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Nietzsche and the Buddha

Different Lives, Same Ideas (How Nietzsche May Yet Become the West’s Own Buddha)

Daniel Chapelle

This book examines Nietzsche’s claim that he could be the "Buddha of the West." A close reading of his texts shows substantial similarities with the Buddha’s teachings, suggesting a potential basis and a potentially promising future for a Western Buddhism that would be based on Nietzsche’s philosophy. The book first provides a brief comparative biography of Nietzsche and the Buddha and then a review of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path and of what there is in Nietzsche’s writings that is his equivalent to those teachings.

While the West often looks to neuroscience to validate the Buddhist teachings and practices, this book suggests it would be better to study Nietzsche’s thought to discover not only validation for Buddhist teachings but the very foundation of a "Buddhism" that is of the West, by the West, and for the West.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Names: Chapelle, Daniel, author.Title: Nietzsche and the Buddha: different lives, same ideas (how Nietzsche may yet become the west’s own Buddha) / Daniel Chapelle. Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2020. Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2019021572 | ISBN 978-1-4331-6660-0 (hardback: alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-4331-6661-7 (ebook pdf) ISBN 978-1-4331-6662-4 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-6663-1 (mobi) Subjects: LCSH: Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844–1900. | Gautama Buddha. | Buddhism—Doctrines. | Buddhist philosophy. | Philosophy and religion. | Philosophy, Comparative. Classification: LCC B3318.B83 C43 | DDC 193—dc23 LC record available at DOI 10.3726/b15279

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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