Nietzsche and Emerson on History
Keywords:history, self-cultivation, plastic power, character, experimentation, perspectivism, free spirit
This paper aims to show how Nietzsche was influenced by Emerson in developing a conception of history as a set of values to be embodied in order to gain a deeper insight into the essence of reality. It is a conception that Nietzsche first expressed in his second Untimely Meditation, On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life (1874) and that fully developed in the period of his so-called “free spirit philosophy” (1878-1882). Firstly, I will briefly outline the relationship between Nietzsche and Emerson. Secondly, I will illustrate Emerson’s stance on history. Thirdly, I will show how Nietzsche drew from Emerson’s thought.
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