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Cursing the Curse:Nietzsche on the Machiavellianism of Pity: Reading The Antichrist 2-7 in Light of Ecce Homo

Thomas Steinbuch
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Thomas Steinbuch: Zhejiang University of Science and Technology, China.

The Agonist, 2021, vol. 15, issue 2, 75-89

Abstract: The specific focus of this paper is exegesis of the critique of pity in AC 2-7 by means of the autobiographical account in Ecce Homo of the destructive intrusion of pity on him in Wise/4. There he lists three cases of pity's intrusions: into his great destiny, into his solitude of recovering from wounding in (spiritual) warfare, and into his privileged right to a heavy guilt. As we trace these three cases back to their locations in the chapter where they are first introduced, it can be seen that all are cases of his evolution to Mehrleben, thus to make his critique of pity's intrusion the criticism that it vengefully sought to thwart his evolutionary development. He states that his experience from these cases gives him the right to make a generlization about pity. These cases then become the autobiographical foundation of his criticism of pity in AC 7 that it is hostile to life in thwarting evolutionary development. The more general aim of the paper is to fix the relationship of EH to AC as introduction as the relationship of autobiography as epistemology to the unmasking psychology of Christianity in AC, in this case and several other cases cited. This is to bring the relationship into line with what Nietzsche himself claims for it in his letter to Naumann of November 6, 1888 and to counter the view that the relationship is merely instrumental in EH serving to secure a good reception for AC and, accordingly, was a work of less importance to Nietzsche than was AC.

Keywords: Nietzsche; Machiavellianism of Pity; Reading The Antichrist; Ecce Homo (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.33182/agon.v15i2.1629

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