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Once Nietzsche completes his critique of modern culture in the first two Untimely Meditations, he begins the positive task of renewing modern culture in the last two by composing monumental histories of Arthur Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner. The fourth chapter of the book argues that these “histories” use the lives of past and present geniuses as canvases upon which ideal portraits of the culture-creating geniuses of the future are painted. In his later writings, Nietzsche admitted that the Meditations on Schopenhauer and Wagner were not about the men named in their titles, but were instead images of himself and the thinker he hoped one day to become. The fourth chapter also argues that the creative philosophic genius ostensibly presented under Schopenhauer’s name stands in contrast to the pseudo-genius David Strauss. For Nietzsche, philosophy was a partly creative enterprise, and philosophic creativity could influence culture by reshaping human nature through thought.
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- Schopenhauer as Educator
- Chapter 4