Endre Kiss

Baruch Spinoza as Model of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Zarathustra


Our title contains already a thesis: it is absolutely imaginable, that the figure of the philosopher Baruch Spinoza be amongst other also a symbol for Friedrich Nietzsche’s Zarathustra. In possession of the certainly valid documents and knowledges of Nietzsche’s investigation, we cannot yet quite clearly answer the question explicitly put in the title. If a positive reply to this question were today already possible, it would be from the beginning a philological-philosophical sensation. It would namely be a new key to the philosophical poetry Zarathustra so difficult to interpret, it would thus however be – i.e. through the concrete identification of the protagonists of the philosophical poem with Spinoza – also a further and rarely effective key also to Friedrich Nietzsche’s whole work.

The dimensions of the fundamental identification question between Nietzsche and Spinoza are global enough ever since. There are either in the work itself, or in the notes of the author accompanying the work, really sufficient orientating arguments for the reason why Zarathustra is just Zarathustra, why also the German poet-philosopher of the second half of the nineteenth century (practically not existent in Europe and generally in the European cultural memory) has chosen the Persian founder of the religion for his holistic alter ego. The lack of the appropriate concrete references is all the more frappant, because Nietzsche is otherwise one of the authors, that explains most often with an incomparable intensity and for numerous essential motives, repeats and interprets, without speaking of his constant opinions about other thinkers (like also about Spinoza). The lack of the appropriate concrete references is however also noticed for the reason that, because the Zarathustra of the philosophical poetry is indeed (in the exact Nietzschean sense) an "ecumenical" protagonist, but beyond that also the protagonist representing universally the whole human gender, he is nevertheless, in every respect, a present, modern protagonist of his time, that formulates his mission straight in the concrete actuality of the modern life world.

If we look now at this problematic from Nietzsche’s side, it becomes clear that he must have seen himself confronted to enormous difficulties, from the beginning, when choosing his own holistic alter ego inside the conception of a philosophical poetry. These difficulties come essentially from the genre of this philosophical poetry "practically" impossible to define. Since Nietzsche intended, firstly, to articulate not only this problematic of the humanity, standing as focus of the thesis, that he recognized straight only in its entirety as modern, and indeed after God’s death, new philosophically reflected (like Nietzsche expresses it), "ecumenical", i.e. totally human. He intended however, secondly, to reformulate in the Zarathustra, also his new philosophy, as he thought, in a generally comprehensible form. In this sense, Zarathustra is a popularizing work, rather, a work of philosophical pedagogics. This points out already alone to the probably inimaginable variety and complexity of the intellectual materials, since it signifies clearly an enormous number of theses and conceptions, that represent no new statement, but ideas or thoughts, which have already been expressed in a clearly discernible form in the works of the second phase. Thirdly, a parody and ironical questioning of that global approach appears simultaneously in Zarathustra, that we looked for summarizing in the previous both points. And fourthly, we are fully convinced, that the learned contemporay Möbius had said: indeed, we can by no way explain the Zarathustra holistically as a work of the pathology, the traces of the crossing of the boarder between illness (pathology) and health are clearly perceptible in him. From all these aspects (that all still unite in themselves numerous further partial aspects), arises an hermeneutical problematic to be generalized, the problematic (Friedrich borrowed from Hugo) of the "indefiniteness function of the determinants", somewhat more simply expressed, the situation of the reference, where the representationality of the referent cannot be ascertained clearly, and still less identified. In this global context, the hypothesis that Spinoza can also seriously take as symbol for Zarathustra, is a possibility to allow a better understanding of the work.

Prior to keeping an eye for those Nietzsche’s formulations, that could explain, in such or such perspective, Spinoza’s choice toward Zarathustra’s archetype, it must also be mentioned, that Nietzsche, in the so-called second period of his creative activity, which helps as generally known the poetic art Zarathustra to mature, reveals as that European philosopher, who also understands the problematic of the Jewish emancipation in its total significance. This is, on the one hand, like an obvious previous condition of his interest in Spinoza, while his later argumentation with him also takes place in possession of his exceptional analytical insights in this problematic. Nietzsche’s thought process must stand as illustration of these insights: "as soon as it no longer concerns a conservation of nations, but the production of an as strong as possible European mixed race, the Jew is just as suitable and expected ingredient, as any other national remnant. Each nation, each man has unpleasant, indeed dangerous specificities ; it is crual to require that the Jew be an exception... Nevertheless, I wish to know, how we must consider a population on the day of the full reckoning, because it is not without our universal fault that it has had the most sorrowful history amongst all nations and to which we owe the most noble man (Christ), the purest wise man (Spinoza), the most powerful book and the most effective moral law in the world" (KSA, 2, 310).

Nietzsche’s general characterization of the Jewish-christian encounter already contains one of these Spinoza’s supplications, in which the latter appears as the highest of the human genre. Behind this attitude, there is a very complex identification, therefore Yovel’s formulation seems to us to take hold in the one where he speaks of Nietzsche’s "enthusiasm" for Spinoza, which he is inclined to (Nietzsche – EK) diminish "the differences between him and Spinoza " (Yovel, 1966, 386). In contrast to these formulations, there are two dynamical processes fixed as almost symmetrically. It is somethingelse that somebody searches to diminish differences in an enthusiasm or intends to discover differences from the position of an almost total identification.

In Spinoza’s figure represented universally and superlativistically, very subjective and very objective moments are mixing up. What applies as "subjective", appears as a choice of the position of the human genre, the "subjective" reveals finally than as "objective ". And what appears as just "objective " becomes from the personal authenticity, universally widespread and that of the following personal credibility again "subjective ": "I have also been in the underworld like Odyssey, and will still be very often so ; and I have not only sacrificed the mutton to be able to talk with some deads, but have not spared its own blood. Four pairs were the ones who did not deny me the sacrifice: Epicure and Montaigne, Goethe and Spinoza, Plato and Rousseau, Pascal and Schopenhauer. I must argue with those, if I have wandered alone for long, I want that they decide if I am right or wrong, I want to listen to them, if they between each other agree upon or not. What I also only say, decide, think up for me and for others, I keep an eye on them and see their eyes fixed on me. ... This arrives in the eternal life... " (KSA, 2, 533 – Restriction in the original – EK). The hermeneutic difficulty in this statement consists in the fact that Spinoza appears here in such an essentiality several times compressed, which analytical resolution is almost possible, due to the lack of the possibility to reconstruct only analytically this essentiality constituting the diverse perspectives. Nietzsche intends to found a latent scientific, philosophical and human community with them and also with Spinoza. What he outlines, reminds mutatis mutandis of a scientific community raised in the intemporality, the absolutism and the essentiality, in the sense of the epistemological discussion of the sixties and seventies of our century.

