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The Responsibility to Be Hard: Comments on Ken Gemes's "The Biology of Evil"

The Responsibility to Be Hard: Comments on Ken Gemes's "The Biology of Evil" <p>Abstract:</p><p>In this article, I show that attending to Nietzsche&apos;s views about breeding and human enhancement reveals two important ways in which Ken Gemes&apos;s account of Nietzsche&apos;s uses of the rhetoric of degeneration and <i>Verjüdung</i> must be modified. First, attending to Nietzsche&apos;s views about breeding reveals that methods like isolation, quarantine, excision, and extermination are not merely for the weak, as Gemes claims. In fact, for Nietzsche such methods are crucial for producing and maintaining healthy, strong people and societies. More generally, such methods play a vital role in Nietzsche&apos;s philosophy, including with respect to his conception of health. Second, contrary to Gemes&apos;s claim that Nietzsche was not interested in the actual Jews of his time, I show that Nietzsche was very interested in them, and thought they were important precisely for their relevance to his interest in breeding a new European aristocracy.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

The Responsibility to Be Hard: Comments on Ken Gemes&apos;s "The Biology of Evil"

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>In this article, I show that attending to Nietzsche&apos;s views about breeding and human enhancement reveals two important ways in which Ken Gemes&apos;s account of Nietzsche&apos;s uses of the rhetoric of degeneration and <i>Verjüdung</i> must be modified. First, attending to Nietzsche&apos;s views about breeding reveals that methods like isolation, quarantine, excision, and extermination are not merely for the weak, as Gemes claims. In fact, for Nietzsche such methods are crucial for producing and maintaining healthy, strong people and societies. More generally, such methods play a vital role in Nietzsche&apos;s philosophy, including with respect to his conception of health. Second, contrary to Gemes&apos;s claim that Nietzsche was not interested in the actual Jews of his time, I show that Nietzsche was very interested in them, and thought they were important precisely for their relevance to his interest in breeding a new European aristocracy.</p>

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Apr 20, 2021

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