenment concepts.

What does not receive criticism in Rousseau's work, however, is the autonomous Enlightenment subject. Indeed, the primary goal of his political philosophy is to articulate a politics that will account for this individual and its freedom. The two concepts which define Rousseau's political thought are the social contract and the general will. Taken together, these two concepts form the heart of Rousseau's political philosophy. Although the status of these two ideas is somewhat controversial, I want to argue that they represent two principles of radical freedom, and that they rely upon and develop the concept of the autonomous subject.

The social contract is for Rousseau an historical or pseudo-historical phenomenon, and at first glance its purpose seems to be to create a strong community. He writes: "Now, as men cannot create any new forces, but only combine and direct those that exist, they have no other means of self-preservation than to form by aggregation a sum of forces which may overcome the resistance, to put them in action by a single motive power, and to make them work in concert."20 Here the social contract sounds less like a principle of individual freedom and more like a principle of community harmony, an attempt to ensure social cooperation made necessary by the exigencies of human life in its pre-social form. Of course, whether the social contract ever really developed in the way he describes is largely irrelevant to Rousseau; his point is simply to construct a persuasive model of human society. Tracy Strong suggests that the social contract is an attempt to explain how someone who discusses politics in terms of the first person singular might with equal success use the first person plural, and this interpretation certainly has its merits.21 The social contract can with little difficulty be read as a principle of social unity and harmony.

However, if we consider the reasons that Rousseau gives us for the establishment of the contract, we emerge with a very different picture. The motivation for postulating the social contract is outlined in the Second Discourse, in which Rousseau describes the origins of human inequality. He writes: "from the moment one man began to stand in need of another's assistance; from the moment it appeared an advantage for one man to possess enough provisions for two, equality vanished; property was introduced; labor became necessary; and boundless forests became smiling fields, which had to be watered with human sweat, and in which slavery and misery were soon seen to sprout out and grow with the harvests."22 Here we get a very different picture of Rousseau's views on society; society is now described as that which destroys the equality and freedom of the state of nature, replacing it with slavery. "The new society thus became the most horrible state of war: Mankind thus debased and harassed, and no longer able to retrace its steps, or renounce the fatal acquisitions it had made.╩.╩."23 Here society is not a unifying but an alienating force which oppresses and destroys the individual.

The social contract, then, is meant to remedy this by creating a just society to replace the corrupt, oppressive society that has developed as mankind has moved away from the state of nature. It is still quite possible, of course, to read the contract as a principle of social unity rather than one of individual freedom; Rousseau might simply be criticizing one kind of social structure--the unjust one of the Second Discourse--and trying to replace this with a just social institution. However, if we examine the actual formulation of the social contract principle, it quickly becomes clear that Rousseau intends for freedom to be a fundamental part of this principle. He seems to want "'to find a form of association which may defend and protect with the whole force of the community the person and property of every associate, and by means of which each, coalescing with all, may nevertheless obey only himself, and remain free as before.'"24 Rousseau is seeking a just society, to be sure. He is searching for a valid "we," as Strong suggests. But what makes that "we" valid for him is that it shows a proper respect for the "I:" Rousseau's criterion for the just society is that it must maintain and preserve the freedom that humans enjoyed in the state of nature, before society. "What man loses by the social contract is his natural liberty and an unlimited right to attain anything which tempts him and which he is able to attain; what he gains is civil liberty and property in all that he possesses."25 It is Rousseau's fervent hope and belief that this civil liberty will be sufficient to make up for the real and terrifying loss of natural liberty.

The freedom of the social contract is provided and ensured by the general will. "The unvarying will of all the members of the State is the general will; it is through that that they are citizens and free."26 It seems odd at first that such an "unvarying," almost dictatorial principle could at the same time be a principle of freedom; nonetheless, this is the claim that Rousseau makes. He goes on to claim that the general will is infallible: "the general will is always right and always tends to the public advantage."27 The general will is not the only will that a citizen possesses; rather it is the will that can see beyond particular, private interests and put these aside for the good of the community. Again, one reading of this is that Rousseau means to promote the interests of the community without concern for the status of individuals in the community. After all, why else would he de-emphasize particular interests to such an extent, while insisting that the will of the community should dominate? Yet the situation is more complex than this, as Andrzej Rapaczynski notes: "the replacement of the unjust social order based on inequality with an institution of legitimate political authority is supposed to preserve an individual's freedom while ensuring the content and motivational viability of his moral system."28 Again, freedom seems to be a key part of Rousseau's political system. The form of the general will says that it is meant to preserve social harmony and promote the interests of the community, but its purpose is to preserve freedom. James Miller suggests that the general will represents for Rousseau an attempt to reconcile freedom with the social order.29 In many ways this is the most persuasive reading. Rousseau was no anarchist; he recognized the need for viable social and political institutions. Yet he was unwilling to let this need compromise the freedom of the individual citizen in any way. His commitment to an Enlightened ideal of individual freedom precluded this possibility.

What, then, is the status of Rousseau's politics? What political position finally emerges from this tension between individual and community? Jacob Talmon has argued that Rousseau's position may best be understood as "totalitarian democracy;" that is, as a philosophy in which liberty is realized "only in the pursuit and attainment of an absolute collective purpose."30 On this interpretation individual freedom only serves the interests of the community; liberty is unimportant as an end to itself. However, Judith Shklar suggests that for Rousseau, genuine authority does not in any way limit freedom, and I feel that this is the more plausible interpretation.31 Talmon has got Rousseau's motivational scheme backwards: Rousseau does seek a just social collective, but only so that it may serve the needs of the individual citizen. Maurizio Viroli argues, for example, that for Rousseau, "political liberty is more important than peace and.╩.╩.a reasonable degree of civic discord has beneficial effects on the political body."32 Clearly in this example the needs of the community are being subordinated to those of the citizen, or more accurately, the needs of the community are best served when the liberty of the citizen is maintained.

The key to understanding Rousseau's politics is to understand the status of the individual subject in his writings. Rapaczynski writes: "the full development of amour propre results in a world indelibly stamped with a value placed on the subject."33 As I have been arguing, it is precisely this value, which is a fundamentally Enlightened value, that distinguishes Rousseau's political thought, and that renders deeply problematic any interpretation of his politics that does not offer an account of his devotion to the sovereign, individual subject as an ideal. Rapaczynski claims that "like Descartes.╩.╩.Rousseau makes the self a foundation of all that is human in man."34 I believe that this is an accurate assessment. Rousseau accepts the Enlightened self as his basic unit of political analysis, and his politics, with its insistence on the precedence of individual liberty, grows out of this acceptance. Rousseau thus develops the Cartesian autonomous subject into a political entity; it is with Rousseau's work that the politics of the Enlightenment comes into its own.


Kant borrowed a good deal from Rousseau; indeed, it has been argued that there are considerable similarities between the general will and Kant's categorical imperative. Rapaczynski notes that "Rousseau's account, like Kant's, makes freedom itself the supreme moral value."35 Yet Kant also went beyond Rousseau in many ways, and his moral project was a more complex, more ambitious one.

What Kant offered with his morality was nothing less than an attempt to appropriate Christian ethics into the Enlightenment through reason. This radical secularization of Christian morality is the very epitome of an Enlightened moral project. It seeks to justify Christian ethical behavior without reference to any metaphysical force or being such as God. Instead, Kant hoped to base his morality on nothing but the light of Descartes's reason. For example, Kant uses reason to justify belief in the immortal soul; he writes in the second Critique: "infinite progress is possible.╩.╩.only under the presupposition of an infinitely enduring existence and personality of the same rational being; this is called immortality of the soul. Thus the highest good is practically possible only on the supposition of the immortality of the soul."36 He goes on to justify belief in God, again on the sole basis of reason: we must "affirm the possibility of the second element of the highest good, i.e., happiness proportional to that morality.╩.╩.by a purely impartial reason.╩.╩.[reason] must postulate the existence of God as necessarily belonging to the possibility of the highest good."37 The influence of Christian thought on Kant is clear here; he takes reason as his starting point, but he ends with something that is recognizably Christian. As Wayne Cristaudo writes, "in discussing Kant's moral foundations it is important not to underestimate the pervasive presence that the Christian existential vision of the human condition plays in his thinking. This vision is most conspicuous in his idea that the highest good leads us to postulate the existence of the two pillars of Christianity--a highest being who dispenses justice on the basis of merit and the immortality of the soul."38 Indeed, the categorical imperative itself, the fundamental ethical principle on which most of Kant's ethics is based, is little more than a philosophically rigorous statement of a Christian principle. "So act that the maxim of your will could always hold at the same time as a principle of universal law giving"39 is not really that different from "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Kant derives, in short, all the major precepts and prerequisites of Christian ethics, but he derives them from reason alone. He thus translates Christian morality into the world of the Enlightenment, stripping away its superstition and mysticism and replacing these with a rational justification for faith that will serve Christianity well in the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

There are other aspects of Christian doctrine in Kant's ethics. As Gordon Michalson notes, Kant's theory of radical evil "looks suspiciously like the Christian doctrine of original sin, just the sort of thing the thinkers of the Enlightenment normally prided themselves on eliminating from the roster of traditional ideas worthy of serious consideration."40 Yet what Michalson misses is the point that this move is quite deliberate on Kant's part: he wants to retain Christianity rather than dismissing it, but he realizes that his one chance to retain it is to turn it into something based on Enlightened rationality. Thus for Michalson "what is interesting is the way an explicitly Christian frame of reference keeps coming into view and takes considerable control at the decisive moments in Kant's account of moral regeneration."41 While this may be interesting, it is hardly surprising, for this is exactly Kant's project: to formulate a rational morality that is at the same time Christian.

The twin pillars on which Kant based his morality are rationality and freedom, and as we have already noted, both are key terms of the Enlightenment. Kant believed that moral law derives directly from human reason; he writes in the Groundwork:: "the pure thought of duty and of the moral law generally.╩.╩.has by way of reason alone.╩.╩.an influence on the human heart so much more powerful than all other incentives."42 Here we see the rationalism of Descartes returning, this time in morality. Kant's rational morality provides laws that are, he thinks, universal and valid for all rational beings.43 "A rational being belongs to the kingdom of ends as a member when he legislates in it universal laws while also being himself subject to these laws."44 This passage might almost have been written by Rousseau; it constitutes a claim that the duty of all rational beings is to use their reason to produce just universal moral laws. Reason and reason alone determines the shape and substance of these laws: "reason determines the will in a practical law directly, not through an intervening feeling of pleasure or displeasure, even if this pleasure is taken in the law itself."45

The form that rational morality takes is that of freedom. "An absolutely good will, whose principle must be a categorical imperative, will therefore be indeterminate as regards all objects and will contain merely the form of willing; and indeed that form is autonomy."46 The categorical imperative is the only moral law that reason imposes on us; it therefore grants us autonomy and free will. "What else can freedom of the will be but autonomy, i.e., the property that the will has of being a law to itself?"47 This principle is crucial for Kant; his morality cannot function without it. For him, rationality and freedom are so closely related that they are practically synonymous: "the moral law expresses nothing else than the autonomy of pure practical reason, i.e., freedom."48 Freedom has for Kant an ethical significance almost as great as that of rationality. As Henry Allison notes, "Kant regards autonomy as the principle of morality not only in the sense of being a necessary condition of its possibility but also in the sense of being one of the formulas of the categorical imperative and, therefore, as itself a first-order ethical principle."49 The categorical imperative by its very nature implies and requires freedom as well as rationality; if Kant cannot assume free moral agents, then a discussion of how they may will their maxims as universal becomes meaningless. Thus Kant's ethics, though Christian in its form, rests on a very Enlightened foundation, which Kant constructs out of reason and autonomy.

Richard Velkley suggests that "Kant arrives at his understanding of reason through an effort to resolve a crisis in the modern period concerning the end, status, and meaning of reason."50 This may well be the case; like Rousseau, Kant presents himself as someone who is already grappling with the difficulties inherent in Enlightenment rationalism, difficulties that will explode with Nietzsche. Yet it seems clear that like Rousseau, Kant is willing to abandon neither reason nor Enlightenment. Indeed, his faith in Enlightenment is so strong that when he attempts to hold onto those pre-Enlightenment concepts, such as Christian ethics, that he feels must be preserved, he does so by translating their terms into those of the Enlightenment. As Anthony Cascardi notes, "according to conventional interpretations and, more importantly, on the authority of principles explicitly stated in Kant's second Critique, the obligations we construe as ethical may be regarded as the manifestations of a law which in turn reflects the rationality, freedom and autonomy of the subject-self."51 These are, of course, the primary ingredients of Enlightenment that we have discussed so far. Kant's project, then, is profoundly Enlightened; it is the attempt to articulate the possibilities of an essentially Christian morality within an Enlightenment context. Velkley suggests that "Kant thus does not reject the emancipatory end of modern philosophy or Enlightenment but reformulates it."52 It may seem odd that the way in which he chose to do this was by attempting to resurrect Christian dogma and smuggle it in through the back door of Enlightenment, but the fact that Kant used Enlightenment's tools to restructure Christianity makes clear his commitment to the project of Enlightenment. That he retained the Enlightenment's allegiance to freedom and emancipation is equally obvious. His insistence on the primacy of human autonomy as he formulates his categorical imperative makes this difficult to dispute.


We come now to Nietzsche's own century, the nineteenth. It is perhaps controversial even to speak of a "nineteenth century Enlightenment;" certainly one could argue that the Enlightenment makes sense as an historical phenomenon only if its temporal limits are drawn much earlier, perhaps with the French Revolution. I do not want to proceed this way, however, for two reasons. First, I feel that the pervasive influence of Enlightenment thought in nineteenth century politics and science makes it highly problematic to draw a temporally narrow definition of this movement; we could, perhaps, refer to a "neo-Enlightenment" or an "Enlightenment influence" in the nineteenth century, but I feel that this would be facetious. What we are talking about is fundamentally a continuation of the intellectual movement discussed above. Second and more importantly, Nietzsche engaged with the Enlightenment during his own century as a very real and, for him, troubling phenomenon; he made few distinctions between Rousseau and Mill or Descartes and Darwin, but attacked them all under the same banner of "Enlightenment." The Enlightenment was for Nietzsche a unified whole that went back several hundred years; to him it represented the greatest sickness of modern man.

A second possible objection would be to my choice of figures. Why have I chosen three thinkers from Victorian England? Why have I not dealt with some of Nietzsche's contemporaries in, say, France and Germany? The answer is that I believe that Victorian England represented for Nietzsche and for many other nineteenth century thinkers the epitome of the Enlightened society: complacent, smug and self-assured, nineteenth century England institutionalized all of the characteristics of Enlightenment outlined above. Rationality, science and an unshakable faith in human progress found their material manifestation in the Crystal Palace exhibition, while the autonomous subject-self of the Enlightenment became enshrined in the discourse of political liberalism. It is just this kind of society, as we shall see below, that Nietzsche reviled as deadly to true human progress, but before we turn to Nietzsche's critique, a closer look at the objects of his wrath will be helpful.


The political thought of Mill may be loosely characterized in terms very similar to those I used above to discuss Rousseau. Like Rousseau, Mill was confronted by a conflict between two desirable goals: the good of the community and the good of the individual. The terms of Mill's struggle were utilitarianism and liberty; it was the struggle between these two key concepts that largely defined him as a political thinker. I would like to note at the outset that both of these principles came to Mill via the Enlightenment; that is to say, they are both Enlightened ideas in their own way. Utilitarianism, as practiced by Jeremy Bentham, saw itself as a science of humanity, dedicated towards the betterment of the race; in short, it was a principle of social progress. Liberty, on the other hand, was formulated by Mill as a principle of freedom designed to do justice to the needs of the autonomous Enlightenment subject. Mill, an exceedingly Enlightened nineteenth century political thinker, attempted to reconcile these two seemingly contradictory positions; this attempt constitutes the bulk of his political writing.

Mill's essay "Utilitarianism" provides an eloquent interpretation and defense of the principles of utility. Here Mill argues for the prevalence of utilitarianism, in order to suggest that it is a strong theory: "the greatest-happiness principle.╩.╩.has had a large share in forming the moral doctrines even of those who most scornfully reject its authority."53 Mill goes on to argue that the utilitarian doctrine represents nothing less than the best chance for social progress: "no one whose opinion deserves a moment's consideration can doubt that most of the great positive evils of the world are in themselves removable, and will, if human affairs continue to improve, be in the end reduced within narrow limits."54 Indeed, even the utility philosophy itself is subject to constant progress: "the corollaries from the principle of utility, like the precepts of every practical art, admit of indefinite improvement, and, in a progressive state of human mind, their improvement is perpetually going on."55 Clearly, Mill believed that utilitarian philosophy had much to offer his society. Louis Zimmer claims that "in addition to the subject of individuality and these related issues, the essay On Liberty provides ample proof that Mill followed Bentham on the subject of truth and of its vital significance in the everyday lives of human beings."56 It is fairly easy to see how one might adopt this interpretation, given the evidence from Mill's writings and what we know about the personal influence that utilitarian thought had on Mill's development as an adolescent and as a young man. Clearly there was much of the utilitarian in Mill.

I want to take issue with the interpretation that Mill was a straightforward Benthamite utilitarian, however. Instead I want to argue, along with Wendy Donner, that "Mill's enlarged concept of utility overcomes the limitations of Bentham's theory without sacrificing its strengths."57 This interpretation reads Mill's philosophy as a modified utilitarianism, and one that is modified in a very specific, deliberate way, to account for liberty. As John Gray argues, "Mill's departures from the classical utilitarian view of human nature, which he criticizes so sharply in his Bentham and Coleridge, support the doctrine of liberty.╩.╩.Mill's conception of happiness is avowedly individualistic and pluralist."58 It was the inability of classical utilitarian theory to account for the spiritual, creative and artistic sides of human life (in short, for those parts that, as Mill saw it, made individuals important as individuals) that led to the emotional and intellectual crisis during which Mill began to question utilitarianism. As Gertrude Himmelfarb writes, "Mill decided that attention should be directed to the 'internal culture of the individual,' the cultivation of feeling, the development of the poetic and artistic sensibilities."59 He was unable to return to the utilitarian fold until he had substantially altered the greatest-happiness principle to include this "internal culture."

The importance of this divergence from conventional utilitarian theory may not be readily apparent, but in fact it represents a dramatic change. Although Mill still held maximum happiness to be the greatest good, the way in which that happiness was to be pursued, and indeed the very definition of happiness, had now been changed. Mill was unwilling to allow the legislation of happiness by anyone other than the individual whose happiness was being legislated. The justification for this major modification to utilitarian theory is simple: Mill believed that in liberty he had discovered a principle of equal importance to utility. Donner writes: "freedom is.╩.╩.linked to the flourishing of individuality. On Liberty is an impassioned plea for the liberty that will promote the individuality required for self-development and for the appreciation of more valuable pleasures and pursuits."60 Even in "Utilitarianism," which is his most impassioned defense of utility, Mill argues that true utility cannot interfere with liberty. "To have a right, then, is, I conceive, to have something which society ought to defend me in the possession of. If the objector goes on to ask why it ought, I can give him no other reason than general utility."61 Clearly, Mill is determined not to let a devotion to utility undermine his belief in liberty.

Mill's essay on Bentham is perhaps the best example of his modified utilitarian position. Here Mill praises Bentham for his attempt to explore social issues in a scientific way (which is again indicative of Mill's place in the nineteenth century Enlightenment).62 But he also holds Bentham responsible for failing to account for human nature and for failing to recognize the possibilities of human spiritual perfection.63 It is this tension that made Mill's political thought what it was: without either the faith in social progress that he derived from utilitarian thought or the belief in the importance of human freedom that made him question that philosophy, Mill's thought would have been incomplete.

The question of the status of Mill's politics remains. Much as in our discussion of Rousseau, we see that there are two possible interpretations of Mill's political position, which we may loosely describe as egalitarian and elitist. This now begins to emerge as a tension in Enlightened politics in general: the Enlightenment's desire for social progress encounters an equally Enlightened desire for a politics that will do justice to the needs of the rational/autonomous self, and the result is inevitably conflict. Donner provides an interpretation of Mill that emphasizes his egalitarian, socially oriented tendencies: "Mill intends to exclude as harmful not only active interference with liberty but also the failure of society to provide people with reasonable social conditions and resources to allow them to attain and exercise their liberty of self-development."64 However, Alan Kahan claims that the individual was the highest value for Mill, and places him alongside Burckhardt and Tocqueville, as an "aristocratic liberal" who valued the individual more than society.65 It is hardly surprising that there should be an interpretive debate of this kind, since as we have seen, the tension between individual needs (liberty) and social needs (utilitarianism) is very real in Mill's thought.

There is, however, a way out of this dilemma, and it is to be found in Mill's On Liberty. In this, his most famous work, he argues that the promotion of liberty is crucial in that it serves egalitarian ends through the promotion of the ideal society. Liberty is presented here as a social good. To be sure, there are passages in On Liberty that are quite elitist: "No government by a democracy or a numerous aristocracy, either in its political acts or in the opinions, qualities, and tone of mind which it fosters, ever did or could rise above mediocrity except in so far as the sovereign many have let themselves be guided by the counsels and influence of a more highly gifted and instructed one or few."66 But Mill's justification for this elitist position is that it creates the circumstances in which, ironically, an ideal society will be possible. For example, Mill argues for "the necessity to the mental well-being of mankind (on which all other well-being depends) of freedom of opinion, and freedom of the expression of opinion."67 Freedom of expression is most beneficial, certainly, to the geniuses whom Mill lauds. But that doesn't change the importance of this freedom for him, since these geniuses are the ones who create the ideal society. "Who can compute what the world loses in the multitude of promising intellects combined with timid characters, who dare not follow any bold, vigorous, independent train of thought, lest it should land them in something which would admit of being irreligious or immoral?"68 The individual for Mill is a social good. Mill is thus able to reconcile two key principles of Enlightened political thought: the belief in the necessity or desirability of social progress, and the belief in the need for political forms suitable to the autonomous individual subject of Enlightenment discourse.


Perhaps no single word better captures the essence of nineteenth century Enlightened science than "Darwin." Darwin represents the embodiment of Enlightened principles in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. His synthesis of the fundamental ideas of the Enlightenment provided a unified explanation of a large part of the natural world and earned him his place as the most influential scientist of his century. Darwin was not the first nineteenth century scientist to propose evolution as an explanation for the development of humans and other organisms--Robert Chambers, for example, argued for a similar theory in his anonymously published book Vestiges of the natural history of Creation, though his work was roundly denounced by the scientific community. What distinguished Darwin was his careful attempt to place himself soundly in the context of acceptable scientific practice, and his use of rational, scientific explanations to describe a world in which natural and social progress would be the inevitable outcome of history.

Darwin's most famous work, The Origin of Species, shows a sustained faith in the validity of the scientific method and makes an appeal to the scientific context of his time. He demonstrates a faith in the opinions of scientists: "in determining whether a form should be ranked as a species or a variety, the opinion of naturalists having sound judgment and wide experience seems the only guide to follow."69 He is careful to make clear that what he is discussing is a principle of natural law: "I mean by Nature, only the aggregate action and product of many natural laws, and by laws the sequence of events as ascertained by us."70 He is also quite proud of the fact that he has "collected so large a body of facts, and made so many experiments;" i.e. that he has, in his view, conducted his work in accordance with valid scientific principles.71 It is quite clear that Darwin is almost desperately eager to be accepted as a scientist; he even ends his book with an appeal to Newton's law of gravity. But Darwin was not simply a scientist in the general sense of someone who seeks knowledge about the natural world through theory and experiment. He was also a scientist in a particularly nineteenth century context. He appeals, for example, to the well-known work of Charles Lyell: "New species have appeared very slowly, one after another, both on land and in the waters. Lyell has shown that it is hardly possible to resist the evidence on this head in the case of the several tertiary stages.╩.╩."72 Here Darwin is placing himself in the nineteenth century debate between "catastrophists" and "uniformitarians;" that is, between those who would explain developments in the natural world with reference to sudden, dramatic change, and those who preferred an explanation based on slow, gradual change in accordance with regular laws. Darwin's evolutionary theory places him clearly in Lyell's camp as a uniformitarian, and gives his work a certain prestige. As Robert Young writes, "there were very powerful constraints on the kinds of theories for explaining the origin of the species which the scientific community would be likely to entertain at all seriously."73 It was his willingness to appeal to known and respected theorists that helped to ensure that Darwin would not languish in obscurity as Chambers did.

Michael Ruse argues convincingly that Darwin deliberately placed himself in the prevailing scientific context of his time, which was largely defined by the works of Herschel and Whewell. Ruse notes that "Herschel made clear that what distinguishes scientific axiom systems from other such systems is that the former, unlike the latter, contain laws; these are universal, empirical statements.╩.╩."74 It is important to note here the difference between this approach and that of the other Enlightened scientist I have discussed, Descartes. Descartes, it will be recalled, based his scientific method on strict rationality, rather than on empirical observation. How, then, does Darwin qualify as an Enlightened scientist in the sense that Descartes was one?

Here we must recall the purpose behind Descartes's privileging of rationality. His intent was not to privilege rationality simply for its own sake, but rather to use rationality to provide a justification for the nascent pursuit of scientific knowledge. Once the Cartesian method had been established as a metaphysical basis for the pursuit of science, Descartes would have no problem with someone using this method to acquire empirical knowledge. And indeed, the dominant nineteenth century scientific paradigm into which Darwin placed himself was one that was eminently rational in the Cartesian sense: "Were one to single out from the Herschel-Whewell philosophy the two features most likely to be manifested in any scientific theory consciously influenced by that philosophy, they would probably be: first, the hypothetico-deductive model, and secondly the use of one central mechanism or cause to explain phenomena in widely different areas. Both of these features are manifested, to a significant extent, in Darwin's theory in the Origin.╩.╩."75 The hypothetico-deductive model is one in which theories are developed and compared with evidence, then revised and again compared until they closely match the available data. It is a highly structured, rigorous and rational method. Darwin, in short, made explicit use of the dominant scientific approach of his time, and that approach was a rational, Enlightened one.

One of the most important implications of Darwin's theory, and one of the most Enlightened, is progress. Evolution implies that species are moving closer and closer to perfection all the time. As Robert Young notes, "in the Origin of the Species, Darwin mixed his belief in various manifestations of progress with scientific prophecy."76 Darwin offers predictions of progress in the natural world, but perhaps more significantly, he also offers both predictions and prescriptions for social progress, most notably in The Descent of Man. Here, for example, Darwin argues against the evils of primogeniture, stating that "primogeniture with entailed estates is a more direct evil, though it formerly may have been a great advantage.╩.╩.most eldest sons, thought they may be weak in body or mind, marry, whilst the youngest sons, however superior in these respects, do not so generally marry."77 Here Darwin is starting to broaden his theory into the realm of social reform, suggesting that there are certain institutions and social practices that do not promote the best ends for humanity. There are also passages in his work that can be read as justifications for imperialism: "as foreigners have thus in every country beaten some of the natives, we may safely conclude that the natives might have been modified with advantage, so as to have better resisted the intruders."78 Science here can very easily become ideology, and Darwin seems unwilling or unable to distinguish his scientific pronouncements from normative and political ones.

Some of Darwin's most interesting, and to twentieth century minds unsustainable, assertions are to be found in his discussion of the role of women. Darwin believes that "man is more courageous, pugnacious and energetic than woman, and has a more inventive genius."79 This is, he feels, due to the different roles played by men and women in the struggle for survival; as he puts it, "with respect to the differences of this nature between man and woman, it is probable that sexual selection has played a highly important part."80 Since women play the role of nurturers, they have greater tenderness and less selfishness than men; men, as hunters and warriors, delight in competition; it is for this reason, Darwin believes, that men attain higher positions as poets, scientists, scholars, etc. Here Darwin's theory of sexual selection, which is a corollary to his theory of natural selection, serves as the basis for a prescriptive attempt to legislate certain social roles for women. Darwin uses science as the basis for a gender politics that is to our minds questionable at best, but what is important for the purposes of the present work is that here Enlightened science begins to take on a political demeanor. It is in the work of Herbert Spencer that this synthesis is completed.


It is perhaps appropriate that this chapter on Enlightened thought should end with a discussion of the work of Herbert Spencer, for Spencer represents in many ways the culmination if not the reducto ad absurdum of many of the Enlightened concepts I have been discussing. Spencer completes the synthesis of science and social theory begun by Darwin. His work contains a faith in human rationality and science that harkens back to his distant scientific predecessor, Descartes. It features the faith in progress that we have seen is common to most Enlightened thinkers. What's more, Spencer's science is intimately related with an Enlightened politics that has much in common with certain elements in Mill's thought; one of the intellectual projects to which Spencer was most devoted was an attempt to justify an extreme form of political liberty.

Let us begin with Spencer's science. It is clear that Spencer insisted on providing scientific explanations for social situations. Since the particular science that he used to explore society was that of Darwinian biology, it is perhaps not surprising that he is often referred to as a "social Darwinist," though this is somewhat misleading; in fact, his philosophy was already fairly well-developed before he began to incorporate Darwinism into his work. Spencer writes: "setting out with social units.╩.╩. the Science of Sociology has to give an account of all the phenomena that result from their combined actions."81 Spencer here is engaged in a practice of Enlightened science that should be quite familiar to us by now: he is seeking concrete, universal laws that will explain all possible occurrences. Towards the end of Volume I of his massive Principles of Sociology, Spencer apologizes that:

induction has greatly predominated over deduction throughout the foregoing chapters; and readers who have borne in mind that Part II closes with a proposal to interpret social phenomena deductively, may infer either that this intention has been lost sight of or that it has proved impracticable to deal with the facts of domestic life otherwise than by empirical generalization. On gathering together the threads of the argument, however, we shall find that the chief conclusions forced on us by the evidence are those which Evolution implies.82

Gone is the tension between rationalism and empiricism in Darwin. Spencer calmly accepts his rationalist, Cartesian heritage; indeed he wears it as a badge of honor. He will be proud of his theory if it can be shown to be inductively sound, and if he can add empirical justification to it as well, then so much the better. Spencer also exhibits a clear concern for scientific objectivity: "contemplating social structures and actions from the evolution point of view, we may preserve that calmness which is needful for scientific interpretation of them, without losing our powers of feeling moral reprobation or approbation."83 This is a peculiarly Victorian combination of scientific objectivity and moral righteousness, but it serves to illustrate Spencer's belief that the scientific method and approach--at least as he saw it--was indispensable to his sociology.

J. W. Burrow writes that "Spencer's 'Synthetic Philosophy,' of which The Principles of Sociology is a part, was an attempt to apply a formula of evolution whose central idea was the development from simple to complex, purporting to be derived from the fundamental laws of matter and motion, to every kind of phenomenon throughout the universe."84 This might well be a description of the pursuits of Enlightened science in general since Descartes. Spencer represents the apex of the attempt to impose a framework of rationality upon the world of human interaction, to make all human activity explicable and predictable. As Burrow puts it, "it followed from his conception of science and of the purpose of the Synthetic Philosophy that if he could not explain social phenomena ultimately--the qualification is important--in terms of physical causation, he could not explain them satisfactorily at all."85

One specific aspect of human action that Spencer hoped to be able to describe scientifically was morality. "Morality," as J. D. Y. Peel writes, "as Spencer saw it, was to be made scientific--i.e. the conclusions were to follow as ineluctably and irrefutably from the premises as in a scientific demonstration."86 We see here some of the scope of Spencer's project: it has a descriptive component, certainly, but also an implicit normative component. One gets the impression that Spencer intended to use science as a justification for a particular kind of morality, and that the morality he advocated had a particular political slant to it. Spencer "not only believes human actions are subject to law, but that history as a whole is subject to a law of development,"87 and the choice of this evolutionary law of development was not an innocent one on Spencer's part. It allowed him to advocate and encourage certain particular beliefs about politics and society.

One of the most notable of these beliefs was Spencer's Enlightened belief in progress. As Burrow points out, Spencer's gradualism insists "on progress as a process passing through inevitable stages according to inflexible laws."88 This sounds very much like the kind of progress principle we have seen in the thought of Darwin and other Enlightened thinkers. Progress, for Spencer, was a natural and irresistible process. What's more, it was, in his mind, a desirable process. As James Kennedy notes, "he insisted not only that adaptation to social conditions would increase, but that 'progress' could not cease until 'the highest social life' was reached."89 This is the utopian component of Enlightenment; it takes the form of a sincere belief that social forces will lead inexorably to a perfect future world. As David Wiltshire puts it, "Spencerian social evolution.╩.╩.anticipates a future in which continuing trends culminate in perfection."90 Thus evolution for Spencer was not simply an innocent scientific theory; it carried profound implications for society and politics. Indeed, Peel suggests that Spencer was obliged to theorize a particular kind of evolution in order to be able to derive the kind of progress he wanted: "because he wants to demonstrate history's inevitable path to perfection, he needs a guarantee of direction in evolution."91 Even Spencer's much-vaunted scientific theory of evolution, then, was actually in the service of his ideology of social progress.

What, then, was the political agenda to which Spencer's theory of progress contributed? Spencer speaks in the Principles of Sociology of the ways in which society develops through stages, from lower to higher, less complex to more complex. The higher, more complex societies exhibit certain distinctive institutions. Thus, for example, "all civilized nations, characterized by definite, coherent, orderly social arrangements, are also characterized by definite, coherent, orderly domestic arrangements."92 It is no coincidence that the higher society, the "civilized nation" in this model, is almost indistinguishable from Spencer's England. Victorian English society is privileged in Spencer's account as a norm. We may thus reasonably interpret Spencer's work as a justification and vindication of the achieved Enlightenment society.

With this justification comes a particular political ideology, which we may characterize as Enlightened liberalism. Kennedy notes that Spencer "believed that through commercial liberty and unlicensed competition, social progress would spontaneously and naturally occur."93 Here once again we see the ideology of progress, but this time the ideology is being used in the service of a politics. This politics is one that is concerned with the liberation of the Enlightened autonomous subject through the refusal to allow the state to interfere with the political and social affairs of that subject. Spencer "never deserted his abstract individualism or his trust in the 'natural' economic laws of classical political economy."94 It may seem strange, at first, that Spencer combined a liberal, individualist politics with an evolutionary theory so concerned with the good of society. As we saw with Mill, however, this was hardly an unusual tension among Victorian political thinkers. And like Mill, Spencer cannot be understood unless we account for the liberal individualism that motivates his political thought. As Wiltshire points out, "Spencer was an individualist liberal first and an evolutionist second; individualism is, both genetically and structurally, the core of his thinking."95 Like Mill, however, Spencer saw no inherent conflict between an ideology of social progress and a fervent belief in individualism. For Spencer, as for Mill, the ideal society (which in Spencer's case was the future utopia that stood at the apex of evolutionary social development) was the one which would pay the most attention to individual political rights; it is significant in this context that Spencer placed the "industrial" society (of which Victorian England is again the prime example) well above the "militant" society in his scheme of development. And the industrial society was the one that did justice, more than any other society that had hitherto existed, to the needs of the individual as Spencer saw them, namely the need for free, autonomous political action independent of tyrannical government authority, and the need for free economic action in an unregulated market economy.

The historical context in which Spencer lived and wrote does much to explain his insistence on individualism. Spencer stands at the extreme end of the political Enlightenment in one way. After Spencer, "liberalism" began to acquire a distinctly different meaning; it acquired aspects of socialism and began to concern itself not with the autonomous individual of Enlightenment discourse, but with the mass proletarian subject of socialist thought. Spencer saw himself as the last true liberal, defending the pure faith against this socialist contamination. As Wiltshire puts it, "Spencer's lifelong belief was that his 'principled Liberalism' had been betrayed by the Liberal Party."96 Spencer felt that he and a few other "true Liberals"--which we may read as "Enlightenment liberals"--represented the only hope for retaining the original goals of English liberalism. M. W. Taylor refers to this as the claim that Spencer "represented the true principles of liberalism which the Liberal party was in the process of abandoning in its willingness to embrace 'socialism' and State intervention."97 Thus it is perhaps appropriate that we end our survey of Enlightened thought with Spencer.

What I have been trying to show is a strand of Enlightened thought that runs through the work of six major thinkers of the Enlightenment, spread out over two centuries. This strand is characterized by the four principles of rationality, freedom, science and progress, and it ties these thinkers together as members of a single unified intellectual tradition which, for lack of a more specific term, I have called the Enlightenment. I do not think that the association of these various thinkers is a spurious one. As Burrow writes, for example,

nothing shows more vividly the close kinship of the philosophic radicalism of the early nineteenth century with its parent, the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, than some of Spencer's early pronouncements. True, it is now a sobered Enlightenment, harsher and more priggish...but there is still the same sense of a new dawn for, freed at last from unreflecting subservience to immemorial customs and institutions, is about to take his future into his own hands and shape it, guided and instructed by science, in the image of rationality and justice.98

If we read "dawn for humanity" as "progress" and "justice" as "freedom," then Burrow has just listed my four principles, tied them to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, and placed Spencer at the end of this tradition. It seems reasonable, then, to take these principles as the foundation for a provisional interpretation of the Enlightenment. The full nature of this version of Enlightenment will become more clear as we turn to Nietzsche's critique of it.

Chapter Two: Nietzsche's Critique of the Traditional Enlightenment

As I shall show in Chapters Three and Four, Nietzsche's hostility to the Enlightenment reached its apex with his critique of such Enlightened nineteenth century thinkers as Mill, Darwin and Spencer. These figures earned Nietzsche's wrath by practicing Enlightenment in his own century. However, before we may fully understand Nietzsche's attack on the Enlightened thought of his contemporaries, it is imperative that we examine the earlier origins of this critique. Mill, Darwin and Spencer were dangerous, in Nietzsche's mind, because they continued the work begun in prior centuries by Descartes, Rousseau and Kant. Without an attack on these founding fathers of Enlightened thought, Nietzsche's anti-Enlightenment project would necessarily remain incomplete. His critique of the Enlightenment must be understood from the ground up: he began with an attack on the origins of Enlightened thought, broadened this to include the later practitioners of Enlightenment and finally, on the basis of the broader critique, mounted an attack on Enlightenment in general. In a note from the Will to Power, Nietzsche asks "what is noble?" His answer is, among other things: "Disgust for the demagogic, for the 'enlightenment,' for 'being cozy,' for plebeian familiarity."1 The way in which Nietzsche develops this disgust into a critique of the origins of Enlightened thought in Descartes, Rousseau and Kant is the subject of this chapter.

There are, however, some important limitations to Nietzsche's critique, and it is not too soon to begin to deal with those here. In Chapter One I defined Enlightenment in terms of science, reason, freedom and progress. While it is undeniably true that part of Nietzsche's anti-Enlightenment project involves a critique of the ways in which Descartes, Rousseau and Kant make use of these concepts, Nietzsche retains many of these ideas in his own thought. His vigorous attack on the Enlightened thought of these three figures cannot fully conceal his own affirmative project, which can only be described as a kind of Nietzschean Enlightenment. Indeed, an examination of his positive project will suggest that much of Nietzsche's hostility towards the traditional Enlightenment is done in the name of this transformed and transfigured Enlightenment. Nietzsche's use of Enlightened categories in the service of his affirmative project will receive attention at the end of this chapter and in much more detail in Chapter Five.


Nietzsche's critique of Descartes begins with an attack on Cartesian metaphysics and rationality. Nietzsche writes in the Will to Power: "Logical certainty, transparency, as criterion of truth ('all that is true which is perceived clearly and distinctly'--Descartes): with that, the mechanical hypothesis concerning the world is desired and credible. But this is a crude confusion. . ."2 In this note, Nietzsche attacks both the Cartesian mechanistic world view and its epistemological underpinnings, Cartesian rationality. These are two pillars of Cartesian thought; to call them into question is to undermine Descartes's entire metaphysical project. Nietzsche amplifies his attack on Cartesian rationality in his published writings, for example in Human, All Too Human: "That the world is not╩the epitome of an eternal rationality can be conclusively proved by the fact that that piece of the world which we know--I mean our own human rationality--is not so very rational."3 Although Nietzsche does not explicitly mention Descartes here, the implications for Cartesian metaphysics are clear: if neither the world nor the humans in it are rational, then the claims of Cartesian metaphysics and epistemology cannot hold.

Nietzsche is also quite critical of the practical manifestation of the Cartesian project to total rationality, Cartesian science. Nietzsche's attack on the various aspects of Descartes's brand of physics is developed most fully in his Gay Science. It might seem quite ironic, at first, that Nietzsche should mount an attack on one of the primary founders of the modern scientific paradigm in a book whose title, at least, suggests that it will be a defense or apology for science. However, Nietzsche is always extremely careful with his language, and we must be as well. The title of the book in German is Die frÜliche Wissenschaft, where frÜliche connotes gay, happy or merry. It seems likely that an adherent to Cartesian science would have trouble even imagining a science that was happy rather than rational or mechanistic. The gay science, then, is a new science, a particular kind of science aimed directly against the serious, ponderous science of Descartes. As Walter Kaufmann notes, "the title of the book has polemical overtones: it is meant to be anti-German, anti-professorial, anti-academic. . .it is also meant to suggest 'light feet,' 'dancing,' 'laughter'--and ridicule of 'the spirit of gravity.'"4 It is also, I want to suggest, anti-Cartesian, and is therefore opposed to conventional Enlightened science. It is not, however, opposed to science in general, as we shall see shortly.

Traditional, Enlightened or Cartesian science is something dangerous for Nietzsche. He writes: "one thought that in science one possessed and loved something unselfish, harmless, self-sufficient, and truly innocent, in which man's evil impulses had no part whatever. . .in sum, owing to three errors."5 Cartesian science claims that it represents some kind of objective truth and that this truth will lead to the kind of progress that the Enlightenment always promises. For Nietzsche, however, science is no objective truth; rather "science also rests on a faith; there simply is no science 'without presuppositions.'"6 Nietzsche is trying to clear the way for a world view that can go beyond the Cartesian metaphysics that has dominated the intellectual world since the seventeenth century. To do this he must undermine the prevalent faith that it is Cartesian science that has the most to offer us as a way of interpreting the world around us. He writes: "a 'scientific' interpretation of the world, as you understand it, might therefore still be one of the most stupid of all possible interpretations of the world, meaning that it would be one of the poorest in meaning."7 Not only does science furnish an inadequate account of the meaning of the world, but it does not even necessarily fulfill its goal of providing useful knowledge about the physical world. "It is a profound and fundamental good fortune that scientific discoveries stand up under examination and furnish the basis, again and again, for further discoveries. After all, this could be otherwise."8 Demonstrating contingency is one of Nietzsche's favorite modes of criticism; he employs it here with great effect against the Cartesian world view, demonstrating that there is no necessary reason to suppose that Cartesian science can provide the truths to which it claims to have access. The attack on Cartesian science is, in many ways, what the gay science is all about; Nietzsche thus speaks in a note of "the joyous [frohlockende] reaction against the rationalism of Descartes and against the skepticism of the English."9 These, then, are the terms in which Nietzsche opposes cold Cartesian rationality and its meaningless mechanistic universe: with a merry, joyful kind of science hitherto unknown in Enlightened discourse.

Another component of Nietzsche's critique of Descartes is his attack on the Cartesian method itself. This method, essential to the Cartesian project, is the method of universal doubt. Nietzsche writes in a note from the Nachlaž: "Starting point. Irony against Descartes: there was at the beginning of things some deceit, out of which we came to think that universal doubt is helpful!"10 In Nietzsche's view, this method, which leads directly to the kind of Cartesian science he abhors, is in fact not helpful at all but dangerous. "We are not on guard against a trap like the will to universal doubt of the Cartesian sort, and it is precisely this Cartesian method that is the worst kind of trick, that thoroughly teases us and keeps us fools."11 Rather than contributing to true knowledge, the Cartesian method of universal doubt is actually an impediment to knowledge; it precludes the joyous science that Nietzsche wants to advocate.

Nietzsche also provides a very stringent critique of Cartesian subjectivity, and this will prove to be fundamental to many of his subsequent critiques. Nietzsche begins with the foundation of subjectivity in Descartes, the Cartesian cogito. He writes in the Nachlaž: "We must be more careful than Descartes, who remains trapped in a term: Cogito is after all only a word."12 Here Nietzsche mounts an effective attack of the Cartesian cogito by claiming that it is a simple linguistic trick. Descartes attempted to establish Cartesian subjectivity merely by saying the words "I think therefore I am," but as Nietzsche points out, this simple statement in no way alters reality or creates a subject where there was none before. What Nietzsche is arguing is that Descartes has no right to claim the cogito as an absolute principle.

"There is thinking: therefore there is something that thinks": this is the upshot of all Descartes' argumentation. But that means positing as 'true a priori' our belief in the concept of substance--that when there is thought there has to be something 'that thinks' is simply a formulation of our grammatical custom that adds a doer to every deed. In short, this is not merely the substantiation of a fact but a logical-metaphysical postulate--Along the lines followed by Descartes one does not come upon something absolutely certain but only upon the fact of a very strong belief.13

This "very strong belief," of course, is hardly sufficient to serve as the kind of justification for subjectivity that Descartes needs. By showing that this crucial building block of Cartesian subjectivity is little more than a "grammatical custom," Nietzsche immediately undermines the foundation of the Cartesian subject and renders deeply problematic any claims made on the basis of this subjectivity. As we shall see below, this critique of the rational, autonomous Cartesian subject will serve Nietzsche very well as he expands his attack on the traditional Enlightenment into the areas of politics and morality.

In a similar vein, Nietzsche suggests that consciousness is also deeply contingent. He cites "Leibniz's incomparable insight that has been vindicated not only against Descartes but against everybody who had philosophized before him--that consciousness is merely an accidens of experience and not its necessary and essential attribute. . ."14 Nietzsche refuses to accept the claim that without a conscious subject to think our thoughts no thought can occur. "No one today is naive enough to set the 'I-subject' as a condition of thinking, in the manner of Descartes," Nietzsche says scornfully.15 It is quite possible and reasonable, Nietzsche argues, to postulate thought simply as something that happens, without reference to the kind of subject that is, in Cartesian epistemology, absolutely necessary for thought to occur.