Nietzsche’s universal and simultaneously superlativistic identification with Spinoza starting from the center, articulates in the thinker also in the context of an essentialistically compressed problematic of the German development (about which we can know from the beginning, how central it has generally been for Nietzsche’s thinking and life): "We compare two Germans, Kant and Schopenhauer with Plato, Spinoza, Pascal, Rousseau, Goethe, apart from their soul and not from their spirit: the first named thinkers are at their disadvantage: their thought constitutes no passionate soul-history, there is here no novel, no crisis, no catastroph and death hours to work out, their thinking is simultaneously no instinctive biography of the soul, but in Kant’s case, of a head, in Schopenhauer’s case, the description and the image of a character (’of the invariable’) and the pleasure as a reflection, which means of an excellent intellect. Kant appears, if he shimmers through his thinking as well-behaved and honourable, in a best sense,  however as insignificant: he has not enough broadness and power ; he has not enough experienced, and his way of working takes him the time to experience something, - I do not think, as easily, of coarse 'events' from outside, but of the fates and twitches, which solitary and quiet life goes to ruin, that has leisure and burns in the passion of thought. Schopenhauer has a projection in front of him: it consists at least in a certain violent ugliness of the nature, in hate, desire, vanity, distrust, it is somewhat a bit wilder and had time and leisure for this wildness. But the ‘development’ was missing to him, as it was missing in his environment ; he had no ‘history’ " (KSA, 3, 285 – Restriction in the original – EK). This comparison, that does not choose the "spirit", but the "soul" of the philosophers as its subject, grants a look at Nietzsche’s vision of the philosophy. It is a conception, that comes from the unity of the "soul" and the "spirit", from the "personality" and the "intellectual character", from the "existentiality" and the "cognitive potentials". This exigence of unity of these spheres always differently, if not just contradictory dealt is incomparably more than a devout humanistic or philanthropic wish. This exigence has hard philosophical and heuristical dimensions,  to say it shortly, the existential foundation applies also for the higher dimensions of the thinking as necessarily productive. Spinoza’s mentioning in this context has a double character.  On the one hand, Spinoza belonged also, without any doubt, to these philosophers, who strived in their thinking for a unity of the exitential and of the cognitive dimension. On the other hand - and this can be still more important for the relation Nietzsche-Spinoza – Spinoza was a thinker,  who still also recognized the necessity of this exigence and has made it also reflexive. It seems to us, that the common reflexion of this relation is more important for the relations of both thinkers than also the attitude of affinity.

Nietzsche’s following thought process shows the degree of complexity of this universal and superlativistic identification, and indeed mainly in its comparison with the leading ideas of a possible unity of existentiality and knowledge: "the pure sight – we should first talk of 'genius' as far as such men are concened, when the spirit appears as only freely fastened, like with Plato, Spinoza and Goethe, to the character and the tempo, as an inspired essence, which can separate easily from them and rise then widely over them. Against that, such men have spoken straight  most vividly of their 'genius', which never got away from their temperament and knew how to give him the most spiritural, greatest, most general, indeed under circumstances, a cosmic expression (as for example Schopenhauer). These genies could not fly out over them, but they believed to find themselves where they only flew, - this is their 'significance'... – The others to whom the name is more really granted, have the pure, pure sight, which does not seem to have grown from their temperament and character , but freely from them and mostly in a mild opposition to them, looks at the world like on a god and loves this god. This eye is however also not all of sudden given to them: there is a practice and a preparatory school of seeing, and who has right luck, finds at the right moment also a teacher of the pure sight" (KSA, 3, 292 – restrictions in the original – EK). Only the confrontation of both philosophies can make clear Nietzsche’s true and complete position – both in Spinoza’s context and with his help ! – On the one side, knowledge and existentiality must be compatible. On the other side, this existentiality can and may not be identical to the "temperament", to the everyday personality of the thinker – in a word, it may not express the particular and still so authentical subjectivity of the thinker. Like as if the magnificently chosen expression "pure sight" would reflect most accurately the fact: the thinker’s eye must simultaneously be "pure" and "pure sight", what exactly means an existentiality coming from the profundities, which is however free of the particular influences and motives, free of the everyday reactions of the ego.

Again a new vision of the already outlined attitude appears in Nietzsche’s following thinking, while Spinoza’s superlativistic society must first only be pointed out: " If I speak of Plato, Pascal, Spinoza and Goethe, then I know that their blood flows in mine – I am proud if I say their truth – the family is so good enough, that it has no need to compose or to conceal ; and I maintain my opinion on the former, I am proud of the humanity, and straight proud of the absolute truth" (KSA, 9, 585 – Restrictions in the original – EK). This thinking articulates the so primary quality of the "humanity" (achieved and realized by the ones named, for Nietzsche for himself and for his epoch). For Nietzsche, it is however on the level of his philosophizing of the greatest importance, that his "hommage" in front of the humanity of the ones named be "true". The "absolute truth" mentioned in the philosophy does not refer to the problematic of the reality, i.e. to whether the named thinkers "really" personified or not the highest. To be "true" means here the certainty, that the named thinkers could realize in this way the highest achievable levels of the realizable humanity, that they meanwhile were and remained "true", which mainly means, that they could comprehend the non-anthropomorphic conditions of the reality not created for the man and thus personified in their activity the truth like represented. This insight delivers a very valuable indication of this essential attitude of Nietzsche, whatever  "truth" would really to be achieved only through an optimum of "humanity" and "humanity" only through an optimum of truth.

