had not quite learned the lessons Hegel had offered in the introduction to his lectures on the philosophy of history. In contrast, Nietzsche's emphasis on the question of value for historical knowledge, as much as his recognition of the importance of psychology, leads him to conceive of the task of historiography along the lines of a history of mentalities that, not unlike Burckhardt's approach, would focus on "typological traits" (114). Whatever historical facts there might be, they are relevant only because they are always already of a normative kind. Nietzsche's awareness of the complexity of historical knowledge and representation distances his account clearly from a merely antimodern cultural criticism, but it also undercuts the liberal hopes that were part of some aspects of Berlin Geschichtswissenschaft. His demand for a "historical philosophizing"--which was central to Human, All Too Human and that still shaped his later works like Beyond Good and Evil--not only emphasized the inherently perspectival character of historical knowledge, but also showed that the value and meaning of historical knowledge could not be found in a simplistic realism that aimed to show how the past really was. While he accepts causal models of historical explanation, his interest in
The Journal of Nietzsche Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Nov 26, 2014
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