Martin Heidegger offers an interesting interpretation of Nietzsche's critique of Cartesian subjectivity. Heidegger writes:

no matter how sharply Nietzsche pits himself time and again against Descartes, whose philosophy grounds modern metaphysics, he turns against Descartes only because the latter still does not posit man as subiectum in a way that is complete and decisive enough. The representation of the subiectum as ego, the I, thus the 'egoistic' interpretation of the subiectum, is still not subjectivistic enough for Nietzsche. Modern metaphysics first comes to the full and final determination of its essence in the doctrine of the Overman, the doctrine of man's absolute preeminence among beings. In that doctrine, Descartes celebrates his supreme triumph.16

On this interpretation, Nietzsche's problem with Descartes is that the former does not offer a strong enough subjectivity. Thus, while on the surface Nietzsche seems to be offering a virulent critique of the Cartesian project to rational subjectivity, in fact he is doing so in the name of what is essentially a radicalized Cartesianism. Heidegger writes: "Nietzsche's doctrine, which makes everything that is, and as it is, into the 'property and product of man,' merely carries out the final development of Descartes' doctrine, according to which truth is grounded on the self-certainty of the human subject."17 According to Heidegger's radical interpretation of Nietzsche's project, Nietzsche attacks only the form of Cartesian subjectivity, but leaves intact--indeed, insists upon--the idea that some kind of independent subject is necessary. "Nietzsche mistakes the origin of the 'concept of substance' because, in spite of all his criticism of Descartes, and without an adequate knowledge of the essence of a fundamental metaphysical position, he takes the fundamental position of modern metaphysics as absolutely certain and stakes everything on the priority of man as subject."18 Heidegger claims that without realizing it, Nietzsche is accepting Cartesian assumptions about subjectivity.

Of course, even Heidegger is forced to admit that Nietzsche makes some fundamental changes to Cartesian subjectivity. The most important of these is that Nietzsche posits the body rather than the soul as the seat of subjectivity. Heidegger writes: "for Nietzsche, what underlies is not the 'I' but the 'body'."19 Up to this point, Heidegger's metacritique--that is, his critique of Nietzsche's critique of Descartes--is persuasive. However, it is with the admission of the differences between Nietzsche and Descartes that Heidegger's position breaks down. Heidegger claims that the fact "that Nietzsche posits the body in place of the soul and consciousness alters nothing in the fundamental metaphysical position which is determined by Descartes."20 But in fact this changes everything. As we have seen, it is precisely the idea of the subject as conscious, rational, and thinking that Nietzsche most strongly criticizes. Nietzsche's critique of the cogito and of Cartesian rationalism is aimed against a particular brand of subjectivity, namely the kind which became institutionalized as the default form of Enlightened individualism. Heidegger is quite right when he argues that Nietzsche retains and even insists upon a kind of subjectivity. As we shall see, the Overman is definitely a kind of subject, but it is a subject of a new kind, rooted not in the conscious rationality of Descartes, but in health, the body and physicality. This emphasis on the body is precisely what distinguishes Nietzsche from Descartes and what motivates his critique of Cartesian subjectivity. I do not wish to dispute Heidegger's claim that Nietzsche's thought is a kind of metaphysics; indeed, it is a fundamental part of my argument that Nietzsche offers a transformed Enlightenment, a new brand of metaphysics. What I must contest in the strongest possible terms, however, is Heidegger's claim that Nietzsche's project is nothing more than a radicalized Cartesianism. Rather, I want to suggest that Nietzsche argues against Cartesian metaphysics and subjectivity in the name of a new kind of metaphysics and subjectivity, the dimensions of which I shall make clear presently.

Whatever its limitations, the Heideggerian metacritique raises a crucial issue: what, if any, are the aspects of Cartesian metaphysics that Nietzsche retains? To what extent is Nietzsche's critique of Descartes successful, and what are its limitations? Karl Jaspers suggests that "when Nietzsche finds methods to be the authentic basis of the compelling validity of scientific knowledge and then catches sight of the conditions under which they can be employed in the service of life. . .it seems as though he has discovered an absolute value in methodological science."21 This would seem at first to contradict my claims about Nietzsche's critique of the Cartesian method. However, Jaspers's claim must be modified somewhat, for in this initial formulation it does not account for the fact that statements of "absolute value" are rare if not nonexistent in Nietzsche's work. Alexander Nehamas refers to Nietzsche's refusal to posit absolute values as perspectivism, which Nehamas describes as "Nietzsche's famous insistence that every view is only one among many possible interpretations, his own views, particularly this very one, included."22 As Jaspers goes on to admit, "it is essential that Nietzsche recognized a kind of truth inhering in the scientific method and equally essential that, being aware of the limits of scientific truth, he did not regard such truth as final and absolute."23 If Nietzsche retains some kind of faith in scientific method, then, it is a provisional faith, and this clearly distinguishes him from someone like Descartes, whose faith in his method is absolute. Nietzsche's perspectivism is crucial here, for it stands in sharp contrast to the Cartesian method. Descartes's goal, and the goal of many Enlightened thinkers who followed him, was to locate the foundations of absolute, universal knowledge. For Nietzsche, this goal is impossible, for such knowledge is radically incoherent. Indeed, this is one of Nietzsche's most important objections to conventional Enlightenment thought: the kind of knowledge that thinkers like Descartes seek is not, for Nietzsche, a possible kind of human knowledge.

As we have seen, Heidegger offers a more radical interpretation of Nietzsche's critique of Descartes. Heidegger admits that "we do not believe that Nietzsche teaches a doctrine identical to Descartes'."24 Heidegger goes on to state, however, that "we are affirming something far more essential, to wit, that he is thinking the selfsame in the historical fulfillment of its essence."25 For Heidegger, then, despite Nietzsche's critique of Descartes and despite the obvious differences between their two positions, Nietzsche's project is in some profound sense linked to that of Descartes. Heidegger writes, for example, that "in the sense of Nietzsche's metaphysics, only the Over-man is appropriate to an absolute 'machine economy.'"26 Here Heidegger is invoking Nietzsche's strongest statement of subjectivity and explicitly tying it to the Cartesian world view. Heidegger's essential question is this: "what if the positing of this basic character [of beings] became possible only on the basis of Descartes' fundamental metaphysical position?"27 In Heidegger's view, then, Nietzsche is possible only as the heir to Descartes.

I wish to argue against this. I believe that Heidegger is right when he says that Nietzsche's project is a metaphysical one, but wrong when he claims that the metaphysics Nietzsche uses is fundamentally Cartesian. It is undeniable that Nietzsche's project is in many ways a scientific one; however, as I have argued above, this is hardly the same as saying that his project is Cartesian. Rather, I believe that Nietzsche attacks the Cartesian (and in a broader sense, the Enlightened) idea of science in the name of a reformulated science, a joyous science. An aphorism from Human, All Too Human is helpful here: "And now try to assess the greatness of those exceptional Greeks who created science! He who tells of them, tells the most heroic story in the history of the human spirit!"28 Clearly, Nietzsche is no enemy of science here, but the kind of science he's advocating is hardly that of abstract Cartesian rationalism. It is a more vigorous, more lively, more noble kind of science--the forerunner of the gay science, we may suppose--and it clearly forms one of the cornerstones of Nietzsche's well-known admiration of the Greeks. It is not science that Nietzsche opposes, but modern science, science in its Enlightened, Cartesian form.

Laurence Lampert supports this interpretation in his important work, Nietzsche and Modern Times. Lampert notes that "Nietzsche came to recognize the dangers attendant on modern science and set about to remedy them with a new understanding of science based on a more adequate understanding of nature."29 Lampert recognizes and emphasizes Nietzsche's devotion to a certain kind of science; he argues against "the deeply ingrained misconception that Nietzsche is an enemy of science."30 Lampert argues, rather, that "Nietzsche is, emphatically, an advocate of science," but also claims that Nietzsche "rejected science's reigning paradigm."31 In Lampert's view, then, Nietzsche emerges as a thinker who is pro-science but anti-Cartesian, which is exactly the position I wish to take. As Lampert puts it, "Nietzsche attacks the mechanistic worldview, with its elevation of physics, its claim to certitude, and its claim to social benefit--and he does so as a friend of science."32 Against Heidegger and with Lampert, then, I wish to claim that Nietzsche does attack Cartesian metaphysics and that he does successfully criticize Cartesian science. I also want to argue, however, that Nietzsche retains some essential aspects of Cartesian thought even as he undermines the Cartesian system as a universally valid and absolute world view. Among the most important of these aspects is a belief in the possibility of a metaphysics--though Nietzsche's metaphysics is, as we have begun to see, profoundly different from that of Descartes--and the desire to advocate a science--though again, this science is to be Nietzsche's joyous or gay science, and definitely not the coldly rational science of Descartes. In this way, Nietzsche formulates a dramatic and effective critique of modern, Enlightened, Cartesian metaphysics and science, while retaining the possibility of a transfigured metaphysics and a new kind of science.


Nietzsche's critique of Cartesian subjectivity sets the stage for a critique of the kind of Enlightened politics that this subjectivity makes possible. Nietzsche articulates this political critique as an attack on Rousseau. Rousseau's politics assumes that individual Cartesian subjects who exist peacefully and harmoniously in the state of nature will eventually join together via a social contract. His thought contains at its very heart the same conception of human subjectivity that Nietzsche attempted to reject with Descartes. Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau's politics thus reads as an extension of the critique of Cartesian subjectivity outlined above.

Nietzsche does not directly challenge specific terms from Rousseau's political thought such as "general will" or "social contract." Rather, he mounts a more characteristically Nietzschean attack on Rousseau's political thought, attacking Rousseau's ideas at the level of fundamental foundations and first principles. Nietzsche is interested not so much in what Rousseau believes but in what Rousseau represents, and Nietzsche sees Rousseau as a symbol of the kind of politics that he most reviles: liberal, parliamentarian, democratic politics. Nietzsche writes in the Gay Science:

We are not by any means "liberal"; we do not work for "progress"; we do not need to plug up our ears against the sirens who in the market place sing of the future: their song about "equal rights," "a free society," "no more masters and no servants" has no allure for us. We simply do not consider it desirable that a realm of justice and concord should be established on earth (because it would certainly be the realm of the deepest leveling and chinoiserie); we are delighted with all who love, as we do, danger, war, and adventures, who refuse to compromise, to be captured, reconciled, and castrated; we count ourselves among conquerors; we think about the necessity for new orders, also for a new slavery--for every strengthening and enhancement of the human type also involves a new kind of enslavement.33

Nietzsche does not explicitly mention Rousseau here, but in this remarkable passage, he outlines and rejects every component of the Enlightened politics for which Rousseau symbolically stands in Nietzsche's writing: liberalism, progress, equal rights and freedom. Some of these--notably the concepts of equal rights and freedom--are indeed important components of Rousseau's political thought, and derive from his idea of the social contract. Others, such as liberalism, are extrapolations which Nietzsche makes when he establishes Rousseau as the grounding point of modern politics. In any case, it is clear that Nietzsche is offering a concept of politics which is dramatically at odds with Rousseau's egalitarian political scheme. "Danger," "war" and "conquering" certainly have no place in a Rousseauian political system, except perhaps as symbols of the unjust political structure which will be overcome when man is finally removed from his chains and permitted to enter into just political arrangements. And "slavery," which Nietzsche extols as an institution that can strengthen and enhance humanity, is the perfect antithesis of Rousseau's political project, which seeks to render individuals free in a profound new sense through the establishment of a just political order.

It would seem, then, that in place of Rousseau's egalitarian politics, with its goal of freedom for all individuals, Nietzsche favors an agonistic or conflict-based model of human political behavior. This is hardly surprising when we recall that the political system which Nietzsche most respected was that of the ancient Greeks. As Ike Okanta puts it, "the theory of conquest...presupposes neither the gradual evolution of pre-political institutions nor a fundamental agreement in the visions of men."34 Nietzsche, then, is not only critical of Rousseau's account of the evolutionary process by which the social contract developed; he also attacks the very concept of human nature which would make such an evolutionary development possible. The "gradual evolution" model favored by Rousseau presupposes a "fundamental agreement"--the social contract--between independent, autonomous subjects, and as we have seen, Nietzsche rejects this Cartesian notion of subjectivity. In places, however, Nietzsche is not above using this concept of subjectivity against Rousseauian political thought: "one tries to condition an individual by various attractions and advantages to adopt a way of thinking and behaving that, once it has become a habit, instinct and passion, will dominate him to his own ultimate disadvantage but 'for the general good.'"35 The phrase "for the general good" here echoes "for the general will," and we may suppose that this is no accident. Nietzsche is formulating here a critique of Rousseau's politics that ironically seems to be based on the very kind of individual subjectivity that Nietzsche wants to reject. There are two ways we might interpret this move. It might simply be an attempt to use Rousseau's own categories against him, even though Nietzsche explicitly rejects those very categories elsewhere. Or more plausibly, it might be one of the ways in which Nietzsche selectively challenges aspects of Enlightened thought while retaining ideas that are in fact quite Enlightened. As we shall see, Nietzsche retains a very strong commitment to a kind of subjectivity, though it is a very different kind from the Cartesian subjectivity he so ruthlessly criticizes. In any case, it seems clear that Nietzsche is adamant in rejecting ideas of the general good and general will.

Indeed, Nietzsche rejects the very theory of nature on which Rousseau's ideas of the social contract and the general good are based, and it is here that he begins to refer explicitly to Rousseau. For Rousseau, nature represents a kind of utopian ideal condition; it is the departure from this condition, as humans begin to congregate together in social groups and thus lose their independence, that is responsible for mankind's moral fall. This fall necessitates the development of political institutions which will help us to regain some of what we have lost. Nietzsche, however, advocates a theory of nature that is quite opposed to this. He writes: "Against Rousseau--The state of nature is terrible, man is a beast of prey; our civilization represents a tremendous triumph over this beast-of-prey nature: thus argued Voltaire."36 Though we may suppose that Nietzsche hardly agrees with the interpretation of civilization as a triumph over anything, it is clear that by employing Voltaire against Rousseau in this way, Nietzsche means to begin a critique of Rousseau's concept of nature.

Nietzsche finds this idea of nature to be a naive and unrealistic depiction of humanity's natural state. Indeed, he goes so far as to associate Rousseau's understanding of nature with the kind of Christian ethics he despises: "Rousseau's concept of nature, as if 'nature' were freedom, goodness, innocence, fairness, justice, an idyll--still a cult of Christian morality fundamentally."37 Rousseau's state of nature smacks too much of the Garden of Eden for Nietzsche. And by attacking this idea of nature, Nietzsche implicitly attacks the idea of political society which grows out of that idea. Rousseau's entire political philosophy assumes that individual humans in the state of nature are free and innocent, that moving into society corrupts them, and that political institutions should attempt to correct this; Nietzsche's position is quite the opposite. For Nietzsche, the natural state of humanity is brutal and savage, the best societies (such as the Greeks, with their agonistic politics) reflect this, and "Rousseau's question concerning civilization: 'Does man become better through it?'--[is] an amusing question, since the reverse is obvious and is precisely that which speaks in favor of civilization."38 The one point on which Nietzsche and Rousseau agree, then, is that civilization has a corrupting effect on mankind--but they disagree profoundly as to the value of that effect. For Rousseau, corruption requires the creation of institutions to set society straight. For Nietzsche, however, corruption must be allowed to run its course, for it represents the necessary precursor to any real improvement of the human condition.

Rousseau's tendency towards correction and reform of the ills of civilization can easily be translated into a political doctrine, and it is against this type of reform that Nietzsche offers some of his strongest rhetoric. This Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau as a revolutionary. Nietzsche writes in Human, All Too Human:

There are political and social fantasists who with fiery eloquence invite a revolutionary overturning of all social orders in the belief that the proudest temple of fair humanity will then at once rise up as though of its own accord. In these perilous dreams there is still an echo of Rousseau's superstition, which believes in a miraculous primeval but as it were buried goodness of human nature and ascribes all the blame for this burying to the institutions of culture in the form of society, state and education.39

Here Nietzsche's critique blossoms into a full-fledged attack on Rousseau as a revolutionary "fantasist." The particular form of revolutionary thought and activity with which Nietzsche associated Rousseau was, of course, the French Revolution. To be fair, as Keith Ansell-Pearson points out, Nietzsche may have too readily associated Rousseau with the Revolution, and may have attributed to Rousseau a desire to return to the state of nature that Rousseau never actually had.40 However, as I noted above, I am less interested in constructing a "true" picture of Rousseau's political thought, and more interested in developing an understanding of how Nietzsche saw that thought. I believe that for Nietzsche, Rousseau represented an avatar of modern politics, the kind of politics that received its most dramatic expression in the French Revolution. Whether or not this is a valid criticism of Rousseau, this is the way in which Nietzsche symbolically made use of Rousseau.

As Walter Kaufmann notes, "Nietzsche did not believe that by 'returning to nature' man would become good, or that Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity were close to the state of nature. His view of 'nature' was much the opposite: by returning to nature man would only become a beast of prey or a Catalinarian criminal--and people following Rousseau might find themselves transformed into a revolutionary mob thirsting for blood."41 Here we see again Nietzsche's opposition to a Rousseauian concept of nature, and something more: Kaufmann is suggesting that this rejection of Rousseau's idea of nature should be explicitly tied to Nietzsche's critique of revolutionary politics. This revolutionary politics, in turn, is fundamentally linked to every manifestation of the modern state. Kaufmann writes: "[Nietzsche] recognized in the citizen of Geneva one of the main forces contributing to the origin of the modern Nation State. Since it was Nietzsche's profound concern to counteract the influence of the modern Nation State, he was opposed to Rousseau; for the Nation State seemed to Nietzsche the archenemy of nonconformity, self-realization, and the 'single one's' remaking of his own nature."42 Kaufmann is arguing that Nietzsche's attack on Rousseau's concept of nature leads to the broadest possible critique of Rousseau as the symbol of all modern politics, and I believe that Kaufmann is right about this.

Numerous passages from Nietzsche's works indicate that he linked Rousseau with French Revolutionary politics and thence with the modern democratic state in general. In the Will to Power, he writes: "The French Revolution as the continuation of Christianity. Rousseau is the seducer."43 By stigmatizing the Revolution as a mere continuation of what Nietzsche saw as a bankrupt ethical scheme, and by installing Rousseau as the man responsible for this continuation, Nietzsche attacks both Revolutionary politics and their putative author, Rousseau. In Human, All Too Human, Nietzsche explicitly cites Rousseau as the origin of the Revolution: "It is not Voltaire's moderate nature, inclined as it was to ordering, purifying and reconstructing, but Rousseau's passionate follies and half-lies that called forth the optimistic spirit of the Revolution against which I cry: 'Ecrasez l'infame!'"44 We should note here the ironic way in which Nietzsche employs Voltaire's slogan, "crush the infamous thing!," against Rousseau. Nietzsche is able to make use of this slogan, which was originally directed against the Church, precisely because he equates Rousseau's politics with the ethics of Christianity. We should also note the way in which this critique of Rousseau constitutes a criticism of Enlightened ideas about progress and optimism. However, Nietzsche, ever complex, goes on in the same text to defend Enlightenment against the Revolution: "[Rousseau] then went on with perfidious enthusiasm to set the Enlightenment too on its fanatical head, which thereby itself began to glow as though in a transfigured light: the Enlightenment, which is fundamentally so alien to the Revolution and, left to itself, would have passed quietly along like a gleam in the clouds and for long have been content to address itself only to the individual."45 Here Nietzsche seems quite nostalgic for a purer, more abstract, less politically tainted kind of Enlightenment, and this may seem surprising until we recall that Nietzsche's relationship with the Enlightenment is ambiguous in precisely this way. He cannot bring himself to mount an all-out attack on Enlightenment; too many of its ideas remain his own. But he can certainly attack specific manifestations of the traditional Enlightenment, and his critique of the Revolution is precisely this kind of critique. In his later works, Nietzsche becomes quite graphic as he develops this critique; in Twilight of the Idols, he writes: "I still hate Rousseau in the French Revolution: it is the world-historical expression of this duality of idealist and rabble."46 The Enlightenment that Nietzsche wishes to pursue is not the Enlightenment of the French Revolution and Rousseau.

This association of the Revolution with its "rabble" brings us to another important part of Nietzsche's critique, and that is his attack on Rousseau's egalitarianism. As I argued in Chapter One, Rousseau advocates a very specific kind of social equality, one aimed at providing the maximum possible amount of individual freedom in a society. So if we wish to characterize Rousseau as an egalitarian, we must qualify that term by also stating that Rousseau's egalitarian project is carried out in the name of freedom for a kind of Enlightened, Cartesian subject. If we understand Rousseau's egalitarianism in this specific sense, then it becomes clear that Nietzsche will have nothing to do with Rousseau's project, since that project is based on a variety of subjectivity which Nietzsche has already rejected. Keith Ansell-Pearson recognizes this reluctance on Nietzsche's part to adopt any notion of freedom or individuality which depends upon a Rousseauian politicization of Cartesian subjectivity; Ansell-Pearson goes so far as to criticize Nietzsche for failing to recognize the importance of solidarity and community in the achievement of genuine sovereign individuality.47 One could, of course, read Nietzsche as mounting an elitist critique of Rousseau's egalitarianism. We should be careful to remember, however, that two important considerations prevent us from viewing Nietzsche as an individualist in any conventional way. First, by rejecting Rousseau's egalitarianism, Nietzsche is also implicitly rejecting the individualistic motivation behind that egalitarian project. And second, as we have already seen, Nietzsche rejects the Cartesian subjectivity that is the basis for all modern understandings of the individual.

It has been suggested by some commentators that Nietzsche's rejection of Cartesian subjectivity in the specifically political context of individualistic egalitarianism should be understood as part of a much larger project. One such strand of interpretation has been to view Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau's politics in the context of a much larger cultural critique of Rousseau. Eric Blondel, for example, argues that "Nietzsche's opposition to Rousseau at first takes its origin, not in the question of the City, the state, the law, or the type of government, but in the problem of culture."48 For Blondel, the problem that Nietzsche had with Rousseau was in part political, but this was only one aspect of a deeper problem: "the problem lies elsewhere: to me, at the level of the underground basis of the question of culture, and not on the surface level of political opinions, nor even on that of political philosophy."49 While Blondel's characterization of political thought as a "surface level" is perhaps problematic, his approach is an interesting one. For Blondel, the question of particular political forms or positions is a secondary one. Blondel believes that Nietzsche was able to reject Rousseau's egalitarian politics simply by claiming that Rousseau's position represents the decadence of modern culture. Indeed, this seems plausible; as I argued in Chapter One, Rousseau's politics depends heavily on an Enlightened idea of the self. Therefore, if Nietzsche rejects this idea, as we have seen that he does, then neither Rousseau's egalitarian individualism nor any other kind of political position that relies on this kind of subjectivity will be acceptable to him. And any kind of culture based on this concept of subjectivity would naturally be open to a Nietzschean attack; in this case, Nietzsche dismisses the modern culture of individuality as decadent. Gerhardt Gamm takes a position that is in many ways similar to Blondel's; Gamm argues that Nietzsche's dialectic of Enlightenment is about the cost of the concealed Rousseauian consciousness of modernity.50 For Gamm, as for Blondel, Rousseau represents to Nietzsche a symbolism that is political only on a surface level; beneath this, Rousseau seems to signify the broader, deeper kind of cultural modernity that Nietzsche wishes to attack. And Lars-Henrik Schmidt argues that "Rousseau's social physics is only apparently a distinct political philosophy. It is, rather, an ethics. The basic tone is a reflection of the lost immediacy, this time in the field of politics."51 For these thinkers, then, Nietzsche's attack on Rousseau is only superficially political; beneath this, it is fundamentally ethical or cultural.

A look at Nietzsche's writings supports a broader reading of Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau. I want to argue, however, that it does not support the kind of anti-political reading suggested by critics such as Blondel. Although Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau may be read broadly to include ethics and culture, this by no means should cause us to underestimate the very real political significance of that critique. In the Will to Power, Nietzsche writes that "Rousseau is a symptom of self-contempt and heated vanity--both signs that the domineering will is lacking", and goes on to say that Rousseau was, "beyond a doubt, mentally disturbed."52 Clearly, Rousseau represents some kind of cultural decadent for Nietzsche. In Daybreak, he describes Rousseau as a "moral tarantula."53 Here Nietzsche seems to formulate a moral or ethical critique of Rousseau, which he develops more fully later in the same work: "you have the choice of concluding with Rousseau that 'this pitiable civilisation is to blame for our bad morality' or against Rousseau that 'our good morality is to blame for this pitiableness of our civilisation."54 One has little trouble imagining which route Nietzsche would prefer to take here. So clearly, there is in Nietzsche's work a critique of Rousseau's ethics and of Rousseau himself as a cultural decadent. However, this must not cause us to underestimate the importance of Nietzsche's critique of Rousseau as a political thinker. I have been arguing that Nietzsche criticizes Rousseau's political ideas and the concept of nature on which these ideas are based, as well as Rousseau's individualistically motivated egalitarianism; I believe that these are essential parts of his overall critique of Rousseau. I further believe that these political critiques are rooted in Nietzsche's hostility to the Enlightened, Cartesian ideas about subjectivity in which Rousseau's politics are grounded. Nietzsche's fundamental rejection of Cartesian subjectivity makes it impossible for him to accept any political system based on these Cartesian concepts, as the politics of Rousseau, the French Revolution and modern democracy clearly are. Through his discussion of the ways in which autonomous Cartesian subjects voluntarily join together via social contracts and try to create just political societies which will adequately protect individual freedoms, Rousseau articulates the Enlightened politics of modernity, the politics of Cartesian subjectivity. The rejection of this politics forms the political component of Nietzsche's attack on Enlightenment in its conventional form.

I now want to consider Nietzsche's critique of Kantian morality, but before doing so, I would like to use Kant to show briefly how morality and politics can combine in Nietzsche's critique of Enlightened modernity. In the Antichrist, Nietzsche asks: "Did not Kant find in the French Revolution the transition from the inorganic form of the state to the organic? Did he not ask himself whether there was any event which could be explained only in terms of a moral disposition of mankind, an event which would demonstrate once and for all the 'tendency of mankind towards the good'? Kant's answer: 'This is the Revolution.'"55 For Nietzsche, then, Kant's ethics and Rousseau's politics (that is, the politics of the French Revolution) are inextricably tied together. Both represent fundamental aspects of Enlightened modernity, which is precisely what Nietzsche means to criticize. As Olivier Reboul notes, Kant was, for Nietzsche, a plebeian, and a plebeian who manifested a Rousseauian egalitarianism.56 It is this, in addition to Kant's secularized Christian morality, which Nietzsche wished to attack.


To be sure, the Enlightenment contained important impulses towards pure secularism. But some of the most important thinkers of the conventional Enlightenment retained key elements of the Christian world-view. Descartes's metaphysics relied on a belief in God, and many aspects of Rouseau's ethical thought were recognizably Christian. Nietzsche was always quite hostile towards any manifestations of Christian thought. For example, the morality of pity, which Nietzsche associated with the Christian ethos, drew heavy scorn from him. He writes in Human, All Too Human: "All those who do not have themselves sufficiently under their own control and do not know morality as a continual self-command and self-overcoming practised in great things and in the smallest, involuntarily become glorifiers of the good, pitying, benevolent impulses, of that instinctive morality which has no head but seems to consist solely of heart and helping hands."57 For Nietzsche, this kind of herd-based ethics was abhorrent because it was detrimental to the development of healthful life; as I shall show in Chapter Five below, great health was one of Nietzsche's highest values. And one thinker stood out in particular for Nietzsche as the advocate of this decadent, "sickly" kind of ethics, namely Immanuel Kant. Kant represents for Nietzsche the attempt to translate Christian ethics into a secular, Enlightened context.

Nietzsche approached his critique of Kant by first articulating a more general criticism of morality. As Arthur Danto notes, Nietzsche had a definite goal here: he meant to ask us not to abandon moral beliefs but only the meta-ethical belief that morality can be justified.58 Nietzsche was not attacking morality as a concept, then, but was rather offering a critique of the idea of universal morality, a morality which claims to be justified in any context or situation. Nietzsche's idea of a proper morality is one that is perspectival, and this is what he means when he discusses a morality beyond good and evil. This should not be confused with a moral relativism, which essentially denies the validity of any moral position by rendering all moral positions equivalent. Nehamas, for example, accepts "Nietzsche's view that there are no facts that are independent of interpretation and that are therefore capable of providing the common object of which all interpretations are interpretations. . . .But I also think--and so, I believe and argue, does Nietzsche--that some interpretations are better than others and that we can even know sometimes that this is the case."59 Nietzsche does believe that there are ways to distinguish and choose between moral positions, but he does not believe that this can be done in terms of an appeal to universal truth. And Nietzsche feels that his moral perspectivism is a sufficiently strong position that it may displace the moral universalism prevalent in philosophy prior to him: "Let us not be deceived either in the Kantian or in the Hegelian manner:--we not longer believe in morality, as they did, and consequently we have no need to found a philosophy with the aim of justifying morality."60 When Nietzsche says "they," he is referring to the philosophers of universalistic morality. To Nietzsche, this universalistic approach reveals a certain ignorance about the world: "To assert the existence as a whole of things of which we know nothing whatever, precisely because there is an advantage in not being able to know anything of them, was a piece of naivetÄ of Kant, resulting from needs, mainly moral-metaphysical."61 Here Nietzsche is using another of his favorite critical tactics. By showing a philosophical position to be the simple result of a psychological need, he implies that people believe in this position not because the world really is that way, but only because they have a disposition to believe it. Thus "there are no moral actions whatsoever: they are completely imaginary. Not only are they indemonstrable (which Kant, e.g., admitted, and Christianity as well)--they are altogether impossible."62 If moral actions are imaginary, a psychological effect rather than a reflection of the way the world is, then universal morality itself becomes untenable.

The particular form of universalistic morality to which Nietzsche was most opposed, of course, was the Christian form. For him, Kant represented the prime example of how this morality had become institutionalized and secularized in the European (and especially in the German) academy. Thus in a description of Kant in the Will to Power, Nietzsche notes that Kant was "way off when it comes to great historical values (French Revolution); a moral fanatic ł la Rousseau; a subterranean Christianity in his values; a dogmatist through and through."63 Here we see the way in which critiques of political and ethical values combine in Nietzsche's critique of Kant, much as they did in his attacks on Rousseau. More significantly for our purposes, we see that Kant represents for Nietzsche a secret, elusive kind of Christianity. It is a Christianity smuggled through the back door, as it were, a Christianity that has disguised itself in order to render itself acceptable to the scientific, rational Enlightenment. "In the case of Kant," Nietzsche writes, "theological prejudice, his unconscious dogmatism, his moralistic perspective, were dominant, directing, commanding."64 Again, Kant's Christianity reads here like an unknown, subconscious drive. Kant may not even have realized what he was doing when he brought Christian ethics back into the Enlightenment; that is how far his Christian morality lay hidden beneath an external veneer of Enlightened rationalism.

Everything that Kant built, Nietzsche believes, he built "under the seduction of morality."65 Kant's entire ethical system, for Nietzsche, represents nothing more than a great deceit, a complex, well-developed trick which is all the more insidious for being designed by an intellect of Kant's caliber. "The. . .Tartuffery of the old Kant as he lures us on the dialectical bypaths that lead to his 'categorical imperative'--really lead astray and seduce--this spectacle makes us smile, as we are fastidious and find it quite amusing to watch closely the subtle tricks of old moralists and preachers of morals."66 With characteristic arrogance, Nietzsche has proclaimed himself to be one of the few thinkers capable of seeing through this devious moral trickery that Kant has foisted off on the academic community and indeed on the intellectual population in general. In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche provides this summary of his feelings towards Kant: "Any distinction between a 'true' and an 'apparent' world--whether in the Christian manner or in the manner of Kant (in the end, an underhanded Christian)--is only a suggestion of decadence, a symptom of the decline of life."67 This is, of course, the strongest possible critique that Nietzsche can raise, as we shall see in Chapter Five. That which is opposed to life earns Nietzsche's strongest wrath, and in his mind, Kant's ethics fits that description.

The specific form that Christian morality takes in Kant's system is the categorical imperative, and this principle comes under Nietzsche's unrelenting scrutiny. As Jules de Gaultier suggests, this is in many ways the center of Nietzsche's attack on Kant; Nietzsche's entire philosophy sometimes seems to rise against Kant's imperative.68 Richard White makes a more moderate claim about Nietzsche's relationship with the categorical imperative. White claims that "Nietzsche recognized that his whole philosophical project, like Kant's, was directed after the autonomy of the individual life; only now he realized that Kantian solutions like the categorical imperative entail the complete oblivion of the individual as such."69 White's claim that Nietzsche's project is devoted to the pursuit of individual autonomy is certainly interesting, especially given what we have seen of Nietzsche's critique of Enlightened concepts of individual subjectivity. As we shall see in Chapter Five, however, White is onto something when he suggests that some kind of autonomy is crucial for Nietzsche. But we must also emphasize again that it is a kind of autonomy based on a profoundly new understanding of human subjectivity. In any case, White admits that Nietzsche offers a critique of the categorical imperative, which is enough for our purposes now. White simply believes that "Nietzsche's criticism of Kant is really a critique from within."70 I do believe that White overstates the case for reading Nietzsche as some kind of pseudo-Kantian; as Mark Fowler notes, "the Kantian autonomous individual is not something [Nietzsche] thinks exists. In other words, when it came to Kantian ethics, Nietzsche's response was a resounding 'No' from the very first."71 White and others who may wish to make a Kantian of Nietzsche have an uphill battle ahead of them, for they will have to find some way to account for the fact that Kant's ethics is based on a kind of subjectivity that Nietzsche explicitly rejects.

Nietzsche attacks the imperative on a number of other grounds as well. He mocks it as something "incomprehensible, that this misery of the understanding and its concepts is limited, conditional, finite, deceptive: the certainty of this is Kant's greatest gift to us."72 He turns the categories of Christian ethics against the categorical imperative itself, claiming that "the categorical imperative smells of cruelty."73 And again, he makes the strongest critique he knows how to make; he wonders how anyone could "fail to feel how Kant's categorical imperative endangered life itself!"74 The imperative, in other words, is strictly opposed to the new kind of morality that Nietzsche wishes to create; it must therefore be opposed itself in the strongest terms by those who wish to develop this new morality.

As we saw in Chapter One, Kant justifies and grounds his universal Christian ethics in a discussion of universal reason. It is through the category of absolute reason that Kant is able to maintain an essentially Christian ethical position without explicit reference to a Christian God. Nietzsche therefore bases part of his assault on Kantian ethics on a critique of Kant's universal reason. As Olivier Reboul puts it, "One can see that Nietzsche does not reject reason, but rather the obligation to choose between passion and reason; Kant opts for reason against the passions, which he considers animalistic, egoistic and dangerous."75 Nietzsche is not an irrationalist as we usually understand the term. Rather, he is a perspectivist. He attacks Kant on the grounds that Kant limits or excludes many valuable perspectives. For Nietzsche, reason is not dangerous in and of itself. But universal reason of the kind Kant advocates, which proposes itself as the only valid means for developing ethical principles, is extremely dangerous. As Kaufmann notes, Nietzsche flirted with reason as a universal principle, but came to reject it decisively: "Had Nietzsche developed his own earlier dualistic tendencies, he might now have spoken of reason's control over the will to power, of Apollo's victory over Dionysus, or of Ormazd's triumph over Ahriman. His repudiation of any such dualism through the mouth of his Zarathustra, however, rules out any such approximation of the classical and Kantian views."76 Dualism gave way in Nietzsche's thought to perspectivism. And universal, practical reason of the Kantian type became associated in Nietzsche's thought with "moral fanaticism."77

It is this same fanatical, moralistic rationality that renders Kant soulless in Nietzsche's estimation; Nietzsche believes that "if you compare Kant and Schopenhauer with Plato, Spinoza, Pascal, Rousseau, Goethe in respect of their soul and not of their mind, then the former are at a disadvantage: their thoughts do not constitute a passionate history of the soul; there is nothing here that would make a novel, no crises, catastrophes or death-scenes; their thinking is not at the same time an involuntary biography of a soul, but, in the case of Kant, the biography of a head."78 It is interesting to note that here even the hated Rousseau fares better than Kant, for at least the former has some element of passion and soul in his writing, whereas Kant emerges from this critique as some kind of cold mental mandarin, churning out abstract treatises on the ideality of space and time with no real sense of human experience. Even in his earliest works, Nietzsche is already suspicious of Kant's soullessness. He writes in the Untimely Meditations: "Kant has had a living and life-transforming influence on only a very few men. One can read everywhere, I know, that since this quiet scholar produced his work a revolution has taken place in every domain of the spirit; but I cannot believe it."79 It is clear that Nietzsche has an unorthodox view of what a philosopher should be, "namely not merely a great thinker but also a real human being; and when did a scholar ever become a real human being?"80 Kant's extreme rationalism, beyond simply creating a problematic philosophical position, makes Kant problematic for Nietzsche as a philosopher. Kant, who never ventured beyond the safe and comfortable environs of his university town of KÜnigsberg, is for Nietzsche the very epitome of the isolated Enlightenment academic.

Nietzsche's critique of Kantian rationality is also part of a larger critique of Kant's transcendental metaphysics. Kant justifies his appeal to reason by making reason something that is transcendentally ideal. Nietzsche wishes to render this move problematic. As Kittman suggests, "for Nietzsche there is only the world of experience. There is no intelligible character to things, no intelligible freedom, no intelligible world."81 Nietzsche is extremely skeptical of Kant's idealism and of the Kantian claim that one can say anything for certain about the world of things-in-themselves. Nietzsche argues that the transcendental world was "invented, in order that a place remains for 'moral freedom' (in Kant)."82 On this interpretation, the world of the transcendentally ideal is no absolute truth at all but a convenient fiction propounded by Kant solely for the purpose of justifying his moral scheme. And Nietzsche fears that this deceit, this fraud, has been tremendously successful: "What is certain is that, since Kant, transcendentalists of every kind have once more won the day--they have been emancipated from every kind of theologians: what joy!"83 Nietzsche implies, of course, that the free ride which the transcendentalists have enjoyed is now finally at an end; with the Nietzschean critique, the fraud of transcendentalism will be revealed for what it is.

Given Nietzsche's critique of Kant's Christian ethics as well as his critiques of Kantian rationalism and metaphysics, it would perhaps seem obvious to suggest that Nietzsche also attacks Kant's ideas about subjectivity and freedom. After all, as we saw above, these ideas belong to the same Enlightenment tradition of subjectivity that Nietzsche attacked so vigorously in his critique of Descartes. Nonetheless, some commentators have suggested that Nietzsche retains a somewhat Kantian notion of subjectivity. Richard White, for example, claims that:

following in the tradition of Kant, Nietzsche is inspired by an ideal of autonomy which expresses the highest achievement of the individual life; though in distinction to Kant, Nietzsche recognized that the basic tendency of modern life is directed towards the suppression of the individual, so that any attempt to illuminate the nature of autonomy must be profoundly difficult. . .Nietzsche's philosophy may be viewed as an attempt to provoke the autonomy of the individual, and. . .this is an attempt to recover the thought of individuality as such.84

White is half right here. Nietzsche is indeed inspired by an ideal of autonomy, but it is definitely not an ideal that he gained from Kant or any traditional Enlightenment source; rather it is a transformed ideal of autonomy that is profoundly different from what had come before. Kant's ethics and metaphysics both depend implicitly, after all, on a notion of human subjectivity that is fundamentally Cartesian. The rational, autonomous subject introduced by Descartes is essentially the same subject who makes free ethical choices in Kant's scheme; this is also the subject who makes the categorical imperative possible. Since Nietzsche rejects this principle of subjectivity, he cannot be using a Kantian idea of autonomy. White goes on to argue that "Kant and Nietzsche are. . .alike in emphasizing the priority of individual autonomy and in making it the basis of all value. . . .With both thinkers, the project of autonomy is not the recovery of an original but alienated self, but the 'fulfillment' of the individual as the production of his own higher nature."85 This may well be true, but White is still ignoring two things here: first, that Kant and Nietzsche have radically different ideas about what "individual autonomy" means, and second, that the "production of a higher nature" is something that will also have profoundly different meanings for the two thinkers. For Kant, individual autonomy is to be understood in rational, Enlightened, Cartesian terms. For Nietzsche it is something else. For Kant, the "higher nature" towards which mankind should aspire is that of rational, autonomous freedom and secularized Christian ethics; this is obviously not what Nietzsche has in mind at all. Clearly it is easy to start with the fact that both Nietzsche and Kant have very strong conceptions of subjectivity and from there make the very problematic assumption that these ideas coincide, when in fact, Kant's notions of subjectivity are of the traditional Enlightened sort that Nietzsche explicitly and repeatedly rejects.

Gerhard Gamm is quite right when he suggests that Kant represents the culmination of Enlightened ideas of subjectivity that originate with Descartes. He writes: "With Kant the Cartesian idea of the subject is clarified in the extreme, without its paradoxical structure. . . .The coming of subjectivity, which begins with Descartes, spreads itself in various ways through the rationalist and empirical traditions of Enlightened reason."86 The Kantian subject comes directly from the Cartesian subject, and therefore cannot be a part of any Nietzschean project. Patrick Madigan supports this interpretation of the Kantian subject as a descendent of the Cartesian; he writes: "The noumenal self has become a moral version of Descartes's 'Evil Genius,' a deeper and more profound reality which could be deceiving us in this most important area of my free intentions."87 For Nietzsche to retain a consistent position, then, he must attack the Kantian subject as vigorously as he does the Cartesian one, and indeed he does. As Gamm suggests, "Nietzsche's genealogy unmasks the metaphysical truth-picture of subjectivity as a moral strategy, through which the fictional identity of moral subjects becomes constituted."88 Kantian subjectivity is the moral form of Cartesian subjectivity; Kantian ethical subjects are therefore as fictitious, Nietzsche argues, as Cartesian rational subjects.

The fundamental motivation behind Nietzsche's attack on Kantian subjectivity, and the reason for some of the confusion experienced by White and others is the fact that Kant and Nietzsche possess radically different understandings of autonomy. As Olivier Reboul writes, "the aristocratic man is autonomous: the term is from Nietzsche, but in an anti-Kantian sense. For Kant, man is autonomous because his reason poses itself as the law he must obey; for Nietzsche, the aristocratic man, and he alone, is free."89 This points, I think, to the fundamental differences between these two understandings of subjectivity and autonomy. Kant's autonomy is defined in terms of an ethical obedience to rational laws. Nietzsche's autonomy is beyond good and evil, defined not in terms of moral laws, but in terms of character and nobility. Reboul writes of "opposition between a creative will and an autonomous will. The autonomous will of Kant determines the universal, but remains restricted by the limits of reason. The creative will engenders the new...which transgresses reason itself."90

Nietzsche is entirely unsatisfied with the possibilities of Kant's autonomy. Instead, he posits a new, more creative kind of autonomy, one which will not have to answer to reason and which will therefore be able to achieve things that Kant's more restrictive autonomy would never allow. We should point out in passing here that it is only possible to call Kant's restrictive principle a principle of "autonomy" through Nietzschean irony. Jaspers also emphasizes the important distinctions between the Kantian and Nietzschean understandings of autonomy and freedom. He writes: "In the sense employed by the philosophy of Existenz, freedom, whether Christian or Kantian, exists in relation to transcendence. . . .Nietzsche rejects this freedom."91 Stated in these terms, it should hardly be surprising that Nietzsche would reject this notion of freedom, since of course he rejects Kantian transcendental metaphysics. As Nietzsche puts it himself, "Kant considered the hypothesis of 'intelligible freedom' necessary in order to acquit the ens perfectum of responsibility for the world's being such-and-such--in short, to account for evil and ills: a scandalous bit of logic for a philosopher."92 By rejecting Kant's "intelligible freedom," Nietzsche implicitly rejects his entire ethical position. In the Genealogy, Nietzsche asserts that "the ripest fruit is the sovereign individual, like only to himself, liberated again from morality of custom, autonomous and supramoral (for 'autonomous' and 'moral' are mutually exclusive)."93 A careless reading of this passage could result in an interpretation of Nietzsche as a thinker who accepts the Kantian-Cartesian-Enlightened subject position; after all, phrases like "sovereign individual" smack of Enlightened thought. However, Nietzsche's parenthetical remarks are essential here: by explicitly disassociating what he means by "autonomous" from the Kantian-moral understanding of the term, Nietzsche is insisting that his concept of autonomy is fundamentally different. Nietzsche's project towards autonomy is not the Kantian moral project, nor is it any other kind of traditional Enlightened project.

We have, then, three examples of the Nietzschean critique of the traditional Enlightenment. Taken together, Nietzsche's attacks on the thought of Descartes, Rousseau and Kant constitute a broad, far-reaching critique of the foundations of Enlightened thought. Nietzsche's critique of Descartes undermines the foundations of modern rationality and science and, even more importantly, challenges the concept of subjectivity upon which virtually all modern, Enlightened thought is based. The Nietzschean critique of the Cartesian subject renders deeply problematic any attempt to retain Enlightened categories of thought, at least in their conventional forms. This critique then forms the basis for a critique of Enlightened political forms, particularly those which Nietzsche associates with Rousseau and the French Revolution. Finally, Nietzsche offers a critique of the moral scheme of this Enlightened Cartesian subject, demonstrating the real problems that exist when we speak of this subject's moral freedom, as Kant does. For Nietzsche, Kant's only real option is to smuggle Christianity back into the Enlightenment, and this move conclusively proves for Nietzsche the bankruptcy of conventional Enlightened thought.

We might read Nietzsche, then, as offering a devastating and debilitating--but relatively straightforward--critique of Enlightened thought. As we have already begun to see, however, his critique of Enlightenment is much more complex than this. Nietzsche attacks Cartesian science, for example, but not science in general; he insists on retaining a different kind of science, a gay science. This suggests that there may be ways in which Nietzsche's thought is not a simple attack on the Enlightenment. Indeed, as I shall argue shortly, there are a number of ways in which Nietzsche seems to argue deliberately and aggressively in favor of a certain kind of Enlightenment. In order to understand his critique fully, then, it will be necessary to examine the ways in which Nietzsche's thought explicitly or implicitly retains Enlightened ideas. We can thus attempt to arrive at some kind of reconciliation between these traces of Enlightenment in his work and the obvious hostility he bears towards Enlightened thought in its traditional form.

