Friday, April 25, 2008

Nietzsche's explanation of nihilism

From Keith Ansell-Pearson, Nietzsche contra Rousseau

Nihilism is not to be construed as the cause of decadence but as its logical result: 'Every fruitful and powerful movement of humanity has also created at the same time a nihilistic movement.' It is in this context that we can appreciate Nietzsche’s insight that the high points of culture do not coincide with those of civilization. From a moral point of view the great moments of culture are always times of corruption and decadence; similarly, the periods when the taming of the human animal is required and enforced are times when the boldest and most spiritual natures are not tolerated.

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