Ecce Homo and Nietzsche’s concept of character

Bishop, P. (2020) Ecce Homo and Nietzsche’s concept of character. In: Martin, N. and Large, D. (eds.) Nietzsche’s “Ecce Homo”. De Gruyter: Berlin, pp. 115-138. ISBN 9783110246544 (doi: 10.1515/9783110246551-010)

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The impact of Schopenhauer’s The World as Will and Representation on the young Nietzsche was immense, yet long after his initial enthusiasm and subsequent disillusionment, Schopenhauerian themes continued to inform Nietzsche’s thinking. This essay discusses the Kantian-Schopenhauerian character (and its apparent rejection by Nietzsche) in general and Schopenhauer’s distinction between the “empirical” and the “intelligible” character in particular. It argues that the doctrine of eternal recurrence lies at the heart of Nietzsche’s interest in character as a coming-to-terms with the dialectic of freedom and necessity; and it concludes that the discussion surrounding the concept of character in Kant, Goethe, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche forms the philosophical backdrop to the “science” of Charakterologie, as it came to be formulated in the early twentieth century by, among others, Ludwig Klages.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bishop, Professor Paul
Authors: Bishop, P.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > German
Publisher:De Gruyter
Published Online:16 December 2020

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