Also further, the motive remains simply an appearance, nevertheless the unity representing the philosophical essence between existentiality (credibility, authenticity and luck) and truth ability (knowledge, right consciousness, criticism). This apparently simple unity is, with a range of analytical insights, suddenly extremely enhanced in the opposed conditionality of both moments. That this unity of both moments can also represent a coheent and easy experienceable state, shows Nietzsche’s following thought process: "In the antiquity, every senior man had the desire for the fame – this came from the fact that everyone believed to be at the beginning of the humanity and knew which broadness and duration to give oneself, to be transposed in the posterity as tragedy playing on the eternal scene. My pride is that ‘I have origins’ – therefore I do not need any fame. Whilst what moved Zarathustra, Moses, Mahomet, Jesus, Plato, Brutus, Spinoza, Mirabeau, I was already living and it came to me in many things mature in the daylight what a couple of thousands of years needed. We are the first aristocrats in the spiritual history – the historical sense begins only now" (KSA, 9, 642. Restriction in the original – EK). Nietzsche’s "pride" is a present state, which "experience" is distinguished straight through the motive of the truth ability and of the existential authenticity, or credibility. The same conviction of highest inner evidence expresses also in another extract: "My ancestors Heraklit, Empedocles, Spinoza, Goethe... " (KSA, 11, 134 – restrictions in the original).

The universal and superlativistic identification with Spinoza, the assumption, that he belonged to that, which could realize, in the optimal way, the highest unity and the unity lying in the nature of the highest things, of the existentiality and of the truth ability, but also did not exclude the possibility, that the form, which could realize most optimally the highest degree of human possibilities, also should be constantly submitted to a suspicion. Whilst Nietzsche had raised Spinoza to the highest men (sometimes the highest man), the nessecity emerged in font of him to always prove again this unique qualification. That is why Nietzsche’s Spinoza image wins also a real and very intensive tension, that was growing together most strictly with the most important philosophical positions and attitudes. While, for instance, the "truth ability" and the right knowledge make necessarily of Spinoza a thinker behaving against any metaphysics, the assumptions of a "metaphysics" of Spinoza motivate Nietzsche to modify his image of Spinoza. Here, only a sole example: "reasonable, simple, effective, sub specie Spinozae paraphrase of the sentence ’I, Spinoza’ " (KSA, 14, 45), there the quoted text belongs a part of the famous thought process "How the true world became a fable". The already mentioned complexity of the intellectual assumption gets its full validity also in this context. It is first existentially important for Nietzsche, whether Spinoza realizes or not that "superhuman" amalgamation of the existential credibility and of the philosophical truth ability. Secondly, it is for Nietzsche also philosophically of the highest relevance, whether his conception of the right philosophizing and thinking had or not really once become reality in the history of the humanity. And thirdly, the intellectual and existential dimension of the right philosophizing (or differently said: the only right) is also materially most strictly related in Nietzsche, since without an optimality of the one, the optimality of the other would also not be possible. Would it have occured, that this evident interdependence would have not once been really realized  by a Spinoza, then this theory (Nietzsche’s own theory, well-noticed !) should drive him directly to despair.

Although we must again, in the later parts of this work, thematize the specifically for Nietzsche characteristical fluctuations between universal and superlativistic identification and the suspicion moments reproducing again, at this place, the intensity of this feeling of uncertainty has also to be pointed out: "What made me mistrustful of the philosophers, is not that I comprehended how often and easily they adopt the wrong approach or confuse, but because I found nowhere honesty enough: they are all as if they had discovered and achieved something through the dialectics, whilst basically the anticipated sentence is defended by them through a kind of proof... The Tartuffery of the old Kant, as he searched his by-way to the ‘categorical imperative’, makes laugh. Or whatsoever the mathematic phenomenon through which Spinoza (gave) to his heart’s desires the character of a fortress (!), must somewhat inevitably intimidate the assaillants" (KSA, 14, 348). The moment of the "intellectual honesty" plays in Nietzsche a role constituting the knowledge, so that its significance cannot really be reduced to the moral. On the other hand, Nietzsche denotes here, as well in Kant’s case as also in Spinoza’s case, these concrete systematical constructions that occured further to his appraisal of the missing intellectual honesty. This transposition of the suspicion moments in the description, but also in the qualification of the diverse systematical-philosophical elements, leads in Nietzsche to the elaboration of an early, to be still hardly explicitly named epistemological-ideological-critical vision, which immanent philosophical relevance might not be called into question under no circumstances. It is also the point, where the cognitive, if we want, the real dimension of the moral and/or existential moments, constituting the knowledge, in the sense of the mature form of Nietzsche’s philosophy, must be exactly denoted. Since it is not straight so, as Yovel believes it, while he quotes Nietzsche’s opinion, "Knowledge (belongs) to the instinctive side of the life" and concludes, that this interpretation of the knowledge (also quoted in the title of this work) could lead, in Nietzsche, to the identification between "knowledge" and "(powerful) emotion" (s. Yovel, 1996, 386). Now, we think, that Nietzsche had a fully elaborated knowledge theory of the criticist positivism (or criticist empirism) (s. for instance Kiss, 1993) and his quite elaborated criticist knowledge theory leads straight on certain lines to a "naturalistic" (or vitalistic) enlargement of the gnoseology. This enlargement is interpreted, in first intent, by many (amongst them also by Yovel) as an immediate naturalization of the knowledge theory. It follows that a conception of the knowledge as "powerful emotion" is no naturalistic reduction (knowledge = instinctive side of the life), rather more its enlargement and enhancement, understood in the former sense and epistemologically clarified (knowledge as legitimate knowledge = powerful emotion), a kind of "metaknowledge theory", in which then, in a perfectly unexpected way, a clear material relation between existential/oral and cognitive qualities occurs.

