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Nietzsche, Darwin, History of Science, Race, Politics, John Grey


Evolution | History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Intellectual History | Philosophy | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies



I argue against the popular view of Nietzsche as Darwinist and I concur with other Nietzsche scholars who have also noted that other authors worked in Nietzsche’s thinking in association with Darwin, not only Spencer and Malthus but also Roux and Haeckel among others which also for Nietzsche included Empedocles and other ancient scientists. Nietzsche offers plain condemnation of Darwin’s views but he is also often associated with Darwin owing to Darwin’s racism and his own vision of rank-order. I conclude with an emphasis on style and Nietzsche’s reading of antiquity to highlight the distinction he sought to make between the popular ideal of the higher human (which he called the last man) and a perspective beyond the human, the post-human, the Übermensch.

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Babette Babich, "Nietzsche and Darwin," Common Knowledge. Forthcoming.