Nietzsche has a poor reputation among many of the liberal intelligentsia for, among other things, his critique of liberal rationalism and his propagation of the over-man/Superman (Übermensch), but is his near villainous reputation deserved? He was, certainly, a complicated, ambiguous and contradictory piece of work, but he did help shape the modern philosophical landscape and is considered to be one of the genuinely great, influential and thinkers who has earned his ledge in the modern philosophical pantheon
Not many philosophers have provoked such widely varying assesments: “a madman” (The Chambers Biographical Dictionary); “a greater thinker than Marx” (Horkheimer); the “philosopher of developed capitalism” (Franz Mehring); the “progenitor and ideological founder of the Third Reich” (Hitler); the inspiration for “Nietzschean anarchism” (Gustav Landauer, who conveniently turned a blind eye to Nietzsche’s tirades against anarchism, solidarity and communal social interest and cherry-picked his ideas on voluntarism, materialism, along with his occasional tirades against capitalism and the “money economy” to establish the basis for his own take on anarchism.) He was also a significant influence on Lenin and Trotsky, as well as Max Weber, Sartre and other 20th century existentialists
The present work is neither polemic nor apology. It is, rather, an attempt to introduce aspiring students and aficionados of moral philosophy to Nietzsche as a person and as a provocative thinker. Contents include a detailed biography, an outline of his views on metaphysics, moral theorising, Christian values, the Superman, art, war, history, etc., together with interpretative sketches and a chronological exposition of all his works. A useful primer on all things Nietzsche.