London: Burns, Oates & Washbourne (1942)

Many people who have never read the works of Nietzsche possess some vague notion of what he taught. For them the philosophy of Nietzsche is represented by a few floating ideas—“Superman,” “Will to Power,” and even perhaps “blond beast.” Others again have learnt a little more about Nietzsche and perhaps read something of what he actually said; yet the net result is an impression of a passionate and destructive thinker, who launched his attacks on this side and on that, without any regard for consistency. For them there can be no philosophy of Nietzsche: they know that he often wrote in the form of aphorism and they picture his thought in general as a series of detached utterances, many of which are mutually exclusive. It may then be of use to some, if we attempt to set forth the guiding inspiration and leading ideas of Nietzsche, for when these have been grasped, it will be seen that it is by no means absurd to speak of a philosophy of Nietzsche. It may well be impossible to reconcile all his utterances, at least so far as the words are concerned—though Nietzsche is of course not the only philosopher who betrays inconsistency in his thought—but it should be remembered that Nietzsche was not given to standing still: his thought developed. Moreover, he often spoke in an exaggerated form, so that some of the apparent inconsistencies may be ascribed to over-emphasis. In any case, even granting the presence of irreconcilable inconsistencies in his thought, Nietzsche's various theories not only may, but must, be seen as a whole, if they are seen in the light of his guiding ideas and inspiration
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DOI 10.1017/S003181910000348X
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