Nietsche's relationships with women


And speaking of the relation between failed human relationships and existentialism, didn’t Kierkegaard have something similar in his early life? And did not that experience of rejection push him deeper into the sublimest of sublimation, resulting in his own grand Christian existentialism? Hey, do I know something about nothing or what? Were SK’s thoughts on women as goofy as Nietsche’s?

[Edited by bibliophage on 09-01-2001 at 03:03 PM]

Hey anyone notice how the last straight dope mailing dealt with birds, bees, and Nietsche, who seemed to die as a result of the first two?

Birds? You mean chicks?

Thread titles containing long strings unbroken by spaces or hyphens screw up the formatting. I cut the URL from the thread title, and pasted it into your post instead.


All I’ve read of Kierkegaard is Fear & Trembling, but I don’t remember anything in it that offended me as a woman. If his ideas were as goofy as Nietzsche’s, he did a better job of keeping them to himself.

O.K., I will try to answer my own post: Kiekegaard met a woman named Regine Olsen in 1839. He proposed to her about 10 years later, and she accepted. Apparently he didn’t foresee this turn of events beause he immediately thought “What the heck have I done?”

He tolerated this intolerable situation as long as he could, then he broke up with her and she with him.

That’s the facts of his involvement with a woman. Feminist critics have since faulted him for saying that women ought to be silent in church, but one says,

"Kierkegaard was not a common misogynist. " –

But also that . . . “Kierkegaard’s writings are nevertheless dangerous for feminism in that Kierkegaard continues to exclude women from culture.”

After that, other, more abstruse theories abound, including one involving childhood sexual abuse of Soren and how that contributed to his failure to relate romantically/sexually to women (or men, for that matter).

My conslusion: The guy was probably pretty healthy and non-mean-spirited as compared to the horse-kissing Fred Nietszche (I hear tell that’s what he was doing when they hauled him off to the sanitarium).

Yes, Nietzsche did end up kissing a horse but what made him lose it more than his treatment at the hands of women was the syphillis he contracted most likely from a prostitute in his early twenties.

But that’s not the reason why I’m posting. The reason is that the comments even remotely linking Nietzsche to WWII are completely unfounded. Nietzsche would have hated the Nazis. He hated anti-semitism, he hated nationalism (he called himself a European rather than a German, he hated organized religion. After his death, his sister did him the monumental disservice of grafting in anti-semitic thoughts into some of his works, but those have been removed. If Hitler did appreciate Nietzsche, it is more than certain that he didn’t understand him. The Uebermench in the Nietzschian sense could as well have been a Jew as a German and the Unterrmench was as likely to be a German as a Gypsy.

German nationalism starting in the 19th C, and the end of WWI started WWII. And the long tradition of European anti-semitism, including Martin Luther, led to Hitler’s beliefs on race.

If you really want to get at Nietzsche’s though then I whole-heatedly recommend some of the works of Walter Kaufmann. But if you just want a decent introduction (enough to dispel myths like the ones above)the check out Nietzsche in 90 minutes

Umm sorry that should be…

some of the works of Walter Kaufmann. But if you just want a decent introduction (enough to dispel myths like the ones above)the check out Nietzsche in 90 minutes

ARRRRGGGG! Walter Kaufmann! “Some of the works of Walter Kaufmann.” I can’t post

Oh, hey–that’s O.K. The book you are trying to post is:

Nietzsche in 90 Minutes (Philosophers in 90 Minutes)
by Paul Strathern

But what does this have to do with Nietzsche’s (or Kierkegaard’s) love life?

Let me pose another question and ask, Does Nietzsche or Kierkegaard have anything particularly relevant to say to us denizens of the 21st century?