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Focusing on Nietzsche's writings from the early and mid-1870s, the article examines the central role the Greeks played in the formulation of what Nietzsche in the third Untimely described as 'the highest goal': the production of the genius. This very goal, it is argued, is developed precisely through Nietzsche's engagement with the Greeks. The Greeks, however, provide Nietzsche also with the political framework, and a basis for an educational policy, necessary for achieving a fruitful soil where the appearance of the genius is not left to mere chance: where the genius is bred. Close analysis of a number of lesser-known writings from the period uncovers the important link between the emulation of the Greeks and Nietzsche's political plans, questioning more 'sanitised' interpretations of the role of the state in his early thought. The significance of the findings for understanding Nietzsche's mature philosophy, especially the socio-political arrangements necessary to breed the higher type of man, is strongly emphasized.
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Keywords: Liberalisum; Nietzsche; Prussia; antiquity; breeding; culture; genius; military state; philology; production of the genius; slavery; state; the Greeks; war

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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