The phrase is the subtitle of Ecce Homo. You can a short essay by Foucault, on Nietzsche, free of charge; it's also in his essential works: aesthetics, appearing originally in a book dedicated to Hyppolite. p153

We believe, in any event, that the body obeys the exclusive laws of physiology and that it escapes the influence of history, but this too is false. The body is molded by a great many distinct regimes; it is broken down by the rhythms of work, rest, and holidays; it is poisoned by food or values, through eating habits or moral laws; it constructs resistances. “ Effective ” history differs from traditional history in being without constants. Nothing in man — not even his body — is sufficiently stable to serve as the basis for self-recognition or for understanding other men.

Maybe it's just a crass misunderstanding, but I thought that Nietzsche felt his audience were innately disposed toward him because of their physiology. Then what is a higher type? Are these peculiar "great men", doers of great things, either made by the contingent processes of history, or innately of that type?

One answer I had is that, since Nietzsche, someone is either freed by his critique of Christian morality, or (virtuously) burdened by it, and that's what these two thinkers mean. But I'm not sure that's a good answer!


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .