A (R)evaluation of Nietzsche’s Anti-democratic Pedagogy: The Overman, Perspectivism, and Self-overcoming

Studies in Philosophy and Education 28 (2):153-169 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In this paper, I argue that Friedrich Nietzsche’s concept of self-overcoming has been largely misinterpreted in the philosophy of education journals. The misinterpretation partially stems from a misconstruction of Nietzsche’s perspectivism, and leads to a conception of self-overcoming that is inconsistent with Nietzsche’s educational ideals. To show this, I examine some of the prominent features of the so-called “debate” of the 1980s surrounding Nietzsche’s conception of self-overcoming. I then offer an alternative conception that is more consistent with Nietzsche’s thought, and provides a more nuanced understanding of Nietzsche’s “anti-democratic” pedagogy. Ultimately, I argue that while Nietzsche’s educational philosophy is not egalitarian, it can be effectively utilized in “democratic” classrooms, assuming his concept of self-overcoming is properly construed.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 83,948

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

149 (#99,442)

6 months
3 (#246,247)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Mark E. Jonas
Wheaton College, Illinois

Citations of this work

Nietzsche on Aesthetics, Educators and Education.Steven A. Stolz - 2016 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 36 (6):683-695.
Gratitude, Ressentiment, and Citizenship Education.Mark E. Jonas - 2011 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 (1):29-46.
Three Naive Questions: Addressed to the Modern Educational Optimism.Predrag Krstić - 2015 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 35 (2):129-144.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On the Genealogy of Morals.Friedrich Nietzsche - 2006 - Oxford ;: Barnes & Noble Library of Esse. Edited by Horace Barnett Samuel.
Beyond Good and Evil.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1886 - New York,: Vintage. Edited by Translator: Hollingdale & J. R..
Twilight of the Idols ;.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1976 - Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. Edited by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.
Ecce homo.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche & Raoul Richter - 1911 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Anthony M. Ludovici.
The portable Nietzsche.Friedrich Nietzsche - 1954 - New York: Penguin Books.

View all 31 references / Add more references