Circles, Ladders and Stars: Nietzsche on friendship

Abstract
One of the major purposes of this article is to show that friendship was one of Nietzsche's central concerns and that he shared Aristotle's belief that it takes higher and lower forms. Yet Nietzsche's interest in friendship is overlooked in much of the secondary literature. An important reason for this is that this interest is most evident in the works of his middle period, and these tend to be neglected in commentaries on Nietzsche. In the works of the middle period, Nietzsche suggests that there is a close connection between friendship and selfhood, contending that an individual's friendships reflect something about his or her identity. Following Aristotle, he believes that friendship can make a significant contribution to self-knowledge and self-improvement, which are both closely associated with his notion of self-overcoming. Nietzsche encourages individuals to adopt an aesthetic approach to the self: they should refashion themselves by consolidating their strengths, minimising their weaknesses and developing themselves in new directions. The works of the middle period suggest, however, that not only can friendship foster self-overcoming, but that the talent for friendship is one of the marks of a higher human being. Recognising this requires some reconsideration of Nietzsche's putative individualism and the belief that he holds great individuals to be utterly independent and indifferent to the judgements of others. It also requires a revision of the common interpretation that he is unremittingly sceptical about pity and other forms of fellow-feeling. Yet while Nietzsche generalises about friendship in the works of the middle period and contrasts its superior and inferior forms, he remains sensitive to its particularity. He never adopts a wholly formulaic approach to this relationship, but recognises that difference and responsiveness to particularity are among its central characteristics.
Keywords Nietzsche  friendship  Aristotle  middle period  Human, All too Human  Daybreak  Gay Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,731
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Robert C. Miner (2010). Nietzsche on Friendship. Journal of Nietzsche Studies 40:47-69.
Ruth Abbey (forthcoming). Nietzsche and the Invention of Invention. Journal of Nietzsche Studies 15 (Spring):1-14.
Ruth Abbey (1999). The Roots of Ressentiment. New Nietzsche Studies 3 (3-4):47-61.
Holger Zaborowski (2010). From Modesty to Dynamite, From Socrates to Dionysus. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (2):337-356.
Joyce L. Jenkins (1999). The Advantages of Civic Friendship. Journal of Philosophical Research 24:459-471.
Paul Crittenden (2002). Nietzsche's Middle Period. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (3):390 – 392.
Wanda Cizewski (1992). Friendship With God? Philosophy and Theology 6 (4):369-381.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-10-19

Total downloads

16 ( #100,924 of 1,098,618 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #78,963 of 1,098,618 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.