Nietzsche the Thinker--A Study. William Mackintire

Grace Neal Dolson
1918 International Journal of Ethics  
Everyone who is familiar with the articles upon Nietzsche which Mr. Salter has contributed to various periodicals during the last few years must welcome his completed volume as sure to contain a scholarly and impartial presentation of the teachings of this most enigmatical of thinkers. The current conception of Nietzsche's writings as one of the intellectual forces responsible for the war and for the mode in which it has been conducted by the Central Powers is naturally not conducive to the
more » ... onducive to the unbiased examinations of Nietzsche's theories, and Mr. Salter's study should be of great service in correcting many popular errors on the subject. There has been in the past no lack of books purporting to contain all that one needs to know about Nietzsche, the man, and Nietzsche, the philosopher; but so many have been written from a superficial knowledge, indeed, in some cases, with what seems to be wilful misrepresentation, that they are worse than useless. Many, too, confine themselves to the unimportant rather than to what is really distinctive, and so give rise to distorted ideas. It is easy to make a collection of daring aphorisms which will catch the attention and shock the reader; but at the end he knows no more of Nietzsche's philosophy than he did at the beginning. Doubtless this sort of writing appeals to its own public, but for the man who really wishes to know and who is willing to take the trouble to do some serious thinking, Mr. Salter has now provided the means of acquiring genuine knowledge. His work is by far the best that has been done in English, and ranks with the hitherto unrivalled studies of Riehl and Lichtenberger. Nietzsche's position in the intellectual world of to-day is a curious one. Several of his striking phrases, a few of his most radical ideas, often distorted beyond recognition, have permeated every civilized country and greet one at every turn. Extravagantly lauded by his little coterie of admirers, to whom he fills the place Kant occupied for their fathers, he is there rather the center of a cult than the object of critical study. Important as he is, however, even for serious students, he does not rank, in This content downloaded from 128.
doi:10.1086/intejethi.28.4.2377467 fatcat:3h5trdnsuzav5jnwf3l3yrrck4