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“I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned to him just now, was inspired by “instinct.” Not only is his overtendency like mine—namely to make all knowledge the most powerful affect—but in five main points of his doctrine I recognize myself; this most unusual and loneliest thinker is closest to me precisely in these matters: he denies the freedom of the will, teleology, the moral world-order, the unegoistic, and evil. Even though the divergencies are admittedly tremendous, they are due more to the difference in time, culture, and science. In summa: my lonesomeness, which, as on very high mountains, often made it hard for me to breathe and make my blood rush out, is now at least a twosomeness. Strange! Incidentally, I am not at all as well as I had hoped. Exceptional weather here too! Eternal change of atmospheric conditions!—that will yet drive me out of Europe! I must have clear skies for months, else I get nowhere. Already six severe attacks of two or three days each!! — With affectionate love, Your friend”

Friedrich Nietzsche, found in a postcard to Franz Overbeck in Sils-Maria dated July 30, 1881.

In what ways (besides those already mentioned in the quote) are the philosophies of Spinoza and Nietzsche comparable?

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Deleuze notes a lot of overlap between their concerns; once I am reunited with my library again I may be able to isolate some relevant passages – Joseph Weissman Oct 18 '12 at 2:09
I agree, Deleuze's take on the Nietzschean theory of forces comes to mind, his critique of the consequences of active and passive forces entering into relation also comes close to Spinoza's formulation of the principles governing the mixture of bodies .. Spinoza's love as an expansion of an agents capacity to affect change and Nietzsche's exaltation of creative vigour, the overflowing, and self overcoming; these may also be comparable, but it would be great to hear from those with expertise in the thought of either philosopher. – Dr Sister Oct 18 '12 at 3:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You may want to check out Spinoza and Nietzsche -- The Meeting. Just as an enjoyable, light-hearted read on the topic.

Spinoza and Nietzsche differ in that the former finds the affirmation of substance "liberating" as one is not, in a multitude of similarly logically constructs of reality, in the governance of telos, ceteris paribus; while for Nietzsche the affirmation of self excludes and is prior to the act of affirming substance, thus one becomes the governor of reality, where liberation is the explosive nature of creativity. Creativity is mixture: what is true is that the true artist and substance need not reveal their sources, and thus both enjoy autonomy from telos. Their sources are obscured by their act of will.

I s'pose a succinct way of phrasing it would be that [both Nietzsche and Spinoza affirm the Will, but differ on its ontological content].

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