The Compassion of Zarathustra: Nietzsche on Sympathy and Strength

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The Compassion of Zarathustra: Nietzsche on Sympathy and Strength

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Title: The Compassion of Zarathustra: Nietzsche on Sympathy and Strength
Author: Frazer, Michael
Citation: Frazer, Michael. 2006. The compassion of Zarathustra: Nietzsche on sympathy and strength. Review of Politics 68, no. 1: 49-78.
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Abstract: Contemporary theorists critical of the current vogue for compassion might like to turn to Friedrich Nietzsche as an obvious ally in their opposition to the sentiment. Yet this essay argues that Nietzsche's critique of compassion is not entirely critical, and that the endorsement of one's sympathetic feelings is actually a natural outgrowth of Nietzsche's immoralist ethics. Nietzsche understands the tendency to share in the suffering of their inferiors as a distinctive vulnerability of the spiritually strong and healthy. Their compassion, however, is an essential element of the imaginative creativity that Nietzsche holds to be the goal of human existence. Although shared suffering may prove debilitating for some, great individuals must come to affirm their compassion as necessary in achieving accurate knowledge of the human condition.
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0034670506000052
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3350069

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7374]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University
 
 

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