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Epicurus: A Case Study of Nietzsche's Conception of a "Typical Decadent"

Epicurus: A Case Study of Nietzsche's Conception of a "Typical Decadent" <p>Abstract:</p><p>Nietzsche&apos;s portrayal of Epicurus in his middle period of 1878–82 is one of an inspiring figure and kindred spirit, which is then generally considered by commentators to change to a more ambivalent one in his later writings, particularly those from 1886 to 1888. In this article, I argue that this change in Nietzsche&apos;s opinion of Epicurus can be explained by his gradual realization that Epicurus advocates a particular form of Greek decadence, which neither Nietzsche nor the secondary literature on him ever formally name. As a consequence of this promotion of a life-inhibiting value that potentially undermines the flourishing of humanity, Nietzsche thinks Epicurus should be construed not just as a "decadent" but, in fact, a "typical" one, which I will argue is a distinct opprobrium that the secondary literature to date often cites but does not fully expound.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

Epicurus: A Case Study of Nietzsche&apos;s Conception of a "Typical Decadent"

The Journal of Nietzsche Studies , Volume 52 (1) – Apr 20, 2021

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1538-4594

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>Nietzsche&apos;s portrayal of Epicurus in his middle period of 1878–82 is one of an inspiring figure and kindred spirit, which is then generally considered by commentators to change to a more ambivalent one in his later writings, particularly those from 1886 to 1888. In this article, I argue that this change in Nietzsche&apos;s opinion of Epicurus can be explained by his gradual realization that Epicurus advocates a particular form of Greek decadence, which neither Nietzsche nor the secondary literature on him ever formally name. As a consequence of this promotion of a life-inhibiting value that potentially undermines the flourishing of humanity, Nietzsche thinks Epicurus should be construed not just as a "decadent" but, in fact, a "typical" one, which I will argue is a distinct opprobrium that the secondary literature to date often cites but does not fully expound.</p>

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Apr 20, 2021

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