III. Friedrich Nietzsche: The Man of Resentment
1. The reversal of the evaluating gaze
The biography of a philosopher should not matter too much when it comes to understanding his concepts, ideas or theories. Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Leibniz’s Theodicy or Spinoza’s Ethics can be understood without turning to the lives of their authors. But Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideas have no meaning without reference to the author’s life. His philosophy is incomprehensible without biography. And I refer not just to the fact that the further a work is from the system, the more interpretable it is through the life experiences of the author, but also to those few concepts and ideas clearly formulated by Friedrich Nietzsche. To understand his work, you have to know his life and personality very well because Nietzsche wrote only about himself. Let us now take a first example, chosen almost randomly from his work Human, All Too Human: “You seek to make the people you cannot stand suspects for you”.77 As everybody knows, there are countless fragments of such an evidently confessional nature in Friedrich Nietzsche’s work. Unlike other authors, who use the confessional style of their philosophy mainly to hide behind, rather than to really expose themselves to the prying eyes of the other, the author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra was honest, as far as possible, because in every man’s conscience there is a certain unconscious or, at best, semi-conscious self-censorship.
Regarding resentment, Friedrich Nietzsche was undoubtedly an expert, a significant psychologist and...
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