For Nietzsche, like also for Spinoza, it is thus characteristic, that the "intellectual honesty", made as philosophical motive, or differently said, the unity of existentiality and truth ability raised as independent philosophical content, must appear not only in its negative form or in its absence, but also in its positively experienced or experienceable form, as determinant factor of the right thinking and of the right life. The significance of this fact is all the more greater, that it can grant insight in its true qualities "knowledge and beauty – If the men, like they always do it, so to speak, save their veneration and their feeling of luck for the works of the imagination and the pretence, it may not be astonishing, if they feel unmoved and without enthusiasm in contrast to the imagination and the pretence. The delight, which already occurs by smallest sure final step and progress of the insight and which pours out of the present kind of science so substantially and aleady for many, - this delight is for the time being not believed by those, that were used to be always delighted only by the abandonment of the reality, by jumping in the profundities of the appearance. Those think that the reality is ugly: but they do not think of the fact that the knowledge also of the ugliest reality is beautiful, as well as who often and much discerns, is finally very far from finding ugly the whole of the reality, which discovering always gave him luck. Is there then something ‘beautiful to them’ ? The luck of the one who discerns enhances the beauty of the world and makes everything, that is there, more sunny ; the knowledge does not put its beauty only around the things, but on the duration, in the things ; - may the future humanity be testimony to this sentence ! In between, we evoke another experience: two fundamentally different men, like Plato and Aristoteles, came to an agreement, what constitutes the highest luck, not only for them or for the humanity, but in itself for the gods of the last ecstasy: they find it in the knowledge, in the activity of a well-practised finding and inventing reason (not somewhat in the ‘intuition’, like the German semi- and full theologians, not in creating, like all practical persons). Descartes’ and Spinoza’s judgements were similar: how they must all have enjoyed the knowledge ! And which danger for their honesty to become thus apologist of the things ! -" (KSA, 3, 320-321 – Restrictions in the original, EK). The comparison of the knowledge and of the luck is – as well in Nietzsche as also in Spinoza – despite every appearance, so far, not a question  of morality or right life behaviour. The realization of this unity is a high practice, a realized philosophy, but also a form of the right thinking par excellence.

The following critical thinking process about the motivations of the scientific support is only apparently in contradiction with this "divine" unity, in the true sense of the word, mainly for the reason that it is here about the sociological objectification "science" and not about the perspective of the right thinking: "From three errors – We have required the science in the last centuries, partly because we hoped to understand the best with and through it god’s goodness and wisdom... the main reward in the mind of the great Englishmen (like Newton) -, partly because we did not believe in the absolute utilitiy of the knowledge, especially in the inner association of morality, knowledge and luck, the main motive in the mind of the great Frenchmen (like Voltaire), - partly because we thought to have and love in the science something unselfish, harmless, self-sufficient in itself, truly innocent, in which the evil impulses of the men did not participate – the main motive in Spinoza’s mind, who felt himself divinely as knower: - also from three errors" (KSA, 3, 405-406). The panegyric of the unity of knowledge and luck (and indeed on the basis of thematically established philosophical considerations) and later the description of Spinoza’s feeling of luck because of the knowledge as "error", is no part of Nietzsche’s oscillation between a universal and superlativistic identification and a suspicion with regard to the true authenticity of this historical and intellectual uniqueness. This apparent contradiction is a consequence of his philosophical perspectivism, that indeed articulates the whole truth content of a given perspective, without thinking of the whole structure of the diverse statements, at the moment of the articulation of the diverse perspectives.

According to these determinant lines of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Spinoza-reception, the philological and reception-historical moments of this association must also be focussed. Although the researches, lighting up these contexts and facts, cannot be completely carried out in this work and, on the other side, we can assume with a clear conscience, that the previous researches will provide in the future still absolutely relevant complements, certain determinant moments seem nevertheless already guaranted. We can first assume, that the young Nietzsche’s  might develop his Spinoza’s image of some authors important to him. Therefore, Spinoza’s interpretations of Frederick Albert Lange, Eugen Dühring and Arthur Schopenhauer would be for the young Nietzsche in the principle attainable, that he might have read and thus noted. In the context of this attempt, these memories and reading matters, surely applying as youthful, are ignored.

The basis of the present insight in the philological dimension of Nietzsche’s Spinoza-reception proposes the reading carried out in 1881. Besides, Nietzsche read Spinoza’s volume of Kuno Fischer (Fischer, 1865), that he let the friend Overbeck send it in 1881 to Sils Maria. In this reading, we might discover the philological key-moments of this reception, that can indeed totally cope with the whole reception neither in the broadness nor in the profundity. The assumption, that the Nietzsche’s Spinoza relation of this unique relevance came back, in a former time, namely to the closer cooperation with Paul Rée, would have almost to be verified in the current state of the research. In this work, we try to give an answer to this assumption on two different lines. The first line would be (later we come again on this possibility) the pure gestus of the demonstration: it can be demonstratively proved, that contents, which were to be identified with Spinoza’s theory of the emotions, emerge in Nietzsche’s work only after 1881. The other line would be a reconstitution of the indirect references of Nietzsche’s correspondence. The coincidence should have brought, that Nietzsche’s letter to Overbeck, while he requires (beside two other books) Fischer’s Spinoza-book, would be written, on the same day, as a letter also to Paul Rée after a longer time, and as sign of a commencement of contact: (in the style somewhat: "The whole world holds us already for drowned, but there we emerge always again and bring up even something from the profundity ... ") (Nietzsche, Briefe, III/1. 101). At this time, somewhat of the appearance of the dawn (Summer, 1881), a long correspondence begins again between Nietzsche and Rée (from which new personal encounters, even also encounters with Lou have followed), the name Spinoza falls however never in this communication. This one and other moments show, that Paul Rée, at this time in Nietzsche’s thinking, does not exist in a universe with Spinoza. And this at a time of the universal and superlativistic identification !

The horizon of the key-moments in Fischer’s excerpts is fundamentally determined by the fact, that Nietzsche experiences himself, at the time of the reading, as author of his own philosophy, that compares, according to a certain rule, his work and his achievement with those of the classical authors of the philosophy. It is not uninteresting, that Nietzsche tries to win Lou Salome as disciple and successor for his finally outstanding philosophy, whilst he does not communicate with Rée on the same philosophy !  That in the course of this strange process, the similarities between Spinoza and his own philosophy became clear to him, applies as constituted. Nietzsche experiences also himself as author of a philosophy, that he holds with the best conscience for unique, that is hardly understood by somebody, but not in an evident way by those he expected. This arouses in him constantly new attempts of improvement of his philosophical communication, that will lead finally to the philosophical poem Zarathustra. And thirdly, Nietzsche is indeed considered at this time as author of a revolutionary new philosophy, this philosophy, undoubtedly growing mature, goes on however developping further. Spinoza’s unique importance for Nietzsche constitutes from all three elements in the same way, if not however in the equal extent. Firstly, Nietzsche compares his mature philosophy with Spinoza’s one. Secondly, Spinoza is the one, that Nietzsche wants to transform in the prototype of the Zarathustra figure. Thirdly, Nietzsche borrows from Spinoza elements for the future deployment and elaboration of his mature philosophy, while also Spinoza’s concerned suspicion moments have generatively an effect on the further development of the philosophy already "completed" in itself.

In all the just mentioned perspectives, we are gaining an insight, if we shortly realize.

In all the just named perspectives, a look is granted to us, if we shortly visualize the range of these Spinoza’s quotations, which Nietzsche had excerpted in this excellent stage of his Spinoza’s reception. In the following, we give again practically the complete range of these quotations (KSA, 9,517-519), to the end of which Nietzsche has indicated the page number of Fischer’s monography. These excerpts are set by the editors of the Kritischen Studienausgabe in the spring-automn 1881: "Spinoza:  we are only determined in our actions through our desires and emotions. To be motive, the knowledge must be emotion – I say: to be motive, it must be passion" ;  "ex virtute absolute agere = ex ductu rationis agere, vivere, suum Esse conservare" ; "basically, not search anythingelse than one’s own benefits" ; "Nobody strives to get from another nature the own being" ; "The effort for self-preservation is the condition of every virtue" ; "The men are mutually most useful, if everyone searches his own utility" ; "No individual nature in the world is so useful to the man as the man, who lives ex ductu rationis according to the guiding principle of his reason" ; "Is good all that serves truly the knowledge " ; In the contrary, is bad all that precludes it" ; "Our reason is our greatest power. It is amongst all goods the only one that equally gives pleasure, that noone envies from the other, that everyone wishes to the othe, and all the more wishes it when he has it oneself – The men are united only in the reason. They cannot be more united than if they rationally live. They cannot be more powerful than if they totally agree together. – We live in the situation of the agreement with the others and with ourselves anyhow more powerful than in the situation of the division. The passions divide... " ; "ego ; All is prejudice. There is no reason of the type, and without struggle and passion, all is weak, man and society" ; The desire is the essence of the man himself, namely the effort, by virtue of which the man intends to persist in his being" ; Everyone becomes powerless when he does not pay any attention to his utility, i.e. to his self-preservation" ; "Striving for self-preservation is the first and sole basis of the virtue" ; There is in spirit no free will, but the spirit is determined by a cause, that is also determined by another one, and this one again by another one, and so ad infinitum" ; "The will is the ability to say yes or no: nothingelse. Against that, ego ; the herd instinct is older than the "will to self-preservation". The man is only developped as function: later the individual frees himself from it, while he hs learnt to know and incorporate gradually as function of innumerable conditions of the whole, of the organism (Restrictions and italics in Nietzsche’s excerpts – EK).

At this concrete time, the citations chosen by Nietzsche in Spinoza inform on a common extensive perspective. It is the problematic of the "self-preservation", taken in the wide sense, and the one of the "free will" most closely linked to it. It is clear that this perspective chosen by Nietzsche cannot exhaust the full interest for Spinoza. It is however anything but fragmentary, at least it is by no way fragmentary in knowledge of Nietzsche’s quite specific philosophical interest. Since – and his Fischer – excerpts prove this without any doubt – Nietzsche’s philosophical interest often stops immediately after having reached a new situation of the knowledge. Instead of bringing out this new insight philosophically, scientifically or in another way furthere discoursively, Nietzsche turns himself, in a vast majority of the cases, toward the (understood in the very large sense) moral consequences of the just achieved and secured new knowledge. In his philosophical main work, he goes humanly, all too humanly so far that he practises separately this movement of interest essentially in every important aphorism. In the first main part, he discovers in every separate aphorism a relevant new philosophical insight, to still argue in the same aphorism with the moral, existential, i.e. "ecumenical-human" consequences of his own brand-new discovery (Kiss, 1993). In this sense, Fischer’s excerpts are no exception. On the one hand, in his confrontation with Spinoza, it is about a positive completion and fulfilment of this principal frame on the way of the description of the "real behaviour", of the "desideologized psychology" or of the "revealing research" of the human sphere totally till into the problematic of the disappearance of the traditional notion of the ego. On the other hand, the "free will" and the "self-preservation" appear as typical examples, in which extent Nietzsche emphasizes, from every thinking material (also from Spinoza, but also from his most important texts), with an unmistakable instinct, the most relevant motives for the conception of the human morals.

At this place, it must again be pointed out to the extreme complexity and multi-dimensionality of this symbol relation. On the one hand, the amalgamation of knowledge and existentiality, consequently carried out by Spinoza contains already in itself lots of associated philosophical and moral conditions, that are placed separately at various concrete places of his philosophy. On the othe hand,  Spinoza realizes through this amalgamating attitude an ideal of Nietzsche hardly to be realized, which ideal unites together two moments seeming incompatible. It is about the extreme difficulty of this ideal,, which is  however the only possible solution to the enormous difficulty. Thirdly, the so realized ideal means a normative state of the human luck, that is identical to the (this time effectively realized) optimum of all human possibilities. This "normativity" gains a specific significance totally corresponding to the true complexity of the philosophical situation. An optimum can namely be only raised to norm, if it has already been examplarily realized by somebody. The optimum can then be raised to norm through Spinoza ! The deeply philosophical thinking figue of the normative paradox emerges: Abraham sacrifices his son Isaac, thus he establishes the religion as a reality and thereby again as "norm". Spinoza confirms through his life an optimum of knowledge and existentiality, through which suddenly the mere optimum can be set up to the highest norm ! And fourthly, the realization of this such as overloaded ideal means for Nietzsche a personal confirmation of his own and personal project, and indeed at a time when he must, like already mentioned, as author of a philosophy and of a all human solution, struggle with the fact that his philosophy is essentially not understood.

Before dealing closer with the problematic of the Zarathustra and that of the choice of Spinoza’s conception as model of the prophet, priority should be given to two fundamental remarks. First, we also believe that the original conception of this philosophical poem is partly of visionary and irrational nature and thus that Nietzsche’s posthumous history of the exactly localized and dated first encounter with Zarathustra has an historical and psychological authenticity. From all this, it follows for us, that we strongly rationalize the probably instinct-related irrational dimension of this selection. We also give a certain credibility to this thesis mainly represented by Möbius, that traces or maybe already elements of the pathology are contained in Zarathustra. Since we cannot quite right include this dimension in our analysis, we admit that our reflections, in this context, "rationalize" in two directions the facts coming into question.

