Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal

Volume 8, April 2015

Ian Ferguson
Pages 19-27

Nietzsche and the Prince

The main character of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Idiot is a devout Orthodox Christian named Prince Myshkin. Friedrich Nietzsche, who is intensely critical of Christianity, and Myshkin share the same views on shame and pity despite their apparent ideological differences. They condemn the damaging effects of shame and praise the redeeming quality of pity for people who are put to shame. Nietzsche and Myshkin criticize the moral aspect of Christianity, but Nietzsche generalizes it for all of Christianity and Myshkin limits it to the Catholic Church. In the end, they both advocate a philosophy of love for humanity.