The great health: Spiritual disease and the task of the higher man

Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (2):100-117 (2001)
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Abstract

Nietzsche's harsh attacks on modernity suggest a problem: if the modern age is so diseased, can we overcome it and move on to something higher? Or is the disease too severe? I examine the question by studying Nietzsche's view of spiritual health. Spiritual illness, even in the highest man, is nothing unusual or necessarily debilitating. Even the strongest have been infected since the earliest days of civilization. Indeed, infection with slave morality and bad conscience are requirements for spiritual elevation. And the disease serves life by giving the strong something to struggle against, as well as making possible the spiritual greatness required to revalue all values. The higher man, then, is a mixture of health and disease. The revaluation of values is extraordinarily dangerous, but not impossible. Key Words: great politics • Nietzsche's revaluation of all values • On the Genealogy of Morals • spiritual health.

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