Like with almost every Nietzsche’s work, we find in the posthumous works numerous outlined general ideas and temporary overall concepts, that stand more or less far from the later final version. The fact that they are for us of some importance because of the plausibility of Spinoza’s eventual model role, goes without saying.

The title of the first overall concept is "Mittag und Ewigkeit".

Subtitle: "Fingerzeige zu einem neuen Leben" thematizes the "new life". We have all reasons to interpret this thematization, in the sense of the former discussions, as the optimal and as the sole optimal life. The text of this roughly sketched thematization sounds as follows:

"Zarathustra, born on Lake Urmi, left his home in his thirtieth year, went to the province Aria and wrote in the ten years of his solitude in the mountains, the Zend-Avesta. The sun of the knowledge stands once again at noon and, curled, the serpent of the eternity lies in its light... it’s your time, their noon bothers ! "(KSA, 0, 519).

Another sketch shows how coherently and contextually the whole structure of the future Zarathustra matured in Nietzsche, that differs little from the other one:

"Draft of a new way of living".

First book in the style of the first sentence of the newest symphony. Chaos sive natura: ‘'of the dehumanization of the nature'. Prometheus is forged to the Caucasus. Written with the cruelty ... of the power".

Second book. Fugitive – skeptical – mephistophelian. 'of the incorporation of the experiences'.Knowledge = mistake, that is organical and organizes.

Third book. The most intimate is floating above the heavens, what is ever written: 'of the ultimate luck of the anachoret' – It is the one that from the 'one accompanying' has become the 'self-own ' of the highest degree: the perfect ego: Only this ego has love, in the former stages where the highest solitude and self-grandeur are not reached, there is somethingelse than love.

Fourth book. Dythirambic-extensive. ‘Annulus aeternitatis’ desire, everything to experience once again and eternally.

The incessant change - you have to go through many individuals in a short space of time. The mean is the constant struggle" (KSA, 9, 519-520).

The proofs of Spinoza’s presence in these whole projects were not absolutely raised not only through moments,  that more or less inform directly on him (like somewhat: Chaos sive Natura). Both main titles deliver this most important proof, about the type, the new way of living. It is this extensive idea, that is identical to the unity of knowledge and existentiality and that had searched for so long for Nietzsche-Spinoza model. To summarize we could say, that the role of the protagonists of Spinoza finds its cause in a conception of the new life, which assumes, on the one hand, a unity between knowledge and existentiality and, on the other hand, Spinoza’s excellent own importance through the positive and norm-creating realization of this ideal. At this point however, a new relation emerges also from a deepened discussion between Nietzsche and Spinoza. While Nietzsche then thinks about the possible model of the protagonists of his poetry and thus also his own knowledge-existentiality fate in the form of universal and superlativistic identifications ( and not only with Spinoza !), he is confronted with further philosophical dimensions, that he finds in Spinoza’s philosophy. The excerpts from Kuno Fischer’s Spinoza-book mark an exakt transition. The problems of the free will and of the self-preservation in the morals (today, we would be rather inclined to say "human behaviour" instead of " morals") still come from the universe of the criticist empiricism of the second period, which main work is human-all too human. Nietzsche’s interest in this problem shows however a direction of the enlargement of his philosophy. Direction and content of this enlargement are very clearly transmitted in a letter of Nietzsche: "Not only, that his (Spinoza’s – EK) general tendency is equal to mine to make of the knowledge the most powerful emotion, I find myself again in five main points of his theory, this most abnormal and most solitary thinker is very near to me in these things: he denies the will freedom - ; the aims - ; the traditional world order - ; the non egotist - ; the devil - ; if however the differences are also enormous, they are more in the differences of the time, of the culture, of the science. To summarize: my solitude that was often suffocating me like on very high mountains, that let the blood gush forth, is at least now a togetherness" (Biefe, III/1, 111 – Restrictions in the original – EK). As well the whole background of the universal and superlativistic identification  as also the content of the unity of knowledge and existentiality, mentioned by Nietzsche, can be withdrawn from this quotation ("to make of the knowledge the most powerful emotion").

The completion, or enlargement of the Nietzschean philosophy according to its confrontation with Spinoza consists in the fact , that the fundamental problematic of the (ideal-typically understood) Enlightenment is completed with the same of the emotion theory of Spinoza.

For Nietzsche’s philosophy of the criticist  scientific character and of the new Enlightenment (Kiss, 1993), the consequent and logical task of the upsetting (also in the form of the upsetting of all values) reveals as a mental problem. The exit from the wrong consciousness and the entrance into the right one reveals, under such circumstances, as a problem of the epistemology or of the ideology-criticism and can be resolved in the form of a new (to be understood ideal-typically) Enlightenment. In this context, there are then no pragmatic differences between Nietzsche’s Enlightenment and the great Enlightenment of the eighteenth century (Kiss, 1997). Philologically and historically, it still belongs in this regard, that the leading works of Nietzsche’s mid-period, Human-all too human first, still conceive the problems of consciousness on the level of the Enlightenment’s problematic, i.e. on the level of the "wrong" and of the "right" consciousness, so that we cannot speak of a former and without Spinoza imaginable encounter with the emotion theory. Since – philosophically considered – the conception of the Enlightenment is, with its full epistemology of the right consciousness, an absolutely coherent, an in the good sense of the word, adequately "closed" conception and has hardly something to do with an emotion theory in the strict sense of the word. In this respect, the inclination of the emotion theory is a huge and really unprecedented enrichment of the Nietzschean epistemology, psychology and ideology conception. This enrichment is unprecedented for the reason that with it – as it will be thematized later – a new discipline emerges, a discipline that has no name. It is an illustrative and operative synthesis of psychology, epistemology and ideology-criticism, and it has to be emphasized, that this psychology is an incomparably rich and differentiated one, like that, which we know by this name. Since the psychology, as strict science, issued from quite other starting positions like Spinoza’s emotion theory. This new, momentaneous nameless discipline emerged in Nietzsche and mainly straight in Zarathustra.