Laurence Lampert argues that in some places--for example, in his discussion of the Reformation--Nietzsche seems quite friendly towards the Enlightenment. Lampert writes:

Other features of the post-Reformation spirit are more ambiguous: the mobility and restlessness of the spirit, its thirst for independence, its faith in a right to freedom, its 'naturalness.' This is a list of the very features emphasized by advocates of modernity as liberation and enlightenment--and Nietzsche praises them in later sections [of the Gay Science]. Nietzsche is no enemy of Enlightenment: as Georg Picht argues, he wants to deepen and broaden the European Enlightenment "and force it to take the next step. . .to enlightenment about the Enlightenment itself."94

Lampert's position is similar to the one I wish to take. I would, however, make several modifications. I want to argue that Nietzsche is an enemy of a particular brand of Enlightened thought, namely that of the traditional Enlightenment as embodied in the works of thinkers such as Descartes, Rousseau and Kant. Nietzsche is also opposed to the varieties of nineteenth century Enlightened thought that build upon these foundations, as I shall show in later chapters. However, I think that Lampert is quite right when he suggests that Nietzsche wishes to create some kind of modified or transformed Enlightenment. Nietzsche attacks the conventional Enlightenment without hesitation, but he does so in the name of a project that is, in its goals and in many of its methods, fundamentally Enlightened. This interpretation offers, I think, a way of understanding certain passages in Nietzsche's thought that might otherwise seem inexplicable. In Human, All Too Human, for example, he writes: "The Italian Renaissance contained within it all the positive forces to which we owe modern culture: liberation of thought, disrespect for authorities, victory of education over the arrogance of ancestry, enthusiasm for science and the scientific past of mankind, unfettering of the individual, a passion for truthfulness and an aversion to appearance and mere effect."95 Many of these characteristics--free thought, science, political liberation--are clearly Enlightened categories. One might, of course, dismiss this apparent enthusiasm for Enlightened thought as a youthful aberration on Nietzsche's part, but this is an unsatisfying explanation. Human, all too Human is in many ways quite a mature book, and it contains many of the elements of Nietzsche's later thought. If, however, we understand Nietzsche's opposition to the traditional, conventional Enlightenment of Descartes, Rousseau and Kant in the context of his support for a modified, expanded notion of Enlightenment, this passage becomes much more understandable. Nietzsche can now be read as advocating a kind of Enlightenment, but not any kind hitherto known. This would also explain why he might choose to cite the Italian Renaissance when describing Enlightened categories, for this implies that there are intellectual traditions other than the seventeenth and eighteenth century Enlightenment which make available to us the kind of Enlightened concepts that Nietzsche wishes to retain.

What, then, are the parts of Enlightened thought that Nietzsche wishes to hold onto? Patrick Madigan argues that one of the most important of these is the Enlightenment's commitment to freedom. He writes: "firmly committed to the Enlightenment's drive toward uplift and freedom, and yet sensing imminent disaster, Nietzsche responds by hurling himself into this strategy to use rigor to produce intensity, and commits himself to exploring this strategy's ultimate possibility."96 This agrees with what I have been arguing: Madigan suggests that Nietzsche wishes to retain the Enlightenment's goal of freedom, yet realizes that the method╩by which the Enlightenment seeks such freedom--based as it is in the problematic Cartesian subject--is doomed to failure. Nietzsche thus undertakes a radical new attempt to resurrect the possibilities of freedom that traditional Enlightened thought creates but fails to realize. Madigan goes on to suggest that "as an Enlightenment thinker who is dismayed by the low level of culture in his own time, Nietzsche becomes a staunch champion of freedom and is determined to discover one incontestable method that will demonstrate freedom real. . . .That is the only possible way the Enlightenment project could end or truly come to rest."97 Nietzsche was well aware, then, of the real and extreme limitations of traditional Enlightened freedom as it was articulated by Descartes, Rousseau and Kant, and their nineteenth century heirs. Against this he offered a transformed Enlightened freedom the details of which I shall explore in Chapter Five.

The commitment to progress is another Enlightenment category which Nietzsche retains. As we have seen, he was definitely opposed to ideas of progress based on conventional Enlightened concepts such as those of Cartesian science or Rousseauian political development. Yet this does not by any means indicate that Nietzsche has no concept of progress. As Lars-Henrik Schmidt argues, "Nietzsche is thus reactionary in a very specific sense. He resists the ruling form and norm for progress. Yet he does not want to stop the process; on the contrary, this homogenization process is a prerequisite for a new type of difference, for a new type altogether."98 Again, this is precisely my position: Nietzsche is hostile to the conventional idea of Enlightened progress, yet he retains his own concept of progress. Just as a Marxist may despise capitalism for what it does to the worker, yet still recognize the necessity of capitalism to prepare the way for socialism, so Nietzsche can decry the devastating effects which Enlightened "progress" has on modern culture, while nonetheless recognizing the absolute necessity of this "progress" in paving the way for something new, a true progress.

The conventional Enlightened progress that Nietzsche despises is thus made to serve a different kind of progress, a Nietzschean progress. We can see how this works by comparing several statements about progress which Nietzsche makes in various works. In the Antichrist, for example, he writes: "mankind does not represent a development toward something better or stronger or higher in the sense accepted today. 'Progress' is merely a modern idea, that is, a false idea. The European of today is vastly inferior in value to the European of the Renaissance: further development is altogether not according to any necessity in the direction of elevation, enhancement, or strength."99 The critique of progress is clear here, and it is equally clear that by progress Nietzsche understands modern, Enlightened progress, the kind of progress which has produced the decadent European "last man." In the Gay Science, Nietzsche offers an even more precise description of the kind of progress he means to criticize:

Whoever is superstitious is always, compared with the religious human being, much more of a person; and a superstitious society is one in which there are many individuals and much delight in individuality. In this perspective, superstition always appears as progress and as a sign that the intellect is becoming more independent and demands its rights. Those who then complain of corruption are the adherents of the old religion and religiosity, and they have also determined linguistic usage hitherto and given superstition a bad name among the freest spirits. Let us realize that it is actually a symptom of enlightenment.100

The association of progress with superstition here suggests a critique of progress. However, the positive way in which Nietzsche speaks of progress in terms of intellectual freedom suggests a more ambiguous attitude towards progress. And in a somewhat surprising move at the end of the passage, Nietzsche suggests that it is actually enlightenment which challenges progress. I wish to suggest that we should read this as a claim that enlightenment challenges "true" progress; in other words, that it creates a destructive, unreachable idea of progress which is opposed to the kind of progress Nietzsche wants to advocate, but which is nonetheless ironically necessary before that true progress can be realized. As Nietzsche writes, "Europe is sick but owes the utmost gratitude to her incurability and to the eternal changes in her affliction: these constantly new conditions and these no less constantly new dangers, pains and media of information have finally generated an intellectual irritability that almost amounts to genius and is in any case the mother of all genius."101 This, then, is the nature of Nietzsche's fundamentally ambiguous relationship with the idea of progress: while he despises conventional Enlightened progress as the source of European "sickness," he simultaneously acknowledges that this "sickness" will lead to a new kind of progress, a "true progress."

The final component of Nietzsche's resurrection of the conventional Enlightenment is in the field of morality and ethics. As Kittman writes, "according to Nietzsche's idea, one achieves a new morality by listening to the voice of one's healthy body. . . .Nietzsche demands a morality of transactions, and this is for him only possible, if the urges and feelings are given priority in the regulation of morality."102 Kittman is adopting the kind of physical interpretation of Nietzsche's thought that I argued for in my discussion of Heidegger above. Here Kittman is arguing that this philosophy of the body has a definite moral component, though obviously this a very different kind of morality from that found, for example, in Kant. However, it is a morality nonetheless. Indeed, as Gilles Deleuze suggests, aspects of Nietzschean thought such as the eternal return provide an ethical position as strong as Kant's. Deleuze writes: "[the eternal return] gives the will a practical rule. The eternal return gives the will a rule as rigorous as the Kantian one. . . .As an ethical thought the eternal return is the new formulation of the practical synthesis: whatever you will, will it in such a way that you also will its eternal return."103 The phrase which Deleuze puts in italics here is obviously meant to echo Kant's formulation of the categorical imperative, and Deleuze has a valid point when he argues that the eternal return can easily be read as an ethical principle. After all, it offers a concrete means of evaluating actions and choosing between them. Deleuze goes so far as to argue that Nietzsche's ethics represent an inverted Kantianism:

In Kant, critique was not able to discover the truly active instance which would have been capable of carrying it through. It is exhausted by compromise: it never makes us overcome the reactive forces which are expressed in man, self-consciousness, reason, morality and religion. It even has the opposite effect--it turns these forces into something a little more 'our own.' Finally, Nietzsche's relation to Kant is like Marx's to Hegel: Nietzsche stands critique on its feet, just as Marx does with the dialectic.104

This may be overstating the case somewhat. I would suggest rather that although Nietzsche does clearly posses a morality, that morality is something radically different from Kant's. Indeed, I feel that Nietzsche's critique of Kant's Enlightened morality is motivated by a desire to clear the way for Nietzsche's expanded, transformed morality.

Morality is thus another area in which Nietzsche attacks conventional Enlightenment thought, but for the purpose of making possible a new kind of Enlightenment. This is what Karl Jaspers refers to as "The derivation of the critique of morality from the highest morality. That Nietzsche's radical rejection of morality is itself a consequence of his moral involvement is consciously asserted in the following circle: Moral development is bound to have the result that the truthfulness demanded by morality finally calls in question the very morality in which it is rooted; morality becomes suspect for purely moral reasons."105 On this interpretation, Nietzsche's understanding of morality is as ambiguous as his notion of progress: he critiques conventional Enlightened, Kantian morality, but from the perspective of a moral position which is still in many ways Enlightened. Indeed, in places, Nietzsche even speaks enigmatically of his own project as something like what Kant was doing; he writes in the Genealogy of the "new immoral, or at least unmoralistic 'a priori' and the alas! so Kantian, enigmatic 'categorical imperative'. . .to which I have since listened more and more closely, and not merely listened."106 This recalls the Deleuzian position I mentioned above, but I would like to suggest here that this "inverted Kantianism," if we wish to call it that, serves only as a beginning--the Genealogy is perhaps the most critical of Nietzsche's books--and is certainly not the end of Nietzsche's moral project. It is rather the means by which he clears away the dross of Enlightened ethics to make possible his new moral position.

Heidegger writes that "because Nietzsche's fundamental metaphysical position is the end of metaphysics in the designated sense, it performs the grandest and most profound gathering--that is, accomplishment--of all the essential fundamental positions in Western philosophy since Plato and in the light of Platonism."107 This is an extremely radical claim which Heidegger spends nearly a thousand pages trying to substantiate. A consideration of such a claim is beyond the scope of this dissertation. However, I am prepared to conclude that Nietzsche's thought represents the culmination of at least one major aspect of Western thought since Plato, namely the Enlightenment. In a very revealing note from the Will to Power, Nietzsche claims that he is "a few centuries ahead in Enlightenment not only of Voltaire but even of Galiani, who was far profounder."108 The nature of Nietzsche's transformed, revitalized Enlightenment project will be made clear in Chapter Five. But hopefully it is already clear, at least in part, what Nietzsche's brand of Enlightenment is not: it is not the conventional Enlightenment of Cartesian subjects engaged in Rousseauian politics or Kantian ethics.

Chapter Three: Nietzsche's Critique of Nineteenth Century Political Enlightenment

Nietzsche's critique of Enlightened politics may have begun with Rousseau, but it did not end there. Rather, that critique flowed seamlessly into the nineteenth century. Nietzsche saw his own century as the age of Enlightened politics achieved; for him all the problems inherent in the traditional Enlightenment's concepts of freedom and individualism had become institutionalized in the political ideologies of the nineteenth century. His attacks on the various forms of nineteenth century politics may thus legitimately be read as extensions of his attacks on the political ideas of the conventional Enlightenment. In particular, Nietzsche objected to any politics that relied upon a Cartesian notion of the rational, autonomous subject--as indeed every nineteenth century political form did, to some extent.

Nietzsche described himself as the "last anti-political German," a dedicated opponent of all modern politics, a thinker more concerned with the inner workings of the mind and soul than with the banalities of modern government. It is here that his opposition to the political thought of the Enlightenment is most clear. For Nietzsche, modern politics was inevitably the child of the conventional Enlightenment. To be political in the modern world, then, was to perpetuate the Enlightenment tradition of which he was so critical. Yet Nietzsche was also the proponent of "great politics," a mysterious and sometimes terrifying program designed to replace modern, Enlightened political systems with something superior. And just as his critique of the seventeenth and eighteenth century Enlightenment remained dramatically incomplete, so there remained important limitations to his attack on the Enlightened politics of the nineteenth century. Specifically, although Nietzsche constructed a thorough and compelling critique of nineteenth century political forms and of the rational, autonomous Enlightened subject which stood as a necessary precondition to those forms, he made this critique in the name of a new politics which remained very much in the spirit of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche's pursuit of a new political subjectivity, which reached its apex with the politics of the Overman, constituted a project which was quite similar in form, if not in content, to the project of the Enlightenment.

Nietzsche diligently opposed every political system and ideology available to the late nineteenth century European, since he believed all of these systems to be the intellectual offspring of the deeply flawed Enlightenment tradition. He began his attack with a general critique of the state in its modern form, and went on to dissect all particular manifestations of nineteenth century statism, attacking in turn liberalism, socialism, and nationalism. His critique of the political philosophy of his century was perhaps most clearly articulated in his attack on the liberalism of John Stuart Mill. And lest his critique be mistaken for that of a conventional opponent of the state, Nietzsche also made it quite clear that he was no anarchist.

Nietzsche was not content, however, to stop with critiques of the forms of nineteenth century politics. Rather, he developed these critiques as part of a much broader and more far-reaching attack on the autonomous, unified Enlightenment subject that made such political systems possible. Through his attacks on free will as an "error," and on the subject as a historically contingent construct which serves a psychological need but enjoys no status as something metaphysically "true," Nietzsche made clear the depth of his breach with conventional, Enlightened philosophy and politics. The very subject of modern political thought and discourse, the "we" who "hold these truths to be self-evident," the "man and citizen" whose rights were declared in the French Revolution, was atomized by Nietzsche's withering rhetorical fury.

The final point we must remember, however, is that Nietzsche did not carry out this devastating critical project in the name of endless critique. Rather, he made this radical attack on all known political forms and on the idea of the actor who practices those forms for the purpose of making room for a profoundly new politics, and a new kind of political subject. This is the limit of Nietzsche's attack on the Enlightened politics of the nineteenth century. By retaining the idea that there could be a kind of political agent, and that this agent could and should engage in political action, Nietzsche tied himself inextricably to the Enlightenment tradition which he so vehemently attacked. His new political subject, the nature of which I shall make clear in Chapter Five below, had little in common with the rational individual postulated by Descartes and given political form by Rousseau. But the mere fact that Nietzsche retained an idea of political subjectivity at all, and that he was deeply concerned with the freedom of his new political actor, ensured that his thought would retain profound sympathies with the political project of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche remained a captive of that tradition even as he tried to elude it.

For Nietzsche, modern politics--and we must emphasize here that he meant modern politics in general, and not any specific theory or form of state--was one of the key symptoms of cultural decadence in the West. "All our political theories and constitutions--and the 'German Reich' is by no means an exception--are consequences, necessary consequences, of decline. . ."1 Immediately, then, we are confronted with this problem: if Nietzsche had anything to say about politics, it may have been the single, final statement that one should say nothing about politics. Politics seems to represent for Nietzsche a symptom of the sickness that was consuming nineteenth century European society, namely the sickness of the Enlightenment. For him, it seems, the only obvious solution to this problem was to abandon politics entirely and become "antipolitical."

Tracy Strong supports this reading of Nietzsche. He writes: "There is simply for Nietzsche no coherent way to talk about politics of his day because--in genealogical perspective--the politics tend to be incoherent."2 On this reading, Nietzsche was merely being prudent in adopting an apolitical or antipolitical stance. In Strong's view, if one had to choose between complacent English liberalism, virulent Bismarckian nationalism, or French Third Republic decadence and apathy, one had no choice at all. The only option was to remove oneself from the political world. Robert Eden frames Nietzsche's antipolitical stance in terms of a kind of individualism: "Nietzsche was an individualist who turned his back on the politics of modern states. . . .To make him political and to treat him as a political theorist or activist, therefore, seems to do violence to his antipolitical individualism."3 In a similar vein, Leslie Thiele believes that Nietzsche "attempted to sublimate politics, to internalize political struggle within a pluralistic self. . . .Nietzsche believed that the role of the individual in politics should be subservient to the role of politics within the individual."4 These commentators are right to suggest that Nietzsche's retention of a principle of political subjectivity makes it impossible to dismiss him as simply "antipolitical." However, what Thiele and others sometimes fail to acknowledge is that the kind of "individualism" Nietzsche advocated was profoundly different in content from the rational individualism of the Enlightenment, and from the nineteenth century political individualism that grew out of that Enlightened tradition. Indeed, any use of the word "individual" in a discussion of nineteenth century politics will inevitably contain implications of liberalism, and as I shall argue below, any suggestion that Nietzsche is a kind of liberal is profoundly mistaken.

One final way of dealing with Nietzsche's "antipolitical" stance is offered by Simone Goyard-Fabre, who claims that "there is no 'Nietzschean politics', because 'great politics' will never provide a doctrine. . .because it is never thought of in terms of ideology, but essentially in metaphysical terms."5 That is to say that ironically, Nietzsche uses the phrase "great politics" to describe a system which in fact does not and cannot produce any specific political goals or actions. I believe that Goyard-Fabre is right to suggest that Nietzsche's philosophy was antipolitical in the sense that it provided none of the conventional trappings of a practical political ideology; there is, for example, no description in Nietzsche's writings of how the state should be organized, or of what the rights and obligations of the citizen should be. The reason for this is that any such practical political system relies upon an idea of political subjectivity which Nietzsche explicitly rejects. For Nietzsche to provide an explicit political doctrine would be absurd because it would lend credence to the autonomous Cartesian subject that Nietzsche was trying to subvert through a dramatic revision of our categories of selfhood. This does not, of course, mean that Nietzsche was not political in the broader sense of one who is concerned with questions of how humans should construct their societies. But his redefinition of human subjectivity was a first step that must be taken before these larger political questions could be addressed. His antipolitical stance should be understood, then, as an opposition to politics in their modern, Enlightened form, but not to the possibilities of political thought in general.

It is possible, then, to see Nietzsche not as an antipolitical thinker, but as one who was busily redefining the categories that made politics possible, and attempting to create a new political subject for whom none of the extant political forms would be appropriate. Gilles Deleuze offers one final possible explanation for Nietzsche's "antipolitical" nature, and it is a radical one. Deleuze writes: "the revolutionary character of Nietzsche's method becomes apparent at the level of method: it is his method that makes Nietzsche's text into something that is not to be characterized in itself as 'fascist,' 'bourgeois,' or 'revolutionary,' but to be regarded as an exterior field where fascist, bourgeois, and revolutionary forces meet head on."6 Here Deleuze makes a claim similar in some ways to my reading of Goyard-Fabre above: that Nietzsche's "antipolitical" stance was really nothing of the sort, but should rather be understood as an attempt to transcend modern politics. Rather than being antipolitical, Nietzsche emerges on this reading as the embodiment of a new kind of politics. Deleuze suggests that Nietzsche's "antipolitics" hides something much more complex than a simple abandonment of political thought and activity. As we shall see, however, Nietzsche's metapolitical thought should not be understood as a value-free "exterior field;" rather, his elimination of modern politics was designed to make possible a new political system of a particular sort, a politics comprised of a new subjectivity and a new kind of political freedom.

Nietzsche's attack on nineteenth century political forms begins with a critique of the state. In many places, ironically, this critique seems to take the form of an Enlightened commentary. This is especially true in his earlier works, particularly Human, All Too Human, which was dedicated to Voltaire and which contains much that is sympathetic to the impulses against tyranny that characterized the Enlightenment. Nietzsche writes: "the state is a prudent institution for the protection of individuals against one another: if it is completed and perfected too far it will in the end enfeeble the individual and, indeed, dissolve him--that is to say, thwart the original purpose of the state in the most thorough way possible."7 This is one of the many places where Nietzsche's debt to the Enlightenment is clear. Nietzsche is obviously interested in preserving and protecting a kind of political agency here, and at this early stage in his writing, that agency looks very much like the kind of individual political agency favored by the thinkers of the conventional Enlightenment.

Nietzsche soon lost this identification with the individualistic form of Enlightened politics, though his interest in preserving political agency remained quite strong. By way of a brief example, let us consider this passage from the Genealogy of Morals: "that will to self-tormenting, that repressed cruelty of the animal-man made inward and scared back into himself, the creature imprisoned in the 'state' so as to be tamed. . ."8 Here Nietzsche's critique is broader; it is aimed not against tyrannical states which have forgotten their duty to individuals, but rather against states in general. Nietzsche is no longer using the language of Enlightened individualism to attack states here, but he is still clearly opposed to the ways in which the state "tames" people; that is, he is denouncing the state as that institution which takes away political agency. His sympathies with the Enlightenment tradition have become more subtle, but they remain.

Eden argues that Nietzsche "abandons the modern state and liberal institutions as methods of reconciling individuality to the requirements of a common order. But he pursues a politics to accomplish a similar purpose, releasing the fullest powers of the individual while chaining him up to a comprehensive order."9 Eden is right here to suggest that in some ways Nietzsche's project was designed to accomplish a "similar purpose" to that of the modern, Enlightened state. However, it is misleading to argue that this purpose involves "releasing the fullest powers of the individual," since as I have been arguing, the affinities between Nietzsche's politics and the politics of the Enlightenment exist only in the broad sense that both seek to develop political agency. Nietzsche was not interested in promoting the rational, autonomous self that is central to Enlightened politics; indeed, he found this subject to be entirely unviable, as I shall argue below.

Nietzsche believed that, contrary to its claims, the modern, post-Enlightenment state produced nothing more than the politics of the herd. As Karl Jaspers writes, "so far as its origin and its abiding reality is concerned, the state in Nietzsche's opinion is a destructive, assimilating power that enslaves the mass of humanity."10 Indeed the state has a double effect here, in that by enslaving the masses it is ironically at the same creating humanity as a mass, rather than promoting the radical new kind of political agency that Nietzsche favored. Jaspers notes that Nietzsche "rejects the state as the ruin of man when it functions as a solidifying force in favor of mass and mediocrity and when it is no longer concerned about the unique and unmatched but only about the replaceable 'superfluous ones.'"11 In Nietzsche's model, then, the state acts structurally in favor of the masses, and against the kind of agency that was the motivating force behind Nietzsche's politics and the true goal of his "antipolitical" stance. The state's betrayal of true political agency was, in Nietzsche's view, sufficient cause to condemn it. As Walter Kaufmann puts it, "the State becomes the devil of Nietzsche's ethics: it intimidates man into conformity and thus tempts and coerces him to betray his proper destiny."12 What the shape of that destiny is we shall see shortly; for now let us simply conclude that Nietzsche rejected the state as the temple of Enlightened, modern mass mediocrity.


In addition to a general critique of the state, Nietzsche offered detailed criticisms of the specific ideologies and forms of government that existed in the late nineteenth century. Foremost among these ideologies was perhaps liberalism, and it bore the brunt of Nietzsche's attack. He inveighed against particular aspects of liberal democratic politics, such as parties: "the demagogic character and the intention to appeal to the masses is at present common to all political parties."13 He raised objections to the electoral system, claiming that "if whenever the occasion for using the vote arises hardly two-thirds of those entitled to vote, perhaps indeed not even a majority of them, come to the ballot-box, this is a vote against the entire voting-system as such."14 Nietzsche also made a criticism of sorts against the very style of democratic society, even beyond his objections to its concrete political content. Thus he rallied against "the levelers--these falsely so-called 'free spirits'--being eloquent and prolifically scribbling slaves of the democratic taste and its 'modern ideas'.╩.╩."15 Finally, Nietzsche offered a critique of one of the most basic institutions of democratic society, which Jčrgen Habermas would later call the "public sphere." Nietzsche writes in the first of his Untimely Meditations: "when, for example, [the philistine] refers to historical studies by means of which we assist our understanding of the political situation, what can he be referring to but newspaper-reading, and when he speaks of our lively participation in the construction of the German state, what can he mean but our daily visits to the public house?"16 Here Nietzsche is formulating a critique in the broadest terms against the very ethos of democratic society, against the social and cultural institutions that make liberal democracy possible. Like many of Nietzsche's critiques, it takes the form of a cultural critique: what was wrong with the public sphere was that it represented modern decadence; it was the sphere of the philistine. And if the public sphere was decadent, liberal democracy must be decadent as well.

One of the defining characteristics of liberalism in the nineteenth century was its emphasis on "rights," and here Nietzsche found further grounds to attack the democratic tradition. Against the claims of liberals that they act to defend the rights and interests of individuals, Nietzsche claimed that in fact the reverse was true: democracy acted to protect the rights of the majority; that is, of the mass or herd. Thus he writes in the Genealogy of Morals of "the mendacious slogan of ressentiment, 'supreme rights of the majority'" and opposes to this a "rapturous counterslogan 'supreme rights of the few'!"17 There could be no reconciliation, Nietzsche felt, between the rights of the few and those of the many, and one of the fundamental problems of democracy was that it insisted on maintaining and defending the latter. In a very revealing passage from Twilight of the Idols, for example, he writes: "the human being who has become free --and how much more the spirit who has become free--spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior."18 Nietzsche is clearly defining democracy as the ideology of the herd in both a literal sense ("cows") and a figurative sense ("shopkeepers," Nietzsche's perjorative term for English mass society). For Nietzsche, democracy is nothing more than the political language of the herd; as such it is to be roundly condemned.

Similar concerns motivated Nietzsche's critique of the democratic principle of equality. "The doctrine of equality! There is no more poisonous poison anywhere: for it seems to be preached by justice itself, whereas it really is the termination of justice."19 It is crucial to note here that Nietzsche did not oppose equality outright but merely its modern, democratic, Enlightened form. Equality is another idea whose basic core Nietzsche retained while condemning the way that the idea had manifested itself in political thought since the Enlightenment. As Mark Warren quite rightly notes,

Nietzsche did not oppose equality on principle but rather because he viewed its modern form as an ideology devoid of content. All too often, in Nietzsche's view, the ideal of equality expressed a mutual envy of, and a revenge against, individual personalities. Moreover, notes from Nietzsche's middle period suggest that he did not believe--at least in principle--that equality is necessarily anti-individualistic. Indeed, culture under the right circumstances might serve to mediate power in ways that a community of equals could serve as a means to organizing individual power as agency.20

Equality, then, was not necessarily a problem for Nietzsche in and of itself. But when it was made to serve the interests of the herd, it quickly became transformed from a liberating force to one of domination and repression. Nietzsche's attack on this aspect of nineteenth century liberalism is reminiscent of his critique of Rousseau's idea of the general will as I described it in Chapter Two. Both critiques are motivated by the belief that these Enlightened ideologies, although they claim to be providing a beneficent egalitarianism, actually produce a very dangerous mass politics. Thus although Nietzsche did not object to equality in an abstract sense, he objected very strongly indeed to any political belief system which promoted the herd-based politics of the Enlightenment. And for him, nineteenth century liberalism was clearly one such system; indeed, it was perhaps the strongest of those systems.

Tracy Strong argues that Nietzsche's attack on egalitarianism is related to his critique of liberal individualism. Strong writes: "for everyone to become equal means to Nietzsche for everyone to become individualistically oriented toward his private gains, and thus in the totality of his being to be equally subject to the realm of necessity. Both of these are incompatible with the root of the agonistic prerequisite for culture and politics."21 Here Strong is arguing quite rightly that Nietzsche was opposed to the kind of leveling, liberal individuality that atomizes society into alienated, presumably capitalist, pockets of subjectivity. What Strong fails to see is that Nietzsche retained a kind of subjectivity apart from this liberal individualism. Nietzsche's critique was aimed at the subject of liberal society, but not at subjectivity or selfhood in general. As I shall argue in Chapter Five, this is one of the most important ways in which Nietzsche remained a child of the Enlightenment. He raised a dramatic critique of the subject of liberal politics, since that subject depended on what was for Nietzsche the impossibly rational, autonomous subject of the Enlightenment. But he raised this critique in order to make possible the development of a new kind of subjectivity, that of the Overman. And in this sense, his project remained true to the spirit, if not to the objective content, of the Enlightenment. As Leslie Thiele notes, "Nietzsche distinguishes his individualism from what might be called democratic individualism.. . .Nietzsche holds the individual to be unrepresentable and incapable of representing others. . .Nietzsche's individualism thus shows itself to be both undemocratic and apolitical."22 Again, Thiele's use of the word "individualism" is problematic here, since this term almost inevitably evokes images of the Enlightened, liberal individual. Yet Thiele's basic point is quite sound. Nietzsche's critique of the nineteenth century Enlightenment's project to create democratic individuals was not a critique of the Enlightenment's general project to create viable subjects. The latter is a project which Nietzsche enthusiastically pursued, and this places him, ironically, in the camp of the same Enlightened tradition he wished to criticize.

Nietzsche saw the democratic tradition as the child of the resentful, vengeful morality that he hated most, the Christian. Thus he wrote in Beyond Good and Evil: "Morality in Europe today is herd animal morality. . . we have reached the point where we find even in political and social institutions an ever more visible expression of this morality: the democratic movement is the heir of the Christian movement."23 Again we see here the criticism of democracy as the movement of the herd; this time the critique is stated in moral terms. "The democratic idiosyncrasy which opposes everything that dominates and wants to dominate.╩.╩.has permeated the realm of the spirit and disguised itself in the most spiritual forms to such a degree that today it has forced its way, has acquired the right to force its way into the strictest, apparently most objective sciences. . .to the detriment of life, as goes without saying."24 Thus democracy is not only politically dangerous for Nietzsche; it also represents a profound spiritual threat. Nietzsche feels that democracy creates a decadent spiritual condition which will make his attempts to create a new kind of political agency extremely difficult. As Eden puts it, "for Nietzsche, decadence is a term of criticism directed against policies towards decay. . . 'Decadent' is a plausible accusation against modern liberal politics because the ideal of liberalism is humanitarian."25 Again, Nietzsche is trying here to discover what lies behind the facade of nineteenth century liberalism. That ideology claims to promote the best interests of humanity, but Nietzsche would have us believe that nothing could be further from the truth. In his model, liberalism and democracy perpetuate a decadence which makes the development of meaningful human agency extremely difficult.

Irmgard Leinen notes that the negation of bourgeois and liberal thought stands at the center of Nietzsche's writing.26 We have focused mainly on the political level of Nietzsche's attack on liberalism; however, his critique has a strong social component as well. Leinen goes so far as to claim that "Nietzsche's work stands at the beginning of the crisis of bourgeois self-consciousness," and this is not far from the mark.27 Part of Nietzsche's critique of liberal democracy is his attack on the social context of that ideology, namely bourgeois society. Karl Jaspers suggests that it was in fact Nietzsche's opposition to this liberal/bourgeois ethos that lead him to adopt his sometimes misleading "antipolitical" stance: "Nietzsche calls himself the 'last anti-political German' to contrast his own political position with that of the world around him which, after the success of 1870-71, submitted in bourgeois self-satisfaction to the politics of the day."28

Of course, we should be wary of facile connections between liberal democracy and bourgeois society in Germany. David Blackbourn and Geoff Eley have argued that "without the stimulus of a popular movement that was strong enough to shift bourgeois notables to the left, the constitutionalist movements of the last century were unlikely to embrace a significant element of democracy."29 There is no reason to suppose that liberalism was bourgeois in Germany, or that the bourgeoisie were liberal. However, there was a society in nineteenth century Europe which seemed, at least, to represent the liberal bourgeois society. That was Great Britain, the "nation of shopkeepers" that Nietzsche denounced so regularly and with such vehemence. In England, the ideology of liberalism was institutionalized in a way that it never was in Germany. For an example of Nietzsche's attack on nineteenth century liberalism, we should therefore look to an English figure, and Nietzsche provides this example in his critique of John Stuart Mill. One of the founding figures of modern liberalism, and a thinker who operates very clearly within the intellectual framework of the Enlightenment, Mill earns Nietzsche's wrath as a proponent of liberal progress and an ideologue of the politics of the Enlightened Cartesian subject.

Nietzsche's critique of Mill's liberalism is intimately tied up, however, with an attack on Mill's utilitarianism. As I argued in Chapter One, Mill's thought represents the attempt to retain what he saw as the possible benefits of utilitarianism while simultaneously accounting for the needs of the autonomous Enlightenment subject by developing a philosophy of liberalism. If anything, this attempt at a reconciliation between utilitarian thought and liberalism earns Mill an even greater share of Nietzsche's wrath. Mill emerges as a thinker who advocates not just one but two Enlightened political positions. The essential thing to recall here is that both utilitarianism, with its emphasis on the happiness of individual subjects, and liberalism, which attempts to promote the freedom of those subjects, rely on a principle of Enlightened subjectivity which Nietzsche explicitly rejects. Nietzsche is thus able to use Mill as a symbol of many of the manifestations of Enlightenment that he hates most: utilitarianism, political liberalism, and all things English.

Utilitarianism is, for Nietzsche, an impractical philosophy. He writes in the Will to Power: "the value of an action must be judged by its consequences--say the Utilitarians--: to judge it by its origins implies an impossibility, namely that of knowing its origins. But does one know its consequences? For five steps ahead, perhaps. Who can say what an action will stimulate, excite, provoke? As a stimulus? Perhaps as a spark to touch off an explosion?--The Utilitarians are naive--"30 Part of the problem with utilitarianism as Nietzsche sees it is that it relies on invalid assumptions. Specifically, utilitarian theory supposes that the consequences of actions--and hence their utility--can be determined and measured. This implies a firm belief in the powers of rational, Enlightened science to measure and catalog the world, and as we have already seen, Nietzsche finds this belief to be deeply flawed. Because of these problems, Nietzsche believes that it is impossible for utilitarianism to be made into a practical political program. "What 'useful' means is entirely dependent upon the intention, the wherefore? The intention, the 'goal,' is again entirely dependent on the degree of power. Therefore utilitarianism is not a foundation but only a theory of consequences, and absolutely cannot be made obligatory for everyone."31 Nietzsche is convinced that utilitarianism is based on an unrealistic interpretation of the world; it therefore cannot produce the kind of ideal society it claims to promote. "Whether it is hedonism or pessimism, utilitarianism or eudaemonism--all these ways of thinking that measure the value of things according to pleasure and pain, which are mere epiphenomena and wholly secondary, are ways of thinking that stay in the foreground and naĽveties on which everyone conscious of creative powers and an artistic conscience will look down not without derision, nor without pity."32 In Nietzsche's mind, utility theory is based on the deeply flawed scientific ideas of the Enlightenment; it therefore cannot be valid.

If utilitarianism were merely impractical or wrong, we may suppose that Nietzsche would not devote much time to refuting it. However, he believes that the problems of utilitarian theory go much deeper than this: utilitarianism is, for him, a profoundly dangerous theory. He writes in Beyond Good and Evil: "as long as the utility reigning in moral value judgments is solely the utility of the herd, as long as one considers only the preservation of the community, and immorality is sought exactly and exclusively in that which seems dangerous to the existence of the community--there can be no morality of 'neighbor love.'"33 Here we see Nietzsche sounding a familiar theme: utility theory is dangerous because it serves the interests of the herd. Against this philosophy of the herd, Nietzsche makes an appeal to the more noble thought of the ancient Greeks. He writes in Daybreak: "No utilitarians.--'Power which is attacked and defamed is worth more than impotence which is treated only with kindness'--that is how the Greeks felt. That is to say: they valued the feeling of power more highly than any kind of utility or good name."34 This suggests a political dimension to Nietzsche's critique. He is positing a provocative theory of action and power, and he is deliberately posing that theory as a challenge to the prevailing nineteenth century political theory of utilitarianism. He does so because to him utilitarianism is a democratic philosophy, which is to say that it is an ideology of the herd, and as such it is open to the same kinds of charges that Nietzsche levels against all democratic theories.

It is in the context of this political critique that Nietzsche directs his attack against Mill specifically. He writes in the Will to Power: "Against John Stuart Mill.--I abhor his vulgarity, which says: 'What is right for one is fair for another'; 'what you would not, etc., do not unto others'; which wants to establish all human intercourse on the basis of mutual services, so that every action appears as a kind of payment for something done to us. The presupposition here is ignoble in the lowest sense: here an equivalence of value between my actions and yours is presupposed."35 Here we see a critique of Mill's egalitarianism that recalls Nietzsche's more general attack on the egalitarian principles of liberal democracy. Egalitarianism, like utilitarianism, is for Nietzsche a principle of the herd, and therefore to be condemned. It promotes social principles which are very much at odds with the new kind of subjectivity which Nietzsche wishes to advocate.

As Nietzsche condemns the principle of "do not unto others," we also learn that there is a certain religious component to his critique of Mill. Indeed, this is central to the development of Nietzsche's political critique of Mill, for Nietzsche understands Mill's political philosophy as something which develops directly out of a Christian ethical sensibility. He writes: "'Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you.' That counts as wisdom; that counts as prudence; that counts as the basis of morality--as the 'golden rule.' John Stuart Mill believes in it (and what Englishman does not?) But this rule does not brook the slightest attack."36 Nietzsche is no more tolerant of Mill's attempt to make the Christian "golden rule" into the basis for a political philosophy than he was of Kant's attempt to turn that rule into a secular, Enlightened ethical principle. Thus he writes of "the insipid and cowardly concept 'man' ł la Comte and Stuart Mill, perhaps even the object of a cult--It is still the cult of Christian morality under a new name--"37 On Nietzsche's reading, Mill's egalitarian politics merely secularizes the ethics of Christianity, while retaining the ideology of the herd that Nietzsche believes to be central to Christian thought. Nietzsche extends this critique from Mill to utilitarianism in general: "We discover the same phenomenon outside religion and philosophy: utilitarianism (socialism, democracy) criticizes the origin of moral evaluations, but it believes them just as much as the Christian does."38 We are reminded again here of Nietzsche's critique of Kant. For Nietzsche, one of the biggest problems with the Enlightenment was its inability to escape from the ethical heart of Christian theory, even as it attacked all the outer trappings of the Christian tradition. Ironically, this is exactly the same kind of trap that Nietzsche himself falls into, as he criticizes the Enlightenment while continuing to make use of some of its most important categories.

For Nietzsche, Mill represents the epitome of the belief in good and evil that has survived from Christianity and now infests the thought of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche writes: "one still believes in good and evil and experiences the triumph of the good and the annihilation of evil as a task (that is English; typical case: the flathead John Stuart Mill)."39 Mill's ethical thinking is, in Nietzsche's mind, naive and simplistic. It depends on a dualistic understanding of ethics which Nietzsche feels does not and cannot provide an accurate depiction of the world. It is this limitation which, Nietzsche feels, makes it impossible for Mill to develop any believable philosophy; he thus lists Mill among the "respectable but mediocre Englishmen--I name Darwin, John Stuart Mill and Herbert Spencer."40 As we shall see in Chapter Four below, Nietzsche is hardly placing Mill in good company. Darwin and Spencer represent for Nietzsche the decadence of nineteenth century Enlightened science. Mill represents a similar decadence, but a decadence of secularized Christian morality and the political philosophy based on that morality. Thus Nietzsche writes in a note from the Nachlaž: "In England one remarks on how free-minded the highest sobriety in moral matter makes one: Spencer, Stuart Mill. But one ends up doing nothing but formulating one's moral feelings."41 Such attempts to codify pseudo-Christian moral sentiments, Nietzsche feels, cannot possibly be the basis for a legitimate philosophy.

The misguided emphasis on a secularized, Enlightened kind of Christian moral sobriety has profound political consequences. Nietzsche writes in Daybreak: "In Germany it was Schopenhauer, in England John Stuart Mill who gave the widest currency to the teaching of the sympathetic affects and of pity or the advantage of others as the principle of behaviour: but they themselves were no more than an echo--those teachings have shot up with a mighty impetus everywhere and in the crudest and subtlest forms together from about the time of the French Revolution onwards, every socialist system has placed itself as if involuntarily on the common ground of these teachings."42 It may seem odd, at first, that Nietzsche is accusing Mill of inspiring socialism. However, two important points about this passage suggest themselves. First, Nietzsche's reference to the French Revolution suggests that he means to include liberal democracy in the list of political forms to be condemned. Second, as I shall argue shortly, there was for Nietzsche very little difference between liberalism and socialism. Both rely on the same flawed idea of Enlightened subjectivity; he thus felt that both were entirely inviable. Mill stands for Nietzsche as a symbol not just of liberalism but of nineteenth century Enlightened political thought in general, much as Rousseau represented for Nietzsche the political thought of the earlier Enlightenment tradition. Thus in a very revealing note from the Nachlaž, Nietzsche writes: "History after the Revolution is thrown open to reactionary power (St. Mill over Coleridge). And now?--"43 Liberalism and utilitarianism claim to provide humans with meaningful political freedoms. But for Nietzsche, this claim cannot be true. These ideologies, which rely as they do on the deeply flawed idea of subjectivity inherited from the Enlightenment, can only be reactionary, never progressive. Nietzsche thus feels that Mill and others who support these ideologies must always be attacked.

As I have been arguing, however, Nietzsche hardly renounced politics in general. Indeed, as Eden notes, Nietzsche saw ample opportunities to transcend liberal politics to something greater. "The opportunity that Nietzsche discerns in the death of God is an opportunity to reach beyond the limits of liberal politics to reorder the soul."44 This was Nietzsche's ultimate goal: to expose the dangers and faults of liberal politics to such an extent that it became impossible to pursue such a politics any longer, and in this way to make room for a new political system. Nietzsche meant, in short, to eliminate the conventional forms of Enlightened politics in order to make possible his own political project, a project which was, ironically, in harmony with the Enlightenment's basic goal to create subjectivity. To complete this project, Nietzsche could not simply stop with a critique of liberalism. He also had to turn his critical gaze on several other major nineteenth century political forms.

The second major political ethos that came under Nietzsche's scrutiny was that of socialism. With Marx well-known in Europe throughout most of Nietzsche's adult life and with the workers' movement a potent political force in most industrialized nations, socialism had a political influence that rivaled that of liberalism in the late nineteenth century. Indeed, Nietzsche occasionally equates the two, as in Human All Too Human, when he writes: "you wealthy bourgeois who call yourselves 'liberal', admit to yourselves that it is the desire of your own heart that you find so fearful and threatening in the socialists, though in yourselves you consider them inevitable, as though they were something quite different."45 Here Nietzsche is hinting that the inner spirit of socialism is much the same as that of liberalism, and that what drives them is secretly similar. This is not surprising, given the fact that both political systems rely on an Enlightened principle of subjectivity which Nietzsche rejects.

We should be careful to note, however, that it has not been unheard of to consider Nietzsche as a proponent of socialism. Hugo Bund, in a work from 1919, makes the rather bizarre claim that Nietzsche's works, those of socialism and those of the Catholic church all share a belief in universality, sameness and equality.46 Yet an investigation into Nietzsche's beliefs regarding various aspects of socialism shows Bunds's position to be untenable: Nietzsche emerges with a critique of socialism that is in many ways as virulent as his attack on liberalism. For him, both political systems are descended from the politics of the conventional Enlightenment. Both are thus open to the same kinds of Nietzschean critiques, i.e. that they represent the politics of the herd and that they stand in the way of the development of true Nietzschean subjectivity. Socialism, in particular, with its emphasis on the progress of humanity towards a perfect society, was for Nietzsche the epitome of an Enlightened belief system.

Nietzsche did not feel that he understood the point of socialism. Consider this note from the Will to Power: "modern socialism wants to create the secular counterpart to Jesuitism: everyone a perfect instrument. But the purpose, the wherefore? has not yet been ascertained."47 He also raised a criticism of the socialist conception of "equal rights" that was similar in many ways to his critique of the liberal idea of equality. "The over-all degeneration of man down to what today appears to the socialist dolts and flatheads as their 'man of the future'--as their ideal. . .this animalization of man into the dwarf animal of equal rights and claims, is possible, there is no doubt of it."48 Far from representing the glorious collective future of mankind, as its proponents claim it does, socialism on Nietzsche's reading was a regression, a move away from true equality to the false equality of the herd. And for Nietzsche, the herd animal par excellence was the socialist himself: "whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker's sense of satisfaction with his small existence--who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of 'equal' rights."49 Again we see here the critique of "equal rights" as a leveling force, this time coupled with a direct attack on socialists as rabble-rousing demagogues. As is often the case when Nietzsche describes those whom he hated, his strongest invective is reserved for the German example: "the reason the German socialist was the most dangerous was that he was driven by no definite need; he suffered from not knowing what he wanted; thus, even if he achieved a great deal, he would languish from desire even in the midst of plenty just like Faust, though presumably like a very plebeian Faust."50 Motivated by a vague desire for equality which he could not articulate, the German socialist promoted only the leveling and decay that Nietzsche despised.

There is one other fundamental aspect to Nietzsche's critique of socialism, and it is one that will recall his attack on liberal politics. He writes in Human All too Human: "the socialists desire to create a comfortable life for as many as possible. If the enduring homeland of this comfortable life, the perfect state, were really to be attained, then this comfortable life would destroy the soil out of which great intellect and the powerful individual in general grows: by which I mean great energy. If this state is achieved mankind would have become too feeble still to be able to produce the genius."51 Nietzsche saw socialism, like liberalism, as a threat to the new kind of subjectivity he was trying to promote. His goal was therefore to undermine this herd-based politics, clearing away the politics of the conventional Enlightenment in order to make possible the creation of this new subjectivity. As he pursues this project, his criticism of socialism almost seems to anticipate much later critiques of the totalitarian nature of socialism in the twentieth century. He writes: "socialism is the fanciful younger brother of the almost expired despotism whose heir it wants to be; its endeavors are thus in the profoundest sense reactionary. For it desires an abundance of state power such as only despotism has ever had; indeed it outbids all the despotisms of the past inasmuch as it expressly aspires to the annihilation of the individual, who appears to it like an unauthorized luxury of nature destined to be improved into a useful organ of the community."52 Those who lived through the Stalinist excesses of the Soviet Union or the Cultural Revolution in China would perhaps find this an apt criticism of the dangers that overzealous socialism poses to political agency.

