Le Perfectionnisme (philosophique)
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Nietzsche, Carlyle, and Perfectionism

William Meakins

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Perfectionist readings of Nietzsche have paid much attention to the positive influence of Emerson. I suggest that exploring Nietzsche’s reception of Thomas Carlyle, a leading contemporary and friend of Emerson’s, provides us with additional interesting insights into Nietzsche’s thought. What is distinctive here is that Nietzsche strongly objects to the ethical picture that Carlyle propounds in the lecture series On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. By looking at the grounds of this opposition I argue that Nietzsche holds a skeptical, antiromantic perfectionism that is sensitive to the very dangers to which it gives rise

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