It seems however again almost consequent, that Nietzsche’s epistemologically founded notion of Enlightenment has been completed and fulfilled through Spinoza’s emotion theory. Since the emotions are for Nietzsche legitimate facts, results of critical scientific character. It signifies clearly, that Spinoza’s integrally formulated emotion theory is for Nietzsche not only a legitimate continuation of his epistemological process, but also a quite appropriate prolongement of his own criticist-positivist fundamental principles.

This extremely sufficiently enlarged field in the unconscious prepares however to Nietzsche’s starting question a qualitatively new environment. Since the unity of knowledge and existentiality, the expected transformation of the "knowledge" in the most powerful "emotion" reveals thus also as a qualitatively difficult, also all the more attractive question. The difference between both thematizations is that, while the expected unity of knowledge and existentiality (luck) is in the Enlightenment context practically identical to the right consciousness, it appears in the new context as a much more dynamical problematic also reminding of the field of the chaos theory, that however does not quite deviate from the former consciousness problematic, but in which it appears in new dimensions.

It is then not a coincidence, if we find in Spinoza formulations, that constitute in Nietzsche at this period the most important achievements. For instance, we find in Spinoza the following about the problem of the body: "What the essence of the spirit constitutes at first, (is) the idea of the really existing body, it is so the first and main striving of our spirit,... to approve the existence of our body... an idea, which denies the existence of the body, (is) in contradiction with our spirit..." (Spinoza, 1975, 170). We even find in Spinoza, as a paraphrase, a formulation similar to Nietzsche’s "the body is the great reason": "the present existence of our spirit... from which depends alone, that the spirit contains in itself the real existence of the body" (Spinoza, 1975, 171). It goes without saying, that the problematic of the free will must become again topical and thematical also in front of the new horizon, nevertheless it applies for our attempt, that this problematization in the direction of the full paradigm of the emotion theory clearly goes far beyond the position of Fischer’s excerpts, so that the profundity and the intensity of the inclination and of the independent mobilization of the emotion theory exceeds largely the pure problematic of the self-preservation.

This however means, that also the whole problematic of the Zarathustra must appear in a somewhat transformed light. Zarathustra is now not "only" an attempt to imagine the unity of knowledge and existentiality in a symbolic form and as model. Zarathustra chooses now the still more difficult way. This thematized the necessity of the unity of knowledge and existentiality in front of the horizon of the just appropriated emotion theory. It goes without saying that it constitutes a qualitative difference in comparison with the former conception. A philosophical pedagogy to select only this sole moment is, in front of the horizon of an Enlightenment conception incomparably more simple to elaborate than in front of the horizon of this new common discipline of emotion psychology, epistemology and ideology criticism. Nietzsche has done it certainly not easily.

The demonstration of the diverse situations, the educative rhetorics of Zarathustra, the multiple pre-exercises of the right behaviour are indeed conceived, after like before, on the basis of the enlightened model, while this model, in the work itself, is extended from and towards inner by the chaotic knowledge- and revelation springs of the emotion theory, if not just here and there blown up. In this philosophical pedagogy, the consequences of the emotion theory are then already reflected, while Nietzsche remains inasmuch still absolutely faithful to the Enlightenment model, when he intends to make, consciously as enlightened, this reflection to the disciples, in other words, he intends also to make the emotions conscious, to build the conscious action also in such a way. The tendency of the emotion theory in Zarathustra has however still also a less relevant dimension for our work. It is about the lack of uniformity of the prophetic protagonists’ role in the sense, that Nietzsche builds up Zarathustra not only positively, as bringer of his own positive philosophical message, but characterizes it as the simultaneous messenger of an ironical, parodistic  conception, tending to the absurd, of the same prophets’ role. It goes of course without saying, that the aforesaid tendency of the emotion theory also finds very richly its expression in this negative dimensioning of the philosophical prophecy. Partly, it was however also this inner shift of Nietzsche’s personality, that considerably intensifies from the beginning the wide Spinoza’s reception with the tendency of the emotion theory. The emergence of ironical, parodistic and absurd trains in the simultaneous constance of the enlightened philosopher’s role falls straight at the time of Zarathustra. So we can say, that Nietzsche’s own emotions – beside the intellectual reception – made him open to the emotion theory, although it would be a truly dangerous partiality to exaggerate these trains and to call into question the ecumenical-overall human dimension of Nietzsche’s whole philosophy.

From there, two revolutionary new moments come in the conception of the man of the Zarathustra. We would like to call the first the superlativistic train. It means, that Zarathustra pleads constantly for the rejection of any weakness and for the execution of any specificity, that could weaken the personality, or could deliver alien influences. We are convinced that this superlativistic, if we want, perfectionnistic train in the human ideal of the Zarathustra contains a fundamentally other significance in front of the horizon of the emotion theory, since the emotion theory delivers straight the sober-concrete reason for the fact that every  comprehended "weakness" can effectively fatefully have an effect for the personality. The second train coming here in question is the perfect social vagueness of the human ideal. It is indeed clear that this vagueness has not to be absolutely required in the case of an essentiallistic philosophical human conception. It is however much more essential, that the integrated emotion theory points straight in this direction, since its moments create a human universality, that could not immediately carry social differences. Besides, belongs also to the emphasis, that a profound community, existing from the beginning, between Nietzsche and Spinoza has been necessary, in order that the emotion theory could be admitted so problem-free and consequently in Nietzsche’s conception of the Enlightenment. Both were representatives of the right consciousness in the philosophy and both identified it with the luck.