Nietzsche writes in the Will to Power: "socialism is merely a means of agitation employed by individualism: it grasps that, to attain anything, one must organize oneself to a collective action, to a 'power.' But what it desires is not a social order as the goal of the individual but a social order as a means for making possible many individuals."53 This is a very interesting passage, for here Nietzsche seems to be equating socialism with liberal individualism for the purposes of denouncing both. This equation may seem strange given the obvious hostility between liberals and socialists in the nineteenth century. But when we consider Nietzsche's overall political position, this move is not at all surprising. Nietzsche is deeply critical of any manifestation of Enlightened politics, which is to say that he attacks any system of political belief which relies on the autonomous Cartesian self, or on the Enlightened notion of social progress. For him liberalism and socialism are thus simply manifestations of a larger politics, the politics of Enlightenment, a politics which Nietzsche attempts, with limited success, to resist.

To be sure, there are certain dangers present in Nietzsche's relentless attack on Enlightened politics, and in particular in his attack on socialism. Keith Ansell-Pearson, for example, suggests that Nietzsche had no recognition of the importance of solidarity and community in the achievement of genuine sovereign individuality.54 I cite this here because the use of the terms "solidarity" and "community" suggests socialism. I think, however, that Nietzsche was fully aware of the importance of community; indeed his attacks on socialism were motivated by an awareness of a need for a new and more meaningful kind of community. Nietzsche felt that socialism, with its leveling effects, could lead only to a community of the herd. By pursuing a new kind of subjectivity very different from that implied by socialism, Nietzsche was actually being very responsive to the needs of the European community as he saw them. His critique of socialism was thus ironically based on a desire to complete the socialist's project to create a better world. Again, this demonstrates the fundamental tension between Nietzsche's thought and that of the Enlightenment. He relentlessly attacks the ideas and methods of Enlightened thought, but he always does so in the pursuit of goals which are actually quite similar to those of Enlightened politics, in this case the direction of humanity towards an ideal future. Thus ironically, as Strong notes, "in Nietzsche's understanding, if the state is to be healthy, it must fundamentally and always be a communal institution, eine Organismus."55 As with his critique of liberalism, Nietzsche attacks socialism as a politics of the Cartesian subject, and as an unrealistic program for the improvement of humanity. But again as with liberalism, Nietzsche is unable to elude entirely the influences of socialism. He shares with it, after all, its basic goals: the creation of a kind of political subjectivity, and the development of a program for human progress, albeit one that would seem quite alien in content to any nineteenth-century socialist.

Nietzsche is clearly neither a liberal nor a socialist, though he retains many of the Enlightened principles which lie at the heart of these systems. There is, however, another possibility that we must consider, and it is a very disturbing one. Nietzsche was not the only thinker of his time to critique liberalism and socialism. The most well-known group to do so, and the one that ultimately would prove to be the most dangerous, especially in Germany, were the nationalists. Is it possible that Nietzsche's critique of liberal and socialist political traditions was meant as an endorsement of nationalist politics? Irmgard Leinen is quite right when she suggests that Nietzsche represents the foundation of a political philosophy that involves the overcoming of liberal and socialist ideas, and that the use of this kind of philosophy found its high point in Italian fascism and the national socialist world view.56 It is therefore imperative that we examine Nietzsche's works for any traces of nationalist ideology.

Nietzsche is frequently blamed for the nationalist disasters of our century. Stanley Antosik, for example, claims that Nietzsche's "elite's political purpose. . .foreshadows some of the realities of twentieth-century totalitarianism."57 Antosik seems to accept the equation that certain Nazi theorists made between Nietzsche's Overman and the Aryan supermen. Antosik's reading of Nietzsche's vision is a world in which "the future tyrants would form themselves into a new aristocracy which would live off the toil of a humanity kept in various forms of bondage within a flourishing industrial economy."58 The image here is a clearly totalitarian one. The world is divided into rulers (the Nazi party, Stalin's Communists, or the overmen), who preside with an iron fist over the ruled (the German people, the Soviet proletariat or the "herd man").

I mention Antosik's position not because it is particularly defensible or even particularly articulate, but because it represents a tendency in Nietzsche criticism which has traditionally been quite strong. Indeed, Crane Brinton goes so far as to say that Nietzsche, though beyond good and evil, was not beyond Hitler and Mussolini; the noblest dreams of the prophet, Brinton suggests, turned into nightmares when realized.59 To be fair, Brinton was writing under the shadow of the second world war; his unwillingness to give Nietzsche a more fair-minded reading than this was most likely a function of the immediacy of his experience with the horrors of fascism. Since the end of the war, Walter Kaufmann and others have worked extensively to debunk the notion that Nietzsche was some sort of proto-fascist. We now know that much of Nietzsche's reputation as a right-wing nationalist came from his sister's attempts to use his writings for her own purposes, whether by taking Nietzsche's relationship with Wagner out of the context of their eventual break, by creatively editing his notebooks, or even by inviting Hitler to attend a ceremony at the Nietzsche archive, an invitation which der Fčhrer was pleased to accept.60 Yet the image of Nietzsche as a would-be nationalist or totalitarian remains very prevalent. Even commentators such as Keith Ansell-Pearson, who is ordinarily more reliable than Antosik, occasionally slip into this. Ansell-Pearson claims that Nietzsche has recourse to force and violence in order to impose his creative will on humanity, and that the "failure" of Nietzsche's political thought is that it doesn't deal with the issue of legitimacy.61 As far as Ansell-Pearson is concerned, Nietzsche's elites cannot help but be oppressive.

To be sure, Nietzsche leaves himself open in many places to such criticism, particularly when he discusses his views on warfare. There are frequent references in his writings to the necessity, even the desirability of war. To the militaristic nationalist, this could easily be taken as a call to arms. In Human, All Too Human, for example, Nietzsche writes: "so highly cultivated and for that reason necessarily feeble humanity as that of the present-day European requires not merely war but the greatest and most terrible wars--thus a temporary relapse into barbarism--if the means to culture are not to deprive them of their culture and of their existence itself."62 It is true that Nietzsche is invoking warfare here not as an end to itself but rather as a means to a higher goal, namely culture. However, nationalists have certainly been known to make similar moves, calling for warfare in the name of national self-defense or to rectify a perceived national humiliation. This does not make the call for militarism any less disturbing. We see further evidence of Nietzsche's militarism in the self-interpretation he offers in Ecce Homo: "I am warlike by nature. Attacking is one of my instincts. Being able to be an enemy, being an enemy--perhaps that presupposes a strong nature; in any case, it belongs to every strong nature."63 Although this passage shows that Nietzsche holds a firm belief in the value of warfare, it also begins to raise some puzzling questions. Exactly what sort of "attacks" and "enemies" is Nietzsche referring to here? This is no abstract meditation on the values of warfare; it is an attempt by an author to describe the place of warfare in his own life. And apart from a brief stint as an ambulance orderly in the Franco-Prussian war, Nietzsche's military experience was non-existent.

It is for this reason that I must agree with Jaspers that "the glorification of war as such cannot be Nietzsche's intention."64 Nietzsche was talking about war in a very particular and a very figurative way. Most obviously he meant philosophical warfare, "philosophizing with a hammer," the ardent and impassioned defense of his ideas against the ignorant masses that was the only real combat this "old artilleryman" ever knew. The "great wars" that were to come were to be wars of ideas. As we have seen in our troubled century, such wars can often become perverted into violent military conflicts. But this was not what Nietzsche intended.

To be fair, Nietzsche sometimes meant more by "warfare" than the mere exchange of mutually antagonistic ideas. But he certainly did not mean the kind of struggles between nations that were and are an essential feature of nationalism. His idea of Europeanism precluded this. Nietzsche writes in Beyond Good and Evil:

Owing to the pathological estrangement which the insanity of nationality has induced, and still induces, among the peoples of Europe; owing also to the shortsighted and quick-handed politicians who are at the top today with the help of this insanity, without any inkling that their separatist policies can of necessity only be entr'acte policies; owing to all this and much else that today simply cannot be said, the most unequivocal portents are now being overlooked, or arbitrarily and mendaciously reinterpreted--that Europe wants to become one.65

With a vision that seems to predict the European Community, Nietzsche speaks here of a world where national boundaries will be irrelevant. Indeed, in a very interesting note from the Will to Power, Nietzsche writes: "The economic unification of Europe is coming of necessity--and also, as a reaction, a peace party--A party of peace, without sentimentality, that forbids itself and its children to wage war; forbids recourse to the courts; that provokes struggle, contradiction, persecution against itself: a party of the oppressed, at least for a time; soon the big party. Opposed to feelings of revenge and resentment."66 Here the full complexities of Nietzsche's beliefs about war and peace emerge. Unification is expressed as a necessity, and is even endorsed against the "lunacy of nationality." And the party of peace is celebrated in the strongest Nietzschean terms, as being "opposed to feelings of revenge and resentment." So much of Nietzsche's intellectual project was devoted to the defeat of such feelings that we must interpret the development of this peace party as an extremely positive occurrence. It is on the basis of this reading that I must strongly disagree with Thomas Pangle, who suggests that "in the long interval, the followers of Zarathustra--if they take the 'good European' Nietzsche as their model--will attend closely to the drama of a deepening political nihilism and may even, from time to time, intervene by issuing appropriately flexible suggestions aimed at inspiring some of the most martial political actors."67 Nietzsche had no interest in nationalist politics other than to condemn it, and no interest in national wars except to denounce them. Some confusion perhaps emerges from Nietzsche's choice of the word "warfare" to describe activities that are often not so warlike. But even if one wishes to make a more literal reading of his position, it is clear that Nietzsche's wars were not the wars of nationalism.

Another defining characteristic of late nineteenth century nationalism was its frequent incorporation of racism into its ideology. This was especially true, of course, in Germany, where the anti-Semitism that was already an essential part of nationalist rhetoric in the nineteenth century eventually reached its insane apex with the Holocaust. Predictably enough, part of the project of making Nietzsche into a nationalist or proto-fascist has relied on an attempt to make him into an anti-Semite. Crane Brinton, for example, while admitting that Nietzsche had Jewish friends "as much as he had any," accuses Nietzsche of making Jews into decadents and parasites.68 R. M. Lonsbach takes a more measured view, noting that "for the mother, daughter and spouse of a Protestant pastor, a Jew was a being from a strange world."69 Lonsbach implies that young Friedrich Nietzsche, raised in this strict religious household, must have been exposed to a certain amount of cultural anti-Semitism. However, Lonsbach is also careful to point out that Nietzsche's ideas about race were influenced by two very different and basically contradictory world views: the conservative, possibly anti-Semitic influence of his upbringing, and the more cosmopolitan philosemitism of the European intellectual. The question, then, is which of these two impulses had the strongest overall effect on his writing--or to put the matter in Nietzschean terms, did Nietzsche manage to overcome the anti-Semitism of his youth? Arthur Danto suggests that he did, noting that Nietzsche's anti-Semitism consisted largely of a period of youthful Wagnerism, which quickly faded. And if Nietzsche never became actively pro-Semitic, he at least became adamantly anti-anti-Semitic.70 We have such testaments to Nietzsche's hatred of anti-Semites as his contempt for Bernhard FÜrster (the anti-Semitic activist whom Nietzsche's sister eventually married) and Nietzsche's famous remark from the very end of his sane life that he was "just out having all anti-Semites shot."

Nietzsche's published works also contain ample evidence of his philosemitism. In Human, all too Human, for instance, he writes:

the entire problem of the Jews exists only within national states, inasmuch as it is here that their energy and higher intelligence, their capital in will and spirit accumulated from generation to generation in a long school of suffering, must come to preponderate to a degree calculated to arouse envy and hatred, so that in almost every nation--and the more so the more nationalistic a posture the nation is again adopting--there is gaining ground the literary indecency of leading the Jews to the sacrificial slaughter as scapegoats for every possible public or private misfortune.71

In addition to a spirited defense of the value of the Jewish people, Nietzsche gives us here a searing critique of anti-Semitism as a component of nationalism. Whatever his private feelings about Jews might have been, his public opinion, as shown in his published works, is quite clear: he acknowledged a Jewish "problem" only to the extent that the disease of nationalism produced one. The proper course for all cosmopolitan Europeanists was, in Nietzsche's view, to combat not Judaism but nationalism. Against absurd nationalist claims of international Jewish conspiracies, Nietzsche writes: "That the Jews, if they wanted it--or if they were forced to it, which seems to be what the anti-Semites want--could even now have preponderance, indeed quite literally mastery over Europe, that is certain; that they are not working and planning for that is equally certain."72 In this passage, Nietzsche praises Judaism and simultaneously refutes the possibility that it seeks to dominate Europe. In Nietzsche's Germany, there was a strong correlation between nationalism and anti-Semitic racism. Nietzsche's renunciation of the latter suggests that he had no wish to be associated with the former.

Nietzsche's praise of the Jewish people served as the counterpart to some very vindictive attacks that he made on the German people. These attacks would be difficult to explain if we wished to show Nietzsche to be some kind of German nationalist. In the first of his Untimely Meditations, Nietzsche attacks German culture, claiming that "in Germany there no longer exists any clear conception of what culture is."73 Nietzsche goes on to issue a stern warning: "the philistine become a visionary--that is the unheard-of phenomenon that distinguishes Germany today."74 He is referring specifically here to David Strauss, but the implication is that German culture as a whole is deteriorating. To be sure, a certain nationalistic interpretation of this is possible. Nietzsche might be arguing here for the creation of a stronger, more worthwhile Germany. But other passages suggest that what he is talking about is not a brief, correctable aberration in the German spirit but rather something much more fundamental. He writes in Human, all too Human: "the truly unendurable. . .fail to notice they lack freedom of taste and spirit. But precisely this is, according to Goethe's well-considered opinion, German."75 Nietzsche's works are filled with remarks like this, in which he dismisses the worth of the German nation in a single sentence. Nietzsche did, of course, admit that once there was a time of genius in German culture, but he felt that this time has long since irretrievably passed. "The Germans--once they were called the people of thinkers: do they think at all today? The Germans are now bored with the spirit, the Germans now mistrust the spirit; politics swallows up all serious concern for really spiritual matters. Deutschland, Deutschland čber alles--I fear that was the end of German philosophy."76 Here Nietzsche's critique of nationalism returns with all its force: nationalism means the end of thought and culture, and for Nietzsche, that is very much like the end of life. Furthermore, we get a strong sense here of what Nietzsche means when he uses "politics" in a perjorative way: he means the politics of nationalism, specifically, but more generally all the forms of modern politics that grow out of the Enlightenment tradition.

Tracy Strong is quite right when he suggests that for Nietzsche, "the nature of modern nationalism is to keep political life at a very low level."77 Nietzsche did not object to nationalism because he was antipolitical, but rather because nationalism was antipolitical, or more accurately, because it was opposed to the kind of politics Nietzsche wanted to pursue. This is the crucial point to keep in mind, because many nationalistic ideologies maintain as an essential part of their belief structure the idea that politics, or at least all the institutions of politics that are available to us in the modern world, are outmoded and irrelevant. And on the surface of it, Nietzsche's critique of modern politics, which for him were the politics of the Enlightenment, would seem to be quite similar to that of the nationalists. The crucial difference, however, lies in the nature of the political system that is to replace modern politics. As we have already begun to see, Nietzsche raised his critique in order to promote a new society that would be quite antithetical to anything a nationalist might advocate. As Strong rightly argues, "Nietzsche is the last of 'the anti-political Germans,' because he is opposed to what Germans call politics."78

A bit of historical context is perhaps helpful here in locating the origins of Nietzsche's extreme hostility to this variety of politics. Bergmann notes that Nietzsche came of age during Bismarck's rise to power, and that like many other young men of his era, Nietzsche affirmed the German nation state as a student.79 To be sure, Nietzsche admired Bismarck's disdain for party politics and parliamentary regimes; he might have felt that this validated, to some extent, his critique of the politics of post-Enlightenment Europe. However, this admiration need hardly be understood as a symptom of Nietzschean nationalism. Rather, it seems likely that Nietzsche saw in Bismarck someone capable of mounting in the political world a critique of liberalism similar to the one that, as we saw above, Nietzsche was mounting in the intellectual world. The legislative content of Bismarck's imperial program, however, was abhorrent to Nietzsche. As Ansell-Pearson notes, we must understand Nietzsche's political thought "in the specific context in which [he] articulates his opposition to the development of German Reichspolitik under Bismarckian nationalism and statism."80 This is an especially important point to make in that many commentators, beginning with Georg Brandes, have referred to Nietzsche's politics as "aristocratic radicalism," a term that Nietzsche himself approved. Indeed, as we shall see shortly, Nietzsche's political program did involve a kind of aristocracy or elite, and it is perhaps tempting to assume on the basis of this that he would have found Bismarck's imperial Reich, with its ruling Junker elite firmly entrenched in the upper echelons of the military and the bureaucracy, quite appealing. This would be a grave error, however. Nietzsche's admiration for the Reich began and ended with his appreciation of its assault on liberalism; the kind of aristocratic ruling elite he advocated was radically different from the Junkers.

Those who present Nietzsche as a nationalist would have us believe that his numerous comments against the German people and nation are merely a clever ruse. Brinton calls Nietzsche's hatred for the Germans a "disappointed love," and claims that Nietzsche never forgot himself as a German.81 I have argued against this that Nietzsche's antinationalism is real and that it represents a sustained, consistent belief system. Indeed, I feel that this antinationalist impulse is part of a much broader critique of the political forms which emerged in Nietzsche's century out of the political impulses of the seventeenth and eighteenth century Enlightenment. It is for this reason, perhaps, that Nietzsche tended to associate the various Enlightened political forms he attacked, as if searching for a single heading under which to group them, a single argument with which he might dismiss all of them at once. In a revealing note from the Nachlaž dated 1881, Nietzsche writes: "in general, the tendency of socialism, like that of nationalism, is a reaction against individual potentialities."82 Socialism, nationalism--and, we may suppose, liberalism as well--were much the same for Nietzsche. They were the politics of the modern, the political descendents of the conventional Enlightenment that Nietzsche so despised. Despite their claims to promote "individualism," Nietzsche felt that these belief systems actually impeded the development of meaningful subjectivity. He was therefore adamant that they must be overcome.

There is one more possibility that we must consider in our analysis of Nietzsche's political beliefs. We have witnessed his repudiation of the three most important political belief systems available to the nineteenth-century intellectual, namely liberalism, socialism and nationalism. Given this, it is tempting to wonder if Nietzsche might be some kind of anarchist. Is it possible that Nietzsche carried out his attack on the politics of his time in the name of a radical anti-government project? We have already mentioned his attack on the state; this would certainly be in keeping with an anarchist position. Anarchism could also be the motivating force behind Nietzsche's trenchant criticism of political institutions. And there are certainly passages where Nietzsche seems to hint at anarchistic beliefs. Consider this section from Human, all too Human: "no one is accountable for his deeds, no one for his nature; to judge is the same thing as to be unjust."83 To be sure, there is no specifically political context in this passage. But the passage does describe a sympathy for certain impulses within anarchism, especially in that it suggests that there are no social institutions capable of legitimately judging the actions of individuals. Translated into a political program, this could easily result in anarchism. This is perhaps as close as Nietzsche came in his published works to a full endorsement of anarchy. In his notes, however, he was sometimes less circumspect. In a passage from the Nachlaž dated 1881, for example, he writes: "we are stepping into the era of anarchy, but this is at the same time the era of the freest and most spiritual individual."84 Here anarchism seems quite appealing to him. As Goyard-Fabre notes, Nietzsche's friend Overbeck believed that Human, all too Human had been influenced by the anarchism of Max Stirner.85 Irmgard Leinen concurs with this assessment, framing it in somewhat less sympathetic terms as "anti-social individual-anarchism, an individualism of libertinage, a 'petty bourgeois intellectual' version of anarchism."86 Leinen places Nietzsche on an interesting intellectual trajectory, "between Schopenhauer and Bakunin."87 To characterize Nietzsche as an anarchist, then, would seem to be quite tempting.

It is also, unfortunately, quite impossible. Nietzsche mounted a critique of anarchism that was as biting and sustained as his attacks on any other political systems. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche writes:

How much trouble the poets and orators of all peoples have taken--not excepting a few prose writers today in whose ear there dwells an inexorable conscience--'for the sake of some foolishness,' as utilitarian dolts say, feeling smart--'submitting abjectly to capricious laws,' as anarchists say, feeling 'free,' even 'free-spirited.' But the curious fact is that all there is or has been on earth of freedom, subtlety, boldness, dance, and masterly sureness, whether in thought itself or in government, or in rhetoric and persuasion, in the arts just as in ethics, has developed only owing to the 'tyranny of such capricious laws'.88

After his spirited critique of the various forms of tyranny he found in the world of nineteenth century politics, he offers this frustrating reversal. Why? I suspect that this is because anarchists remain trapped within the Enlightened political framework that Nietzsche is struggling so desperately to overcome. The anarchist's claim that the individual must be freed from the bonds of the state, after all, can be seen as a radicalized form of the same individualism that motivated nineteenth century liberalism. As such, anarchism would naturally be subject to the same criticism that Nietzsche raised against liberalism: that it depends on a deeply problematic concept of subjectivity that comes to us directly from the Enlightenment. Furthermore, the anarchist's desire to promote an ideal world in which all individuals would be free from the tyranny of the state must have sounded to Nietzsche suspiciously like the kind of Enlightened ideal of progress that made socialism so problematic for him. As I shall argue below, Nietzsche's rejection of the state must be understood as a rejection of any hitherto existing state, but not of the possibilities of a new kind of state. Nietzsche did believe that some form of legitimate state was possible and even necessary, but this new kind of state could not be realized until the category of the individual had been dramatically restructured. Anarchism thus represents an impossible position for Nietzsche in that it relies on the same Enlightened concepts of subjectivity and progress that make other nineteenth-century political forms unacceptable to him.

A consideration of Nietzsche's views on anarchists will make clear the difficulties involved in placing him within the tradition of anarchism. He writes in Twilight of the Idols: "when the anarchist, as the mouthpiece of the declining strata of society, demands with a fine indignation what is 'right,' 'justice,' and 'equal rights,' he is merely under the pressure of his own uncultured state, which cannot comprehend the real reason for his suffering--what he is poor in: life."89 Nietzsche goes on to associate the anarchist with the Christian, and to decry both as "decadents."90 Clearly, these are some of the strongest criticisms available to Nietzsche. That which was Christian, decadent and poor in life was inevitably what he attacked most enthusiastically. Goyard-Fabre suggests that "the reactive passion of the anarchists makes them, like the socialists, men of ressentiment."91 Anarchists sought revenge on society; this was precisely what Nietzsche hated in the herd man. Bergmann suggests that Nietzsche saw direct evidence of this anarchistic quest for revenge as he witnessed the particular kind of anarchism that was becoming prevalent in Europe during the 1880s, a brand of anarchism that was heralded by Prince Kropotkin and that became inarticulate in its love affair with dynamite.92 The anarchist, like the liberal, the socialist and the nationalist, remains for Nietzsche an example of the political herd man, unable to transcend the political tradition of the Enlightenment.

Has Nietzsche abandoned us, then, to the political abyss? He has clearly left us without any recourse to the comfortably modern political terms with which most of us describe our political belief systems. One cannot easily be a Nietzschean Democrat or Republican. Nor would a Nietzschean feel comfortable in Britain's Labour Party or the German right-wing Republicans. It is difficult to imagine a Nietzschean communist or anarchist. Does this leave us, then, where we began, with the political nihilism of the "last anti-political German?" I don't believe so. Rather, I want to argue with Henning Ottman and Keith Ansell-Pearson, that "Nietzsche's philosophy is neither an apologia for capitalism nor a celebration of liberalism, neither fascist nor anarchist; rather the importance of Nietzsche's thinking for politics resides in its confrontation with the 'modern' itself and its dialectical possibilities."93 Specifically, I wish to suggest that every one of Nietzsche's political critiques was formulated as part of a broader project, a project that motivated his entire political thought and indeed his philosophical thought in general. This project was a critique of the autonomous, transcendental Cartesian subject which had been the actor in every political system since the Enlightenment, and which continued to dominate political thought in Nietzsche's time. As Walter Brogan writes, "the disruptive character of Nietzsche's thought vis-ł-vis certain basic assumptions of the Western philosophical condition is nowhere more evident than in a consideration of the question of the self. Nietzsche's pervasive critique of the modern concept of selfhood--and the concomitant priority it accorded principles of identity and unity as the very sine qua non of philosophy--has had an explosive impact on the twentieth century."94 Our understanding of Nietzsche's political critique cannot be complete without a detailed examination of his critique of the modern political subject.

Let us begin with Nietzsche's views on a concept that is of central importance to all modern ideas of political subjectivity: that of "free will." Any nation that holds elections assumes the viability of free political choice; even totalitarian systems offer limited kinds of choices (whether to join the party, which party faction to support, and so on). All of these systems feature an implied belief in a free, independent actor, able to choose between different options. However, Nietzsche makes a strong argument throughout his works that the belief in free will is an error. In Human, all too Human, for example, he writes: "belief in freedom of will is a primary error committed by everything organic, as old as the impulse to the logical itself."95 Our belief that we freely choose, then, is as unfounded as our belief that we are rational creatures, and with these two key concepts put into question, the idea of free political choice is rendered extremely problematic. Nietzsche goes on to argue for the complete predictability of the universe: "everything here is necessary, every motion mathematically calculable. So it is too in the case of human actions; if one were all-knowing, one would be able to calculate every individual action."96 Nietzsche believes that our so-called "human wills" have absolutely no impact on the world around us; our belief to the contrary is merely a psychological artifice. As he puts it in Beyond Good and Evil, "the will is not only a complex of sensation and thinking, but it is above all an affect, and specifically the affect of the command."97 "Free will" is, for Nietzsche, nothing more than the feeling of being in charge, which we fundamentally insecure humans find necessary in order to keep ourselves from going mad in a world that simply doesn't care what we will. In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche makes the characteristic move of uncovering the origins of this concept in order to show that its origins are contingent and to jeopardize its status as an absolute truth. He writes: "the entire old psychology, the psychology of will, was conditioned by the fact that its originators, the priests at the head of ancient communities, wanted to create for themselves the right to punish--or wanted to create this right for God."98 In place of the notion of free will, Nietzsche offers a vision of the universe as "a continuous flux. Now, belief in freedom of will is incompatible precisely with the idea of a continuous, homogeneous, undivided, indivisible flowing: it presupposes that every individual action is isolate and indivisible; it is an atomism in the domain of willing and knowing."99 This goes against the idea we in the West have had since Descartes, that the universe is composed of distinct, individual particles and persons, each acting independently of the rest. Nietzsche wished to offer in place of this idea a view of the universe as unified, as something that is not subject to the whims of individual wills.

The error of free will, Nietzsche warns, is especially dangerous because it leads to morality, which he viewed as one of the great destructive forces of his time. "The history of the moral sensations is the history of an error, the error of accountability, which rests on the error of freedom of will."100 This issue of accountability was extremely important for Nietzsche. He saw this as the error which was in large measure responsible for the guilt and ressentiment that characterized the herd man. Again and again Nietzsche makes reference to nature in his writings to show the absurdity of using the concept of free will as an excuse to legislate morality and assign responsibility. "We do not accuse nature of immorality when it sends a thunderstorm and makes us wet: why do we call the harmful man immoral?" he wonders in Human, all too Human.101 In the Genealogy he writes: "the submerged, darkly glowering emotions of vengefulness and hatred. . .in fact maintain no belief more ardently than the belief that the strong man is free to be weak and the bird of prey to be a lamb--for thus they gain the right to make the bird of prey accountable for being a bird of prey."102 To expect storms or animals to respond to the dictates of moral responsibility is obviously ludicrous, for these things have no free will and are simply part of nature. But Nietzsche insists that it is equally ludicrous to suppose that humans possess this mysterious quality of free will, or to posit that they are somehow outside of nature. In Human, all too Human, Nietzsche suggests that the motivation behind such beliefs is largely psychological: "the joy. . .attending the performance of good works.╩.╩. rests on belief in the voluntary nature of our good or wicked acts, that is to say on an error."103 The Christian, the moralist and the ascetic priest demand credit for their forbearance. It infuriates them when Nietzsche claims that they have no choice in their acts, that they are behaving this way simply because it is their nature. This vigorous critique of free will is part of Nietzsche's critique of the subject who, according to most Western political philosophy since the Enlightenment, is supposed to enjoy that free will.

Another aspect of Nietzsche's attempt to problematize the Enlightened political subject is his attempt to render that subject an historically contingent phenomenon. As we have seen, one of Nietzsche's favorite tactics was to examine the origins of a concept, and in this way to show that the concept was not as universally valid as its proponents would have us believe. Nietzsche explains in the Gay Science that "the invention of gods, heroes, and overmen of all kinds, as well as near-men and undermen, dwarves, fairies, centaurs, satyrs, demons, and devils was the inestimable preliminary exercise for the justification of the egoism and sovereignty of the individual: the freedom that one conceded to a god in his relation to other gods--one eventually also granted to oneself in relation to laws, customs, and neighbors."104 Here "the egoism and sovereignty of the individual" are seen merely as part of a much broader historical process, a brief moment in the intellectual development of mankind, and perhaps even a relatively unimportant moment. Nietzsche's notes from this period suggest that this theme was an important one for him at the time. In a Nachlaž segment from 1881, he writes: "egoism is something late and is still rare: herd feelings are older and more powerful!"105 By making egoism and individuality historically contingent, Nietzsche deprivileged these concepts and reduced them in status from universal terms to mere historical events.

Nietzsche suggests that the primary function of individual subjectivity prior to his time had been to fulfill a psychological need. In the Genealogy, Nietzsche argues that modern man "needs to believe in a neutral independent 'subject,' prompted by an instinct for self-preservation and self-affirmation in which every lie is sanctified."106 Modern man is terrified of non-existence, and so seizes on every elusive, illusory possibility to try to convince himself that he has a stable, independent existence. Thus "some will not give up their 'responsibility,' their belief in themselves, the personal right to their merits at any price."107 We cling greedily to these beliefs as one might cling to a branch if hanging over the edge of a cliff: the alternative, the letting go that Nietzsche proposes, is much too frightening even to consider. Still, Nietzsche warns, if we insist on keeping our illusions, we must be made to realize that they are illusions, and dangerous ones at that. The "soul," Nietzsche insists, is nothing more than instincts gone wrong: "all instincts that do not discharge themselves outwardly turn inward--this is what I call the internalization of man: thus it was that man first developed what was later called his 'soul.'"108 Thus the Enlightened individual emerges as the origin of bad conscience, the instinct for revenge, and ressentiment. This subject is an illusion, a historically contingent creation, and a harmful one at that. Perhaps it fulfills a certain psychological need for us, but if so, we must either find something else to play this role, or better yet, transcend this need entirely.

Nietzsche writes in the Will to Power: "the 'subject' is only a fiction: the ego of which one speaks when one censures egoism does not exist at all."109 Or, in a more complex formulation,

The subject: that is the term for our belief in a unity underlying all the different impulses of the highest feeling of reality: we understand this belief as the effect of one cause--we believe so firmly in our belief that for its sake we imagine 'truth,' 'reality,' 'substantiality' in general.--'The subject' is the fiction that many similar states in us are the effect of one substratum: but it is we who first created the 'similarity' of these states; our adjusting them and making them similar is the fact, not their similarity (--which ought rather to be denied--)110

Here again we have the subject as a psychological effect. We also see it as a fiction, that is as a deliberately fabricated belief. "The subject" becomes an artificial ordering principle imposed on the world by humans in an attempt to make sense of their surroundings. When Nietzsche wasn't denouncing the subject as a fiction, he was decrying it as an error. He wrote this note in 1881: "In truth there is no individual truth, but rather pure individual error--the individual himself is an error. . .the errors of the ego are discovered! Egoism as an error is recognized!"111 The subject of political and intellectual discourse since the Enlightenment is revealed as an illusion, a lie, a myth, a fiction. There is no transcendental, autonomous subject who stands alone within the universe, articulating choices.

This revelation represents a profound challenge to the thought of the Enlightenment. In particular, it implies a dramatic attack on Enlightened epistemology. If there is no autonomous subject, Nietzsche argues, then there can effectively be no transcendental knowing subject. That is, a critique of the independent subject implies a corresponding critique of that subject as a knowing entity, and therefore a critique of the possibilities of knowledge itself. Nietzsche's critique of the traditional metaphysics of the self quickly blossoms into a critique of subject-centered epistemology. Nietzsche proceeds in the usual way, by offering a genealogy of reason: "how did logic come into existence in man's head? Certainly out of illogic, whose realm originally must have been immense."112 He then broadens this into a genealogy of consciousness in general: "consciousness is really only a net of communication between human beings; it is only as such that it had to develop; a solitary human being who lived like a beast of prey would not have needed it."113 Consciousness, in this now familiar Nietzschean formulation, is an historical development designed to meet specific historical needs. When we forget this we make the dangerous move of postulating it as something universal and indispensable. "What gives me the right," Nietzsche demanded, "to speak of an ego, and even of an ego as cause, and finally of an ego as the cause of thought?"114 This historical construct of the knowing subject is no more valid than any other such construct; to ascribe to it mysterious metaphysical powers such as the production of thoughts is not only unfounded but dangerous; it will lead us to expect of the knowing subject things which it cannot deliver.

This insidious process by which we ascribe attributes to our fictitious consciousness has devastating results: "we are unknown to ourselves, we men of knowledge--and with good reason. We have never sought ourselves--how could it happen that we should ever find ourselves?"115 Here Nietzsche anticipates Heidegger's critique of Western metaphysics: metaphysics and consciousness lead to what Heidegger would refer to as a "forgetfulness of Being;" that is, they obscure the truth about ourselves and our place in the world. Jean Granier is perhaps thinking along these lines when he writes that "[Nietzsche's] idea of the fundamental perspectivism of knowledge has as its precise function the uprooting of the metaphysical conviction that subjectivity is capable of dominating the totality of Being."116 By denouncing claims that knowledge is something exclusively possessed by autonomous thinking subjects, Nietzsche hoped to rescue us from a hopeless project: the project of trying to make existence fit into the limited framework of the traditional transcendental subject. He was attempting the colossal task of undermining and overthrowing the entrenched but deeply problematic categories of subjectivity and knowledge bequeathed to his century by the conventional Enlightenment. Thus in the Will to Power, for example, Nietzsche writes that "because we forget that valuation is always from a perspective, a single individual contains within him a vast confusion of contradictory valuations and consequently of contradictory drives."117 Perspectivism attacks the conventional, Enlightened notion of subjectivity at its roots. Granier suggests that "from the start, this notion [of the perspectivism of knowledge] excludes the possibility that thought can grasp the essence of Being by an immediate intuition, or that it can constitute a world spread out before the eyes of the spectator-subject."118 This claim is, I think, too strong. What I would argue instead is that for Nietzsche, the critique of the traditional knowing subject and its conventional forms of knowledge excluded the possibility that thought could constitute a world spread out before the eyes of any spectator-subject that had hitherto been known. Nietzsche was not trying to destroy or abandon the concept of subjectivity as such. Rather, he was trying to postulate a new kind of subject which did not yet exist but whose way was prepared by Nietzsche's critique of conventional subjectivity. Clearly, this is an area where Nietzsche remains very much a child of the Enlightenment. His dramatic critique of the autonomous Cartesian subject and its epistemology cannot mask the fact that Nietzsche is pursuing his own project of subjectivity, and any such project must necessarily retain important traces of Enlightenment.

Having demolished conventional subject-centered metaphysics and epistemology, Nietzsche's next logical target was traditional ethics. We have already seen that Nietzsche offered a sustained critique of the Kantian ethics which were so characteristic to the traditional Enlightenment. I now wish to read this critique as part of a broader attack on the concept of the autonomous subject as a morally responsible actor. Thus "morality is merely an interpretation of certain phenomena--more precisely, a misinterpretation. Moral judgments, like religious ones, belong to a stage of ignorance at which the very concept of the real and the distinction between what is real and imaginary, are still lacking."119 Like the concept of the subject itself, morality is an historical illusion, an interpretive framework that we place over our experiences. As Dana Villa puts it, "from the point of view of the active man--one who creates his own values as an exercise in self-affirmation, who is capable of great action, and who can distinguish himself and lives to do so--the distinction between the 'subject' and his effects makes no sense."120 We have seen already that Nietzsche denounced the conventional subject and its so-called "free will" as dangerous illusions. Yet this does not mean that he had no theory of action, responsibility or ethics. Rather, we must once again realize that Nietzsche's attack on the conventional was made in the name of a new creation. In this case, he refuted conventional subject-centered ethics in order to make possible a new kind of ethics, in which actor and action were the same, or to use more Nietzschean language, in which the bird of prey was an ethical creature when it became a true bird of prey and acted according to its nature. Once again we see Nietzsche refuting the content of the Enlightenment while retaining its form. Gilles Deleuze offers a very interesting description of Nietzsche's new ethics. He writes: "what makes the body something superior to all reactions, and, in particular, superior to the ego's reaction of consciousness, is the activity of necessarily unconscious forces. . .the active forces of the body make it a self and define that self as superior and wonderful."121 Again, it is essential to realize here that Nietzsche was not arguing against the possibilities of selfhood, but only against the varieties of selfhood available to us in the modern world. A self, and in particular an ethical self which does justice to Nietzsche's equation between nature and action, is quite possible within Nietzsche's scheme. Indeed, this was his goal. Nietzsche thus rejects the autonomous ethical self of the Enlightenment, while ironically retaining the supremely Enlightened idea that an ethical self is possible.

The attempt to escape from the bonds of traditional, centered subjectivity is a theme that we can trace all the way back to Nietzsche's first published works. In the Birth of Tragedy, for example, he claims that "by the mystical triumphant cry of Dionysius the spell of individuation is broken, and the way lies open to the Mothers of Being, to the innermost heart of things."122 Here Nietzsche is discussing in the context of art a topic that would later become central to his political and philosophical thought. Again we see the theme that conventional subjectivity or "individuation" obscures rather than clarifying; Nietzsche is suggesting that rather than allowing us to understand ourselves and our world, traditional subjectivity actually makes the truth about Being opaque. Dionysius serves Nietzsche as a first attempt to escape from this trap of subjectivity. This is what Volker Gerhardt refers to as Nietzsche's "Dionysian desire for a release from the principle of individual action."123 The Dionysian figure is one who breaks free of the bonds of conventional, Enlightened subjectivity in order to access a larger world of being. Nehamas suggests that the idea of Eternal Recurrence serves a very similar function in Nietzsche's later works; for Nehamas, the Eternal Return serves as a rejection of the substantial subject and its will.124 It seems that Nietzsche deployed a number of his most fundamental and creative principles in the service of this major theme in his writings: that the individual subject or self as it has been traditionally presented to us is a dangerous illusion which serves only to obscure true selfhood.

My final question, for the moment, is this: what did Nietzsche gain by this radical and profound critique of conventional subjectivity? Leslie Thiele suggests that Nietzsche offered a glorification of the self as multiple, an acknowledgment that consistency is not a virtue, and a realization that to grow is to overcome oneself constantly.125 I agree with this in part: Thiele is quite right that one of Nietzsche's most important concepts is that of self-overcoming. It was largely this concept which motivated his attack on traditional subjectivity, and the fact that he began his project of self-overcoming by overcoming the very concept of the self indicates how seriously he took this project. However, Thiele's use of the phrase "glorification of the self as multiple" is, I think, misleading. This invokes, at least in the twentieth century mind, visions of the subject of postmodern discourse, a frequently schizophrenic subject with multiple centers and no clear concept of its identity. This is not, I think, an accurate description of the subject which Nietzsche wished to propose. The motivation behind his critique was to open a space within which he would be able to specify the characteristics of a radical new kind of subjectivity, a subjectivity which would be centered, but in a way fundamentally different from the way subjectivity had been centered since the Enlightenment.

The Gay Science is, I think, the book in which Nietzsche makes this part of his project the most clear. It is not a coincidence, I think, that this was the last book Nietzsche wrote before Zarathustra. In many ways it was his declaration that he was now ready for Zarathustra, that he was now prepared to introduce us to his new concept of the self, to "teach us the overman." I will deal with Zarathustra at some length in Chapter Five, for I feel that it was in this book that Nietzsche most clearly articulated the new subjectivity and the utopian idea of progress which are the clearest limits to his attempt to escape Enlightenment. In the Gay Science, however, we can see many hints of what is to come in the next book. The tone of the book is joyous, often celebratory. Nietzsche is celebrating in it the freedom that he has bought with the rejection of all modern political forms and the very concept of modern subjectivity itself. To be sure, he would return to these critiques in Beyond Good and Evil and the Genealogy of Morals. But for now, he is saying, we have had enough critique. "To lose firm ground for once! To float! To err! To be mad! That was part of the paradise and the debauchery of bygone ages," he writes in the Gay Science, and implies that this freedom can be ours once again now that the dross of modern politics and subjectivity are behind us.126 Nietzsche now believes that it is possible to "conceive of such a pleasure and power of self-determination, such a freedom of the will that the spirit would take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practiced in maintaining himself on insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses."127 We have seen what some of these abysses were: one who danced near them might be dismissed as antipolitical, branded a fascist, co-opted by those who wish to critique the possibilities of conventional subjectivity without reference to any new kind of selfhood. But Nietzsche knew that he needed his critique, and needed for it to be formulated in the most radical terms possible, if he was to make room for a kind of subjectivity that was truly new. "The total character of the world," Nietzsche writes, ". . .is in all eternity chaos--in the sense not of a lack of necessity but of a lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever other names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms."128 Yet he goes on to describe this as "the beautiful chaos of existence."129 For Nietzsche, the beauty that was revealed as he uncovered the groundlessness of our ideas of subjectivity lay in the possibilities created by this revelation. We see at the heart of Nietzsche's critique of Enlightened subjectivity and Enlightened politics a kind of optimism that is in many ways the essence of Enlightenment.

Mark Warren is quite right when he suggests that "Nietzsche's philosophy is in many ways an extended answer to a pivotal question: How can humans be subjects of actions, historically effective and free individuals, in a world in which subjectivity is unsupported by transcendent phenomena or metaphysical essences?"130 Nietzsche's answer to this question is suggested in Book Five of the Gay Science, which was published five years after the original text and which was one of the last things Nietzsche ever published. "Like trees we grow--this is hard to understand, as is all of life--not in one place but everywhere, not in one direction but equally upward and outward and inward and downward; our energy is at work simultaneously in the trunk, branches, and roots; we are no longer free to do only one particular thing, to be only one particular thing."131 Having thoroughly critiqued the restrictive concepts of liberalism, socialism, nationalism, and anarchism as well as the even more insidious illusions of free will and of conventional subjectivity in general, Nietzsche was now able to approach the project which had been his fundamental aim all along, but which had necessarily remained invisible until his critique of the past was complete. This project was his attempt to describe a new kind of subjectivity that was entirely distinct from what I have referred to as "conventional subjectivity", and to simultaneously suggest a kind of politics that would be appropriate to subjects constituted in this new way. By completing this project, Nietzsche completed the Enlightenment's project of subjectivity, but he did so in a way radically different from anything that the thinkers of the conventional Enlightenment might have imagined. Nietzsche called his new subject the Overman, and this subject will be the topic of Chapter Five.

Chapter Four: Nietzsche's Critique of Nineteenth Century Scientific Enlightenment

For Nietzsche, Enlightened political forms and ideas represented only half of the problem posed by the Enlightenment. Equally troubling for him was the Enlightened quest for knowledge, the seemingly endless attempt by scholars and scientists to uncover the truth of the world. More subtle than political Enlightenment, the Enlightened science carried out in laboratories and libraries across Europe represented for Nietzsche an error as fundamental as any error of Enlightened politics.

We have seen already how Nietzsche criticized science as it was performed at the beginning of the Enlightenment tradition. Just as in his critique of the political forms of Enlightenment, Nietzsche carried out a thorough investigation into the origins of the scientific Enlightenment, in this case choosing Descartes as his target. But the motivation to do so, the inspiration for this historical critique, was to make possible an attack on contemporary nineteenth century science. The effects of the scientific Enlightenment in his own century were of the greatest concern to Nietzsche, and it is here that his critique of Enlightened science reached its apex.

The degree to which Nietzsche saw nineteenth century science as a problem cannot be stated too strongly. He writes in the will to power: "that science has become sovereign to such a degree proves how the nineteenth century has rid itself of the domination of ideals. A certain frugality of desire makes possible our scientific curiosity and severity--which is our kind of virtue.--"1 Nietzsche felt that its retreat from ideals made science extremely dangerous. And he assigned to himself the task of investigating the problem of science and uncovering the roots of the scientific problem. He writes in the Attempt at a Self Criticism added to the Birth of Tragedy in 1886: "what I then got hold of, something frightful and dangerous, a problem with horns but not necessarily a bull, in any case a new problem--today I should say that it was the problem of science itself, science considered for the first time as problematic, as questionable."2 Nietzsche clearly believed that he was performing some revolutionary task, that he was considering science in some new way. And indeed, to an extent he was correct. Certainly Nietzsche was not the first thinker to criticize science; Rousseau had done so in his First Discourse, for example. But to attack science from within a nineteenth century whose trains and factories screamed the victory of Enlightened thought was a daunting task, and few thinkers were able to mount a critique of science as extensive as Nietzsche's.

What, then, were the elements of that critique? Certainly they included an attack on the idea that the natural world was ordered according to scientific "rules" or "laws," and a corresponding attack on the notion of causality so essential to the scientific understanding of the world. These ideas represent the Enlightened position that the world behaves in a way that is fundamentally rational; as such they were obvious targets for Nietzsche's anti-Enlightenment rhetoric. Even more profound than his attack on causality was Nietzsche's suggestion that science, understood as the pursuit of truths concerning the world, was fundamentally flawed; this critique was tied into an extremely far-reaching attack on the very concept of truth and the possibilities of acquiring it. Nietzsche added to this a discussion of the practical uses of science. Here he found that science hardly lived up to its claims to be of great pragmatic utility to society. Indeed, Nietzsche felt that the dangers of science far outweighed any possible practical benefit it might bring. Finally, Nietzsche offered a cultural critique of science, denouncing it as a nihilistic enterprise, ridiculing the men who performed science, and drawing a surprising but persuasive comparison between science and theology as similar cultural enterprises. Taken together, these various critiques form a debilitating attack on the Enlightened scientific enterprise as it was practiced in Nietzsche's century.

As a case study of Nietzsche's attack on nineteenth century science, I have chosen to examine his critiques of Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. I have done so for several reasons. First, few people would deny that biology was in its heyday in the nineteenth century; as previous centuries had belonged to Descartes and Newton, the nineteenth century belonged to Darwin. Evolutionary theory was perhaps the most popular, widely recognized scientific theory of the century, receiving widespread recognition in both scholarly and popular circles. And the applications of this theory to political and sociological issues was also extremely prevalent; this phenomenon had its most famous expression in the works of Spencer. Furthermore, evolutionary biology, with its insistence that the human species is constantly improving and progressing towards a better world, reflects important principles of the Enlightenment. It therefore seems reasonable to explore Nietzsche's critique of nineteenth century science by examining his attacks on these biological theories. This approach will also give me the opportunity to address the debate about whether or not Nietzsche might have had some hidden Darwinistic tendencies; I intend to show that Nietzsche attacked both the veracity of Darwin's ideas and the cultural effects of Darwinism. This will permit me to argue that Nietzsche was no Darwinist. To be sure, Nietzsche's language does sometimes hint at the same kinds of growth and development that Darwin was talking about, but Nietzsche's intellectual project remained vastly different from that of the English scientist. I hope to show, further, that by castigating Spencer as a decadent whose science did nothing to improve the human species, Nietzsche dismissed the possibilities of social Darwinism.

At this point I must raise an important caveat. In my discussion of Nietzsche's critique of the political Enlightenment, I noted that despite his undeniable hostility towards that tradition, he retained many of its most crucial concepts. The same is true of his attack on science. In many places in his works, Nietzsche shows an enthusiasm for certain kinds of science. This is perhaps most prevalent in his earlier, "positivistic" works, but it is by no means absent from his later writings. In many places Nietzsche expresses a desire to improve or perfect science rather than eliminate it, and he frequently expresses an admiration for early Greek science. It would seem, then, that Nietzsche is opposed not to science in general but to science as it was done in his own century; that is, to science in the Enlightenment tradition. It was against science in the specifically Enlightened sense originated by Descartes and Newton and developed by Darwin and Spencer that Nietzsche rallied his rhetoric. In place of the cold rationalism of nineteenth century scientific thought, Nietzsche offered a new science, a Gay Science. Yet he was unable to remove all elements of the old Enlightened science from this new formulation. Specifically, he was unable to rid himself of the strong admiration he felt for the rigor and discipline of rational, Enlightened scientific thinking. This, then, is the limitation of his critique of Enlightened science.

One of the most powerful aspects of the Enlightened scientific world-view in the nineteenth century was the concept of scientific laws. By describing the natural world as one which followed predictable and orderly rules, science was able to impose its will upon nature. But Nietzsche denounced this practice of ascribing rules and laws to the natural universe. As he puts it in the Gay Science, "it is a profound and fundamental good fortune that scientific discoveries stand up under examination and furnish the basis, again and again, for further discoveries. After all, this could be otherwise."3 At first glance, Nietzsche seems to be rejoicing here in the fact that science can provide us with real, verifiable scientific laws. But a closer examination of the passage reveals a more insidious ploy. After all, it "could be otherwise." What Nietzsche is actually doing here is demonstrating the contingency of scientific law; the reader may recall that this is one of his favorite tactics for showing that a belief often taken to be universally valid is in fact nothing of the kind. Nietzsche is arguing that, contrary to what many scientists and laymen assume, there is no necessary reason to suppose that the world should behave according to laws.

In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche makes this point more explicitly: "'nature's conformity to law' of which you physicists talk so proudly, as though--why, it exists only owing to your interpretation and bad 'philology.' It is no matter of fact, no 'text,' but rather only a naĽvely humanitarian emendation and perversion of meaning, with which you make abundant concessions to the democratic instincts of the modern soul!"4 To say that the rule of scientific law, which is a necessary prerequisite for Enlightened science, is a "perversion of meaning" is to take a clear stand against scientific knowledge. In a note from the will to power, Nietzsche writes: "'regularity in succession is only a metaphorical expression, as if a rule were being followed here; not a fact. In the same way 'conformity with a law.'"5 Here again, Nietzsche is demonstrating contingency, and in so doing, he challenges conformity to law as a scientific "truth." Enlightened scientists behave as if the world follows their rules because they must make this assumption. Nietzsche refuses to accept that this in any way indicates that the world actually follows those rules. Indeed, Nietzsche goes even further than this in his attack on scientific law: "'things' do not behave regularly, according to a rule: there are no things (--they are fictions invented by us); they behave just as little under the constraint of a necessity."6 By challenging even the existence of the objects of rational scientific investigation, Nietzsche makes a mockery of the idea that such objects could follow predictable laws. As Babette Babich writes, "above all, [Nietzsche] challenges the presumption that rules regularity, that is, our scientific presumption of law."7 This is a presumption which often goes unchallenged, indeed unnoticed, in the day to day work of science, but it is a presumption which is absolutely crucial to scientific thought; by attacking it, Nietzsche is attacking the roots of the scientific enterprise. Alistair Moles suggests that "Nietzsche's conclusion is that there are no laws in nature at all, no means of enforcement, no options of obedience or disobedience. He does not deny that the universe reveals many regularities of events; but he rejects the idea that these are evidence of the rule of law. It is our anthropomorphic tendencies that lead us to interpret regularity as regulation."8 Moles is quite right here when he describes Nietzsche's critique of scientific law in a way reminiscent of Hume's skepticism: just because the sun has risen every day for a thousand years does not give us any logical reason to suppose that it will also rise tomorrow; it is merely a bias of our human psychology that causes us to believe that it will do so.

Closely associated with the rational, Enlightened idea that nature behaves according to regular laws is the notion of causality. In order for scientific explanations of the world to make any sense, scientists must assume that certain events cause other events; without this assumption of regularity, science would have no way to explain why a dropped object falls to the ground, or why living organisms evolve. This principle of causality is the subject of a direct attack by Nietzsche. He writes in the Nachlaž: "That science is possible, that should demonstrate to us a causal principle? 'From like causes, like effects', 'A permanent law of things', 'an invariable order' because something is calculable, is it therefore necessary? If something occurs this way and not that, there is no 'principle,' no 'law,' no 'order.'"9 Nietzsche seems to be suggesting an interpretation of the natural world that is quite at odds with the rational, Enlightened, scientific understanding: rather than seeing the world in terms of specific, identifiable causes and effects, Nietzsche is arguing for something much less rigid, less orderly, less subject to scrutiny. As Moles notes, Nietzsche feels that our unhealthy reliance on causality results from the human tendency to divide things up and categorize them at all costs: "the point [Nietzsche] tries to argue is that we are not justified in distinguishing in any event two parts or aspects. Yet in our everyday interpretation of the world we constantly rely on this distinction."10 The distinction between cause and effect which we routinely make when interpreting any event, then, is an arbitrary one; by attacking this fundamental principle of Enlightened science, Nietzsche calls into question the validity of all Enlightened scientific activity.

Indeed, Nietzsche's critique goes beyond the claim that our belief in cause and effect is arbitrary or unfounded. He suggests that once we realize this arbitrariness, we are no longer even able to believe in causality as we once were. Thus he writes in the Nachlaž: "That which is really good for us according to strict scientific ideas of causality (e.g. necessarily belief etc.) is perhaps no longer even possible for us, despite the severity of the scientific mind!"11 For Nietzsche, the superior mind is the one that can transcend the juvenile notions of causality to which we so fearfully cling. He writes in the Gay Science: "an intellect that could see cause and effect as a continuum and a flux and not, as we do, in terms of an arbitrary division and dismemberment, would repudiate the concept of cause and effect and deny all conditionality."12 Again, what we see in Nietzsche's view of the universe is everything that the Enlightenment tries to get rid of: flux, chaos, disorder. Gone is the clear-cut certainty of Enlightened scientific causality, although as I shall argue below, Nietzsche is unable to eliminate the method of Enlightened science from his thought completely.

For Nietzsche, causality is not the universally true principle that Enlightened science wants it to be. Rather, it is a psychological principle; it is something we invent and believe in because it makes life easier for us. "It is we alone who have devised cause, sequence, for-each-other, relativity, constraint, number, law, freedom, motive, and purpose."13 Interestingly, Nietzsche blames our linguistic structures for creating the false belief in causality which plagues us; he writes in the Genealogy: "the popular mind in fact doubles the deed; when it sees the lightning flash, it is the deed of a deed: it posits the same event first as cause and then a second time as its effect. Scientists do no better when they say 'force moves,' 'force causes,' and the like--all its coolness, its freedom from emotion notwithstanding, our entire science still lies under the misleading influence of language and has not disposed of that little changeling, the 'subject.'"14 The cool rationality of Enlightened science, then, has done nothing to free that discipline from the vagaries of language, and Nietzsche is quick to point out this failure. He also gives us a two-pronged attack on causality here, criticizing both the "common sense" ideas of cause and effect we use in our everyday life and the more specific, more exact--but no more true--idea of causality which is so important to Enlightened science. Both kinds of belief in causality derive, Nietzsche believes, from the way we use language, from the way we speak and think about things. They have nothing to do with the natural world as it "really is," if that even means anything. "People have believed at all times that they knew what a cause is," he writes in Twilight of the Idols, "but whence did we take our knowledge--or more precisely, our faith that we had such knowledge? From the realm of the famous 'inner facts,' of which not a single one has so far proved to be factual."15 A close examination of our belief in causality, Nietzsche claims, reveals this belief to be nothing more than the product of our thought processes; it has no necessary bearing on or relation to the natural world. "We have absolutely no experience of a cause; psychologically considered, we derive the entire concept from the subjective conviction that we are causes, namely, that the arm moves--But this is an error. . . .There is no such thing as 'cause'; some cases in which it seemed to be given us, and in which we have projected it out of ourselves in order to understand an event, have been shown to be self-deceptions."16

Causality is especially insidious, then, because it is the kind of thing that turns a subjective psychological experience into a claim of universal validity. Furthermore, it does so, most of the time, in such a way that we are completely unaware of what is happening. For Nietzsche, of course, specious claims of universality are some of the most common and most problematic aspects of conventional Enlightened thought. Again, Nietzsche's line is reminiscent here of Hume: rather than telling us a truth about the world, our ideas of causality merely describe our experience of the world, our psychological conditions. "From a psychological point of view," Nietzsche writes, "the concept 'cause' is our feeling of power resulting from the so-called act of will--our concept 'effect' the superstition that this feeling of power is the motive power itself--"17 Particularly with respect to human agency, then, causality is a feeling of power; it is no actual power, however, nor does it describe any necessity which exists in the natural world.

This attack on causality hints at a larger critique, a critique of the idea that rational science can be understood as the pursuit of truth. Science in Nietzsche's time generally claimed to be finding and describing truths about the natural world. The nineteenth century thus exhibited a very Enlightened faith in the ability of human reason to replace the mysteries of nature with scientific facts. Deborah Mullen is quite right when she suggests that Nietzsche "is reconsidering the relation of science and truth, questioning science's value for revealing the true instead of taking it for granted."18 In our post-Kuhnian world this may hardly seem unusual, but in Nietzsche's nineteenth century it was revolutionary to challenge the assumed relation between science and truth in this way.

At this point we must pause, however, and consider the status of Nietzsche's critique of scientific truth. Is he attacking science from the standpoint of truth? In other words, is he assuming that truth does exist but that science is simply an ineffective way to find it? Or does his critique go deeper than that? It might be that he means to show that the pursuit of scientific truth is a flawed endeavor because the very concept of truth is meaningless. Maudemarie Clark advocates the former interpretation. She writes: "I take Nietzsche to reject the existence of metaphysical truth--correspondence to the thing-in-itself--but not truth itself."19 Moles agrees with Clark here: "it would also seem to follow that Nietzsche believes that there is such a thing as truth, since if there were not, there would be no basis for preferring scientific insights over others, or for praising scientific methods."20

I must take issue with this interpretation on two grounds. First, from what we have seen so far, Nietzsche need hardly be concerned with praising science. Second, and more importantly, Moles is mistaken when he says that without a belief in truth there could be no grounds to prefer some insights over others. Nietzsche's doctrine of perspectivism makes this quite possible. Rather than understanding the world in terms of "truths," Nietzsche understands it in terms of interpretations or perspectives, none of which is more true than another, but some of which are nonetheless better interpretations than others. As Alexander Nehamas writes in his excellent discussion of Nietzsche's perspectivism, "the fact that other points of view are possible does not by itself make them equally legitimate: whether an alternative is worth taking. . .must be shown independently in each particular case."21 Nietzsche is thus able to retain the ability to distinguish and choose between various interpretations, but without resorting to claims about truth. Indeed, even Moles acknowledges this: "the understanding of the world attained by science represents to Nietzsche the widest, fullest and most dominant perspective of our time; moreover, it is continually growing wider, fuller and more powerful. In this sense it is the present paradigm of truth. However, it is not absolutely true, in the sense Nietzsche attributes to this word, because it is dependent on interpretation from a definite perspective."22 This is a more reasonable claim. Certainly Enlightened science does represent for Nietzsche a wide-ranging (and insidious) phenomenon; this is why it becomes the target of Nietzschean wrath. But it is "true" only in the sense that it is a dominant paradigm, not in any absolute or universal way. And what Moles still doesn't realize here is that for Nietzsche, all truth depends on perspectives. Nietzsche's attack on scientific truth is thus carried out from a position outside of truth. Nietzsche criticizes Enlightened science because it claims to be universally true when in fact he believes that nothing is entitled to make such a claim.

Clark challenges this interpretation, claiming that Nietzsche believes that "we can no longer take for granted the value of truth, nor therefore the value of science, but must instead determine by experiment how important truth (and therefore science) is. This would be an absolutely incoherent conclusion to draw from an attack on the existence of truth. Only if we assume that some beliefs are true can we possibly perform experiments to see how valuable truth is, that is, how valuable it is to have true beliefs."23 I do not believe this to be the case. Rather, I feel that it is quite possible for a perspectivist to perform such experiments without resorting to truth, and this is precisely what Nietzsche does, examining truth as a possible interpretation in order to see how it fares among other interpretations. Indeed, Clark does not succeed in explaining how someone who has already assumed the existence of true beliefs could possibly perform experiments which call truth into question, since that person would have already presupposed the validity of the very thing they were attempting to examine.

Given, then, that Nietzsche is a perspectivist examining truth from a perspective outside of truth, how does the rational truth of the scientific Enlightenment fare in his experiments? As we might expect, it does not fare well. Against the image of science as truth, Nietzsche proposes the idea of science as myth. He writes in the Birth of Tragedy: "hence the image of the dying Socrates, as the human being whom knowledge and reasons have liberated from the fear of death, is the emblem that, above the entrance gate of science, reminds all of its mission--namely, to make existence appear comprehensible and thus justified; and if reasons do not suffice, myth has to come to their aid in the end--myth which I have just called the necessary consequence, indeed the purpose, of science."24 We should remember, of course, that myth can be understood as a certain kind of truth, a poetic truth about the world. But this is hardly consistent with the image of rational, scientific truth prevalent in the nineteenth century. Here we begin to see that Nietzsche is advocating a new kind of science against the overly rational Enlightened science of his time. This is, of course, quite an ambitious project; a nineteenth century scientist would have had trouble imagining a kind of science that did not rely on the fundamental Enlightened concept of rationality. However, it is important to recall here that "science" is only our best attempt to translate the German word Wissenschaft. As Walter Kaufmann points out, "The German Wissenschaft does not bring to mind only--perhaps not even primarily--the natural sciences but any serious, disciplined, rigorous quest for knowledge."25 It could thus include a rigorous quest for mythic or non-rational knowledge. As I shall argue below, this is precisely the way in which Nietzsche views his project. Against the restrictive rationalism of Enlightened nineteenth century Naturwissenschaft, Nietzsche is arguing for the possibility of a frÜliche Wissenschaft, a Gay Science. This new science will, he hopes, retain the rigor and discipline of Enlightened science, while evading the excessive rationalism which necessarily characterizes any science carried out in the Enlightenment tradition.

In many ways it is his frustration with the relentless rationalism and objectivity of conventional nineteenth century science that motivates Nietzsche's critique of that tradition: "in the claims to objectivity, to cold impersonality, where, as in the case of all valuations, we describe ourselves and our inner experiences in a couple of words."26 Science tries to trap the real truth of the world, the truth of perspective and interpretation, in its web of objective absolutes. As Nehamas puts it,

Science, [Nietzsche] argues, provides neither an ultimate description of the world nor a description of the world as it is in itself. It is therefore not a practice to which all others are secondary and inferior. He does not object to science itself (see for example "Long live physics!" GS, 335) but rather to an interpretation which refuses to acknowledge that science is itself an interpretation in the sense that it provides a revisable description of a part of the world which is no more real than any other. The problem has been that the methods of science have been assumed to be better than any others, and its objects have been considered to be more real or ultimate than anything else.27

I shall address below the ways in which Nietzsche remains sympathetic to certain elements of the scientific enterprise. For now I wish to concentrate on Nehamas's claim that the real problem for Nietzsche is not so much science in itself but the privileging of science over other forms of knowledge, the attempt to grant science an untenable status as absolute truth. Nehamas makes a good deal of sense when he says that for Nietzsche, science is simply one possible interpretation among many. The problem, of course, is that Enlightened science refuses to accept this role for itself. Like most forms of knowledge that emerge from the Enlightenment tradition, Enlightened science understands itself as producing objective truths about the world. Enlightened science thus poses a palpable threat to all non-scientific beliefs; Nietzsche writes: "the faith in science, which after all exists undeniably, cannot owe its origin to such a calculus of utility; it must have originated in spite of the fact that the disutility and dangerousness of 'the will to truth,' of 'truth at any price' is proved to it constantly. 'At any price': how well we understand these words once we have offered and slaughtered one faith after another on this altar!"28

In its relentless pursuit of unattainable "truth," Enlightened science thus eclipses many other, equally valid ideas. As Klaus Spiekermann points out, by identifying the scientific enterprise as world-interpretation, Nietzsche is able to locate the dogmatism inherent in science.29 It is precisely this dogmatism that Nietzsche wishes to combat. Babette Babich notes that "the world, for Nietzsche, particularly the scientific world, is a human construction. It is not the Real, as such, and it is not true."30 But of course, it thinks it's true. Nietzsche is constantly attacking this masquerade of science as truth. He writes, for example, in Beyond Good and Evil: "it is perhaps just dawning on five or six minds that physics, too, is only an interpretation and exegesis of the world (to suit us, if I may say so!) and not a world explanation."31 Clearly, Nietzsche feels that this is a radical thought for a nineteenth century intellectual to have. To reduce Enlightened scienceđand by implication, Enlightened thought in generalđto the status of a mere interpretation is to undermine with the stroke of a pen the tremendous authority and power which these traditions held in the nineteenth century. Yet if he does not attempt to do this, Nietzsche fears that conventional science will quickly overpower all other interpretations. As Babich notes, "it could be said that Nietzsche does not accept the rule of a science that invents axioms and works with (for example) ideal gases and then takes these descriptions for (literally and so-called) absolutes, because the supreme value of integrity, that is, Redlichkeit, which requires a kind of truth (Treue) to the ambiguity of nature."32 This attention to the ambiguity of nature, that is, to the possibility of other perspectives about the natural world, was precisely what was missing from nineteenth century science, and it was for this reason among others that Nietzsche was so hostile to science as it was practiced in his era. As Hans Seigfried points out, "ironically, it is in the natural sciences and physics where we finally come to realize that the whole world of experience is the product of our organization, as Nietzsche claims to have learned early on from Lange's history of science."33 In other words, when science presents itself as absolutely true, it inadvertently shows us how ludicrous it is to accept any perspective as truth.

In a note from the will to power, Nietzsche makes a particularly radical challenge to science as truth: "the world with which we are concerned is false, i.e., is not a fact but a fable and approximation on the basis of a meager sum of observations; it is 'in flux,' as something in a state of becoming, as a falsehood always changing but never getting near the truth: for--there is no 'truth.'"34 At first glance, Nietzsche would seem to be going well beyond the claim that conventional science (described here as a "meager sum of observations") is simply an interpretation; here he seems to be denying science any claim to truth, even the interpretive or perspectival kind. But the fact that he characterizes the world as a "fable" suggests that he is still holding to his idea of science as interpretation, for a fable is an interpretation of the world, and it is one that could contain some kind of truth, though certainly not the kind that we usually think of as scientific truth. Here again we see Nietzsche favoring a line of interpretation that is entirely incompatible with science understood in the rational, Enlightened way. However, it seems equally clear that Nietzsche will gladly advocate a science that can account for the broader possibilities of Wissenschaft, including such concepts as interpretation and myth. In the Gay Science, Nietzsche shows that he would not necessarily have an objection to science if it were understood only as one possible interpretation of the world: "that the only justifiable interpretation of the world should be one in which you are justified because one can continue to work and do research scientifically in your sense (you really mean, mechanistically?)--an interpretation that permits counting, calculating, weighing, seeing, and touching, and nothing more--that is a crudity and naivetÄ, assuming that it is not a mental illness, an idiocy."35 The problem with conventional, Enlightened science is, of course, this "nothing more," this exclusion of all other interpretations.

The danger of allowing Enlightened science to present itself as the only possible answer to our questions about the world is quite clear in Nietzsche's mind. "In summa, science is preparing a sovereign ignorance, a feeling that there is no such thing as 'knowing,' that it was a kind of arrogance to dream of it, more, that we no longer have the least notion that warrants our considering 'knowledge' even a possibility--that 'knowing' itself is a contradictory idea."36 By so misunderstanding what science is and what its capabilities and limitations are, we are in grave danger of undermining the very possibilities of knowledge at all, for when science fails to deliver on the impossible promises it has made, our faith in knowledge might be fatally wounded. As Nietzsche puts it in the Gay Science, "the realization of general untruth and mendaciousness that now comes to us through science--the realization that delusion and error are conditions of human knowledge and sensation--would be utterly unbearable."37 Human knowledge might well be unable to survive such a staggering revelation--yet Nietzsche knows that such a revelation must eventually come, and it will only be worse if it comes later. By acting now to expose conventional science for what it is, Nietzsche hopes to save something of human knowledge.

As we have seen, Nietzsche's perspectivism places him in direct opposition to any theory of science as truth. Ken Gemes writes convincingly that "Nietzsche is not offering any theory of truth. Nietzsche is a pragmatist in that he is concerned with ideas and perspectives as tools to various ends. He is not concerned with viewing them as would-be mirrors of nature's essence."38 Nietzsche's critique of scientific truth is part of a much broader and more general critique of truth in general. If there can be no such thing as truth, then there certainly can be no scientific truth, and the only reason that Nietzsche singles out science from among the many false truths he might denounce is that science was in the nineteenth century the most prevalent of these "truths." It was also perhaps the one that most strongly presented itself as having real access to verifiable knowledge about the world; in this sense it was the "truth" most clearly in line with the project of the Enlightenment.

Nietzsche's critique of the possibilities of scientific truth has some important practical implications. Specifically, his critique of scientific truth in general suggests that any particular scientific "truth" must now be called into question. Thus "'attraction' and 'repulsion' in a purely mechanistic sense are complete fictions: a word. We cannot think of an attraction divorced from an intention.--The will to take possession of a thing or to defend oneself against it and repel it--that, we 'understand': that would be an interpretation of which we could make use."39 What Nietzsche is suggesting here is that some of the basic "truths" of modern physics, such as the idea that bodies can attract or repel each other through forces such as gravity and magnetism, cannot be understood in the way that modern science would have us understand them. They are fictions or interpretations rather than objective truths. Going beyond his critique of the forces that act on particles, Nietzsche challenges the very idea of particles themselves: "The atom [that physicists] posit is inferred according to the logic of the perspectivism of consciousness--and is therefore itself a subjective fiction."40 Here Nietzsche is challenging the most fundamental building blocks of modern physics, for without the idea of the atom, much of our physics is rendered nonsensical. Nor is physics the only science which finds its truths challenged by Nietzsche's critique: "there is nothing unchanging in chemistry," he writes, "this is only appearance, a mere school prejudice. We have slipped in the unchanging, my physicist friends, deriving it from metaphysics as always."41 Again, Nietzsche's claim here is that Enlightened science is pretending to be something that it is not. It may well be that science can observe the world, but when science begins to posit universal truths about things, it makes what Nietzsche believes to be a fatal error. Thus "it is an illusion that something is known when we possess a mathematical formula for an event: it is only designated, described; nothing more!"42 The physicist who responds with Newton's equation when asked what gravity is has not told us anything true about the world, Nietzsche believes.

One could, of course, minimize the importance of Nietzsche's critique of scientific truth by claiming that even if science cannot be considered true in any absolute sense, it still provides us with useful results. But Nietzsche takes issue with this interpretation as well. In a note from the Nachlaž, Nietzsche writes: "the power of science now creates a feeling of power which mankind has not had until now. All by itself. --What then is the danger? What would be the greatest recklessness, if science remains science?"43 The answer, we may suppose, is that this feeling of power is a false one. When we assume that science gives us power over the world we are committing a grave error; the only thing that science can really give us is a feeling of control. This critique has important ramifications for the faith in scientific progress. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "the laisser aller of our science as national-economic dogma: one has faith in an absolutely beneficial result."44 Yet there is, of course, no real reason to suspect that science will always deliver this kind of result. Here Nietzsche is offering up a challenge to scientific pragmatists: they wish to claim that we must retain science, even if its truth value should be called into question, because it can continue to provide us with beneficial practical results. But as Nietzsche points out, the extent and even the existence of these results has not really been established; we believe that such results are possible only because of the false feeling of power over the world which we get from science. "Science must now demonstrate its utility! It has become a source of nourishment for egoism. The state and society have drafted a science into their service in order to exploit it for their purposes."45 But once we begin to question these purposes, the utility of science is radically challenged. And even if we should wish to admit that science has perhaps produced some useful results, this doesn't justify its attempt to establish a hegemony over our knowledge. Thus Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "science has brought us many uses; now one would like, out of distrust of religion and its relatives, to submit to it wholly. But what an error!"46 Nietzsche sees this error as one of the most prevalent of the nineteenth century, and one of the most dangerous. As Spiekermann puts it, "Nietzsche's criticism of science is first of all a reaction to the faith in progress of his time."47 Nietzsche's era was a time when the useful results of Enlightened science seemed to be leading to genuine human progress, just as the Enlightenment had promised. But for Nietzsche this progress remained a dangerous illusion.

For Nietzsche, then, science cannot legitimately be understood as truth, nor can it be defended on practical grounds. His critique does not end here, however. He also mounts a very strong cultural critique of Enlightened science. As Allan Megill writes, Nietzsche believes that "only under the most delicate circumstances will science be able to serve as the mythic basis of culture."48 Megill is right to imply that Nietzsche sought a fusion between science and myth; as I have been arguing, this was to be the foundation of Nietzsche's new frÜliche Wissenschaft. Before he could develop this new idea of science, however, Nietzsche must first complete his attack on conventional, Enlightened science, and his consideration of the cultural effects of Enlightened science in the nineteenth century was to be a fundamental part of that critique. Nietzsche thus describes his "struggle against the predominance of the herd instincts now that science makes common cause with them; against the inward hatred with which every kind of order of rank and distance are treated."49 Just as he inveighed against the politics of the nineteenth century as the politics of the herd, Nietzsche now attacked science on similar grounds. The culture of science, the culture of the herd, the culture of Enlightenment--these were for Nietzsche simply different aspects of the same culture, and he criticized them all.

Hans Seigfried notes that Nietzsche "feels that the scientific spirit is something frightful and dangerous, and he especially wonders whether the optimism of the 'theoretical man' might not be a symptom of the anarchical dissolution of the instincts and a concealed will to death, rather than a sign of the will to life."50 Thus the very spirit of conventional scientific inquiry is something deadly dangerous, Nietzsche feels, for it acts against the one thing that Nietzsche values above all others, life. In a note from the will to power, Nietzsche describes modern virtue, modern spirituality and "our science" as "forms of sickness."51 This is another of his favorite tactics of critique; by branding something as a "sickness," he immediately implies several other things: that it is a danger to life, and that it must be "cured" or overcome. In the Gay Science, Nietzsche identifies the symptoms of this "sickness": "I do not understand this: why should man be more mistrustful and evil now? 'Because he now has--and needs--a science.'"52 To be sure, this strategy of critique is not without its problems. Most obviously, one need not agree with Nietzsche's basic claim that modern science is indeed a "sickness," and without this premise, his critique quickly falters. However, Nietzsche's strategy does have a good deal of rhetorical power, particularly in the context of nineteenth century Europe. The immense popularity of Darwin and Darwinism in Nietzsche's century shows that there was a widespread interest in the development of humanity as a healthy species. By suggesting that science might be standing in the way of that development, Nietzsche therefore raised some very serious concerns about the nature and value of the nineteenth century scientific enterprise.

Nietzsche's interpretation of science as a sickness is part of his broader cultural critique of science as nihilism. As Babich writes, Nietzsche feels that "despite the necessity of scientific knowledge for the preservation of life in our culture, its inspirational drive is fundamentally nihilistic."53 As we shall see, this kind of ambivalence about science is quite characteristic of Nietzsche's thought. He criticizes science in its Enlightened form while simultaneously defending the possibilities of a new kind of scientific thought. However, his hostility towards the nihilistic impulses of science is clear. As Jean Granier puts it, "Nietzsche sees in science a phenomenon which at the same time expresses nihilism and tries to camouflage it."54 Again, we see science doing one thing and saying something else, and this motivates Nietzsche's challenge. Nihilism pervades modern science in an unconscious, subterranean way, and is thus much more insidious and hard to detect.

Indeed, Gilles Deleuze suggests that for Nietzsche, nihilism and science are so interrelated that it will be difficult if not impossible for modern science to rid itself of nihilistic impulses. Deleuze writes: "science is part of the nihilism of modern thought. The attempt to deny differences is part of the more general enterprise of denying life, depreciating existence and promising it a death ('heat' or otherwise) where the universe sinks into the undifferentiated."55 Deleuze is quite right to suggest that science is part of modern nihilism for Nietzsche; to be more precise, we might wish to say that for Nietzsche, modern or Enlightened science contributes to the life-draining nihilism of modernity. As Deleuze suggests, it is therefore quite unlikely that there can be any redemption of modern science for Nietzsche. However, we should be careful to note here that Nietzsche's critique of modern science must not be mistaken for a critique of the scientific enterprise in general. Nietzsche writes: "that science is possible in this sense that it is cultivated today is proof that all elementary instincts, life's instincts of self-defense and protection, no longer function."56 He raises a similar theme in the Genealogy: "all science, natural as well as unnatural--which is what I call the self-critique of knowledge--has at present the object of dissuading man from his former respect for himself, as if this had been nothing but a piece of bizarre conceit."57 The key phrases here are, I think, "in this sense that it is cultivated today" and "at present." These phrases suggest that there may still be a kind of science that can escape the nihilism of Enlightened nineteenth century science. We shall discuss what that science might look like shortly. For now I want to emphasize that, as Spiekermann puts it, for Nietzsche "the truth of nature-observation and natural science, if there is such a thing, lies in the truth of the living subjects who are part of that nature."58 There can be no legitimate knowledge divorced from the concerns of life and the living; by seeking such knowledge, science as it was practiced in Nietzsche's century placed itself squarely in the camp of nihilism.

Another important aspect of Nietzsche's cultural critique of science was his attack on what we may call the nineteenth century man of science. Nietzsche had in mind a very definite picture of the practitioners of science in his century, and it was hardly a complementary one. Nietzsche's critique was not limited simply to an attack on the ideas of science, but was also directed against the culture of those ideas, and against the men who created that culture. Thus Nietzsche tells us in "Schopenhauer as Educator" of "the cold and contemptible neutrality of the scientific man."59 This recalls J. S. Mill's critique of Bentham's utilitarian philosophy as a "cold calculus of pain and pleasure," which is perhaps ironic given Nietzsche's low opinion of Mill.60 In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche refers to the scientific man as "a type of man that is not noble, with the virtues of a type of man that is not noble, which is to say, a type that does not dominate and is neither authoritative nor self-sufficient: he has industriousness, patient acceptance of his place in rank and file, evenness and moderation in his abilities and needs."61 While many scientists and indeed many laymen might consider industriousness and moderation to be positive traits, Nietzsche clearly means to use them pejoratively. They are not associated with Nietzsche's idea of nobility; they are therefore to be abjured. The man of science is not genuine, as far as Nietzsche is concerned: "there are 'men of science' who employ science because it produces a cheerful appearance and because scientificality gives the impression a person is superficial--they want to give a false impression."62 Science attracts those who are unable or unwilling to be noble and genuine, because it makes no demands of authenticity. In short, "science could not wish for a better situation: it belongs as such to a mediocre kind of man--it is out of place among the exceptional--it has nothing aristocratic, and even less anarchistic, in its instinct."63 The century of science and the century of the mediocre man were, for Nietzsche, one and the same. We should note in passing that Nietzsche did feel that it might be possible for the man of science to be saved from his own mediocrity. He writes in the Nachlaž: "Problem: if the scientific man would not just as soon be a symptom of dÄcadence as a philosopher--he is not entirely lost, only a part of him is consecrated to knowledge, trained in angles and optics."64 But until the discovery of that unnamed other part of the man of science, Nietzsche must remain hostile towards him.

Perhaps the most surprising component of Nietzsche's cultural critique of modern science is the way in which he tied science to another great Western cultural tradition, metaphysics. The connection between modern science, which attempts to provide truths about this world, and metaphysics, which makes claims about that which is beyond this world, is not readily apparent. Yet Nietzsche insists that there is a definite relationship here. As Jean Granier points out, "science is the unconscious heir of metaphysics and the triumph of science corresponds in the modern epoch to the deployment of the ultimate consequences implied by metaphysical knowledge. . .Nietzsche does not confront his metaphysics to the tacit metaphysics of science; he wants to contest science in order to surmount metaphysics entirely; in short, he wants to demonstrate the collusion of science with metaphysical thought and show how this compels humanity implacably towards nihilism."65 Thus the association of science and metaphysics brings a new dimension to Nietzsche's critique of the former; his attack on modern science is now motivated by a desire to overthrow Western metaphysics entirely. And this attack on science and metaphysics is carried out under the banner of a war against nihilism, which as we saw above is one of the strongest parts of Nietzsche's cultural critique of science.

While it would be true, then, to say that Nietzsche's critique of modern science is motivated by an association between science and metaphysics, this assertion is incomplete. We have yet to say what kind of metaphysical tradition Nietzsche means when he pairs science and metaphysics. He writes in the Genealogy of Morals: "it is still a metaphysical faith that underlies our faith in science--and we men of knowledge of today, we godless men and anti-metaphysicians, we, too, still derive our flame from that fire ignited by a faith millennia old, the Christian faith, which as also Plato's, that God is truth, that truth is divine."66 The implication here is clear: when Nietzsche says metaphysics, he means religious metaphysics. For him, the Christian truth and what we may call the truth of philosophical metaphysics since Plato are the same thing. And it is this kind of metaphysics which, strangely enough, lies behind modern science. As Babich notes, for Nietzsche "science and religion are hardly diametrically opposed projects of human understanding but instead represent different manifestations of Ressentiment along the same ideal ascetic continuum in Western culture."67 Again, we see that despite their surface differences, science and religion, both of which manifest asceticism, resentment and nihilism, are anathema to Nietzsche for the same reasons. Babich writes, "Nietzsche tells us that concealed in the goal of universal happiness the culture of science seeks no less a goal than the transcendent revelation of truth. . . .Thus for a culture of ontological narcissism, science is a salvific cultural achievement in complete alignment with the Judeo-Christian tradition and its Enlightenment tradition in the West."68 Stated in these terms, the relationship between religion and Enlightened science becomes more clear. Both traditions seek to improve the human condition in utilitarian terms by increasing happiness, and both claim to have access to universal truth. Babich also makes clear in this passage that Nietzsche's critique of science constitutes a definite attack on the tradition of the Enlightenment. For Nietzsche, science, Judeo-Christian religion and Enlightenment form a kind of "unholy trinity," each contributing in its own way to the decadence and nihilism of the modern world. Granier writes: "science aligns itself spontaneously, through the truth of its rationalism, with the theological options inherent in the Socratic vision of the world."69 If the rationalism of Socrates and Plato is the secularized form of theological metaphysics, then it becomes quite clear that rationalist, modern science can be said to have an extremely strong if subterranean link with the religious tradition.

Several passages from Nietzsche's works illustrate his understanding of this insidious relationship between science and religion. He writes in the Gay Science: "You see what it was that really triumphed over the Christian god: Christian morality itself, the concept of truthfulness that was understood ever more rigorously, the father confessor's refinement of the Christian conscience, translated and sublimated into a scientific conscience, into intellectual cleanliness at any price."70 Nietzsche seems to be suggesting here that when Christian theology became untenable in our modern world for various reasons, Christian morality simply cut itself loose from its accompanying theology, turning to a new ally: science. Now secularized and therefore somewhat hidden--but still every bit as dangerous--Christian morality masquerades as the morality of the modern scientific man. "Science today has absolutely no belief in itself, let alone an ideal above it--and where it still inspires passion, love, ardor, and suffering at all, it is not the opposite of the ascetic ideal but rather the latest and noblest form of it."71 Far from being the enemy of the ascetic priest, the modern scientist is actually an ascetic priest par excellence, carrying on the work of the ascetic from within the comfortable disguise of scientific objectivity. Indeed, Nietzsche goes so far as to suggest that without the ascetic ideal standing behind it, Enlightened science could not even sustain itself: "no! Don't come to me with science when I ask for the natural antagonist of the ascetic ideal, when I demand: 'where is the opposing will expressing the opposing ideal?' Science is not nearly self-reliant enough to be that; it first requires in every respect an ideal of value, a value-creating power, in the service of which it could believe in itself--it never creates values."72 Modern science, then, is not even an independent ally of theological metaphysics and its ascetic ideal; it is simply a tool of these greater powers. Indeed, modern science is not even aware of the extremely unequal and dangerous nature of its partnership with religion: "no! This 'modern science' --let us face this fact!--is the best ally the ascetic ideal has at present, and precisely because it is the most unconscious, involuntary, hidden, and subterranean ally!"73 In order for modern science to resist the demands of the ascetic ideal it must first realize that it is subject to those demands--and of course, by negating the ascetic ideal, science would be undermining the very conditions of its existence.

This is the shape of Nietzsche's critique of nineteenth century science. Modern science for Nietzsche represented the Enlightenment project achieved. It was the hegemony of Enlightened reason. It was an insupportable glorification of truth at the expense of all other interpretations. It was a kind of decadence hostile to life, a dangerous nihilism. And it was a destructive new cultural phenomenon, producing new generations of ascetic priests to replace those who vanished as faith in religious metaphysics flagged. Having explored some of the dimensions of Nietzsche's critique of nineteenth century science in general, I now wish to turn to some specific examples. As I argued above, biology was one of the most influential and successful sciences of that century; it therefore seems reasonable to examine the ways in which Nietzsche's critique applies to biological science.

It is especially interesting to explore Nietzsche's critique of biology in light of the fact that there is some significant debate as to whether or not Nietzsche's theories make him a Darwinist. This debate goes back at least as far as 1932, when Ludwig Haas suggested that in his earliest writings, Nietzsche was a dedicated Darwinist.74 Haas argues that Nietzsche advocates a Darwinist understanding of the Overman in the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra.75 The idea that Nietzsche might be a Darwinist was expressed in a more sophisticated way several years later by Martin Heidegger, in his 1939 lectures on Nietzsche. Heidegger writes that "it would actually be a very forced and even vain endeavor if one wanted to conceal Nietzsche's obvious use of biological language, or even play it down,"76 and goes on to insist that "we do not want to close our eyes to the fact that Nietzsche is thinking in a concretely biological way here and speaking that way without misgivings."77 Certainly we must be careful when dealing with interpretations from this period, since there were obvious political implications for making Nietzsche into a Darwinist, and especially a Social Darwinist, in Germany at this time. Heidegger's membership in the Nazi party makes his motives on this issue especially suspect. But the interpretation of Nietzsche as a Darwinist was not limited to Nazi thinkers; indeed, Crane Brinton, writing in 1941, castigated Nietzsche for his alleged Darwinist thought. Brinton derided Nietzsche as a caricature of Hegel and Darwin.78 To us this accusation seems somewhat extreme, perhaps, but we can well imagine why someone like Brinton, writing at a time when it was not at all clear whether or not fascism would come to eclipse world politics, would wish to use Nietzsche in such a propagandistic way.

If interpretations of Nietzsche as a Darwinist were put forth only by those authors writing around the time of the second world war, we might well dismiss them. After all, the goal of such interpretations would be either to associate Nietzsche with Darwin in order to justify and vindicate Nazi racism by lending it philosophical respectability, or to discredit Nietzsche as a proto-Nazi theorist by making the same assertion. In either case, it is clear that any discussion of Nietzsche and his relationship to Darwin that emerged from this turbulent time would be hopelessly colored by politics. But more recent commentators, much further removed from the chaos of the second world war, have also suggested that there are Darwinist tendencies in Nietzsche. John Wilcox, for example, suggests that for Nietzsche "our conceptual scheme is to be explained in scientific and historical terms; that it has developed, it has evolved; that it has survived because it fitted us to survive. . . .With this Darwinist approach he moves beyond Kant and toward what pragmatism later developed."79 True, Wilcox is not viewing Nietzsche as a Darwinist in the literal sense of one who uses evolutionary metaphors to explain changes in organisms, but is instead suggesting that Nietzsche uses evolutionary language to explain changes in our structure of ideas. Still, the tendency to use Darwinism to explain Nietzsche's thought seems to be a prevalent one. And indeed, Nietzsche does adopt evolutionary language from time to time in his writings, for example in "Schopenhauer as Educator," where he writes that "when a species has arrived at its limits and is about to go over into a higher species, the goal of its evolution lies, not in the mass of its exemplars and their wellbeing, let alone in those exemplars who happen to come last in point of time, but rather in those apparently scattered and chance existences which favourable conditions have here and there produced."80 These "scattered and chance existences" are exactly the same kind of organisms that are, in Darwinism, the mechanism whereby evolution is possible, for it is their favorable survival traits that will be reinforced and perpetuated in the species. There seems to be at least some textual evidence, then, to suggest sympathies between Nietzsche and Darwin.

Much more evidence exists, however, to show that Nietzsche was aggressively antagonistic to Darwin and his theories. In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche laments that "scholarly oxen have suspected me of Darwinism."81 Nietzsche mounts a sustained critique of Darwinism; in particular, he offers a cultural critique of Darwin and the Darwinian scientist. This should be understood as a special case of the critique of the "man of science" discussed above. Thus in the Genealogy Nietzsche marvels at how "the Darwinian beast and the ultramodern unassuming moral milksop who 'no longer bites' politely link hands."82 Again, the implication here is that modern science--in this case, Darwinian science--has a hidden agenda, the agenda of asceticism. In the will to power, Nietzsche singles out Darwin himself as a decadent: "Anti-Darwin. The domestication of man: what definite value can it have? or has domestication in general any definite value?--There are grounds for denying the latter."83 By stigmatizing Darwin as a proponent of values that are dangerous or harmful to life, Nietzsche is clearly attempting to dismiss Darwin as a cultural decadent. Nietzsche's contempt for Darwin is clear; consider the sarcasm in this sketch for a poem from the Nachlaž:

Oh good English,

Hail Darwin the cart pusher

Hail the good cart pusher. . .

Great is Darwin and he understands

Hail your Darwin, who understands no word of "philosophy"!84

Clearly Darwin was for Nietzsche the "man of science" par excellence.

Nietzsche's critique of Darwin was not limited, of course, to a personal attack on Darwin's decadence. Nietzsche also found Darwin's ideas to be of questionable worth. He writes in the Gay Science: "the struggle for existence is only an exception, a temporary restriction of the will to life."85 This is clearly aimed against Darwin's claim that the struggle for existence is the most important motivating force in nature. We find a similar passage in Twilight of the Idols: "Anti-Darwin. As for the famous 'struggle for existence,' so far it seems to me to be asserted rather than proved. It occurs, but as an exception; the total appearance of life is not the extremity, not starvation, but rather riches, profusion, even absurd squandering--and where there is struggle, it is a struggle for power. One should not mistake Malthus for nature."86 Here again Nietzsche is admitting that Darwin's theory may have some validity, but he is denying it the kind of universal validity that Darwin wishes it to have. This fits in well, of course, with Nietzsche's rejection of the scientific enterprise as a quest for absolute or universal truth, which I discussed above.

