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Nietzsche's System Hardcover – March 7, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0195098464 ISBN-10: 0195098463 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews


"...the detail with which Richardson systematically connects will to power as an ontology with other prominent Nietzschean ideas is impressive."--The Review of Metaphysics

"Richardson writes clearly and without jargon....Nietzsche's System would make an excellent advanced survey course of Nietzsche without over-burdening the students, both intellectually and financially....[he] has crafted the best introduction to Nietzsche to date."--Teaching Philosophy

"This book contributes a valuable overview of Nietzsche's incorporation of scientific theories of his era."--German Studies Review

Richardson's study is noteworthy for its engagement with rival interpretations of Nietzsche, and for its scrupulous attention to the many recalcitrant passages in his writings. It is a useful and provocative contribution to the understanding and evaluation of Nietzsche's thought."--Ethics

About the Author

John Richardson is at New York University.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (March 7, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195098463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195098464
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,455,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By CK Dexter Haven on July 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
First things first: this is NOT a good introductory text. It offers a quite controversial interpretation and it focuses on only part of Nietzsche's work (the will to power as a theory of reality). It doesn't offer an overview of the whole of Nietzsche's work, and is quite narrow in its focus. The beginner to Nietzsche is better off with Schacht, Kaufmann, or Hollingdale.

That said, for the advanced Nietzsche student, this is an unusually good secondary work on Nietzsche (there are so many unnecessary, dull, or just plain bad books on Nietzsche) What's most interesting about Richardson's book is that it one of the only books I've found that both takes seriously Nietzsche's suggestion of the Will to Power as a theory of reality, not just a psychological concept, while at the same time exploring this idea in depth--rather than in the overly ambiguous and casual way it appears in many of Nietzsche's published writings. This requires digging through the unpublished stuff--there just isn't enough material in the published writing to clarify the concept. Richardson does a good job, and makes a pretty strong case for a Nietzschean ontology of the will to power.

It is, to be sure, a controversial interpretation--especially since it relies heavily on unpublished writings. And his insistence that this should count as a "metaphysics" is misleading--since this is only true in a sense of the word that Nietzsche never actually opposes. But all in all, it's a great book. It's also an important one--even though Nietzsche's comments on the will to power are few and brief, the nature of those comments makes it clear that it is a fundamental concept. And Richardson's book is probably the very first to treat it as seriously, and exhaustively, as it deserves.
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