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Nihilism and Redemption in Nietzsche's Zarathustra

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

The most important thing to understand in Nietzsche's thought is nihilism, and not as we understand the term but as Nietzsche understands it. Here I discuss the meaning of nihilism as Nietzsche's Zarathustra presents it in chapter 19 of book 2 in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, entitled "The Soothsayer." The reason this is so important is that one cannot understand what Zarathustra expects of mankind in the figure of the overman unless and until one understands what Zarathustra must himself overcome. The meaning of redemption in Nietzsche comes from this, namely, the overcoming of the most powerful form of nihilism that his Zarathustra confronts.

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