Nietzsche continues his challenge to the universalist claims of Darwinian science by undermining the validity of the very terms that are essential for that science. Nietzsche writes: "in natural sciences, the moral depreciation of the ego goes hand in hand with an overestimation of the species. But the species is something just as illusory as the ego: one had made a false distinction."87 This is similar to the critique Nietzsche made of the concept of the atom. By attacking a central term, one that is absolutely fundamental to a branch of science and without which that science simply would not be possible, Nietzsche immediately undermines the validity of the entire discipline. If there is no "species" then there can be no evolution and no Darwinism. It is also interesting that Nietzsche uses the same kind of critique here that he used when he was attacking the Enlightened idea of the ego: he reduces each term to a simple linguistic construct, and is then in a position to dismiss each as a fiction bearing no relation to any underlying reality. Of course, Nietzsche has come under some fire for using this type of critique. Arthur Danto, for example, suggests that Nietzsche, like Hume, describes beliefs as linguistic "articles of faith"; Danto goes on to argue that Nietzsche develops this theory "without any rigor."88 However, we should keep in mind that Nietzsche's point here is not to develop a philosophically rigorous linguistic critique. Rather, his reduction of terms like "species" to fictional linguistic constructs should be understood as a rhetorical strategy aimed at undermining the unquestioning acceptance of these terms as universally valid scientific concepts. If Nietzsche is able to raise even a slight suspicion that the term "species" does not describe any objectively "real" phenomenon, then this project will have succeeded.

Perhaps the most important element of Nietzsche's critique of Darwin is his attack on Darwin's idea that evolution will produce stronger species. This was especially dangerous in Nietzsche's mind, since it had disturbing implications for human society. We saw in Chapter One that Darwin's Descent of Man involves a detailed description of the way in which evolution, particularly social evolution, leads to better and better human societies (with Victorian England, of course, being the paramount society in Darwin's mind). Nietzsche was very strongly opposed to this model of social development. He writes: "man as a species is not progressing. Higher types are indeed attained, but they do not last. The level of the species is not raised."89 Nietzsche saw how Darwin's theory had attained a hegemonic status in his century, and he struggled to overcome that. He writes in Human all too Human: "the celebrated struggle for existence does not seem to me to be the only theory by which the progress or strengthening of a man or a race can be explained."90 Here Nietzsche offers a somewhat more sympathetic view towards Darwin, which is not too surprising since this comes from Nietzsche's "positivistic" period; Nietzsche at this point is simply arguing that Darwinian evolution is one possibility, one interpretation, among many. But already he is very hostile to the tendency he saw among his contemporaries to accept Darwin without considering other possibilities.

This attack on the hegemony of Darwinian evolutionary theory contains a critique of the mechanisms by which Darwin accounts for evolution. A note Nietzsche wrote between 1883 and 1888 reads: "Against Darwinism.--The utility of an organ does not explain its origin; on the contrary! For most of the time during which a property is forming it does not preserve the individual and is of no use to him, least of all in the struggle with external circumstances and enemies."91 This principle of utility for survival, of course, is the central mechanism by which Darwin explains the continual improvement of species. Nietzsche also attacks Darwin's other main evolutionary mechanism, sexual selection: "One has so exaggerated the selection of the most beautiful that it greatly exceeds the drive to beauty in our own race! In fact, the most beautiful mate with utterly disinherited creatures, and the biggest with the smallest. We almost always see males and females take advantage of any chance encounter, exhibiting no selectivity whatsoever."92 By thus dismissing the two main explanatory mechanisms of Darwinian selection, Nietzsche casts grave doubts on the validity of evolution itself.

We may wish to ask at this point what it is, exactly, that motivates Nietzsche's hostility towards Darwinian evolution. I wish to argue that Nietzsche's fierce opposition to the principles of Darwinian evolution stems from the fact that Darwin's theory is in direct contradiction to Nietzsche's own understanding of the development of human society. Nietzsche wrote in 1888: "I always see before me the opposite of that which Darwin and his school see or want to see today: selection in favor of the stronger, better-constituted, and the progress of the species. Precisely the opposite is palpable: the elimination of the lucky strokes, the uselessness of the more highly developed types, the inevitable dominion of the average, even the sub-average types."93 This is crucial to Nietzsche's understanding of human society: rather than a continual improvement through the mechanisms of natural and sexual selection, Nietzsche saw decline and decay. It was Nietzsche's firm belief that modern society represented not the high point of evolutionary development but the low point of social deterioration. Modern society for Nietzsche was exhausted, decadent, hostile to life; he saw his century not as the proud, triumphant century of Darwinian evolution but as the century of the herd, the last man. He writes: "I see on top and surviving everywhere those who compromise life and the value of life.--The error of the school of Darwin becomes a problem to me: how can one be so blind as to see so badly at this point?"94 If Darwin was right, the nineteenth century, with its institutionalization of all that the Enlightenment held dear, represented the end of human development. Nietzsche could not accept this. He believed instead that "the species do not grow in perfection: the weak prevail over the strong again and again, for they are the great majority--and they are also more intelligent. Darwin forgot the spirit (that is English!); the weak have more spirit."95

We must recall here Nietzsche's idea of the slave revolt. Central to Nietzsche's understanding of modern morality was his belief that the weak of an earlier time had triumphed over the strong and acted to institute their morality of weakness as the dominant morality for human society. This is, of course, in direct contradiction to Darwinian theory. It should not even be possible, in Darwinian terms, for the weak to triumph over the strong; by definition in a Darwinian scheme, that which triumphs, that which survives, is the strong, because it is the most suited to survive. Yet in Nietzsche's understanding of things, not only did the weak manage to put themselves on top, they managed to stay there. "Objection to Darwinism. The means the weak employ to keep themselves on top have become instincts, 'humanity,' 'institutions'--"96 Nietzsche believed that two thousand years of human social evolution had produced not the achieved society described by Enlightened Darwinism, but a society where weakness, sickness, decadence and hostility to life were the rule. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "The domestication of men: what positive worth can this have?...The Darwinian school makes great efforts to persuade us of the opposite: they want the workings of domestication to become fundamental."97 Not only was Darwinism wrong, in Nietzsche's mind; it was also extremely dangerous, for it promoted exactly the wrong kinds of values, and encouraged humanity to be happy with its current domesticated existence, rather than striving for something greater.

This, then, is Nietzsche's critique of Darwinism. He saw Darwin's theory as entirely at odds with his own understanding of human social development. But Nietzsche did not just dismiss Darwin; he also offered an alternative theory. This theory perhaps explains some of the confusion about what exactly Nietzsche's project represents. It would be simpler, after all, to understand his attack on Darwin as nothing more than a special case of his critique of nineteenth century science, and indeed this is part of what his critique of Darwin represents. But we must also realize that Nietzsche's critique was motivated in part by the desire to make room for something new. Nietzsche did not allow the void he created by dismissing Darwin to remain empty. Rather, he used his critique to create a space for an alternate theory of human development. Thus he writes in the will to power: "'Useful' in the sense of Darwinist biology means: proved advantageous in the struggle with others. But it seems to me that the feeling of increase, the feeling of becoming stronger, is itself, quite apart from any usefulness in the struggle, the real progress: only from this feeling does there arise the will to struggle--"98 This is an extremely interesting passage, for although Nietzsche continues to be critical of Darwinian theory, he retains here the idea of progress, that is, the notion that forces might be acting on humanity to propel it towards some higher state. Of course, Nietzsche strongly disagrees with Darwin about the nature of this progress and about the mechanisms by which it acts. For Nietzsche, it is not the struggle for survival that leads to progress, but the "feeling of increase, the feeling of becoming stronger." This is essential, because it is here that we begin to see that Nietzsche's idea of social progress, far from being tied to any Darwinian notion of evolution, revolves instead around the concept of the will to power.

As we have seen, part of Nietzsche's critique of Darwin is that Darwin's theory does not account for the triumph and institutionalization of what Nietzsche calls "weakness" in our society. Thus Steven Schwartz is quite right when he argues that "strict adaptationism will do okay explaining morality (and the explanation will be very different from will to power); but strict adaptationism is going to have a difficult time explaining such apparently nonadaptive human endeavors as religion, metaphysical philosophy, art and aesthetics, not to mention nuclear physics. Here is where the will to power theory seems to have the advantage."99 Nietzsche believed that in the will to power he had discovered a theory of human development that was superior to Darwin's, both in its explanatory power and in its prescriptive implications for future development. As Alistair Moles notes, "Nietzsche points out that creatures in the advance of life. . .are non-conservative and creative. They dominate; they make changes; they do not try to preserve, not even themselves. So Nietzsche denies that the primal tendency of living creatures is to struggle for survival. Their more basic tendency is to seek to maximize their levels of power."100 Life was not about survival, in Nietzsche's mind; it was about will to power. And this is where Darwin went wrong.

I wish to turn now to Nietzsche's critique of that other great proponent of nineteenth century evolutionary theory, Herbert Spencer. Spencer explored the implications of Darwinian evolutionary theory for human society even more thoroughly than did Darwin; he thus became the target of a series of even more vicious attacks from Nietzsche. Much as he did with Darwin, Nietzsche offered a critique of Spencer as a decadent. Thus "as a biologist, Mr. Herbert Spencer is a decadent; as a moralist, too (he considers the triumph of altruism a desideratum!!!)."101 Spencer was for Nietzsche a contemptible "man of science," just like Darwin. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "The value of altruism is not the result of science; rather the men of science let themselves be led astray by predominant drives, until they believe that science validates their instincts! cf. Spencer."102 For Nietzsche, the problem with nineteenth century science and with the men who practiced it was that they were badly mistaken about the relationship between science and instinct. Nietzsche felt that while scientists like Spencer find in modern science a vindication of their instinct, they are actually responding to a false feeling; true instinct and true value really have nothing to do with modern science, since this kind of science is hostile to life. Thus someone who equates modern, Enlightened science with instinct is, in Nietzsche's mind, a decadent. The implication, of course, is that if we allow a decadent such as Spencer to prescribe morality for us, we are in danger of creating a decadent society--or more likely, given Nietzsche's gloomy understanding of the modern world, of reinforcing one that is already there. Nietzsche writes in the Gay Science: "take, for example, that pedantic Englishman, Herbert Spencer. What makes him 'enthuse' in his way and then leads him to draw a line of hope, a horizon of desirability--that eventual reconciliation of 'egoism and altruism' about which he raves--almost nauseates the likes of us; a human race that adopted such Spencerian perspectives as its ultimate perspectives would seem to us worthy of contempt, of annihilation!"103 Spencerian decadence translated into social reality would result, Nietzsche believed, in the worst kind of society; it would have all the problems of a society based on Darwinian decadence, and more.

Central to Nietzsche's attack on Spencerian decadence was his critique of Spencer's morality, which Nietzsche saw as fundamentally hostile to life. This was even more of a problem for Nietzsche than was Darwin's morality, since Spencer focused more on issues of human society. Thus in one of his most vicious attacks, Nietzsche writes in Ecce Homo: "to demand that all should become 'good human beings,' herd animals, blue-eyed, benevolent, 'beautiful souls'--or as Mr. Herbert Spencer would have it, altruistic--would deprive existence of its great character and would castrate men and reduce them to the level of desiccated Chinese stagnation.--And this has been attempted!--Precisely this has been called morality."104 This "morality" is, for Nietzsche, the most dangerous thing for humanity; it is opposed to all the life-affirming values that Nietzsche loves. It is based, furthermore, on a fundamentally mistaken notion of what morality is and how it comes about. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "Spencer confuses the 'how should we act?' system of morality with the origin of morality. The lack of understanding of causality continues to be important to the end."105 For Nietzsche, Spencer's moral confusion was indicative of a larger confusion that existed throughout English society, and perhaps through European society in general. In a note from the will to power, Nietzsche writes: "shopkeeper's philosophy of Mr. Spencer; complete absence of an ideal, except that of the mediocre man."106 Here Nietzsche seems to be making an effort to tie Spencer's decadent moral philosophy to what he scornfully dismisses as the English "shopkeeper's" society; we may read this as a critique of nineteenth century England as the era of achieved Enlightenment ideals, the age in which, must to Nietzsche's dismay, many of Spencer's beliefs had already become institutionalized.

We saw that an important part of Nietzsche's critique of Darwin was his claim that Darwin's ideas of evolution, especially social evolution, were contrary to what Nietzsche thought to be the actual conditions for the advancement and improvement of the human species. Nietzsche makes a similar claim about Spencer. Thus "one places. . .'adaptation' in the foreground, that is to say, an activity of the second rank, a mere reactivity; indeed, life itself has been defined as a more and more efficient inner adaptation to external conditions (Herbert Spencer). Thus the essence of life, its will to power, is ignored; one overlooks the essential priority of the spontaneous, aggressive, expansive, form-giving forces that give new interpretations and directions."107 Like Darwin, Spencer made the mistake of positing evolution through adaptation as the most important force for human development. And again, Nietzsche's critique is motivated here by a distinct awareness of the implications which this mistake holds for the possible future growth of humanity. "The conditions under which a strong and noble species maintain itself (regarding spiritual discipline) are the reverse of those which govern the 'industrial masses,' the shopkeepers ł la Spencer."108 Nietzsche attacks Spencer's idea of what makes a healthy society: while Spencer took his Victorian England to be the ideal, Nietzsche saw this society as one of decadence and decay. He therefore castigates Spencer's England once again as a nation of "shopkeepers," arguing that contrary to Spencer's claims, the kind of society that Spencer advocated was precisely antithetical to the development of a "strong and noble species." When speaking of Spencer's theory of adaptation, Nietzsche remarks that "it is one such adaptation that Spencer had in mind, that each individual might become a useful tool and also feel like nothing more than this."109 For Nietzsche, this is exactly the wrong course for human development to take. It has nothing to do with the development of a stronger, more noble kind of human; it exhibits no understanding of the will to power.

Nietzsche's critique of Darwin makes it seem as if he was unrelentingly hostile to nineteenth century biological science, and his attack on Spencer suggests an equivalent hostility to the kinds of social theory and practice that arose from Darwinism. Yet Nietzsche's relationship with evolutionary theory was actually more complex than this. As Kaufmann notes, "against Darwin [Nietzsche] urged the Lamarckian doctrine of the heredity of acquired characteristics--the very doctrine the Nazis never tired of branding a Bolshevistic lie because, as they frankly admitted, it would invalidate their whole racism."110 This is a very interesting observation because it points out that there are some positive references to biology in Nietzsche's writing. In particular, Nietzsche frequently seems to favor Lamarckianism, an evolutionary theory which predates Darwinism but which never achieved the success that Darwin's theory enjoyed. For example, Nietzsche writes in Beyond Good and Evil that "it is simply not possible that a human being should not have the qualities and preferences of his parents and ancestors in his body, whatever appearances may suggest to the contrary. This is the problem of race."111 Kaufmann remarks that "here, as elsewhere, Nietzsche gives expression to his Lamarckian belief in the heredity of acquired characteristics."112 Indeed, Nietzsche's thought does not merely resemble that of Lamarck; he occasionally mentions Lamarck specifically. In the Gay Science, Nietzsche denounces "Schopenhauer's mystical embarrassments and subterfuges in those places where the factual thinker allowed himself to be seduced and corrupted by the vain urge to be the unriddler of the world."113 He includes among these "embarrassments and subterfuges" Schopenhauer's claim that "development is mere appearance: he calls Lamarck's idea 'an ingenuous but absurd error'."114 Clearly, Nietzsche feels that this Lamarckian theory of development was no error; indeed, Lamarck's theories of development contributed quite a lot to Nietzsche's own ideas.

Nietzsche found in Lamarck's thinking a concept of progress which was quite appealing to him. Michael Ruse notes that "Lamarck saw things in the organic world as being end-directed, with the end in the animal world being man. In a sense, therefore, he was a teleologist, trying to explain in terms of ends rather than merely prior material causes."115 Of course, Nietzsche's teleology remained very different from that of Lamarck in one important sense: for Nietzsche, the end result of organic growth and development in the world was not man but Overman. Nonetheless, the model by which Nietzsche describes the development of the Overman is often recognizably Lamarckian. Specifically, Nietzsche suggests that humans--the highest evolutionary form to date, but for Nietzsche still not high enough--will be able to acquire the characteristics of the Overman, and pass these on to posterity. We must be very careful, therefore, not to mistake Nietzsche's overt hostility towards Darwin and Darwinism for an attack on evolutionary biology in general, for it seems that Nietzsche had his own evolutionary theories.

Clearly Nietzsche's hostility to science was not as absolute as it might seem at first. We now see that Nietzsche rejected certain scientific methods and theories while retaining others. This agrees with my claim that despite his best efforts to escape the Enlightenment through critique, Nietzsche inevitably retained some components of Enlightened thought. In Chapter Three, we saw how this happened with Nietzsche's critique of the politics of Enlightenment, and I now wish to suggest that it happened to just as great an extent with his critique of the nineteenth century scientific Enlightenment. I believe that this explains much of the ambivalence he seems to experience regarding science. In a very revealing note from the will to power, for example, Nietzsche writes: "it is not the victory of science that distinguishes our nineteenth century, but the victory of scientific method over science."116 More than any other single formulation, I believe that this captures Nietzsche's attitude towards science: it is not science as such that was the problem, but Enlightened science as practiced in the nineteenth century, science that blindly rejected all other possible truths.

If it was Enlightened science in particular that Nietzsche opposed, then we would expect him to make sympathetic comments about pre-Enlightenment scientists and their work, and this is indeed the case. Nietzsche was especially fond of early Greek science. He writes:

One compares the thinkers of other ages and peoples with that series of figures that begins with Thales and ends with Democritus. Yes, one sets Socrates and his students and all the later leaders of Greek sects next to these ancient Greeks.╩.╩.╩.I believe that every consideration [of these Greeks] will conclude with the exclamation "how beautiful they are!" I see among them no deformed and wasted figures, no priestly faces, no scrawny desert hermits, no fanatics looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, no theologizing counterfeiters, no depressed and pale scholars.117

We should note here that Socrates probably continues to represent for Nietzsche the birth of the modern; thus when Nietzsche refers to "Socrates and his students and all the later leaders of Greek sects," he may well mean to include everything that follows in Socrates's footsteps, such as the Enlightenment. In any case, the important thing for our purposes is to realize that there is a kind of science that Nietzsche admired and was even willing to extol as beautiful. Nietzsche shows a particular respect for Thales: "In Thales for the first time the man of science triumphs over the man of myth, and the wise man over the scientific."118 Here Nietzsche is very much aware of the virtues of pre-Socratic science: this science banished ignorance and myth from the world, but it was in turn tempered with a kind of wisdom which, we may suppose, Nietzsche saw as missing from the work of later scientists.

Nietzsche's enthusiasm for Thales and other early Greek scientists is nearly boundless. He writes in Human all too Human: "And now try to assess the greatness of those exceptional Greeks who created science! He who tells of them, tells the most heroic story in the history of the human spirit!"119 Nietzsche sounds a similar note in the will to power: "the real philosophers of Greece are those before Socrates (--with Socrates something changes). They are all noble persons, setting themselves apart from people and state, traveled, serious to the point of somberness, with a slow glance, no strangers to state affairs and diplomacy."120 Again we see Socrates here as the turning point, the break between worthwhile pure science and the more questionable modern science that was to come. We also see a kind of scientist very different from the decadent, modern "man of science" Nietzsche so enthusiastically excoriates.

To be sure, the fact that Nietzsche admired Greek science in no way indicates that he remained trapped in the scientific Enlightenment or that he retained any ideas of Enlightened science. But I believe that Nietzsche's admiration for science was broader than a simple admiration of the early Greeks. There are, after all, many places in his writings where he suggests an admiration for science in general. He writes in Daybreak:

When we had mathematics and physics forced upon us instead of our being led into despair at our ignorance and having our little daily life, our activities, and all that went on at home, in the work-place, in the sky, in the countryside from morn to night, reduced to thousands of problems, to annoying, mortifying, irritating problems--so as to show us that we needed a knowledge of mathematics and mechanics, and then to teach us our first delight in science through showing us the absolute consistency of this knowledge!121

Nietzsche seems to be offering here a critique of modern scientific education, first, but he is also arguing that a "delight" in science is possible and desirable, and it is a delight not just in ancient science but in math and physics in general. Nietzsche claims that "already voices begin to be raised against philosophy, crying 'back to science! To the nature and naturalness of science!'--and with that an age may perhaps begin which will discover the mightiest beauty in precisely the 'wild, ugly' sides of science, just as it was only from the time of Rousseau that one discovered a sense for the beauty of high mountains and the desert."122 This reads like another critique of the particular ways in which science was practiced in Nietzsche's Enlightened age. But Nietzsche goes on to write: "does it not thrill through all your senses--this sound of sweet allurement with which science has proclaimed its glad tidings."123 This sounds very much like a celebration of modern science. He does not refer here to the glories of past science; he seems to be speaking of science in general, with particular reference to modern science. In Human All too Human, even Nietzsche's critiques of science are often sympathetic: "just as in nature, so in science it is the poorer, less fruitful regions that are the first properly cultivated--because it is precisely for this that the means available to budding science are approximately adequate."124 Nietzsche is suggesting here is that the problems of science derive largely from the fact that science has not yet had much of a chance to develop itself fully; the implication is that once science blossoms, these problems will disappear. This is hardly the virulent critique of modern, Enlightened science we saw above; Nietzsche seems to be arguing here for the further development of science.

One might imagine that Nietzsche takes this positive attitude towards science only in his earlier, "positivistic" works, such as Daybreak and Human all too Human. However, this is not the case. Nietzsche also exhibits sympathy towards the scientific enterprise in his later books. In Beyond Good and Evil he compares modern science quite favorably to philosophy: "science is flourishing today and her good conscience is written all over her face, while the level to which all modern philosophy has gradually sunk, this rest of philosophy today, invites mistrust and displeasure, if not mockery and pity."125 In the Gay Science Nietzsche argues that modern science, although it can be frightening to those who don't understand it, is nonetheless a magnificent human creation: "this 'severity of science' has the same effect as the forms and good manners of the best society: it is frightening for the uninitiated. But those who are used to it would never wish to live anywhere else than in this bright, transparent, vigorous, electrified air--in this virile air."126 This is a very positive assessment of science, and one which seems to be referring to science in general, including even Enlightened science. Again in the Gay Science, Nietzsche writes: "long live physics! And even more so that which compels us to turn to physics--our honesty!"127 We have come full circle, it seems, from Nietzsche's devastating critique of modern scientific "truth." Now truth and honesty seem to compel us towards science, and perhaps even towards Enlightened science.

So far we have seen that Nietzsche is sympathetic to science in both his earlier and later works, and that this sympathy often seems to apply to science in general; that is, that Nietzsche makes no attempt to exclude Enlightened or modern science. But we have not yet said what, exactly, Nietzsche liked about science. Hans Seigfried argues that both Nietzsche and Heidegger "find signs for new hope, gaiety, and salvation only where we least suspect it today, namely, in science and technology, and in physics in particular."128 There is much to recommend this interpretation, particularly in the suggestion that Nietzsche admired technology. Nietzsche writes in Daybreak: "science has, moreover, become something very useful to everyone."129 This would seem to be in direct contradiction to the critique of scientific usefulness that I discussed above; however, although Nietzsche does sometimes waver towards an appreciation of the practical benefits of modern science, he is quick to point out that usefulness is not what science is really about: "the value of having for a time rigorously pursued a rigorous science does not derive precisely from the results obtained from it: for in relation to the ocean of things worth knowing these will be a mere vanishing droplet."130 More significant, then, is Nietzsche's admiration for the spirit of modern, Enlightened science, for its "rigor." As Babich writes, "there is a sense in which Nietzsche approves science. This approval is not for the sake of its truths or facts, but rather for the sake of its 'honesty.' The conception of honesty here reflects the character of the knower as an inquirer in the field of reality who still has integrity. For Nietzsche this integrity constitutes the most redeeming legacy of the scientific turn."131 It is this honesty which prevents Nietzsche from rejecting modern science in its entirety. He writes in the will to power: "physics proves to be a boon for the heart: science (as the way to knowledge) acquires a new charm after morality has been eliminated."132 The legacy of the scientific Enlightenment, then, is an integrity, an honesty and a kind of rigor to offer that morality does not have; modern science thus distinguishes itself as a superior pursuit. Indeed, as Nietzsche argues in the Nachlaž, "science represents the higher morality in comparison to puzzle solving and system building."133 So Nietzsche is able to attribute to modern science a surprising ethical component.

In Human All too Human, Nietzsche goes so far as to draw a link between modern science and higher culture: "the evil and perilous consequences of overheating must be obviated with the aid of the knowledge furnished by science.--If this demand of higher culture is not met, then the future course of human evolution can be foretold almost with certainty: interest in truth will cease the less pleasure it gives. . .the ruination of science, a sinking back into barbarism, will be the immediate consequence."134 Modern science, it would seem, is all that holds us back from an abyss that might consume all of European civilization, and here Nietzsche is expressing an extremely Enlightened idea. He is directly tying human progress to science, and placing his faith in nineteenth-century science's ability to underwrite a complex and sophisticated culture. As Wilcox notes, Nietzsche seems to believe that "science gets at the truth, and represents a higher culture, because it is disciplined, whereas religion and metaphysics show themselves as self-indulgent."135 Thus scientific rigor--the very foundation of the method of Enlightened science--places science on the side of the higher culture which Nietzsche wishes to promote.

We must begin to understand here the limitations of Nietzsche's critique: he was able to attack certain specific manifestations of science in the nineteenth century; he was perhaps even able to offer some criticism of the scientific method, or at least of the ways that modern scientists use that method, but he was unable to abandon a basic faith in the rigor of scientific discipline. He admired this rigor too much, because it was too close to his own methodology. Trained as a classical philologist, Nietzsche could not rid himself entirely of scientific methodology; his critiques continued to bear the stamp of Enlightened science. As he writes in a Nachlaž note from 1880-81, "In scientific men live the virtues of the soldier and a kind of cheerfulness."136 Here Nietzsche, the self-proclaimed "old artilleryman," is admiring the discipline and rigor that are possible only in military and scientific minds. It is this scientific discipline which alone redeems all the horrors of modern science that Nietzsche has catalogued for us. As Moles notes, Nietzsche "thinks that, although science may be partly responsible for a collapse of traditional human culture at a very deep level, it also contains the seeds and sources of strength that will eventually make a new culture possible."137 This is the real value of modern, Enlightened science for Nietzsche: it clears a path for a new culture by undermining the old; here his warnings about the dangers of science make perfect sense, for the kind of cultural eradication Nietzsche is talking about is an extremely dangerous enterprise. But it also an enterprise he saw as extremely important, and here Nietzsche retained a crucial aspect of Enlightenment thought. He is hinting here at a utopian hope. That hope is that even as science in its corrupt, decadent nineteenth century form undermined the possibilities for a meaningful modern culture, the kernel of truth at the heart of the modern scientific enterprise, namely scientific rigor and discipline, would make possible a bright new future. And this faith that science would somehow contribute to a better human future is the very essence of Enlightenment.

This interpretation of the ways in which Nietzsche simultaneously attacked science and clung to the heart of the scientific method explains why Nietzsche often seems to want to make improvements on science. He writes in the Gay Science: "Let us introduce the refinement and rigor of mathematics into all sciences as far as this is at all possible, not in the faith that this will lead us to know things but in order to determine our human relation to things. Mathematics is merely the means for general and ultimate knowledge of man."138 Again we see Nietzsche holding onto a faith in scientific rigor; indeed he seems to be pushing here for more rigor in science. Moreover, in this passage Nietzsche explicitly ties scientific rigor to the pursuit of "ultimate knowledge of man," again clearly exhibiting a utopian faith in the possibilities that modern science holds for human improvement.

We should note here that by rigor Nietzsche does not mean somberness or sobriety; he writes in the Nachlaž: "I wish to take away from science some of its solemnity."139 This echoes his attempt to create a "gay science," one that is free of the dreary mundanity that characterizes much of modern science. Again we see critique and affirmation merging in Nietzsche's thought: the "gay science" represents, to be sure, something very different from Enlightened science as practiced in the nineteenth century--but it is still a science. By retaining a faith that science--even this heavily modified "gay science"--might lead us to a richer future, Nietzsche is implicitly buying into the project of Enlightenment.

Nietzsche retains, then, certain essential components of Enlightened science, most notably a kind of Enlightened faith that elements of science can be used to promote human progress. To be sure, the kind of science that Nietzsche believes will contribute to this progress looks very different from the forms of Enlightened science available in the nineteenth century. As Siegfried argues, Nietzsche finds the grounds for hope "only in science, understood as a form of art, the best form of art we were able to come up with so far--the best because modern physics helps us to better understand the task before us, and it makes it more difficult to mistake our creative and constructive organizations for something given and 'ready-made,' and to become entrapped or victimized by them."140 Certainly no nineteenth century scientist--and indeed few twentieth century practitioners of science--would accept that science could be understood as a form of art. So in this sense Nietzsche's project does represent a rejection of modern science. But if we realize that even at his most radical, Nietzsche still held onto some of the foundational elements of modern science, it becomes possible to see Nietzsche as a thinker interested in pursuing Enlightened, scientific goals.

This brings me to the final possibility I wish to consider, namely that in addition to retaining from Enlightened science a faith in its rigor and its ability to lead to progress, Nietzsche also developed concrete empirical theories of his own. Moles suggests that "Nietzsche anticipated ideas whose full development was achieved only in the twentieth century revolution in physics, and which few, perhaps none, of his contemporaries had foreseen. . .Nietzsche anticipated the cosmological viewpoint embedded in Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and Max Planck's quantum theory, several decades before they were published."141 At first glance, the claim that Nietzsche might be engaging in actual scientific work seems strange. But we have already seen the strong sympathies that Nietzsche had for Lamarckian developmental theories. And there are other concepts in Nietzsche's work that look like scientific theories. For example, some thinkers have suggested that the will to power represents a legitimate attempt by Nietzsche to explain the phenomena of the physical world. Stephen Schwartz argues that "the will to power is an explanatory theory and how convincing it is depends on how well it explains the data it is intended to explain, how well it fits with our entire view of how the world works, and how well it does against competing theories."142 This sounds like the kinds of criteria we would use in judging the validity of a scientific theory.

Nietzsche's concept of the eternal return is also frequently interpreted as an empirical or scientific theory. Moles argues that Nietzsche's "reconstruction of the doctrine of eternal recurrence provides the grounds for claiming that it is entailed by Nietzsche's principles of natural philosophy. More precisely, it is entailed by his conception of space as positively curved, by his idea that space is simply an expression of force, by his principle of conservation, and by his doctrines of the necessity of events and the relationality of forces."143 In short, Moles feels that the doctrine of eternal return, in which Nietzsche suggests that all that has happened will happen again, is meant to be understood literally, as a genuine theory about the physical structure of the cosmos. Kaufmann agrees with this interpretation; he feels that "it is important to note that Nietzsche thought that the eternal recurrence might be implied by modern science."144 A similar position is advanced by Crane Brinton, though in a much more hostile tone: he defines the eternal return as an "unrefined mixture of oriental speculation.╩.╩.and misunderstood theoretical physics."145 In short, Brinton sees Nietzsche's idea of eternal return as a scientific theory, but not a very persuasive one.

I believe it is mistaken, however, to suggest that Nietzsche's theories of will to power and eternal return constitute scientific theories, at least in any conventional understanding of that term. I wish to argue instead with Laurence Lampert, that "to affirm eternal return is to construe both time and being in ways inimical to modernity's understanding of them and to overcome its revenge against time and being. With respect to time, the teaching of eternal return opposes the single-minded trajectory of modern technological science."146 Lampert is arguing here that eternal return represents something very different from science as we understand it. What exactly eternal return does represent I hope to make clear in the following chapter. For now I merely wish to argue that theories such as the eternal return cannot be forced to fit into the framework of modern science. In short, as Heidegger argues, "Nietzsche did not stray into the natural sciences. Rather, the natural science that was contemporary to him drifted dubiously into a dubious philosophy. The evidentiary procedure for the doctrine of return is therefore in no case subject to the jurisdiction of natural science, even if the 'facts' of natural science should run counter to the outcome of that procedure."147 It is therefore not reasonable for Brinton and others to accuse Nietzsche of "bad science," since he was not really conducting science at all. Deleuze agrees with this interpretation; he writes: "according to Nietzsche the eternal return is in no sense a thought of the identical but rather a thought of synthesis, a thought of the absolutely different which calls for a new principle outside science."148

Given what we have already seen of Nietzsche's hostility to most manifestations of modern science, it should hardly be surprising that he would wish to keep what he saw as his most profound thought out of the grasp of science. Why then would he characterize this thought as "the most scientific of all possible hypotheses"?149 I believe it is essential to interpret this claim in light of my argument that Nietzsche retained the rigor and discipline of Enlightened science while rejecting the rest of that tradition's intellectual baggage. As Nehamas writes, "apart from the commonplace that the connotations of wissenschaftlich are much broader than those of the English word scientific, we must recall Nietzsche's fundamental suspicion of natural science."150 In short, Nietzsche meant for us to understand that his theories are scientific in the sense that they are rigorous, not that they are empirically verifiable or that they represent a cosmological description of the actual physical world. We can easily understand, of course, how some critics might arrive at the idea that Nietzsche's principles were meant to represent something "inside science;" as we have already seen, Nietzsche retained a definite sympathy for the rigor of science, and this could easily be confused with a desire to conduct actual scientific work. The difference, however, is quite important. Nietzsche was no scientist. For him to develop such an extensive critique of nineteenth century science only to permit himself to establish his own farfetched cosmological theories would be ludicrous. But for him to attempt to eradicate the science of his time while retaining the barest kernel of method with which he might then establish the philosophical foundations of a new science, a "gay science," is something else entirely. This was Nietzsche's scientific project.

Nietzsche's far-reaching and thorough critique of the scientific enterprise of his time is an important element in his attack on the Enlightenment. Science, after all, represents one of the fundamental pillars of Enlightened thought; to call the values of science into question is also to undermine belief in the possibilities of Enlightenment. Yet just as with Nietzsche's politics, we find that there are important limitations to his critique of Enlightened science. Enlightenment is not an easy master to escape from. So extensive is its intellectual grasp that we find Enlightened elements even in the work of its most diligent critic. In his critique of Enlightened science, Nietzsche was unable to rid himself of an admiration for scientific rigor, though he railed incessantly against the decadence of nineteenth century science and scientists. A note from the will to power nicely describes the ambivalence Nietzsche seems to feel towards science: "compared with the artist, the appearance of the scientific man is actually a sign of a certain damming-up and lowering of the level of life (--but also of strengthening, severity, hardness, will power)."151 It would be difficult to understand such an apparently contradictory description of the man of science without accepting the idea that Nietzsche was simultaneously a critic and captive of Enlightened thought. The scientific man could be both a lowering and a strengthening because he represented, in Nietzsche's mind, two conflicting principles. One is that nineteenth century science was decadent and nihilistic, and this is clearly reflected in Nietzsche's critique. The second principle is that modern science contains the possibilities for an affirmation, and we see this in Nietzsche's retention of scientific rigor. In this sense, as in many others, Nietzsche recuperates Enlightenment, for he strips Enlightenment down to its very core, ridding it of the decadent dross it had developed between Descartes and Darwin, reducing it to its most fundamental essence. It is with Zarathustra and the Overman that this essence finally blossoms into a full-blown utopianism, and this is the subject of my next chapter.

Chapter Five: The Overman as Enlightened Utopia

Nietzsche considered Thus Spoke Zarathustra to be his greatest work; indeed, he believed that it was one of the greatest works in human history. He writes in the preface to Ecce Homo: "Among my writings my Zarathustra stands to my mind by itself. With that I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. This book, with a voice bridging centuries, is not only the highest book there is--the whole fact of man lies beneath it at a tremendous distance--it is also the deepest."1 I have intentionally refrained from conducting any extensive analysis of Zarathustra thus far for two reasons. First, I feel that both Nietzsche's attitude towards this book and the content of Zarathustra itself warrant a chapter-length discussion of the work. Second, my interpretation of Zarathustra will rely heavily on the argument I have developed in previous chapters: that Nietzsche, despite his energetic, enthusiastic and often quite compelling critique of the Enlightenment, remained unable to eradicate important elements of Enlightened thought in his own work. It is in Zarathustra that Nietzsche's debt to the Enlightenment is most obvious. Zarathustra is a utopian vision of a future populated by strong and independent individuals whom Nietzsche calls overmen; it contains, in short, a project that is very much in harmony with the Enlightenment.

To be sure, it would be simplistic to argue that Zarathustra is nothing more than an affirmation of Enlightened thought. To do so would be to ignore the fact that the critical impulse which led Nietzsche to attack so much of the Enlightened tradition in his other works is still very much in force in Zarathustra. As Martin Heidegger argues, "nihilism cannot be overcome from the outside. We do not overcome it by tearing away at it or shoving it aside--which is what we do when we replace the Christian God with yet another ideal, such as Reason, Progress, political and economic 'Socialism,' or mere Democracy. Try as we might to cast it aside, the black snake attaches itself ever more firmly. Zarathustra thus immediately gives up such rescue operations."2 The content of the traditional Enlightenment, including reason, progress, liberal politics, and so on, was anathema to Nietzsche, and Heidegger is quite right to suggest that Nietzsche made no attempt to resuscitate these ideas in their original form. Yet the fundamental project of the Enlightenment is ironically Zarathustra's own project, and Nietzsche's as well: to create a better world in which humanity can realize its fullest potential.

Laurence Lampert argues persuasively, following Heidegger, that "it is the alleged freedom and alleged enlightenment of progressive modern man that provokes Zarathustra into declaring war and calling on the best youths to share his revulsion for the things nearest them, the good as defined by democratic politics, the true as defined and certified by democratic science."3 We have seen already how Nietzsche rejected the facile solutions of Enlightened politics and science. And yet Lampert is also right to suggest here that it was against the alleged enlightenment of modern man that Nietzsche rallied. The problem with the Enlightenment for Nietzsche was not that its basic goals were flawed but that it had gone horribly wrong. Nietzsche saw that the birth of Enlightenment, as described in the works of Rousseau, Kant and Descartes, had been a troubled one. He also realized that time had done nothing to heal the Enlightened tradition, but had only amplified its problems until Nietzsche's own century was confronted with the distorted abominations of soulless science and exhausted democracy. As Lampert puts it, "having gazed into the grounds of Western thought and being, Nietzsche opposes most directly what he interprets as a decayed form of the spirit of gravity, decayed Platonism, decayed Christianity, virulent modernity."4 Lampert is arguing in much broader terms than I wish to, but certainly "virulent modernity" must include "virulent Enlightenment." Again, however, it was not Enlightenment as such that so offended Nietzsche, but Enlightenment in the decayed, diseased form it had taken.

Nietzsche's project in Zarathustra is to overcome this debilitating form of Enlightened thought while simultaneously retaining the impulse towards human improvement that is at the very core of Enlightenment. He states this project, however, in terms that often mask or conceal his fundamentally humanistic impulses. Greg Whitlock suggests, for example, that "in Zarathustra's vision of the future, mankind as a species suffers a general demise (Untergang). Human life as known hitherto would cease to exist."5 And indeed there is much in Zarathustra to support such a reading. Nietzsche frequently describes humanity as nothing more than a means to produce the overman. He writes: "man is a rope, tied between beast and overman--a rope over an abyss."6 A strange and awkward middle ground, humanity's purpose is to make possible something superior. "What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end: what can be loved in man is that he is an overture and a going under."7 Certainly this would seem to suggest that Nietzsche's project is fundamentally antihumanistic.

I intend to argue against this interpretation, however. I believe that Nietzsche's antihumanistic rhetoric is intended to sustain his critique of humanity in its exhausted, modern form. It is not intended as a statement against humanity as such, for the overman remains a human destination. The overman is "over" or beyond humanity in the sense that Nietzsche believed that with this idea he had overcome many of the deadly problems endemic to humanity in the post-Enlightenment world. But the overman is not a strange being from another world. It is "the meaning of the earth," the culmination of human development in this world.

In a number of crucial respects, the idea of overman thus represents the fulfillment of a profoundly Enlightened project. First, the overman is concerned not with the past or present but with the future. Past and present represent for Nietzsche developmental stages leading towards the advent of overman. In this sense his work is reminiscent, as I shall argue below, of Enlightened thinkers such as Condorcet, who posit world history as a teleological process leading to a positive goal for humanity. This suggests a second way in which Nietzsche's thought of overman coincides with the conventional Enlightenment: the overman is a supremely optimistic thought. It is characterized by a positive faith in the possibilities of human development; it is the conviction that the future of humanity will represent a radical improvement over the present. In this sense Nietzsche's thought continues and amplifies the Enlightenment's project of constructing a positive future for humanity--though again, it is crucial to remember that the means by which Nietzsche intends to achieve this are extremely different from those of the traditional Enlightenment; he finds the conventional Enlightenment's concern with science and politics to be a serious impediment to the development of a truly Enlightened project.

The final, and perhaps most important, way in which Nietzsche's writing resonates with Enlightened thought lies in the extreme individualism characteristic of the overman. Nietzsche's overman is the ultimate example of individual creativity and self-sufficiency. In this way, Nietzsche's thought is in fundamental agreement with that most basic Enlightened principle: that humans are important as individuals. Of course, Nietzsche's supreme individual could not be further removed from the rationally autonomous individual of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche's individual develops out of two related central principles which are quite foreign to the thought of the conventional Enlightenment: eternal recurrence and amor fati, or love of one's destiny. The overman is that being who can experience what Nietzsche called his "most abysmal thought," the thought of eternal recurrence, without blinking. In so doing, the overman is able to affirm the world in its entirety; the overman loves the earth and all history precisely as they are, without subtraction or addition. Through the twin experiences of eternal recurrence and love of fate, the overman achieves a profound kind of individual being. The overman thus attains the fundamental goal of Enlightened development, which since Descartes has been to make possible the existence of strong, independent individuals. But again, this Nietzschean individual would be quite foreign to any thinker of the conventional Enlightenment. It is the goal of profound individual growth and development, rather than the specific content of that growth, that aligns Nietzsche with the project of the traditional Enlightenment.

These central concepts of Nietzschean thought--overman, eternal recurrence, and amor fati--must of course be clarified in much greater detail before the true shape of Nietzsche's project begins to emerge. My main argument, however, is hopefully clear at this point. While Nietzsche decried and denounced the basic content of Enlightened thought--the rational individual and its politics and science--his project remained a fundamentally Enlightened one. By constructing a positive vision of humanity's future, Nietzsche aligned himself, whether consciously or not, with the great Enlightened utopians. And his overman, though based on radically different concepts than the rationally autonomous individual of the conventional Enlightenment, remains nonetheless a strongly individualistic figure very much in the spirit of the Enlightenment.

J. P. Stern has argued that Nietzsche, despising all idealist utopias, sought objective confirmation of his revaluations, and yet was always dissatisfied with them.8 Here Stern is pointing out a fundamental tension in Nietzsche's work. The utopia, understood as a naively optimistic belief in some ideal and probably unattainable future condition, was exactly the kind of Enlightened idea that always roused Nietzsche's ire. Energy wasted on utopian pipe dreams was energy that could no longer be devoted to the actual improvement of humanity, as Nietzsche saw it. And yet Nietzsche must always remain frustrated as he attempted to remove utopian influences from his own thought, for he had his own ideal vision of what lay in store for humanity.

In order to make clear my use of the phrase "Enlightened utopia," I shall use the example of Condorcet's Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind. That this work places itself squarely in the tradition of the Enlightenment is clear; the title even contains a direct reference to one of the major themes of Enlightenment to which I have been referring, namely progress. Condorcet divides human history into a number of stages, beginning with fairly primitive tribal and pastoral phases and moving on through agrarianism to the modern period. He emphasizes the growth of science and rational knowledge, which are, of course, two other pillars of Enlightened thought. He lauds the French Revolution as the "ninth stage" in which Enlightened civilization finally blossomed in France. Condorcet writes this of the ninth stage: "one nation alone escapes the two-fold influence of tyranny and superstition. From that happy land where freedom had only recently kindled the torch of genius, the mind of man, released from the leading-strings of its infancy, advances with firm steps towards the truth."9 This kind of language is particularly ironic given the fact that Condorcet died during the post-Revolutionary Terror. Most interesting for our purposes here, however, is Condorcet's concern for the future. He believed that human history was progressing towards a goal, his "tenth stage," a future era which Condorcet believed would see "the abolition of inequality between nations, the progress of equality within each nation, and the true perfection of mankind."10 Condorcet's work thus exemplifies the most important characteristic of an Enlightened utopia, namely a firm belief in the progress of humanity towards some positive future goal. We also see in Condorcet the limitation that is perhaps most characteristic of utopian thought: an unrealistic, almost naive optimism. Condorcet's own death shows that the French Revolution had hardly "escaped tyranny," and the twentieth century has not shown much progress towards a perfect future. Enlightened utopia is generally meant as an ideal, a goal towards which we project ourselves. Its actual attainment, however, may be entirely elusive.

Though one might not suspect so at first, Nietzsche's project in Zarathustra has much in common with the Enlightened utopia of someone like Condorcet. For one thing, a sustained concern with the future is characteristic of Nietzsche's work, and this is particularly true of Zarathustra. Heidegger notes that "for a thinking that looks beyond it, Nietzsche's philosophy, which is inherently a turning against what lies behind it, must itself come to be a forward-looking counterposition."11 Heidegger is pointing out here the two aspects of Nietzschean thought I have been emphasizing: the "turning against" what has come before, namely the traditional Enlightenment, but also the "forward-looking counterposition" which is Nietzsche's utopian future. Greg Whitlock writes that "Nietzsche's Zarathustra. . .is a book of man's future, not of his past or present. Man's past is an endless procession of tradition and unchallenged social moralities. Looking over man's past, Zarathustra concludes that mankind has hitherto lacked a goal. Zarathustra's project is to give humanity a goal it may strive after."12 Zarathustra's project is Nietzsche's project as well, for here and elsewhere Nietzsche's prophet speaks with a voice that is quite close to Nietzsche's own.

