- Purchase/rental options available:
In this article, I show that attending to Nietzsche's views about breeding and human enhancement reveals two important ways in which Ken Gemes's account of Nietzsche's uses of the rhetoric of degeneration and Verjüdung must be modified. First, attending to Nietzsche's views about breeding reveals that methods like isolation, quarantine, excision, and extermination are not merely for the weak, as Gemes claims. In fact, for Nietzsche such methods are crucial for producing and maintaining healthy, strong people and societies. More generally, such methods play a vital role in Nietzsche's philosophy, including with respect to his conception of health. Second, contrary to Gemes's claim that Nietzsche was not interested in the actual Jews of his time, I show that Nietzsche was very interested in them, and thought they were important precisely for their relevance to his interest in breeding a new European aristocracy.