Philosophy and Social Criticism 27 (5):89-115 (2001)

This paper develops an analysis of the relationship between politics and suffering in the writings of Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Both thinkers uphold the tragic idea of suffering as a crucible in which the uniquely human powers of self-creation - having reached, apparently, their lowest point - are revealed in all of their grand majesty. Yet they diverge dramatically when it comes to working out the political implications of this idea. Whereas Hölderlin deploys the tragic revaluation of suffering on behalf of democracy, Nietzsche deploys this same revaluation against democracy. My argument suggests that the differences between Hölderlin and Nietzsche refer more to their different points in the development of the modern age than to any substantive difference in the structure of their thinking, and that unearthing Nietzsche's origins in Hölderlin enables us to retrieve the wider compass of the idea of suffering on which Nietzsche relies in developing his critique of modern democratic politics, and so also a wider compass for settling some of the debates that have arisen around his political thought. Key Words: democracy • Hölderlin • Nietzsche • suffering • tragedy.
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DOI 10.1177/019145370102700504
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A Human Cry Nietzsche on Affirming Others' Pain.Anna Ezekiel - 2014 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 40 (9):913-930.
A Human Cry: Nietzsche on Affirming Others’ Pain.Anna Ezekiel - 2014 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 40 (9):913-930.

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