Zarathustra's project has a dual aspect: he simultaneously challenges conventional or traditional values--for our purposes, the values of the conventional Enlightenment--and turns our eyes towards future goals. As I will argue below, these goals are utopian; indeed, Nietzsche is not even concerned so much with the attainability of the goal of overman as with the ways in which humanity will be improved by directing itself towards this utopian goal. For now let me simply note that Nietzsche believes that "a thousand goals have there been so far, for there have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking: the one goal is lacking. Humanity still has no goal."13 It is this goal that, once it is articulated by Nietzsche's prophet Zarathustra, will give humanity purpose and direction. Kathleen Higgins argues that for Nietzsche, "meaning is attainable through an integrative vision of the events of one's life as all being involved in one's project towards a goal, the goal of greatness that Zarathustra sketches in his account of the overman."14 The overman is both the meaning of the earth and the meaning of humanity for Nietzsche; it thus represents an optimistic, utopian vision of the future. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "I stood alone, because I wanted to love mankind, but I must always hate them. Finally I loved the overmen--since then I have endured humanity. I will bring them a new hope! And a new fear--said Zarathustra."15 This interesting passage points out the complexity of Nietzsche's project in Zarathustra: it represents a new hope, and in that sense it is a teleological, utopian project in the tradition of the Enlightenment. Specifically, this "new hope" represents an attempt to improve the human condition; in this sense, Nietzsche's project is fundamentally humanistic. But the overman also brings a "new fear," and as we shall see shortly, Nietzsche had good reason to add this caveat.

Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "We must prepare not only the earth, but also animals and plants, for the overmen,"16 and again, "Zarathustra said to his animals, 'we must make ourselves ready for our guests.'"17 This kind of language exists throughout Nietzsche's notes from the period of Zarathustra. It is clear that Nietzsche understood the modern era of human history to have a purpose, and that purpose was to create the conditions that would make possible the overman. Again we are reminded of Condorcet; here Nietzsche is describing the stages of human history that lead to his perfect future. By directing himself towards a distant future goal of perfection, Nietzsche places his work in the genre of the utopia.

The published text of Zarathustra shows a similar concern for and emphasis on the future. Nietzsche writes, "higher than love of the neighbor is love of the farthest and the future."18 The attack on Christianity is, of course, obvious here; against the Christian concern with the ethics of today, Nietzsche is advocating an emphasis on what is yet to come. Much of Zarathustra's rhetoric is directed towards the future and what shall be accomplished then. "On the tree, Future, we build our nest; and in our solitude eagles shall bring us nourishment in their beaks."19 Nor is this necessarily a near future. "'I am of today and before,'" Zarathustra admits, ". . .'but there is something in me that is of tomorrow and the day after and time to come.'"20 Zarathustra is emphasizing the distant future, the "day after tomorrow," presumably as an acknowledgment that the world is still nowhere near Nietzsche's utopian future. Zarathustra goes on to claim that his belief in this future is all that makes the present condition of the world bearable: "'the now and the past on earth--alas, my friends, that is what I find most unendurable, and I should not know how to live if I were not also a seer of that which must come.'"21 So sickened is Zarathustra by the modern age, by the ways in which the conventional Enlightenment has worked itself out, that he has no recourse but to set his sights on the salvation of the future. The great irony of this is, of course, that to do so is to engage in a project that is itself fundamentally Enlightened.

Although his references to the future in Zarathustra are generally fairly abstract, Nietzsche occasionally makes them more concrete. "For his children's sake, Zarathustra must perfect himself," Nietzsche writes, suggesting that the benefits of his future utopia are to be enjoyed by future generations.22 Zarathustra goes on to claim that "he who creates.╩.╩.creates man's goal and gives the earth its meaning and its future."23 Nietzsche returns several times to this formulation about "the meaning of the earth," and this suggests that his vision of the future is to be understood teleologically, as a goal perhaps reminiscent of Condorcet's "tenth stage." In a very revealing note from the Will to Power, Nietzsche writes: "My first solution: Dionysian wisdom. Joy in the destruction of the most noble and at the sight of its progressive ruin: in reality joy in what is coming and lies in the future, which triumphs over existing things, however good."24 Here we see again that Nietzsche's blade has two edges: he criticizes all that is modern, including all conventional manifestations of the Enlightenment. But he does so out of a profound faith in the coming of a future world, and that faith is itself the essence of Enlightenment.

Even the method which Nietzsche adapts to argue for his Enlightened utopia has traces of Enlightenment. "You have served the people and the superstition of the people, all you famous wise men--and not truth," Zarathustra announces.25 These words could almost have come from the mouth of Voltaire. In a very Enlightened voice, Nietzsche's prophet denounces superstition and ignorance in the name of truth. Zarathustra even goes so far as to advocate the use of reason, though he does so with caution: "a little reason, to be sure, a seed of wisdom scattered from star to star--this leaven is mixed in with all things."26 Zarathustra is hesitant to seem too enthusiastic about reason, which is hardly surprising. Rational thought is, after all, the cornerstone of the conventional Enlightenment, and as we have seen, Nietzsche attempted to maintain a profoundly critical stance towards this Enlightened tradition. Yet it almost seems as if he is aware in this passage of the degree to which his project must remain an Enlightened one. Zarathustra can't quite leave reason behind. Nor can Nietzsche, whose project is to bring about a utopian future, leave Enlightenment behind. In a tirade against religion, Zarathustra says: "you know it well: your cowardly devil within you, who would like to fold his hands and rest his hands in his lap and be more comfortable--this cowardly devil urges you, 'There is a God.' With this, however, you belong to the light-shunning kind who cannot rest where there is light; now you must daily bury your head deeper in night and haze."27 Again Zarathustra almost seems to be attacking Voltaire's "infamous thing," the dark ignorance and superstition of conventional Christian religion. And the language of light and darkness he invokes boldly announces its Enlightened roots.

It seems clear, then, that Nietzsche's main project in Zarathustra is to promote a positive vision of the future. I now wish to examine the precise form of that future. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "I live so that I can discover; I want to discover so that the overman can live. We experiment for him!"28 What does Nietzsche intend when he describes the overman as the meaning of the earth? What kind of a future is he really proposing? What is the shape of the ultimate improvement of mankind?

I believe that the overman can best be described in terms of the two crucial, related ideas of eternal recurrence and amor fati. Stated simply, eternal recurrence is the thought that all that has happened will happen again; the universe infinitely repeats itself. Nietzsche described this as his "most abysmal thought," and one can easily see why, for it implies that everything returns, including all that Nietzsche has worked so hard to overcome, even the exhausted ideas of the conventional Enlightenment and all the dross of modernity. The overman is defined, however, as that being who can face this abysmal thought and not blink. The overman is able to will the past, the present and the future unconditionally; he is able to will the eternal return of everything without addition or subtraction. It is this amor fati, this love of fate, that makes the overman superior. Thus eternal recurrence is something which the overman must learn to accept and indeed to will, while amor fati is the mechanism by which he becomes able to will the eternal return. These two principles taken together thus constitute the essence of overman.

Several important points must be clarified here. First, despite what several commentators have argued, the eternal return should not be understood as a cosmological notion. Alistair Moles, for example, "argues the general claim that this doctrine is an entailed consequence of other principles set down by Nietzsche in the course of constructing a theory of natural philosophy."29 As I argued in Chapter Four, however, this is not the most fruitful way to proceed. While it is true that Nietzsche's notebooks contain some vague scientific speculations along these lines, Nietzsche was no physicist. His aspirations to pursue a course of study in the physical sciences were never realized. Any scientific speculation he may have engaged in is therefore the work of a scientific layman. While it may be interesting to pursue the interpretation of eternal return as a scientific doctrine, I feel that it is much more useful to read it as an epistemological idea. Nietzsche was intimately familiar with a great many theories of knowledge; he understood how such ideas worked and he was quite comfortable with the philosophical apparatus used to manipulate such ideas. Understood as an epistemological doctrine, the eternal return is not susceptible to some of the obvious criticisms to which it is open if we view it as a cosmology.

Indeed, many commentators have noted that if we understand the eternal return in epistemological terms, the idea becomes much less mysterious and begins to accord more easily with some of Nietzsche's other thoughts. Robert Wicks, for example, suggests "an alternative way to construe Nietzsche's doctrine of eternal recurrence--as primarily an imaginative construct--which both preserves its intended psychological effects and avoids the existing contemporary criticisms of the doctrine."30 This certainly sounds like an ambitious project. What, then, are the "psychological effects" to which Wicks refers? He writes:

the temporal experience of imagining the doctrine--what constitutes 'thinking about eternal recurrence'--must take precedence over the contents of the 'objective' conditions described by the doctrine. Such an experiential 'return' entails the following: upon accentuating one's very act of constructing a picture of the universe which accords with the doctrine, one recognizes that the sequential 'reiterations' of one's life to which the doctrine refers occur first and foremost within the experiential continuity of one's own imagination.31

What Wicks is arguing here is that the doctrine of eternal return is meant to cause us to think in a certain way, to understand the world and our relation to it in a particular fashion. That is to say that Nietzsche believes that it is enough for us to think the thought of Eternal Return, regardless of whether it agrees with our conception of the metaphysical or cosmological structure of the world. As Lawrence Hatab argues, eternal return is more of an evaluative term than a conceptual one; the real issue of eternal return, as Hatab points out, is that of its desirability.32 Joan Stambaugh places a similar emphasis on the psychological effects of eternal return rather than on the metaphysical plausibility or implausibility of the idea. She writes: "the majority of Nietzsche's statements about eternal recurrence are concerned with it as a thought. Eternal recurrence gains its true stature as a thought, not because it represents a kind of 'as-if' philosophy, but because it brings in the decisive--that is, the decision-making--characteristic of man."33 As Stambaugh points out, the significance of the thought of eternal return for Nietzsche is that it creates a particular kind of thinking; in this sense the thought of eternal return is itself a performative act.

Nietzsche is seeking a world in which people will want to affirm the eternal return. As Gilles Deleuze puts it, "it is the thought of the eternal return that selects. It makes willing something whole. The thought of the eternal return eliminates from willing everything which falls outside the eternal return, it makes willing a creation, it brings about the equation 'willing=creating.'"34 Again, as Deleuze points out, Nietzsche is not interested so much in eternal return as such, but in the thought of return, for it is this thought which makes possible the creative impulse that he hopes will move the world closer to his vision of the future. Karl Jaspers speculates about the possible existential impact of this Nietzschean thought: "what happens if the idea is true and is seen to be so, or if at least--which amounts to the same thing so far as man is concerned--it is believed to be true?"35 Here Jaspers is clearly suggesting that the importance of the doctrine is the effect that it has on us. Jaspers admits that "to Nietzsche the first effect is paralyzing shock" as one realizes that even the lowest things must recur eternally.36 But Jaspers also finds that "this extreme can change into its opposite: Complete, despairing negation of existence can become a no less complete affirmation: Instead of being crushed, the believer will be transformed."37

This affirmative, transformative aspect of the thought of eternal return is crucial, for it points to the way in which Nietzsche intends for that thought to contribute to his positive, utopian vision of the future. Indeed, Kathleen Higgins notes that a crucial aspect of the idea of eternal return is that "eternal return, as the idea is presented in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is the expression of a general attitude toward life, an attitude that contrasts with the past-obsessed perspective that Nietzsche believes goes hand in hand with the Christian moral worldview."38 Higgins is suggesting here that Nietzsche's critique of Christian morality, a critique which pervades his work and is one of the central themes of his thought, is motivated precisely by his belief that humanity should not remain obsessed with the past. She continues: "the Christian conception that we are sinful focuses on past actions, as is evident from even cursory reflection. . . .We feel guilty because of what we have done."39 The problem with the Christian focus on the past, of course, is that it directly impedes Nietzsche's project of promoting the future. Nietzsche is unable to emphasize his vision of the future in a world which continues to concern itself exclusively with past actions; worse still, the actions which will make this future possible are unlikely to occur in a world obsessed with the past. For these reasons Nietzsche has little choice but to oppose the Christian world view.

To be sure, the eternal return is a thought that is not without its problems, and the concept of amor fati is particularly troubling. Nietzsche does not limit himself, after all, to the claim that we should behave as if everything that happens will happen again. He also says that we should love this fate. As Albert Fell notes, "taken as a general attitude encompassing self, others and the world. . .amor fati requires an unnecessarily contrived and distorting vision of the world, once which involves approval of avoidable as well as unavoidable suffering, making clear the limits of Nietzsche's humanism, limits which he was aware of, and endorsed."40 Fell offers several compelling criticisms of amor fati; these are also problems of eternal return, since for Nietzsche the two are closely linked. I wish to deal with each of these criticisms separately.

Let me first address the claim that amor fati represents the limits of humanism for Nietzsche. Certainly Fell is not the first to claim that Nietzsche is no humanist, but I believe that the issue is more complex than Fell and others allow. As I argued above, Nietzsche meant for his ideas of eternal return and amor fati to produce the psychological and epistemological conditions that would make possible a radical improvement in the human condition; surely this constitutes a humanistic project. Higgins also finds it difficult to sustain the position that Nietzsche was no humanist. She writes: "If Nietzsche is the humanist that I have suggested, why does he oppose Christianity, with its concern for the suffering of the world, so stridently? And why does he aim so much of his attack at precisely those ethical objectives of Christianity--love of neighbor and compassion--that would seem to respond to the problem of suffering in this world and not merely in the hereafter?"41 Certainly these are the kinds of questions that could lead to a persuasive critique of Nietzsche as an anti-humanist, but Higgins feels she has the answers to these questions. She notes that "Nietzsche sees Christianity as providing an escapist solution to the problem of tragic suffering."42 This is an interesting and, I feel, very important claim. Higgins is arguing here that for Nietzsche, the problem with Christianity is that it pretends to offer solutions to human suffering that can never be realized. That is to say, it is precisely because Christianity fails to offer any real solutions to the problems confronting humanity that it is to be rejected. If Higgins is right about this, and I think she is, then Nietzsche must be seen as a radical humanist. It is his concern that humanity not be led astray by false promises of salvation that prompts his critique of Christianity. And his vision of the future, understood as a path for human improvement and progress, is thus meant as a replacement for the bankrupt project of Christianity. Ironically, of course, the utopian nature of Nietzsche's project leaves him open to exactly the same kind of criticisms that he levels here against Christianity, namely that he is offering solutions that are entirely unrealistic. This does not change the fact, however, that his critique of Christianity is motivated by a genuine humanism.

The second of Fell's charges, that Nietzsche advocates suffering, is harder to dismiss, and if this charge stands, then it will once again be impossible to understand Nietzsche as a humanist--what kind of humanist, after all, would deliberately encourage suffering? Nietzsche is very much aware of the problem of suffering in his thought, though he understands this as part of a larger problem. To wit, the idea that suffering recurs eternally is part of the even more horrifying thought that every evil we can imagine must eternally return. Thus Zarathustra is terrified of the thought of eternal return when he encounters it in "The Vision and the Riddle:" "must not all of us have been there before? And return and walk in that other lane, out there, before us, in this long dreadful lane--must we not eternally return? Thus I spoke, more and more softly; for I was afraid of my own thoughts and the thoughts behind my thoughts."43 It is easy enough to see why Zarathustra should be so terrified. The eternal return, after all, implies the return of everything, good and bad, not just love and laughter but death and decadence as well. What's more, the doctrine of amor fati demands that we not merely accept this return, but affirm it and will it as our own. Small wonder that only the overman could face such a task. Certainly Zarathustra finds the prospect difficult to bear: "'Eternally recurs the man of whom you are weary, the small man'--thus yawned my sadness and dragged its feet and could not go to sleep.. . .My sighing sat on all human tombs and could no longer get up; my sighing and questioning croaked and gagged and gnawed and wailed by day and night: 'Alas, man recurs eternally! The small man recurs eternally!'"44 Suffering recurs along with all that Nietzsche despises: the morality of the herd, the decadence of the last man and all the failures of European society. Thus Nietzsche writes in the Will to Power: "Let us think this thought in its most terrible form: existence as it is, without meaning or aim, yet recurring inevitably without any finale of nothingness: 'the eternal recurrence.' This is the most extreme form of nihilism: the nothing (the 'meaningless'), eternally!"45 This, then, is the shape of the eternal return as his "most abysmal thought." If the eternal recurrence truly represents the return of all that is most reprehensible in human history, it is difficult to imagine how even an overman could affirm it. Nietzsche's vision of the future now seems to acquire the negative characteristics of a utopia; it becomes utopian in the sense of being an idealistic, unattainable paradise as naive as anything Condorcet could have conceived. Nietzsche's vision of the future seems to require that we somehow learn to affirm the world with all its many flaws and horrors.

Yet as Ernest JoŚs notes, "in spite of [the eternal recurrence], Nietzsche offers a hymn to Life and sings the Song of Yes and Amen. Yes, Life is worth living even if it is a paradox, even if the highest form of affirmation is its negation."46 How is this possible? It looks as if Nietzsche has abandoned all attempts at logical discourse, embracing paradox in all its inscrutable glory. Even such a problematic leap into paradox, however, would not be enough to eliminate the problem of suffering from Nietzsche's writing. JoŚs writes: "then Zarathustra, the advocate of life is really the advocate of suffering. Indeed, Nietzsche, the immoralist is an ascete. His morality is the transvaluation of whatever is mediocre, including mediocre pleasure--into great passions; and great passions are always great sufferings."47 Fell's critique seems very much in force here: we have Nietzsche affirming life as the highest value, but he also seems to be advocating suffering as a necessary component of life. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "Oh Zarathustra, advocate of life! You must also be the advocate of sorrow!"48 Nietzsche's project strangely begins to resemble some kind of fatalistic religion rather than an Enlightened program: no Enlightenment utopia, after all, would involve the affirmation of suffering and sorrow. The whole purpose of Enlightened progress was to move humanity away from the kind of dark tyranny and superstition that, in the eyes of the Enlightened philosophers, made such suffering a part of life. At best, Nietzsche's project now seems utopian in the negative sense of an unrealistic affirmation made in the face of overwhelming negative forces. As Javier Ibçnez-NoÄ aptly points out, "the Dionysian affirmation constitutive of the tragic ethos subtracts nothing from the world; it accepts and affirms pain and 'evil' as necessary conditions of the will to power."49 If pain and evil are such a constitutive part of the Nietzschean affirmation of life, then how is this an Enlightened project? How does it represent an attempt at the improvement of the human condition? What happens to Nietzsche's Enlightened utopia when Zarathustra says: "I, Zarathustra, the advocate of life, the advocate of suffering, the advocate of the circle, I summon you, my most abysmal thought!"50

I believe that it is possible to recover the interpretation of Nietzsche's vision as an Enlightened utopia. There is a reading of his project which accounts for the suffering implied by a total affirmation of the world, and yet retains the positive vision which is, I feel, central to his thought. Stambaugh hints at this possibility when she writes: "the thought of eternal recurrence, particularly in its nihilistic, mechanistic form, becomes the highest obstacle to life. If this obstacle can be overcome, life will be elevated to a higher stage of self-surpassing, and the opposition between the Will to Power and eternal recurrence will vanish."51 It is precisely this overcoming which I would now like to describe. I wish to show, in short, that it is possible for Nietzsche to affirm life without affirming suffering (as the doctrine of eternal return would seem to suggest that he must); I hope to show that this positive affirmation places Nietzsche's thought once again within the context of Enlightened humanism and within the genre of the Enlightened utopia.

Nietzsche himself suggests that such a reconciliation of the seemingly contradictory elements of his project will be possible when he writes in Ecce Homo,

the psychological problem in the type of Zarathustra is how he that says No and does No to an unheard-of degree, to everything to which one has so far said Yes, can nevertheless be the opposite of a No-saying spirit; how the spirit who bears the heaviest fate, a fatality of a task, can nevertheless be the lightest and most transcendent--Zarathustra is a dancer--how he that has the hardest, most terrible insight into reality, that has thought the 'most abysmal idea,' nevertheless does not consider it an objection to existence, not even to its eternal recurrence--but rather one reason more for being himself the eternal Yes to all things, 'the tremendous, unbounded Yes and Amen.'52

Clearly, Nietzsche feels that some kind of reconciliation is possible between Yes-saying and No-saying, between the nihilism of the "most abysmal thought" and the affirmation of Zarathustra the dancer. We must return to the text of Zarathustra itself to see how this reconciliation might be possible. Nietzsche writes: "I come again, with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent--not to a new life or a better life or a similar life: I come back eternally to this same, selfsame life, in what is greatest as in what is smallest, to teach again the eternal recurrence of all things, to speak again the word of the great noon of earth and man, to proclaim the overman again to men."53 The implication of this passage is clear. The key to affirming the eternal return lies in the realization that Zarathustra's teachings recur too, that the great noon, the time of the overman, recurs with as much inevitability as does the last man. Thus the reader is left with only one question: does the eternal recurrence of the overman, that is, of Nietzsche's vision of a utopian future, justify the recurrence of all the horrors of world history? The answer to this question, of course, will depend on the extent to which the reader subscribes to Nietzsche's understanding of the importance of the overman, though clearly one would have to grant a great deal to the overman if one were to hope that this concept might thus redeem the totality of world suffering.

A more interesting possibility is offered by Deleuze and Heidegger. Deleuze writes: "the lesson of the eternal return is that there is no return of the negative. The eternal return means that being is selection. Only that which affirms or is affirmed returns. The eternal return is the reproduction of becoming but the reproduction of becoming is also the production of becoming active: child of Dionysius and Ariadne."54 This is certainly a radical understanding of eternal return, but one that has much to recommend it. Deleuze suggests that the nature of the overman is not amor fati if we understand that term to mean the simplistic, unthinking affirmation of all aspects of the world. The overman does not mindlessly affirm the world with all its suffering and sorrow. Rather, the true power of the overman lies in his ability to choose. According to Deleuze's interpretation, the overman is able to affirm only that which is worthy of being affirmed, what Deleuze calls the "active." Heidegger agrees with this line of interpretation when he writes: "what does all this say about the right way to think the thought of eternal recurrence? It says something essential: That which is to come is precisely a matter for decision, since the ring is not closed in some remote infinity but possesses its unbroken closure in the Moment, as the center of striving."55 For Heidegger, then, Nietzsche's understanding of time as eternal recurrence has profound implications for human choice. The thought of eternal return deprivileges the past in favor of the present. We are left with the "Moment," which must be understood as a moment of extreme existential choice. This is why Heidegger describes the "Moment" as "the center of striving," for it is here that all human choice and action occur. The eternal return, then, does not create some kind of fatalistic affirmation of suffering. Rather, it frees us from the bondage of the past and makes possible a radical choice or "decision" which has hitherto been impossible. It gives us our best chance to influence "what is to come." It is precisely this interpretation of the eternal return that I will advocate below, as I argue that Nietzsche's overman represents a radical new principle of individual freedom, and that this principle can be understood as the culmination of the Enlightenment's project to create ultimate individual subjectivity.

This interpretation begins to suggest that the key to understanding Nietzsche's thought of eternal return lies in grasping the idea of time implied by that thought. Whitlock argues that "by willing the eternal return of any moment one wills the eternal return of all moments, and so wills 'backwards' as well as 'forwards.' Such an act of willpower is the greatest act of will, totally affirmative and active, and the path by which man 'crosses over' to the overman."56 Like Deleuze, Whitlock uses the term "active" to describe the overman; this suggests that the overman will be that being who is able to make active choices and decisions. More important for our purposes at the moment is the suggestion that the overman's attitude towards the world is totally affirmative. Nietzsche writes in the Will to Power: "such an experimental philosophy as I live anticipates experimentally even the possibilities of the most fundamental nihilism; but this does not mean that it must halt at a negation, a No, a will to negation. It wants rather to cross over to the opposite of this--to a Dionysian affirmation of the world as it is, without subtraction, exception, or selection--it wants the eternal circulation."57 What Nietzsche is trying to get away from here is the resentment towards the past which has so far characterized our attitude towards time. Again, it is dangerous to take this project at face value. Nietzsche is not suggesting that we should affirm, say, the Spanish Inquisition, in the sense that we should will such a thing to happen again eternally. Rather he is arguing for a particular attitude towards time, an attitude which will permit us to do what we have been so far unable to do: to stop focusing our energies exclusively on the past, to stop wasting time with resentment and guilt about what has happened. The implication, of course, is that if we are able to do this, we will finally be able to direct ourselves towards the future as Nietzsche feels we must. The practical consequences of this dramatic restructuring of our attitude about time are clear. Nietzsche's new temporality will make Christian ethics, based on such concepts from the mythic past as original sin, untenable. Thus, on the surface, the thought of eternal return takes a neutral stance towards past and future, willing both equally and totally. But the effect of eternal return--which as I have been arguing, is more important for Nietzsche than the thought itself--is quite different. By removing resentment towards the past via an attitude of active affirmation, Nietzsche takes us away from the obsession with the past that has been characteristic of Christianity and the other central traditions of Western thought, and turns us instead towards the future. We return again to Nietzschean utopia.

Lawrence Hatab argues that the eternal return "reflects Nietzsche's basic philosophical task, namely the affirmation of the world as it is, refusing any sense of resolution, deliverance or even progress in the world-order."58 Hatab is half right here. Certainly he is correct to emphasize Nietzsche's affirmation; as we have seen, this is a crucial part of the Nietzschean project. Affirmation, and in particular affirmation of the future, gives Nietzsche's work its utopian character. However, it is precisely here that I must disagree with Hatab, for Nietzsche certainly does have a sense of "progress in the world-order." This progress is to come about through the development of the overman; the overman represents for Nietzsche a higher state of humanity and is in that sense clearly a notion of progress. Indeed, Hatab goes on to note that although Nietzsche emphasizes becoming and change, "our culture emphasizes 'being,' ours is a world of substance-thinking. But more than this, it is such at the expense of Becoming, as a judgment upon Becoming (and therefore, in Nietzsche's eyes, a judgment upon life). Nietzsche wants to destroy this attitude of substance-thinking and return to an affirmation of Becoming."59 Hatab argues persuasively that the idea of Becoming is crucial for Nietzsche. As he puts it, "anything of fundamental value in life, must originate beyond the moralistic flight from the forces of Becoming."60 But what Hatab fails to recognize is that this idea is only subtly different from the notion of progress. Certainly for Nietzsche life is characterized by constant change, constant Becoming. But this should not be understood as undirected, formless Becoming. Rather, it is Becoming something, it is Becoming Overman. Nietzsche has a very specific idea of what we should strive to become; indeed when he validates the process of Becoming, he does so in the name of overman. Thus his idea of Becoming is related in an important sense to the Enlightened idea of progress. Although the specific content of the two ideas is naturally quite different, both ideas contain a definite vision of future human improvement, and both contain a clear intention to direct human activity towards the realization of that future.

The affinities between the Nietzschean idea of Becoming and the Enlightened concept of progress suggest another crucial area where Nietzsche's thought coincides with that of the conventional Enlightenment. Condorcet's "tenth stage" is characterized by the attainment of the "true perfection of mankind," and Nietzschean Becoming suggests a similar project. Nietzsche writes in the Nachlaž: "Man is something that must be overcome: that is the teaching of life as the greatest self-overcoming."61 We may understand this self-overcoming as a kind of radical self-improvement that is not very different from the Enlightenment's project to create perfect individuals. In an interesting discussion of Zarathustra's attitude towards pity, David Cartright suggests that

the danger is that pity may keep [Zarathustra] away from himself and his task. Zarathustra must create himself and strive for ćbermenschlichkeit. Insofar as the ćbermensch is the meaning of the earth, this task is also redemptive of all. Pity involves one in the suffering of others and turns one's eyes away from one's own self, which is precisely where one needs to concentrate. Pity, moreover, involves one in a suffering that cannot function meaningfully in one's own self-development, except if one masters these falsely esteemed altruistic feelings.62

What is interesting in Cartright's analysis is the way in which he defines Zarathustra's project in terms of self-improvement. In this way, Cartright shows that one of Nietzsche's most important goals in Zarathustra is to continue the project of the Enlightenment. By engaging in a project of radical self-creation, Nietzsche aligns himself with an Enlightened tradition which since Descartes has concerned itself with the creation of viable individuals. Of course, the kind of individual self-creation Nietzsche is advocating is substantially different from the rational self of the Enlightenment. But the basic project of self-creation remains the same. Thus as Cartright puts it, "by overcoming his pity, Zarathustra returns to his own self-creation and overcoming in pursuit of ćbermenschlichkeit."63 Both Nietzschean Becoming and Enlightened progress are designed to facilitate the development of strong individuals.

Far from being an "abysmal thought," then, the eternal return actually forces a very Enlightened kind of optimism. It encourages us to direct ourselves towards the future, and it shows us how to re-create ourselves as superior individuals. Indeed, as Richard White notes, "the Eternal Recurrence may act as a transformative thought. For if it is accepted on its own terms, then all the forms of nihilistic response, such as willessness, pessimism, fatalism and ressentiment become too painful to bear since future consolation is now impossible."64 Again, what is important here is the effect of eternal return. White is suggesting that the eternal return demands an attitude of optimism and faith in human progress. The thought of eternal return, in short, creates an attitude of Enlightenment. Thus Zarathustra speaks of "the great noon when man stands in the middle of his way between beast and overman and celebrates his way to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the way to a new morning."65 One is again reminded of Condorcet here: Nietzsche describes modern humanity looking back towards the earlier stages from which it has come, and forwards towards the later stages of perfection which it may anticipate. "For that man may be delivered from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms."66 Nietzsche's prophet is trying to show us the way to deliverance from the bondage of the past so that we may concentrate instead on the world of the future. An Enlightened thinker would say that Zarathustra is trying to eradicate tyranny and superstition in order to create a better world.

If we understand the eternal return as being fundamentally concerned with the future and with human improvement, then it becomes possible to describe this thought as an ethical idea. As Lester Hunt points out, "a notion is ethical just in case it has important implications regarding what we should be--regarding, in other words, the inner state of character from which our actions flow."67 Clearly the thought of eternal return qualifies. It contains, after all, definite suggestions about the kind of self-creation that we should pursue; it tells us, in short, what kind of people we should try to become. Zarathustra says that "all 'it was' is a fragment, a riddle, a dreadful accident--until the creative will says to it, 'But thus I willed it.' Until the creative will says to it, 'But thus I will it; thus shall I will it.'"68 By instructing us in how to will, Zarathustra is clearly engaged in an ethical project. It is also important to note that Nietzsche is talking here about the creative will; again, this implies that his project must be understood in terms of a kind of individuality, for it is the individual legislator who is able to create and will. Zarathustra makes this ethical project clear when he says: "to redeem what is past in man and to re-create all 'it was' until the will says, 'Thus I willed it! Thus I shall will it'--this I called redemption and this alone I taught them to call redemption."69 The reference to redemption is a parody of Christian redemption, of course, but it also implies that the structure of Zarathustra's project is not vastly different from that of Christianity, though the content of the two projects remains wildly divergent. By describing the kind of self-creation he is advocating in terms of "redemption," Nietzsche states his project in clear ethical terms.

The kind of ethical interpretation I am advocating here has been disputed, notably by Walter Kaufmann. Kaufmann makes the claim that "Nietzsche was not primarily a moral philosopher at all."70 Kaufmann bases this argument on his belief that "particular actions seem.╩.╩. much less important to Nietzsche than the state of being of the whole man."71 Certainly, Kaufmann is right to suggest that the crucial issue for Nietzsche is that of how the self is to be constituted. However, we need not assume from this that Nietzsche is not interested in ethics. Rather, for Nietzsche, the decision about what state of being to pursue is an ethical decision, and one that is of paramount importance, since it is from this decision that all "particular actions" must flow. Kaufmann's argument is based on a conventional action-based understanding of ethics, but it is precisely this kind of ethical thought which Nietzsche wished to challenge as he explored the possibility of a new understanding of ethics. Kaufmann goes on to claim that "those who achieve self-perfection and affirm their own being and all eternity, backward and forward, have no thought of the morrow."72 Kaufmann is providing a reasonable description here of what the thoughts and concerns of the overman might be, if any humans ever actually attained this lofty state. But we must keep in mind the utopian nature of Nietzsche's thought. The idea of overman is teleological in the sense that the overman is a goal that we are meant to pursue. But it is not necessarily a goal that is ever actually achieved, any more than Condorcet's "tenth stage" would ever truly be realized. Rather, the thought of eternal return itself is meant to promote human improvement, by motivating us to strive towards perfection.

Karl Jaspers describes eternal return as "a new ethical imperative, which demands that I measure everything I feel, will, do and am by one standard: whether I accomplish it in such a way that I should like to do it repeatedly in the same way or, in other words, whether I can will that this same existence occur time and again."73 The implication of this is clear and profound. With the thought of eternal return, Nietzsche has created a new ethics to replace that of Kant. Kant's categorical imperative, which is the essence of Enlightened ethics, is replaced by Nietzsche's imperative of eternal return. This new imperative is radically different in content from that of Kant but is at the same time quite similar structurally. Nietzsche has thus created a new universal standard by which to judge actions. Rather than measuring all action by the rubric of the categorical imperative--whether one can will that the principle of one's action should become a universal maxim--Nietzsche suggests that all acts should be judged according to whether one could will that they return eternally. As Deleuze points out, "the eternal return gives the will a rule as rigorous as the Kantian one.╩.╩.As an ethical thought the eternal return is the new formulation of the practical synthesis: whatever you will, will it in such a way that you also will its eternal return."74 In its pursuit of a rigorous principle of ethics, the eternal return thus closely corresponds with the program of Enlightened ethics outlined by Kant. Despite his frequent and vitriolic attacks on Christian thought and on the variety of secularized Christianity which Kant represents, Nietzsche's project can thus ironically be read as a radical restructuring or rethinking of Christianity. It is perhaps for this reason that Nietzsche retained so many of the structures and forms of Christian thought. Nietzsche meant to transcend or transform Christian and Kantian ethics, rather than simply rejecting them. The most important aspect of this transformation lies in the new understanding of time implied by Nietzsche's thought of eternal return. This understanding moves us away from the concern with the past constitutive of Christian ethics and towards a deep and abiding concern for the future. In this way Nietzsche reconciles the Enlightenment's concern with progress with its concern for ethics. The tension in conventional Enlightened thought between "backwards looking" or past-obsessed ethics and "forwards looking" ideas of progress is resolved in Nietzsche's thought. By deprivileging the past, Nietzsche focuses on the future and allows ethics to agree with progress. He thus repairs a breach in Enlightened thought.

The thought of eternal return is a central component of Nietzsche's Enlightened utopia. Its concern with the future and with radical self-improvement place it squarely in the Enlightened tradition. Yet it is hardly the only aspect of Nietzsche's utopian project. Equally important is Nietzsche's concern with the principles of life and health. These principles represent another side to the Nietzschean affirmation, one which further develops the optimism embodied by the overman. Indeed, as Wicks notes, the principles of life and eternal return are related: "if Nietzsche's primary mode of evaluation is defined by the 'health-sickness' continuum, then one would expect his evaluative style to be quite manifest when he sets forth one of the highest expressions of his philosophy of life-affirmation--the doctrine of eternal recurrence."75 In Wicks's view, the principle of eternal return for Nietzsche represents a fundamental affirmation of life and health. Bernd Magnus describes this affirmation as follows: "an ćbermensch is a representation only of a particular attitude toward life, that it articulates a certain form of life. The attitude toward life which is captured is the expression of nihilism already overcome. That form of life is the opposite of decadence, decline of life, world-weariness. The attitude portrayed is that of affirmation, overfulness; the attitude which expresses ascending life, life in and as celebration."76 Again, Nietzsche is far here from the "abysmal thought." His thought is optimistic and full of hope; in its affirmation of the possibilities of life, Nietzsche's project remains that of an Enlightened utopia.

In an interesting passage from Ecce Homo, Nietzsche describes Zarathustra as a "type" and claims that "to understand this type, one must first become clear about his physiological presupposition: this is what I call the great health."77 Constantly plagued by health problems himself, Nietzsche turned health into one of the preconditions for the overman. Zarathustra speaks: "listen rather, my brothers, to the voice of the healthy body: that is a more honest and purer voice. More honestly and purely speaks the healthy body that is perfect and perpendicular: and it speaks of the meaning of the earth."78 The importance of health is clear here. Nietzsche is associating health, specifically physical health, with the meaning of the earth, which is how he has defined the overman. Nietzsche is also quite careful to make clear that he intends to place value on the body and its health at the expense of the mind and soul. "The body is inspired; let us keep the 'soul' out of it."79 One could, of course, interpret this caution as a simple desire to distinguish his thought from Christianity, but I believe Nietzsche's point here is more complex than that. I think that he also means to distinguish his thought from that of the conventional Enlightenment, and particularly from the ideas of someone like Descartes. Against any Cartesian dualism Nietzsche offers this new idea: that the body is all there is, that the "soul" and the "mind" are mere effects of our bodies. This pure physicalism can thus be read as a challenge to the traditional Enlightened idea of subjectivity, which after all locates the subject in the functions of the mind and in rationality.

Yet as always, Nietzsche's challenge to Enlightened thought contains and conceals a subtler capitulation to Enlightenment. In a section of Zarathustra called "On the Despisers of the Body," Nietzsche has some very interesting things to say about humanity's physical existence. Zarathustra claims that "body am I entirely, and nothing else; and soul is only a word for something about the body."80 Again, Nietzsche is locating the essence of human existence in the physical body, in direct contradiction to the conventional Enlightenment's emphasis on mental activity. But Zarathustra goes on to say: "behind your thoughts and feelings, my brother, there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage--whose name is self. In your body he dwells; he is your body."81 This shows us that Nietzsche is not simply rejecting the project of subjectivity begun by the Enlightenment. Rather, he is challenging the specific forms of Enlightened subjectivity, while retaining the idea that humans are to be understood as individuals. The "mighty ruler" whose "name is self" sounds very much like the autonomous Enlightenment subject. Indeed, Nietzsche goes on to say that "there is more reason in your body than in your best wisdom."82 Nietzsche is not even willing, it seems, to jettison reason as one of the qualities of subjecthood. Instead, he simply changes the location of subjectivity from the mind and soul, where it had resided in the thought of the conventional Enlightenment, to the body. To be sure, this is a substantial change; the purely physical subject that Nietzsche describes looks very different from the mental subject of Descartes. But the fact that Nietzsche continues to understand subjectivity in terms of independent individuals, and indeed individuals who are rooted in some kind of reason, shows that he has not moved far from the traditional Enlightenment.

Utopian optimism pervades Nietzsche's discussion of life and health. In a polemic against the "preachers of death," Zarathustra says: "'Life is only suffering,' others say, and do not lie: see to it, then, that you cease! See to it, then, that the life which is only suffering ceases!"83 This is a thinly-veiled attack on Arthur Schopenhauer, the pessimistic German philosopher whom Nietzsche admired in his youth. Schopenhauer's philosophy, strongly grounded in Buddhism, left a bad taste in the mature Nietzsche's mouth, and we can well imagine why. If we understand life as suffering, there can be little room for the kind of affirmation demanded by Nietzsche's utopia. Nietzsche's attack on suffering also gives us further justification for understanding the eternal return as a selective affirmation, rather than as an affirmation of the negative and the positive. Against pessimistic philosophy, Zarathustra insists that we "lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do--back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning."84 Here Nietzsche's humanism is evident; his concern for humanity and the "human meaning" of the earth becomes the motivation for his affirmation of the body and of life. In several passages, Zarathustra expresses a delight at some of the particular wonders of life. For example, he speaks of "sex: for free hearts, innocent and free, the garden of happiness of the earth, the future's exuberant gratitude to the present."85 This passage contains several of the Nietzschean themes I have been emphasizing: optimism, affirmation, an emphasis on the physical and a concern for the future. Here Zarathustra is beginning to sketch out the particular dimensions of the Nietzschean utopia. Zarathustra's ultimate goal is made clear in "On the Vision and the Riddle," when he says "courage, however, is the best slayer--courage which attacks: which slays even death itself, for it says, 'Was that life? Well then! Once more!"86 This is the essence of Nietzschean affirmation, and it points to the true meaning of eternal return. Zarathustra is advocating the affirmation of life, certainly, but not just any life. He is favoring the life of "great health," the life which "slays even death itself," rather than the exhausted, nihilistic life of the modern European.

I have been alluding for some time to the Nietzschean individual, and I would now like to explain in some detail the significance of this entity. I believe that a strong, independent human subject is the ultimate destination of Nietzsche's utopian project. As we know, the meaning of earth is, for Nietzsche, the overman. I now wish to argue that this overman represents a radical principle of individuality. Some thinkers, notably Alexander Nehamas, have lamented the difficulties of explaining just what this new individual looks like. Nehamas writes: "what is the end product of this process, this new philosopher or the ćbermensch, actually like? Why has it been so persistently difficult to describe this character in even minimally informative terms? Many of the descriptions we have rely so heavily on Nietzsche's own unexplicated metaphors that it is hard to avoid the suspicion that little indeed can be said of it."87 Nehamas's frustration here is legitimate. The overman, like many of the concepts in Zarathustra, is indeed described in metaphorical terms that are often vague or difficult to decipher. However, I do not believe that it is impossible to describe the new individual that Nietzsche wishes to create. Indeed, I believe that this individual pervades Zarathustra. Further, I feel that this individual, so crucial to Nietzsche's project, represents a refinement and culmination of the Enlightenment's project to create a viable form of subjectivity. As such, the new Nietzschean individual stands at the apex of Nietzsche's utopian vision.

Greg Whitlock is quite right when he writes that "as human history continues to develop. . .Nietzsche sees an ever greater role played by individuals, even if they must still struggle against gargantuan governments and rigid social institutions. In this struggle, Nietzsche is one of world history's greatest champions of individualism and free thinking."88 Understood in this way, Nietzsche's project is perfectly Enlightened. He is pursuing the creation of radically individual beings, and this places him squarely in the camp of the individualists of the conventional Enlightenment. Nietzsche's concern to promote individuality often manifests itself in attacks on any institution or social phenomenon that might threaten the individual. Thus in the section "On War and Warriors," Zarathustra says: "I see many soldiers: would that I saw many warriors! 'Uniform' one calls what they wear: would that what it conceals were not uniform!"89 Clearly this is meant as a critique of the ways in which modern society and the modern state trivialize the individual and mold individuals into faceless herds. Zarathustra goes on to lament that "today belongs to the mob: who could still know what is great and what small? Who could still successfully seek greatness?"90 Again, Zarathustra is bemoaning the fact that the modern world's emphasis on uniformity ("the mob") precludes the development of strong individuals. However, we should be careful not to infer from this that Nietzsche finds the mob to be entirely useless; he considers them to be means to an end. He writes in the Will to Power: "In opposition to this dwarfing and adaptation of man to a specialized utility, a reverse movement is needed--the production of a synthetic, summarizing, justifying man for whose existence this transformation of mankind into a machine is a precondition, as a base on which he can invent his higher form of being."91 This "justifying man" is clearly meant to suggest the overman, and here Nietzsche opposes the overman to the modern herd man. But he also admits that the herd man prepares the way for the superior man.

Regardless of whether or not Nietzsche sees the herd man as "useful," however, his privileging of the superior individual over the masses of humanity leaves him open to a charge of elitism. "First the teaching of the rabble, and only later that of the highest men, is called good," Nietzsche laments in the Nachlaž.92 Nietzsche's utopia, it seems, is not a utopia for all, or even for many; it looks rather like an elitist utopia for which only a select few may be eligible. This should not be surprising, of course, given the affinities Nietzsche has with the tradition of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche's position is quite reminiscent of the intellectual elitism of the conventional Enlightenment, which held that only those who could pass the test of Cartesian rationality were eligible to participate in the Enlightenment's projects. Zarathustra says: "to me justice speaks thus: 'men are not equal.' Nor shall they become equal! What would my love of the overman be if I spoke otherwise?"93 This recalls Nietzsche's critique of democracy, which I discussed in Chapter Three above. As Zarathustra puts it, "a new nobility is needed to be the adversary of all rabble and of all that is despotic and to write anew upon new tablets the word 'noble.'"94 What the fate of the "rabble" may be once the "new nobility" arises to oppose them is uncertain, but we may suspect that it will not be pleasant. In a note from the Nachlaž, Nietzsche suggests that "men should become more and more dissimilar."95 He seems clearly opposed to any egalitarianism here. Thus Zarathustra's "word pronounced selfishness blessed, the wholesome, healthy selfishness that wells from a powerful soul."96 Nietzsche seems to be suggesting that it is legitimate for the superior individual to concern himself only with the needs of his own self-creation, perhaps at the expense of those around him. By developing the overman as a principle of radical individuality, Nietzsche thus runs the risk of retaining many of the exclusionary problems which the conventional Enlightenment encountered.

Ibçnez-NoÄ suggests, however, one possible way to vindicate Nietzsche of the implications of elitism which seem to haunt his project of subjectivity. Ibçnez-NoÄ writes: "the project of modernity, as it becomes patent in the philosophies of Hegel and Nietzsche, is the implementation of the freedom of the absolute subject, i.e., the establishment of the human being as the center and measure of all beings and the transformation of the world into a house for that subject."97 Ibçnez-NoÄ is associating Nietzsche here with the project of modernity, and implicitly with the project of the Enlightenment; he is suggesting that Nietzsche's goal is the creation of a viable and free human subject. As we have seen, this new human subjectivity is not for everyone, and it runs the risk of excluding those who are not able to participate in the project of the overman. However, Ibçnez-NoÄ goes on to suggest that "Nietzsche sees the belief in eternal recurrence as a means to bring about the clearest decision with respect to the modern project of absolute freedom of the subject, and thus as a means to break the historical preponderance of the mediocrity and tepidness of the last man."98 Here Ibçnez-NoÄ is arguing as I did above that the thought of eternal return has profound effects on the way in which we view ourselves and our relationship to the world. More importantly, he is suggesting that Nietzsche is looking for a way to resolve the incomplete and problematic project of modern, Enlightened subjectivity. The implication here is that the elitism and exclusion that trouble our modern ideas of subjectivity develop largely from the fact that the Enlightenment's project of subjectivity is imperfect. By bringing about a satisfactory resolution to this project, Nietzsche hopes to overcome these problems. A temporary elitism is the unfortunate result, but once the problematic ideas of subjectivity that plague the modern world are replaced by a new kind of subjectivity, such elitism will no longer be necessary. As Ibçnez-NoÄ puts it, "it is with respect to this man [the overman], who in his absolute self-empowerment goes beyond all imperfect forms of the modern subject, that we must understand Nietzsche's formula for the 'greatness of man.'"99 Here we see again evidence of Nietzsche's humanism: the overman is meant as a means to the improvement of humanity. Specifically, the concept of overman is intended to complete the Enlightenment's troubled and problematic project of subjectivity in such a way as to make elitism unnecessary.

