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Friedrich Nietzsche on the Philosophy of Right and the State

Nikos Kazantzakis, Odysseus Makridis

Publication Year: 2006

This book represents the first English translation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s 1909 dissertation on Friedrich Nietzsche’s political and legal philosophy. Before Kazantzakis became one of the best-known modern Greek writers, he was an avid student of Nietzsche’s thought, discovering Nietzsche while studying law in Paris from 1907 to 1909. This powerful assessment of Nietzsche’s radical political thought is translated here from a restored and authentic recent edition of the original. Its deep insights are unencumbered by the encrustations that generations of Nietzsche’s admirers and detractors have deposed on the original Nietzschean corpus. The book also offers a revealing glimpse into the formative stage of Kazantzakis’s thought.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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Translator’s Preface

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pp. vii-viii

In this volume I am offering my translation of Nikos Kazantzakis’ dissertation on Friedrich Nietzsche’s “philosophy of right and the state.” Although Professor Peter Bien, one of the most knowledgeable students of Kazantzakis’ work, translated and commented on this short thesis,1 I undertook the project mainly ...

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pp. ix-xvii

Nikos Kazantzakis, one of the best-known modern Greek authors, was born on February 18, 1883, in Megalokastron, today’s Irakleion, Crete. The author of The Last Temptation of Christ, The Greek Passion, Zorba the Greek, and the monumental modern Greek epic Odyssey remained a controversial figure throughout his entire life. ...

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Chapter 1. Prolegomena

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pp. 1-14

Rarely has a philosopher caused so much admiration, or invited such opprobrium, as Nietzsche. At one extreme, his devotees elevate him to the topmost rank of thinkers and herald his teachings as true salvation that has finally descended to cleanse our contemporary intellectual horizon from lies, hypocrisy, and pettiness ...

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Chapter 2. [Nihilism]

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pp. 15-22

From one end to the other, Europe is mightily convulsed, seized by a mortal anguish that is swelling little by little, menacing with a pending and unprecedented catastrophe. Harried and rashly impetuous, society is carried away “like a river that is hurrying to reach the end of its flow.”2 ...

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Chapter 3. [Human Nature]

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pp. 23-42

Until recently, the reigning religious dogmas and philosophic systems declared the human being to be privileged—a being that has a “fully completed nature”—created by the Divine Creator with special care, whose purpose is to rule over all other creatures, endowed with a soul immortal, which he carries ...

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Chapter 4. Religion—Morality—Right

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pp. 43-50

So far, it has been demonstrated how disastrously the modern table of values has affected human nature, the Family, and the State—these three concentric manifestations of human energy and sociability. In their turn, these institutions transmit and spread everywhere the malaise that today consumes humanity ...

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Chapter 5. [Recapitulation and] Conclusion

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pp. 51-54

We have seen that, in whatever way we inquire into the state of contemporary humanity, we find it in a state of complete decadence. All the most significant ideas, on which contemporary societies are based, ineluctably contribute to this advancing decadence, insofar as they stem from defective conditions ...

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Chapter 6. The Positive Aspect of Nietzsche’s Philosophy

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pp. 55-66

Humanity, family, the state, religion, morality, Right—poisoned by the contemporary table of values, handiwork of the slaves1 and the vanquished— they prod [contemporary humanity] to the indictment and negation of life itself. Is humanity destined to become extinct so soon, or are such despair and discomfiture, ...


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pp. 67-114


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pp. 115-124

E-ISBN-13: 9780791481943
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791467312
Print-ISBN-10: 0791467317

Page Count: 142
Publication Year: 2006