An Interpretation of Nietzsche's On the Uses and Disadvantage of History for Life  book cover
1st Edition

An Interpretation of Nietzsche's On the Uses and Disadvantage of History for Life

ISBN 9781138617773
Published June 8, 2018 by Routledge
206 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

With his An Interpretation of Nietzsche’s "On the Uses and Disadvantage of History for Life", Anthony K. Jensen shows how 'timely' Nietzsche’s second "Untimely Meditation" really is. This comprehensive and insightful study contextualizes and analyzes a wide range of Nietzsche’s earlier thoughts about history: teleology, typology, psychology, memory, classical philology, Hegelianism, and the role historiography plays in modern culture. On the Uses and Disadvantage of History for Life is shown to be a ‘timely’ work, too, insofar as it weaves together a number of Nietzsche's most important influences and thematic directions at that time: ancient culture, science, epistemology, and the thought of Schopenhauer and Burckhardt. Rather than dismiss it as a mere ‘early’ work, Jensen shows how the text resonates in Nietzsche’s later perspectivism, his theory of subjectivity, and Eternal Recurrence. And by using careful philological analysis of the text’s composition history, Jensen is in position to fully elucidate and evaluate Nietzsche’s arguments in their proper contexts. As such Jensen’s Interpretation should restore Nietzsche’s second "Untimely Meditation" to a prominent place among 19th Century philosophies of history.

Table of Contents

1. Text and Context  2. Historicity  3. Typical Historians  4. History as a Science 5. Teleology  6. After History

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Anthony K. Jensen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Providence College and Associate Editor of the Journal of Nietzsche Studies. He is the author of Nietzsche's Philosophy of History (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and, co-editor, with Helmut Heit, of Nietzsche as a Scholar of Antiquity (Bloomsbury, 2014).


"Anthony K. Jensen has successfully undertaken an essential project for the fields of Nietzsche studies and philosophy of history. […] his monograph is not simply a summary of the production, content, and reception of one of Nietzsche's early works; it is also a judicious philosophical evaluation of Nietzsche's views and arguments. It may not be the last word on HL, but the prospect of adding anything new and valuable is now daunting." -- Mark Alfano, Delft University, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Jensen’s original, insightful, and persuasive commentary offers us plenty of reasons to appreciate and reconsider this fascinating text, which Heidegger considered Nietzsche’s most important published work." -- Paul S. Loeb, Review of Metaphysics

"Author of the well-received Nietzsche’s Philosophy of History, Jensen is remarkably versed in the historiography of the time. He has also immersed himself in the arcana of Nietzsche himself, embedding Nietzsche’s text within the surrounding Nachlass and an examination of the manuscripts in Weimar. […] thanks to his examination one’s entire conception of the work has been transformed." -- Daniel Blue, Philosophischer Literaturanzeiger