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  • Cited by 3
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2022
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Book description

Nietzsche controversially valorizes struggle and war as necessary ingredients of human flourishing. In this book, James S. Pearson reconstructs Nietzsche's rationale for placing such high value on relations of conflict. In doing so, Pearson reveals how Nietzsche's celebration of social discord is interwoven with his understanding of nature as universal struggle. This study thus draws together Nietzsche's writings on politics, culture, metaphysics, biology and human psychology. It also overcomes an entrenched dispute in the critical literature. Until now, commentators have tended to interpret Nietzsche either as an advocate of radical aristocratic violence or, by contrast, a defender of moderate democratic contest. This book navigates a path between these two opposed readings and shows how Nietzsche is able to endorse both violent strife and restrained competition without contradicting himself.


‘Understanding Nietzsche’s philosophy of conflict lies at the heart of any attempt at making sense of his overall philosophical project. Pearson’s study is admirably rich in content and yet, due to its clear structure, transparent and accessible. It illuminates the background of Nietzsche’s thinking in a manner that is always interesting and never tedious, and provides a wealth of new insights.’

Beatrix Himmelmann - The Arctic University of Norway

‘… full of interesting and challenging scholarship…’

Matthew Bennett Source: Metascience

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