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Nietzsche and Dostoevsky

On the Verge of Nihilism


Paolo Stellino

The first time that Nietzsche crossed the path of Dostoevsky was in the winter of 1886–87. While in Nice, Nietzsche discovered in a bookshop the volume L’esprit souterrain. Two years later, he defined Dostoevsky as the only psychologist from whom he had anything to learn. The second, metaphorical encounter between Nietzsche and Dostoevsky happened on the verge of nihilism. Nietzsche announced the death of God, whereas Dostoevsky warned against the danger of atheism.
This book describes the double encounter between Nietzsche and Dostoevsky. Following the chronological thread offered by Nietzsche’s correspondence, the author provides a detailed analysis of Nietzsche’s engagement with Dostoevsky from the very beginning of his discovery to the last days before his mental breakdown. The second part of this book aims to dismiss the wide-spread and stereotypical reading according to which Dostoevsky foretold and criticized in his major novels some of Nietzsche’s most dangerous and nihilistic theories. In order to reject such reading, the author focuses on the following moral dilemma: If God does not exist, is everything permitted?
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LISBON PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIESuses of language in interdisciplinary fields

A Publication from the Institute of Philosophy of Language at the New University of Lisbon

Lisbon Philosophical Studies – Uses of Language in Interdisciplinary Fields is the book series of the Institute of Philosophy of Language at the New University of Lisbon. Its aim is the publication of high-quality monographs, edited collections and conference proceedings in areas related to the philosophy of language, such as aesthetics, argumentation theory, epistemology, ethics, logic, philosophy of mind and political philosophy. The purpose of the series is to reflect the activities of the Institute as well as contemporary research in these areas, encouraging the interchange of arguments and ideas between philosophy and other disciplines.

Address for Correspondence:

Instituto de Filosofia da Linguagem Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas Universidade Nova de Lisboa Av. de Berna, 26-C 1069-061 Lisboa Portugal

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