Heidegger suggests that "the overman is the expressly willed negation of the previous essence of man."100 For Heidegger, Nietzsche's philosophy represents a direct challenge to the Enlightened notion of subjectivity, which locates the essence of humanity exclusively in its rational capacities, and I think Heidegger is right about this. I would add to his interpretation, however, by saying that although Nietzsche's understanding does challenge the problematic Enlightened idea of subjectivity, his work does not represent an attack on the project of creating subjectivity itself. Rather, Nietzsche's overman constitutes a claim that subjectivity can be viable if we think of it apart from rationality. Or more accurately, Nietzsche wishes to explore the possibilities of subjectivity available to us once we begin to think of rationality as one quality or aspect of humanity, rather than as humanity's single defining characteristic. In this sense, Nietzsche represents the conclusion of the Enlightened project of subjectivity, much as he represents for Heidegger the conclusion of the Western project of metaphysics. "You must consume yourself in your own flame," Zarathustra tells us. "How could you wish to become new unless you had first become ashes!"101 In many ways this summarizes Nietzsche's project. His attack on Enlightened subjectivity is motivated by the desire to produce a new and superior kind of subject; in short, it is motivated by a desire to complete the project of the Enlightenment in a way the thinkers of the conventional Enlightenment could not. As Jaspers puts it, for Nietzsche "all negation is justified only by the creative positing to which it is preparatory and which it conditions or follows."102 Indeed, as Jaspers goes on to state, the self-knowledge of someone pursuing Nietzsche's project of subjectivity gives new meaning to old Enlightened thought: "only when the basic desire to know is borne, not by knowledge as a mere occupation but as the revelation of being, does it become imperative to have courage: sapere aude!"103 Here Kant's old dictum acquires a profound new sense as Nietzsche refines and resolves the project of Enlightenment: one must have courage to know oneself. Or in Winfried Happ's words, "one can only formulate the meaning of Nietzsche's philosophy in the perspective of the creation of the self."104

Nietzsche describes his concept of radical self-creation at several points in Zarathustra. He writes: "can you give yourself your own evil and your own good and hang your own will over yourself as a law? Can you be your own judge and avenger of your law?"105 This is the challenge Nietzsche makes. It is no simple task to create oneself anew. But the alternative is to retain the inadequate categories of Enlightened subjectivity that have served us so poorly for so long. Thus "he. . .has discovered himself who says, 'This is my good and evil'; with that he has reduced to silence the mole and dwarf who say, 'Good for all, evil for all.'"106 Nietzsche is offering self-creation as an alternative to the ethics of Christianity, clearly, but also as an alternative to the thought of Enlightenment which claims that rationality is good for all. Again, we must realize that this challenge to the content of Enlightened subjectivity is actually an affirmation of the basic program of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche is attacking the rational, autonomous self of the conventional Enlightenment, but he is simultaneously attempting to create a new principle of individuality based on self-creation. Thus Ludwig Nagl is quite right to argue that "in his critique of morality Nietzsche emphasizes a vision of practical self-creation the Enlightenment-related core of which is easily overlooked due to Nietzsche's fullblown rhetoric against all moral vocabularies."107 To create ourselves as viable human subjects, after all, was always the way the Enlightenment understood its own project. The enthusiasm with which Nietzsche has denounced the Enlightenment's failure to complete that project has tended to mask the reason that Nietzsche was so hostile to the conventional Enlightenment. Nietzsche believed that he could complete the modern project of subjectivity successfully, as the traditional Enlightenment could not. He completed this project by taking subjectivity in a radical new direction, but his basic concerns and motivations remained those of any Enlightened thinker.

Some critics have argued that Nietzsche's idea of self-creation does not constitute a strong principle of individuality. Nehamas, for example, writes: "the self, according to Nietzsche, is not a constant, stable entity. On the contrary, it is something one becomes, something, he would even say, one constructs. . . .A self is just a set of coherently connected episodes."108 Interpreted in this way, Nietzsche's project hardly sounds like the project of Enlightenment at all; at best it could be described as a radical failure to produce the kind of stable subjectivity the Enlightenment demands. Nehamas believes that Nietzsche "looks at people as if they were literary characters and at life as if it were a literary work."109 This suggests a kind of fictional subjectivity that is very much at odds with the kind of subjectivity the Enlightenment was trying to create, as well as with the kind of practical self-creation that I have been arguing constitutes Nietzsche's main project. Nehamas writes: "the creation of the self therefore appears to be the creation, or imposition, of a higher-order accord among our lower-level thoughts, desires, and actions. It is the development of the ability, or the willingness, to accept responsibility for everything that we have done and to admit what is in any case true: that everything that we have done actually constitutes who each one of us is."110 Nehamas understands the Nietzschean individual as nothing more than a collection of actions.

Against Nehamas's interpretation of Nietzschean self-creation as the creation of a fictional or literary character, I wish to argue with Heidegger that "if the eternal recurrence of the same governs being as will to power in general, the absolute and consummate subjectivity of will to power must be humanly stated in the subject of the overman."111 Nehamas underemphasizes the importance that Nietzsche places on the overman as a new kind of human subject. Nietzsche intends the overman as an actual type of human being, one who possesses "absolute and consummate subjectivity." This is part of Nietzsche's humanism; he intends the overman as a goal towards which actual humans may project themselves. It is here that the Enlightened heart of Nietzschean self-creation is most clear, for it is here that Nietzsche most clearly attempts to complete the program of subjectivity begun by the conventional Enlightenment. The overman represents, for Nietzsche, the best hope for the future of humanity. It also represents a new understanding of the self as a profoundly independent, individual human subject, and this is the essence of Nietzsche's utopian project. Despite Nietzsche's frequent and fervent attacks on the specific content of Enlightened subjectivity, his goal is best understood as the completion of the Enlightenment. Nietzsche meant to accomplish what the conventional Enlightenment could not, by making possible the creation of strong, independent human subjects who would not fall prey to the debilitating limitations which are symptomatic of any Enlightened subjectivity that locates the essence of humanity specifically in reason.

One question remains to be asked: to what extent was Nietzsche successful? Does his overman represent a meaningful possibility for humanity? To answer this question, I wish to consider another Nietzschean construct: the higher man. The higher man is interesting in that he represents a type that is close to, but has not yet attained, the status of overman. This is largely the theme of the fourth and final part of Zarathustra. In this part of the work, Zarathustra gathers a group of "higher men" together in his cave and speaks to them. "'You may indeed all be higher men,'" Zarathustra says, ". . .'but for me you are not high and strong enough.'"112 The reasons for his dissatisfaction are complex; Jaspers suggests that "each of them [the higher men] reveals a trait of greatness in his very inadequacy."113 Here we begin to see the function of the higher men for Nietzsche. They represent the greatness that is actually possible in humanity--again Nietzsche's humanism is evident here--and the contrast they make with the overman is very illuminating. The fact that the highest examples of mankind are not enough suggests that Nietzsche was becoming aware, in this last part of his most important work, of the truly utopian nature of his project. Jaspers goes on to argue that the fact "that Nietzsche abandons every kind of 'superior man' and rejects every sort of deification of a specific individual is due to an impulse that never permits him to rest content with anything limited."114 Nietzsche will only be satisfied, it seems, with perfection, and we may suspect that no awareness of eternal recurrence, no amor fati, will enable flawed humanity to achieve that. This leads Deleuze to argue that "the conditions which would make the enterprise of the higher man viable are conditions which would change its nature: Dionysian affirmation rather than man's species activity. The element of affirmation is the superhuman element. The element of affirmation is what man lacks--even and above all the higher man."115

What Deleuze is pointing to here is the essence of the Nietzschean paradox. As I have argued, Nietzsche intends his overman to be the way to the salvation of humanity. And yet to become overman is to transcend and overcome humanity. Deleuze writes: "affirmation is only manifested above man, outside man, in the Overman which it produces and in the unknown that it brings with it."116 This is the ultimate moment of utopian thought for Nietzsche. He has created a vision for the perfection of mankind, a picture of the future that is utopian in the best and worst senses of the word. He has, in short, done his work too well: the overman is a category so perfect that it must remain elusive to any mere human. "You are mere bridges," Zarathustra says to the higher men. "May men higher than you stride over you. You signify steps: therefore do not be angry with him who climbs over you to his height. A genuine son and perfect heir may yet grow from your seed, even for me: but that is distant."117 Perhaps it is infinitely distant. Richard White suggests provocatively that "the Overman is an important but limited ideal which gives us an initial perspective upon the imperative of sovereignty. Perhaps it is a necessary stage of thinking, which helps us to overcome the present, but it cannot be the final stage."118 Once Nietzschean affirmation begins, it can have no tidy end, and if the overman is merely a stage on the way to an ever greater affirmation, then it would be naive indeed to suppose that Nietzsche's project could ever be concluded in any meaningful way.

This is the last and perhaps the most important way in which Nietzsche remains the captive of Enlightenment. The essence of Enlightened thought, like the essence of Nietzschean thought, lies in its utopianism. Enlightenment is a vision of a better world, and not necessarily one that may be realistically achieved. But this should not cause us to discard Enlightenment. Sometimes the simple fact of a goal, even an unattainable one, is enough. We have seen that for Nietzsche, the thought of eternal return and its effects on us are often more important than any "real" eternal return, and the same may be said for the idea of overman. It is the idea of overman that is essential in Nietzschean thought, for it is the vision of the future symbolized by the overman that lies at the heart of Nietzsche's project. And it is the pursuit of this idea, through constant self-improvement and self-creation, that motivates Nietzsche's humanism. For him, the constant attempt at overman is the best hope we have of creating ourselves in a way that will not fall victim to all the problems and dangers of the conventional Enlightenment. It is for this reason that, despite the utopian nature of his program, Zarathustra is able to say on the last page of Nietzsche's great work: "'Well then! The lion came, my children are near, Zarathustra has ripened, my hour has come: this is my morning, my day is breaking: rise now, rise, thou great noon!"119

Works Cited

I. Works By Nietzsche

Quotations from Nietzsche's unpublished notebooks (the Nachlaž) are based on the standard Colli and Montinari edition of the Nietzsche Werke. All translations are my own.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Nietzsche Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter and Co.

When referring to Nietzsche's published works, I have made use of the excellent translations of Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Antichrist In The Portable Nietzsche. Edited and Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Penguin Books, 1984.

--. Beyond Good and Evil. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.

--. The Birth of Tragedy and The Case of Wagner. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1967.

--. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

--. The Gay Science. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1974.

--. Human, all too Human: a Book for Free Spirits. Translated by R.╩J. Hollingdale. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

--. On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo. Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. Edited by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1969.

--. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Penguin Books, 1988.

--. Twilight of the Idols. In The Portable Nietzsche. Edited and Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Penguin Books, 1984.

--. Untimely Meditations. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

--. The Will to Power. Translated by Walter Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. Edited by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1968.

II. Works on Nietzsche

Ansell-Pearson, Keith. Nietzsche contra Rousseau: a Study of Nietzsche's Moral and Political Thought. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

--. "The Significance of Michel Foucault's Reading of Nietzsche: Power, the Subject, and Political Theory." Nietzsche-Studien (1991): 267-283.

Antosik, Stanley J. The Question of Elites: an Essay on the Cultural Elitism of Nietzsche, George and Hesse. Las Vegas: Peter Lang, 1978.

Babich, Babette E. "Nietzsche and the Philosophy of Scientific Power: Will to Power as Constructive Interpretation." International Studies in Philosophy 22 (1990): 79-92.

--. Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science: Reflecting Science on the Ground of Art and Life. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1994.

Bergmann, Peter. Nietzsche, "the Last Antipolitical German." Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Blondel, Eric. "Nietzsche Contra Rousseau: Goethe Versus Catalina." History of European Ideas 11 (1989): 675-683.

Brinton, Crane. Nietzsche. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1948.

Brogan, Walter A. "The Decentered Self: Nietzsche's Transgression of Metaphysical Subjectivity." Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (Winter 1991): 419-430.

Bund, Hugo. Nietzsche als Prophet des Sozialismus. Breslau: Trewendt and Granier, 1919.

Cartright, David E. "The Last Temptation of Zarathustra." Journal of the History of Philosophy 31 (1993): 49-70.

Clark, Maudemarie. Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Danto, Arthur C. Nietzsche as Philosopher. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980.

de Gaultier, Jules. From Kant to Nietzsche. Translated by Gerald M. Spring. London: P. Owen, 1961.

Deleuze, Gilles. "Active and Reactive." In The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation, edited by David B. Allison. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1985.

--. Nietzsche and Philosophy. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983.

--. "Nomad Thought." In The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation, edited by David B. Allison. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1985.

Eden, Robert. Political Leadership and Nihilism: A Study of Weber and Nietzsche. Tampa: University of South Florida Press, 1983.

Fell, Albert. "The Excess of Nietzsche's 'Amor Fati.'" In The Great Year of Zarathustra (1881-1981), edited by David Goicoechea, 81-96. New York: University Press of America, 1983.

Fowler, Mark C. "Nietzsche as Instructor in Autonomy? Comments on 'Nietzsche Contra Kant and the Problem of Autonomy.'" International Studies in Philosophy 22 (1990): 13-16.

Gamm, Gerhardt. Wahrheit als Differenz: Studien zu einer anderen Theorie der Moderne. Frankfurt am Main: AthanŐum, 1986.

Gemes, Ken. "Nietzsche's Critique of Truth." Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 47-65.

Gerhardt, Volker. "Selbstbegrčndung: Nietzsches Moral der IndividualitŐt." Nietzsche-Studien (1992): 28-49.

Goyard-Fabre, Simone. Nietzsche et la Question Politique. Paris: âditions Sirey, 1977.

Granier, Jean. "Perspectivism and Interpretation." In The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation, edited by David B. Allison. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1985.

--. Le problĆme de la VÄrite dans la philosophie de Nietzsche. Paris: âditions du Seuil, 1966.

Haas, Ludwig. "Der Darwinismus bei Nietzsche." Ph.D. diss. Hessischen Ludwigs-UniversitŐt zu Giežen, 1932.

Happ, Winfried. Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" als moderne TragÜdie. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Peter Lang, 1984.

Hatab, Lawrence. Nietzsche and Eternal Recurrence: the Redemption of Time and Becoming. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America, 1978.

Heidegger, Martin. Nietzsche. Edited by David Farrell Krell. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1991.

Higgins, Kathleen. Nietzsche's Zarathustra. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.

Hunt, Lester. "The Eternal Recurrence and Nietzsche's Ethic of Virtue." International Studies in Philosophy 25 (1993): 3-11.

Ibçnez-NoÄ, Javier A. "Truth and Ethos: The Philosophical Foundations of Nietzsche's Ethics." Philosophy Today 38 (1994): 70-88.

Jaspers, Karl. Nietzsche. Translated by Charles F. Wallraf and Frederick J. Schmitz. Chicago: Henry Regnery Company, 1966.

JoŚs, Ernest. Poetic Truth and Transvaluation in Nietzsche's Zarathustra: A Hermeneutic Study. New York: Peter Lang, 1987.

Kaufmann, Walter. Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. 4th ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974.

Kittman, Siegfried. Kant und Nietzsche: Darstellung und Vergleich ihrer Ethik und Moral. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1984.

Lampert, Laurence. Nietzsche and Modern Times. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.

--. Nietzsche's Teaching: An Interpretation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986.

Leinen, Irmgard. "Aristokratismus und Antipolitik: Umrisse und Motive einer politischen Sociologie in den Schriften Nietzsches." Ph.D. diss., Rheinisch-WestfŐlischen Technischen Hochschule Aachen, 1982.

Lonsbach, R. M. Nietzsche und die Juden. Stockholm: Bermann-Fischer, 1939.

Madigan, Patrick. The Modern Project to Rigor; Descartes to Nietzsche. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1986.

Magnus, Bernd. "Overman: An Attitude or an Ideal?" In The Great Year of Zarathustra (1881-1981), edited by David Goicoechea, 142-165. New York: University Press of America, 1983.

Megill, Allan. Prophets of Extremity: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Moles, Alistair. "Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence as Riemannian Cosmology." International Studies in Philosophy 21 (1989): 21-35.

--. Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature and Cosmology. New York: Peter Lang, 1990.

Mullen, Deborah Carter. "Art, Science, and Truth in Nietzsche and Heidegger." International Studies in Philosophy 26 (1994): 45-55.

Nagl, Ludwig. "The Enlightenment--A Stranded Project--Habermas on Nietzsche as a Turning-Point to Postmodernity." History of European Ideas 11 (1989): 743-750.

Nehamas, Alexander. Nietzsche: Life as Literature. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985.

Okanta, Ike. Nietzsche: The Politics of Power. New York: Peter Lang, 1992.

Pangle, Thomas L. "The 'Warrior Spirit' as an Inlet to the Political Philosophy of Nietzsche's Zarathustra." Nietzsche-Studien (1986): 140-179.

Peters, H. F. Zarathustra's Sister: the Case of Elisabeth and Friedrich Nietzsche. New York: Crown, 1977.

Reboul, Olivier. Nietzsche: Critique de Kant. N.p.: Presses Universitaires de France, 1974.

Rosenberg, Alfred. Friedrich Nietzsche. Mčnchen: F. Eher Nachf., 1944.

Schmidt, Lars-Henrik. Immediacy Lost: Construction of the Social in Rousseau and Nietzsche. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 1988.

Schwartz, Stephen P. "The Status of Nietzsche's Theory of the Will to Power in the Light of Contemporary Philosophy of Science." International Studies in Philosophy 25 (1993): 85-92.

Seigfried, Hans. "Autonomy and Quantum Physics: Nietzsche, Heidegger and Heisenberg." Philosophy of Science 57 (1990): 619-630.

--. "Opposing Science with Art, Again? Nietzsche's Project According to Stack." International Studies in Philosophy 21 (1989): 105-111.

Spiekermann, Klaus. Naturwissenschaft als subjektlose Macht? Nietzsches Kritik physikalischer Grundkonzepte. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1992.

Stambaugh, Joan. Nietzsche's Thought of Eternal Return. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972.

Stern, J. P. Nietzsche. Hassocks, England: Harvester Press, 1978.

Strong, Tracy B. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975.

Thiele, Leslie Paul. Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul: a Study of Heroic Individualism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990.

--. "Nietzsche's Politics." Interpretation 17 (Winter 1990): 275-290.

Villa, Dana R. "Beyond Good and Evil: Arendt, Nietzsche and the Aestheticization of Political Action." Political Theory 21 (May 1992): 274-307.

Warren, Mark. Nietzsche and Political Thought. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1988.

White, Richard. "Nietzsche Contra Kant and the Problem of Autonomy." International Studies in Philosophy 22 (1990): 3-11.

--. "Zarathustra and the Progress of Sovereignty: From the Overman to the Eternal Recurrence." International Studies in Philosophy 26 (1994): 107-115.

Whitlock, Greg. Returning to Sils-Maria: A Commentary to Nietzsche's "Also sprach Zarathustra." New York: Peter Lang, 1990.

Wicks, Robert. "The Eternal Recurrence: Nietzsche's Ideology of the Lion." Southern Journal of Philosophy 31 (1993): 97-118.

Wilcox, John T. Truth and Value in Nietzsche: A Study of his Metaethics and Epistemology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1974.

III. Other Works

Allison, Henry E. Kant's Theory of Freedom. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Blackbourn, David and Geoff Eley. The Peculiarities of German History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Burrow, J. W. Evolution and Society. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1966.

Cascardi, A. J. "The Ethics of Enlightenment: Goya and Kant" Philosophy and Literature, Volume 15, Number 2 (October 1991): 189-211.

Cassirer, Ernst. The Philosophy of the Enlightenment. Trans. Fritz C. A. Koelln and James P. Pettegrove. Boston: Beacon Press, 1955.

Condorcet, Antoine-Nicolas de. Sketch for a Historical Progress of the Human Mind. Translated by June Barraclough. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1955.

Cottingham, John. The Rationalists. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Cristaudo, Wayne. The Metaphysics of Science and Freedom. Brookfield, Vermont: Gower Publishing Company, 1991.

Darnton, Robert. "The High Enlightenment and the Low-Life of Literature in Pre-Revolutionary France." Past and Present 51 (May 1971): 83-115.

Darwin, Charles. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. New York: Merrill and Baker, 1874.

--. The Origin of Species. New York: Random House, 1993.

Descartes, RenÄ. Discourse on Method and the Meditations. Trans. F. E. Sutcliffe. New York: Penguin Books, 1968.

--. Meditations on First Philosophy. Trans. Laurence J. Lafleur. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1985.

Donner, Wendy. The Liberal Self: John Stuart Mill's Moral and Political Philosophy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books, 1979.

Gay, Peter. The Enlightenment: An Interpretation. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966.

Gray, John. Mill on Liberty: a Defence. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1983.

Hampson, Norman. The Enlightenment: An Evaluation of its Assumptions, Attitudes and Values. New York: Penguin Books, 1968.

Himmelfarb, Gertrude. On Liberty and Liberalism: The Case of John Stuart Mill. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974.

Horkheimer, Max and Theodor Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment. Trans. John Cumming. New York: Continuum, 1994.

Jacob, Margaret. The Cultural Meaning of the Scientific Revolution. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1988.

Kahan, Alan S. Aristocratic Liberalism: The Social and Political Thought of Jacob Burckhardt, John Stuart Mill, and Alexis de Tocqueville. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. Lewis White Beck. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993.

--. Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. James W. Ellington. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1981.

Kennedy, James G. Herbert Spencer. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1978.

Loeb, Louis E. "The Priority of Reason in Descartes." The Philosophical Review, Volume 99, Number 1 (January 1990): 3-43.

Michalson, Gordon E. Fallen Freedom: Kant on Radical Evil and Moral Regeneration. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Mill, John Stuart. "Bentham." In The Six Great Humanistic Essays of John Stuart Mill. New York: Washington Square Press, 1969.

--. On Liberty. New York: Penguin Books, 1986.

--. "Utilitarianism." In Utilitarianism and Other Essays. Ed. Alan Ryan. New York: Penguin Books, 1987.

Miller, James. Rousseau: Dreamer of Democracy. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984.

Peel, J. D. Y. Herbert Spencer: The Evolution of a Sociologist. London: Heinemann, 1971.

Rapaczynski, Andrzej. Nature and Politics: Liberalism in the Philosophies of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. "Discourse on the Sciences and Arts (First Discourse)" in The First and Second Discourses. Trans. Roger D. and Judith R. Masters. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1964.

--. The Social contract and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. New York: Pocket Books, 1967.

Ruse, Michael. The Darwinian Paradigm. New York: Routledge, 1989.

--. The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.

Schouls, Peter A. The Imposition of Method: A Study of Descartes and Locke. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.

Shklar, Judith. Men and Citizens: A Study of Rousseau's Social Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969.

Soffer, Walter. From Science to Subjectivity: An Interpretation of Descartes' Meditations. New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Spencer, Herbert. Principles of Sociology. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1975.

Strong, Tracy B. "Rousseau: The General Will and the Scandal of Politics." Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Sociales working paper, February 1993.

Talmon, Jacob Leib. The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy. London: Secker & Warburg, 1952.

Taylor, M. W. Men Versus the State: Herbert Spencer and Late Victorian Individualism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992.

Velkley, Richard L. Freedom and the End of Reason: On the Moral Foundation of Kant's Critical Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.

Viroli, M. "Republic and Politics in Machiavelli and Rousseau." History of Political Thought Volume 10, Number 3 (Fall 1989): 405-420.

Voss, Stephen, ed. Essays on the Philosophy and Science of RenÄ Descartes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Wiltshire, David. The Social and Political Thought of Herbert Spencer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Young, Robert M. Darwin's Metaphor. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Zimmer, Louis B. "J. S. Mill and Bentham on Liberty: The Case of the Unacknowledged Mentor." Historian, Volume 52, Number 3 (May 1990): 375-393.

Notes to Introduction

1This kind of argument has been made, for example, by Foucault in his Discipline and Punish.

2Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, for example, argue in their Dialectic of Enlightenment that Enlightenment is such an insidious, pervasive force in the modern world that it makes its presence felt even in popular culture and music. The implication of this type of argument is that Enlightenment is too big, too powerful and too all-encompassing to be resisted or overcome.

3See "The High Enlightenment and the Low-Life of Literature in Pre-Revolutionary France."

4Cassirer, Philosophy of the Enlightenment, 5.

5Gay, The Enlightenment, 3.

6Hampson, The Enlightenment, 37.

7Ibid., 23.

Notes to Chapter One

1Descartes, Discourse on Method, 41.

2Ibid., 41.

3Ibid., 43.

4Loeb, "Priority of Reason in Descartes," 4.

5Ibid., 6.

6Cottingham, Rationalists, 176-7.

7Schouls, Imposition of Method, 41.

8Voss, Essays, 237.

9Ibid., 259.

10Cristaudo, Metaphysics of Science and Freedom, 19.

11Descartes, quoted in Cristaudo, Metaphysics of Science and Freedom, 3.

12Jacob, Cultural Meaning of the Scientific Revolution, 56.

13Ibid., 59.

14Soffer, From Science to Subjectivity, 7.

15Descartes, Meditations, 24.

16Ibid., 26.

17Ibid., 27.

18Soffer, From Science to Subjectivity, 5.

19Rousseau, "First Discourse," 48.

20Rousseau, Social Contract and Discourse on Inequality, 17.

21Strong, "Rousseau," 13.

22Rousseau, Social Contract and Discourse on Inequality, 220.

23Ibid., 226.

24Ibid., 17-18.

25Ibid., 23.

26Ibid., 113.

27Ibid., 30.

28Rapaczynski , Nature and Politics, 255.

29Miller, Rousseau, 65.

30Talmon, Totalitarian Democracy, 2.

31Shklar, Men and Citizens, 162.

32Viroli, "Republic and Politics," 411.

33Rapaczynski, Nature and Politics, 236.

34Ibid., 236.

35Ibid., 243.

36Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 129.

37Ibid., 131.

38Cristaudo, Metaphysics and Science of Freedom, 114.

39Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 30.

40Michalson, Fallen Freedom, 4.

41Ibid., 109.

42Kant, Groundwork, 22.

43Ibid., 35.

44Ibid., 40.

45Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 24.

46Kant, Groundwork, 48.

47Ibid., 49.

48Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, 34.

49Allison, Kant's Theory of Freedom, 105.

50Velkley, Freedom and the End of Reason, 1.

51Cascardi, "Ethics of Enlightenment," 194.

52Velkley, Freedom and the End of Reason, 19.

53Mill, "Utilitarianism," 275.

54Ibid., 286.

55Ibid., 296.

56Zimmer, "J. S. Mill and Bentham On Liberty," 384.

57Donner, The Liberal Self, 1.

58Gray, Mill on Liberty, 45.

59Himmelfarb, On Liberty and Liberalism, 7.

60Donner, The Liberal Self, 150.

61Mill, "Utilitarianism," 327.

62Mill, "Bentham," 33.

63Ibid., 41, 47.

64Donner, The Liberal Self, 7.

65Kahan, Aristocratic Liberalism, 102.

66Mill, On Liberty, 131.

67Ibid., 115.

68Ibid., 95.

69Darwin, Origin of Species, 71.

70Ibid., 109.

71Ibid., 128.

72Ibid., 444.

73Young, Darwin's Metaphor, 83.

74Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm, 10.

75Ibid., 16.

76Young, Darwin's Metaphor, 17.

77Darwin, Descent of Man, 132.

78Darwin, Origin of Species, 111.

79Darwin, Descent of Man, 552.

80Ibid., 558.

81Spencer, Principles I, 426.

82Ibid., 745.

83Spencer, Principles II, 242.

84Burrow, Evolution and Society, 194.

85Ibid., 207.

86Peel, Herbert Spencer, 97.

87Ibid., 162.

88Burrow, Evolution and Society, 187.

89Kennedy, Herbert Spencer, 62.

90Wiltshire, Social and Political Thought of Herbert Spencer, 206.

91Peel, Herbert Spencer, 135.

92Spencer, Principles I, 610.

93Kennedy, Herbert Spencer, 105.

94Ibid., 103.

95Wiltshire, Social and Political Thought of Herbert Spencer, 1.

96Ibid., 166.

97Taylor, Men versus the State, 35.

98Burrow, Evolution and Society, 214.

Notes to Chapter Two

1Nietzsche, Will to Power, 498.

2Ibid., 289-290.

3Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 302.

4Kaufmann, tranlator's introduction to The Gay Science, 7.

5Nietzsche, Gay Science, 106.

6Ibid., 281.

7Ibid., 335.

8Ibid., 111.

9Nietzsche, Werke VII/3, 333.

10Ibid., 354.

11Ibid., 370.

12Ibid., 371.

13Nietzsche, Will to Power, 268.

14Nietzsche, Gay Science, 305.

15Nietzsche, Werke VII/3, 369.

16Heidegger, Nietzsche, Volume IV, 28.

17Ibid., 86.

18Ibid., 130.

19Ibid., 133.


21Jaspers, Nietzsche, 176.

22Nehamas, Nietzsche, 1.

23Jaspers, Nietzsche, 180.

24Heidegger, Nietzsche, Volume IV, 103.


26Ibid., 117.

27Ibid., 129.

28Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 266.

29Lampert, Nietzsche and Modern Times, 6.

30Ibid., 10.

31Ibid., 301.


33Nietzsche, Gay Science, 338.

34Okanta, Nietzsche, 102.

35Nietzsche, Gay Science, 93.

36Nietzsche, Will to Power, 62.

37Ibid., 186.

38Ibid., 206.

39Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 169.

40Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche Contra Rousseau, 50.

41Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 169.

42Ibid., 169.

43Nietzsche, Will to Power, 58.

44Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 169.

45Ibid., 367.

46Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 553.

47Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche Contra Rousseau, 24.

48Blondel, "Nietzsche Contra Rousseau," 676.


50Gamm, Wahrheit als Differenz, 247.

51Schmidt, Immediacy Lost, 299.

52Nietzsche, Will to Power, 63.

53Nietzsche, Daybreak, 3.

54Ibid., 100.

55Nietzsche, Antichrist, 578.

56Reboul, Nietzsche, Critique de Kant, 14.

57Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human, 322.

58Danto, Nietzsche as Philosopher, 133.

59Nehamas, Nietzsche, 3.

60Nietzsche, Will to Power, 223.

61Ibid., 307.

62Ibid., 413.

63Ibid., 64.

64Ibid., 286.

65Nietzsche, Daybreak, 3.

66Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 13.

67Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 484.

68de Gaultier, From Kant to Nietzsche, 224.

69White, "Nietzsche Contra Kant," 8.

70Ibid., 9.

71Fowler, "Nietzsche as Instructor in Autonomy," 15.

72Nietzsche, Daybreak, 91.

73Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 65.

74Nietzsche, Antichrist, 577.

75Reboul, Nietzsche, Critique de Kant, 83.

76Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 214.

77Nietzsche, Will to Power, 60.

78Nietzsche, Daybreak, 198.

79Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, 140.

80Ibid., 181.

81Kittman, Kant und Nietzsche, 213.

82Nietzsche, Will to Power, 310.

83Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 156.

84White, "Nietzsche Contra Kant," 3.

85Ibid., 6.

86Gamm, Wahrheit als Differenz, 25.

87Madigan, Modern Project to Rigor, 12.

88Gamm, Wahrheit als Differenz, 9.

89Reboul, Nietzsche, Critique de Kant, 88.

90Ibid., 106.

91Jaspers, Nietzsche, 155-6,

92Nietzsche, Will to Power, 16.

93Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 59.

94Lampert, Nietzsche and Modern Times, 360.

95Nietzsche, Human, All too Human, 113.

96Madigan, Modern Project to Rigor, 26.

97Ibid., 150.

98Schmidt, Immediacy Lost, 254.

99Nietzsche, Antichrist, 571.

100Nietzsche, Gay Science, 96.

101Ibid., 99.

102Kittman, Kant und Nietzsche, 177.

103Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 68.

104Ibid., 89.

105Jaspers, Nietzsche, 147.

106Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 17.

107Heidegger, Nietzsche, Volume II, 205.

108Nietzsche, Will to Power, 56.

Notes to Chapter Three

1Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 541.

2Strong, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, 202.

3Eden, Political Leadership and Nihilism, xvii.

4Thiele, "Nietzsche's Politics," 276.

5Goyard-Fabre, Nietzsche et la Question Politique, 8.

6Deleuze, "Nomad Thought," 146.

7Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 113.

8Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 92.

9Eden, Political Leadership and Nihilism, 95.

10Jaspers, Nietzsche, 254.

11Ibid., 256.

12Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 158.

13Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 161.

14Ibid., 377.

15Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 54.

16Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, 18.

17Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 54.

18Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 542.

19Ibid., 553.

20Warren, Nietzsche and Political Thought, 72.

21Strong, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, 201.

22Thiele, "Nietzsche's Politics," 283.

23Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 115-116.

24Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 78.

25Eden, Political Leadership and Nihilism, 44.

26Leinen, "Aristokratismus und Antipolitik," 4.

27Ibid., 30.

28Jaspers, Nietzsche, 252.

29Blackbourn and Eley, Peculiarities of German History, 19.

30Nietzsche, Will to Power, 164.

31Ibid., 385.

32Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 153.

33Ibid., 112.

34Nietzsche, Daybreak, 167.

35Nietzsche, Will to Power, 489.

36Ibid., 488.

37Ibid., 186.

38Ibid., 147.

39Ibid., 21.

40Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 191.

41Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 698-99.

42Nietzsche, Daybreak, 82-3.

43Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 451.

44Eden, Political Leadership and Nihilism, 68.

45Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 282.

46Bund, Nietzsche als Prophet des Sozialism, 48.

47Nietzsche, Will to Power, 398.

48Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 118.

49Nietzsche, Antichrist, 647.

50Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 288.

51Ibid., 112.

52Ibid., 173.

53Nietzsche, Will to Power, 411.

54Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche contra Rousseau, 24.

55Strong, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, 195-6.

56Leinen, "Aristokratismus und Antipolitik," 3.

57Antosik, Question of Elites, 32.

58Ibid., 64.

59Brinton, Nietzsche, 171.

60See H. F. Peters, Zarathustra's Sister.

61Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche contra Rousseau, 211.

62Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 176.

63Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 231.

64Jaspers, Nietzsche, 258.

65Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 196.

66Nietzsche, Will to Power, 396.

67Pangle, "The 'Warrior Spirit,'" 148.

68Brinton, Nietzsche, 215.

69Lonsbach, Nietzsche und die Juden, 41.

70Danto, Nietzsche as Philosopher, 166.

71Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 175.

72Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 188.

73Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, 5.

74Ibid., 16.

75Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 282.

76Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 506.

77Strong, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, 208.


79Bergmann, Last Antipolitical German, 30.

80Ansell-Pearson, "The Significance of Foucault's Reading of Nietzsche," 268.

81Brinton, Nietzsche, 114.

82Nietzsche, Werke V/2, 413.

83Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 35.

84Nietzsche, Werke V/2, 350.

85Goyard-Fabre, Nietzsche et la Question Politique, 66.

86Leinen, "Aristokratismus und Antipolitik," 208.

87Ibid., 206.

88Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 100.

89Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 534.

90Ibid., 535.

91Goyard-Fabre, Nietzsche et la Question Politique, 112.

92Bergmann, Last Antipolitical German, 147.

93Ansell-Pearson, "The Significance of Foucault's Reading of Nietzsche," 269.

94Brogan, "Nietzsche's Transgression of Metaphysical Subjectivity," 419.

95Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 22.

96Ibid., 57.

97Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 25.

98Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 499.

99Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 306.

100Ibid., 34.

101Ibid., 55.

102Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 45.

103Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 226.

104Nietzsche, Gay Science, 192.

105Nietzsche, Werke V/2, 411.

106Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 46.

107Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 29.

108Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 84.

109Nietzsche, Will to Power, 199.

110Ibid., 269.

111Nietzsche, Werke V/2, 341.

112Nietzsche, Gay Science, 171.

113Ibid., 298.

114Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 24.

115Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 15.

116Granier, "Perspectivism and Interpretation," 190.

117Nietzsche, Will to Power, 149.

118Granier, "Perspectivism and Interpretation," 190.

119Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 501.

120Villa, "Beyond Good and Evil," 283.

121Deleuze, "Active and Reactive," 82.

122Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy, 99-100.

123Gerhardt, "Selbstbegrčndung: Nietzsches Moral der IndividualitŐt," 37.

124Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 154.

125Thiele, Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul, 61.

126Nietzsche, Gay Science, 111.

127Ibid., 290.

128Ibid., 168.

129Ibid., 223.

130Warren, Nietzsche and Political Thought, 7.

131Nietzsche, Gay Science, 332.

Notes to Chapter Four

1Nietzsche, Will to Power, 59.

2Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy, 18.

3Nietzsche, Gay Science, 111.

4Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 30.

5Nietzsche, Will to Power, 336.

6Ibid., 337.

7Babich, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science, 90.

8Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 206.

9Nietzsche, Werke VIII/3, 53.

10Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 191.

11Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 658.

12Nietzsche, Gay Science, 173.

13Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 29.

14Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 45.

15Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 494.

16Nietzsche, Will to Power, 296.

17Ibid., 367.

18Mullen, "Art, Science and Truth," 45.

19Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, 21.

20Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 33.

21Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 49.

22Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 37.

23Clark, Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy, 183.

24Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy, 96.

25Kaufmann, translator's introduction to Gay Science, 5.

26Nietzsche, Will to Power, 229.

27Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 65.

28Nietzsche, Gay Science, 281.

29Spiekermann, Naturwissenschaft als subjektlose Macht?, 79.

30Babich, "Nietzsche and the Philosophy of Scientific Power," 85.

31Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 21.

32Babich, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science, 111.

33Seigfried, "Autonomy and Quantum Physics," 624.

34Nietzsche, Will to Power, 330.

35Nietzsche, Gay Science, 335.

36Nietzsche, Will to Power, 328.

37Nietzsche, Gay Science, 163.

38Gemes, "Nietzsche's Critique of Truth," 65.

39Nietzsche, Will to Power, 335.

40Ibid., 339.

41Ibid., 333.

42Ibid., 335.

43Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 479.

44Nietzsche, Werke III/4, 13.

45Ibid., 21.

46Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 733.

47Spiekermann, Naturwissenschaft als subjektlose Macht?, 2.

48Megill, Prophets of Extremity, 71.

49Nietzsche, Will to Power, 529.

50Siegfried, "Autonomy and Quantum Physics," 620.

51Nietzsche, Will to Power, 32.

52Nietzsche, Gay Science, 104.

53Babich, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science, 137.

54Granier, Le problĆme de la VÄrite , 198.

55Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 45.

56Nietzsche, Will to Power, 44.

57Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 155-6.

58Spiekermann, Naturwissenschaft als subjektlose Macht?, 213.

59Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, 153.

60see Chapter Three above.

61Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 125.

62Ibid., 209.

63Nietzsche, Will to Power, 462.

64Nietzsche, Werke VIII/3, 54.

65Granier, Le problĆme de la VÄrite, 73.

66Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 152.

67Babich, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science, 188.

68Ibid., 196.

69Granier, Le problĆme de la VÄrite, 199.

70Nietzsche, Gay Science, 307.

71Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 147.

72Ibid., 153.

73Ibid., 155.

74Haas, "Der Darwinismus bei Nietzsche," 10.

75Ibid., 32.

76Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume 3, 41.

77Ibid., 101.

78Brinton, Nietzsche, 145.

79Wilcox, Truth and Value in Nietzsche, 146.

80Nietzsche, "Schopenhauer as Educator," 162.

81Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 261.

82Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 21.

83Nietzsche, Will to Power, 361.

84Nietzsche, Werke VII 4/2, 229.

85Nietzsche, Gay Science, 292.

86Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 522.

87Nietzsche, Will to Power, 361.

88Danto, Nietzsche as Philosopher, 88 and 93.

89Ibid., 363.

90Nietzsche, Human, all too Human, 107.

91Nietzsche, Will to Power, 343.

92Ibid., 362.

93Ibid., 364.

94Ibid., 365.

95Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 523.

96Nietzsche, Will to Power, 217.

97Nietzsche, Werke VIII/3, 107.

98Nietzsche, Will to Power, 344.

99Schwartz, "The Status of Nietzsche's Theory of the Will to Power," 90.

100Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 142.

101Nietzsche, Will to Power, 33.

102Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 720.

103Nietzsche, Gay Science, 334.

104Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 330.

105Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 358.

106Nietzsche, Will to Power, 206.

107Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, 79.

108Nietzsche, Will to Power, 479.

109Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 756.

110Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 294.

111Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 214.

112Kaufmann, note to Beyond Good and Evil, section 264.

113Nietzsche, Gay Science, 153.


115Ruse, The Darwinian Revolution, 8.

116Nietzsche, Will to Power, 261.

117Nietzsche, Werke IV/1, 192-193.

118Ibid., 194.

119Nietzsche, Human all too Human, 266.

120Nietzsche, Will to Power, 240.

121Nietzsche, Daybreak, 115.

122Ibid., 183-4.

123Ibid., 190.

124Nietzsche, Human all too Human, 358.

125Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 123.

126Nietzsche, Gay Science, 235.

127Ibid., 266.

128Seigfried, "Autonomy and Quantum Physics," 619.

129Nietzsche, Daybreak, 29.

130Nietzsche, Human all too Human, 121.

131Babich, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science, 80.

132Nietzsche, Will to Power, 324.

133Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 503.

134Nietzsche, Human all too Human, 119.

135Wilcox, Truth and Value in Nietzsche, 48.

136Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 509.

137Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 30.

138Nietzsche, Gay Science, 215.

139Nietzsche, Werke V/1, 753.

140Siegfried, "Opposing Science with Art, Again?," 109.

141Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, xi-xii.

142Schwartz, "The Status of Nietzsche's Theory of the Will to Power," 87.

143Moles, Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature, 293.

144Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 327.

145Brinton, Nietzsche, 140.

146Lampert, Nietzsche's Teaching, 275.

147Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume 2, 114.

148Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 46.

149Nietzsche, Will to Power, 36.

150Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 144.

151Nietzsche, Will to Power, 432.

Notes to Chapter 5

1Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 219.

2Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume II, 179.

3Lampert, Nietzsche's Teaching, 80.

4Ibid., 271.

5Whitlock, Returning to Sils-Maria, xiii.

6Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 14.

7Ibid., 15.

8Stern, Nietzsche, 64.

9Condorcet, Progress of the Human Mind, 124.

10Ibid., 173.

11Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume II, 206.

12Whitlock, Returning to Sils-Maria, xi.

13Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 60.

14Higgins, Nietzsche's Zarathustra, 93.

15Nietzsche, Werke VII/1, 149.

16Ibid., 206.

17Nietzsche, Werke VII/3, 51.

18Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 61.

19Ibid., 98.

20Ibid., 128.

21Ibid., 138-9.

22Ibid., 161.

23Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 196.

24Nietzsche, Will to Power, 224.

25Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 102.

26Ibid., 166.

27Ibid., 180.

28Nietzsche, Werke VII/1, 176.

29Moles, "Nietzsche's Eternal Recurrence," 21.

30Wicks, "The Eternal Recurrence," 98.

31Ibid., 111.

32Hatab, Nietzsche and Eternal Recurrence, 93.

33Stambaugh, Nietzsche's Thought of Eternal Return, 56.

34Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 69.

35Jaspers, Nietzsche, 359.



38Higgins, Nietzsche's Zarathustra, 160.

39Ibid., 169.

40Fell, "The Excess of Nietzsche's 'Amor Fati'," in The Great Year of Zarathustra, ed. David Goicoechea, 93.

41Higgins, Nietzsche's Zarathustra, 41.


43Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 158.

44Ibid., 219.

45Nietzsche, Will to Power, 36.

46JoŚs, Poetic Truth and Transvaluation, 116.

47Ibid., 36.

48Nietzsche, Werke VII/1, 567.

49Ibçnez-NoÄ, "Truth and Ethos," 82.

50Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 216.

51Stambaugh, Nietzsche's Thought of Eternal Return, 55.

52Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 306.

53Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 221.

54Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 189-90.

55Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume II, 57.

56Whitlock, Returning to Sils-Maria, 25.

57Nietzsche, Will to Power, 536.

58Hatab, Nietzsche and Eternal Recurrence, 5.

59Ibid., 11.

60Ibid., 90.

61Nietzsche, Werke VII/1, 609.

62Cartright, "The Last Temptation of Zarathustra," 59.

63Ibid., 61.

64White, "Zarathustra and the Progress of Sovereignty," 110.

65Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 78.

66Ibid., 99.

67Hunt, "The Eternal Recurrence and Nietzsche's Ethic of Virtue," 3.

68Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 141.

69Ibid., 198.

70Kaufmann, Nietzsche, 322.



73Jaspers, Nietzsche, 359.

74Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 68.

75Wicks, "The Eternal Recurrence," 103.

76Magnus, "Overman: an Attitude or an Ideal?" in The Great Year of Zarathustra, ed. David Goicoechea, 143.

77Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 298.

78Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 33.

79Nietzsche, Ecce Homo, 302.

80Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 34.

81Ibid., 34.

82Ibid., 34-5.

83Ibid., 45.

84Ibid., 76.

85Ibid., 188.

86Ibid., 157.

87Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 222.

88Whitlock, Returning to Sils-Maria, 92.

89Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 47.

90Ibid., 258.

91Nietzsche, Will to Power, 464.

92Nietzsche, Werke VII/1, 391.

93Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 101.

94Ibid., 203.

95Nietzsche, Werke VII/1, 428.

96Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 190.

97Ibçnez-NoÄ, "Truth and Ethos," 77.

98Ibid., 83.

99Ibid., 85.

100Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume III, 217.

101Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 64.

102Jaspers, Nietzsche, 156.

103Ibid., 343.

104Happ, Nietzsche's "Zarathustra" als moderne TragÜdie, 149.

105Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 63.

106Ibid., 194.

107Nagl, "The Enlightenment," 748.

108Nehamas, Nietzsche: Life as Literature, 7.

109Ibid., 166.

110Ibid., 188.

111Heidegger, Nietzsche Volume III, 234.

112Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 282.

113Jaspers, Nietzsche, 165.

114Ibid., 167.

115Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 170.

116Ibid., 177.

117Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 283.

118White, "Zarathustra and the Progress of Sovereignty," 112.

119Nietzsche, Zarathustra, 327.