Nietzsche's 'The Gay Science': an introduction

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Abstract

Nietzsche’s The Gay Science (1882/1887) is a deeply personal book yet al so animportant work of philosophy. Nietzsche conceives it as a philosophical autobiography, a record of his own self-transformation. In beautifully composed aphorisms, he communicates his central experience of overcoming pessimism and recovering the capacity to affirm joyfully the tragedy of life. On the basis of his experiments in living, Nietzsche articulates his most famous philosophical concepts and images: The death of God, the exercise of eternal recurrence, and the ideal of self-fashioning. This book explains the ancient and modern philosophical contexts that shape Nietzsche’s central concern with the affirmation of life. It surveys Nietzsche’s philosophy as a whole, explains the pivotal place of The Gay Science as the source of his ideal of tragic joy, and shows how he revives an ancient conception of philosophy as a way of life and the philosopher as physician.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages273
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781139019354
ISBN (Print)9780521760904
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameCambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts
PublisherCambridge University Press

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