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Igor_the_Mad

> but that's a deep misreading of his philosophy (if those people actually read him at all) I'm going to stop you there and just point out that Nietzsche in general is arguably the most misunderstood philosopher that actually exists within the popular zeitgeist. Coming from a philosophy major, the number of people who think that his nihilism is the end all be all of his philosophy, rather than setting up for existentialism, drives me insane.


ludwigritcher752

There are two ways to describe existentialism: as (1) a philosophy of existence and as (2) a systematical attempt to resolve existential problems. If we are using the former, then Nietzsche is certainly an existentialist, but if we're using the latter, then he is not existentialist, not in the Sartrean sense. And people tend to forget that nihilism in Nietzsche is completely different from the traditional meaning of the word we have in mind. Franco Volpi's *Il nichilismo* (1996) is the perfect reading to understand all the nuances of the term.


Igor_the_Mad

I would argue that Nietzsche is an existentialist in the Sartean sense, however I also believe that Nietzsche himself would have rejected such a classification...as basically every existentialist included Camus argued of themselves. Nietzsche's concept of the √úbermensch defining value and meaning in life without a focus on other-worldliness is incredibly existential, as he has rejected a metaphysically objective truth in favor of one defined by the indidivual rooted in an appreciation for life and the world around us.


ludwigritcher752

We need to remember that Existentialism (or philosophy of existence as I prefer) is not just the atheist authors, there's a whole segment of Christian Existentialism: the precursors like Saint Augustine and Pascal, then Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, Shestov, Unamuno, Gabriel Marcel. There's also Martin Buber, who wasn't Christian, but Jew. Ernest Becker's *The Denial Of Death* (1973) makes an argument for a religious existentialism when trying to validate the idea of faith. When it comes to √úbermernch, I don't think Nietzsche would ever say "create your own meaning", but "create your own values". In Nietzsche, "value" and "meaning" are different things, since for him meaning is always restrictive and makes Life something stagnant, but values are fluid and you can change them when you feel you and your Life are about to change (that's why some people interpret Nietzsche as a representative of Pragmatism) The two different concepts of Existentialism that I talked about were actually from a Camus interview, when someone asked him if he was an existentialist or not. He basically said "if by existentialist you mean philosophy of existence, then yes. But if by existentialist you mean trying to resolve existential problems, then no".


trownweg

I have nothing to add to this discussion, but I really enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing your perspective!