For a Kinder, Gentler Society
Nietzsche for the 21st Century
  • Rebekah S. Peery
Reviews Table of Contents Introduction «Back
Nietzsche for the 21st Century.
Sound Bite
This book concentrates on Nietzsche’s major legacy as a philosopher. Nietzsche’s task, his mission, as he perceived it, was to challenge, to rethink, redefine, reinterpret, reconceptualize, revalue, any or all ideas — especially those traditional ideas which he increasingly came to believe were important in having the effects of stultifying any process of enhancing or enriching human life — the world we are continually creating and recreating. He sought to change the world by reinterpreting, and perhaps persuading, even propagandizing, others to his cause.

About the Author

Prof. Rebekah Peery earned her Doctorate in Philosophy at Vanderbilt University; she taught philosophy and religious studies at Radford University for almost two decades. Courses she led included the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger, as well as ethics, aesthetics, the Continental Rationalists and British Empiricists, Political Philosophy, and Existentialism.
 
Her enjoyment of sharing the great thinkers with the general public led her to write the current book, which is intended to help readers take a fresh look at Nietzsche today, and the challenges he presents, and to grasp the excitement of his philosophical adventure.

About the Book

Prof. Peery's first two books emphasized Nietzsche's concerns and contributions as a cultural critic and cultural historian; this time, she concentrates on his major legacy as a philosopher. Taking a tender scalpel to his works, from...

Prof. Peery's first two books emphasized Nietzsche's concerns and contributions as a cultural critic and cultural historian; this time, she concentrates on his major legacy as a philosopher. Taking a tender scalpel to his works, from Ecce Homo and Thus Spake Zarathustra to Beyond Good and Evil and others, she gets inside to the heart of his writing and creates an intellectual dialogue involving everyone from Dionysus and Democritus to Jacob Burckhardt and GWF Hegel. "By dialectical process," she notes, "Nietzsche reasserts Heraclitus’ views of the constant tension, or process, always occurring between two opposites, interacting elements, or forces." She also brings in the contributions of R. J. Hollingdale and other Nietzsche analysts to present a range of insights into these nuanced writings whose application to current reality seems perhaps more apt than ever.

During his lifetime (1844–1900), the impact of Nietzsche’s thinking was dimly perceived, if at all, by most of his contemporaries or readers. Into and during the 20th century, however, the unexpected, the dangers, but mostly the possibilities, of his ideas began to be recognized, explored, and adopted — and resisted. There were exciting creative achievements far beyond Nietzsche’s philosophy. These ideas continued to rapidly display their increasingly amazing and untapped resources.

Well into the 21st century appreciating, interpreting, and evaluating Nietzsche’s thinking appear to be rising — still, or again. And he repays generously every effort, every investment.

Introduction
My task, as I perceive it, is to identify, or reidentify, those ideas of Nietzsche’s which appear to have continually demanded his attention and development. And not only to identify, but also to refocus, to sharpen, put under the microscope, those ideas again — for our time. The fruitfulness and exciting possibilities in Nietzsche’s thinking...
My task, as I perceive it, is to identify, or reidentify, those ideas of Nietzsche’s which appear to have continually demanded his attention and development. And not only to identify, but also to refocus, to sharpen, put under the microscope, those ideas again — for our time. The fruitfulness and exciting possibilities in Nietzsche’s thinking are alive and becoming more enticing. I have become persuaded that the stalk — “the supporting or connecting part; the main stem, often with dependent parts,” — the idea which we probably should attend to first, is the idea of change.

Nietzsche believed that the world of human beings — always in the process of changing — could be changed, could become something better than it was. That this required changing the ways in which we perceive, feel, and think about this world. That it was his “destiny” to be a major agent of this change. And that his “message” — his new, creative ideas, his words — would someday be heard and understood....

Nietzsche, as we would expect, rejected any notion of repeating traditional models of a system, or systematic philosophizing. Instead, his ideas gradually formed a network — “an intricate pattern or structure suggestive of something woven; or a web of shifting interwoven strands.” Or, perhaps better, his thinking was more suggestive of being organic — “having the characteristics of an organism; developing in the manner of a living plant or animal.”

Pages 200
Year: 2010
LC Classification:
Dewey code:
BISAC: PHI007000 PHILOSOPHY / Free Will & Determinism
BISAC: PHI008000 PHILOSOPHY / Good & Evil
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-765-6
Price: USD 19.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-766-3
Price: USD 25.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-767-0
Price: USD 19.95
Available from

Search the full text of this book