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American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly

Volume 84, Issue 2, Spring 2010

Friedrich Nietzsche

Keith Ansell-Pearson
Pages 283-312

In Search of Authenticity and Personality
Nietzsche on the Purifications of Philosophy

Throughout Nietzsche’s writings we find discussion of various human maladies and sicknesses, such as the historical malady and decadence, along with various conceptions of a possible cure or therapy. In this essay I argue that Nietzsche’s conception of philosophy’s therapeutic role centres on the protection and promotion of authenticity and explore his preoccupation with authentic existence in each one of his three main intellectual periods. After an opening section on therapeia and paideia in Nietzsche, I focus first on writings from his early period, notably the untimelies on history and Schopenhauer; in the next main section I select Dawn from the middle period as a text that highlights Nietzsche’s continued preoccupation with authenticity; and in the final main section I focus on the late Nietzsche and note the continuities in his lifelong project of self-cultivation and emphasis on the goals of culture.

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