Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Theory and Criticism


Dr. Jonathan Boulter


Two current perspectives within Anglo-American Nietzsche studies are Nietzsche as radical aristocrat who supports the exploitation of the masses, and Nietzsche as thinker who revives the ancient understanding of philosophy as a way of life. A Hellenized Nietzschean way of life, however, shares the liberal concern for the suffering individual that the aristocratic Nietzsche condemns for contributing to modern decadence. This thesis reconciles the two interpretations by examining the way Nietzsche’s way of life is the condition of his politics. Before a new aristocratic order dedicated to the promotion of greatness can arise, there must be philosophers of the future capable of founding it. A repurposing of Christian asceticism, Nietzsche’s way of life assists these creatures become what they are by increasing their will through the intensification of an inner conflict in which a ruling drive struggles to employ the other drives in the service of its task.

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