Suspicion moments versus the authenticity of Spinoza’s relevant attitude, for Nietzsche do not emerge in the rule immediately from so numerous determinant moments, but on the detour of the analysis of the philosophical and ethical systematization. To formulate this most simply, Nietzsche finds the philosophical systematization, in its concrete forms, probably but also not at all adequate to a thinking mode of the amalgamation of knowledge and existentiality. An absolutely classical example delivers Nietzsche’s following thinking process: "Like the appearance  behind the vision..., so the moralistic behind the morality. The individual considerations are so far the most valuable. A moral basic defect-theory is mostly the origin of the great philosophical system: something must be shown to which the practice of the philosopher suits (Spinoza, for instance) (Schopenhauer exception – noblesse) "(KSA, 10, 243-244 – Restrictions in the original – EK). It seems to us, that the thesis contained in the citation about a moral "basic defect-theory" as the "origin of the great philosophical system" quotes totally the main attitude of the modern philosophical systematization, so that the relevance of this insight, out of its concrete truth content, goes also still far beyond Spinoza’s concrete context. At this point, the probably also totally right fact is for us not of so much importance, that Spinoza also gets thereby in contradiction, but what is more important is that the suspicion moments, with regard to Spinoza’s authenticity, do not appear in the founding ideas, but in the forms of the systematization. It is not a coincidence, that Nietzsche, all along his mature intellectual life, did not initiate any systematization of the former type, and also that so modern and competent representatives of the metaphysical thinking type, like just Scheler, expressed interest in Spinoza (an example: Scheler, 1960, 31). It is absolutely instructive (if not directly amusing), that suspicion moments appeared as well in Scheler about Spinoza, like it has been the case in Nietzsche, only – like it was to be expected – in the opposed way. While Scheler looks then in Spinoza for a metaphysician made of the same modern stuff (and indeed in Scheler’s very complicated, incommensurable sense), he fights, with all his forces, Spinoza’s (by the way Nietzsche’s essentially perfectly similar) return of the moral attitude on positive moments: "a theory much represented since Spinoza (also by Nietzsche – EK) affirms that the sense of the words "good" and "bad", on the basis of no other would be as "to be desired", or "to be aspired", rather "to be the content of a reluctance". Good, it is so that Spinoza calls "to be desired" ; rather "to be able to be desired" – where there is straight no present desire. Then, according to this theory, the aspiration and the reluctance do not build up on a precedent and founding value-consciousness ’of something’ ; but this consciousness of the value ’is’ after that nothingelse than just the consciousness, to desire or even to be able to desire... We can only remark here, that the theory is itself a pure product of resentment and also a description of the resentment" (Scheler, 1955, 50). That Max Scheler turns at this place Nietzsche’s pioneering resentment theory against Spinoza and (obviously) Nietzsche himself, makes this context of the last discussion between metaphysics and metaphysics’criticism still more relevant historically and typologically.

The suspicion moments localized on the philosophical systematization are later completed with intentional stipulations, like with the following: "Or even this magic abracadabra of mathematic form, with which Spinoza armoured and masked his philosophy like with ore, in order to intimidate the courage of the assailants from the beginning,.. how much timidity and vulnerability this masquerade betrays... " (KSA, 5, 19). Such moments attributing suspicion multiply like obviously, if Nietzsche currently loses his universal and superlativistic identification, through which the individual concrete assumptions of suspicion are looking for the reasons of the improper behaviour (a further example KSA, 14, 348).

It is conceptionally determinant that Nietzsche’s assimilation of the emotion theory and the carried out completion of his conception of the Enlightenment fall in a phase, in which also a theoretical integration of his philosophical perspectivism comes as topic. This brings that this theoretical integration will admit in itself the emotion theory. Because it is clearly identical to the theoretical elaboration of the problematic of the "power", it means, that Nietzsche’s notion of the power is essentially identical to Spinoza’s notion of the "activity capacity", through which Spinoza’s emotion theory can experience its true reception in Nietzsche’s theoretical integration of his philosophical perspectivism. In Nietzsche’s following thinking, an agreement is simultaneously articulated with a dissension. The dissension occurs however on the basis of the community: "Intending to preserve oneself is the expression of a distress, the limitation of the real life basic instinct, that leads out to the power’s enlargement and, in this will, enough often calls into question and sacrifices the self-preservation. We would take that as symptomatic, if individual philosophers, like for example the phthisical Spinoza, saw straight in the so-called self-preservation instinct what is determinant... " (KSA, 3, 585 – Restriction in the original – EK). We remember, that the problematic of the "self-preservation" was the one that stood as focus from Nietzsche’s excerpts of Kuno Fischer’s monography. It cannot however be sufficiently emphasized, that the difference between "self-preservation" and "power enlargement" could really only occur on the common ground of the emotion theory and the theoretical integration of the philosophical perspectivism. At this point of a high degree of identification (and absolutely rich of consequences) of Spinoza’s conatus with Nietzsche’s will to power, we must however also look at its totally different scientific-theoretical background. The latter reveals as all the more important, because the large concrete identity cannot be put into question. While Spinoza’s conatus, activity capacity can however still be described as "materialistic monism", this classification for Nietzsche’s will to power might no longer apply in the stricter sense, since the will to power is, according to its scientific-theoretical status, no monism, rather a theoretical product which, as ultimately most successful theoretical integration of a philosophy existing until now only in the perspectivistic form, already holds ab ovo a theoretical dimension.

The emotion theory, or its incorporation in Nietzsche’s epistemology and philosophy of the consciousness leads to many and multiple knowledge-theoretical common grounds, mainly to an homogeneization of the different phenomena of the emotion theory on the basis of the capacity to return from the one into the other. Another text of Spinoza pointing also out to Nietzsche, sounds so: "... desire... – a suffering through which the spirit merges to the greater perfection ; Weariness... a suffering, which the spirit merges to the minor perfection" (Spinoza, 1975, 170). Nietzsche formulates these and similar contents also most often, so that the complexes seeming dissimilar to each other also as variations, are at least diverse degrees of the same material-energetic interpreted basic quality.

According to an overall review of the commencement of the emotion theory in Nietzsche’s conceived epistemology and philosophy of the consciousness already revealing enough, it becomes again for us, from a new angle, quite clear, how many times Nietzsche’s identification with Spinoza, already initially conceived as "universal" and "superlativistic" should have been founded and motivated. Therefore, it is the place where the probably most strange document of Nietzsche’s incessant struggle with Spinoza must be quoted as the realized ideal of lived thinking and thought life. It concerns the short, but all the more important poem (KSA, 12, 85). It is already characteristic that the time, when this poem was published by the editor of KSA is dated between Autumn 1885 and Autumn 1886, is a time belonging to Nietzsche’s last relatively creative years and in the context of Nietzsche’s life going far beyond the time of the years 1881-1882, during which the relevant encounter with Spinoza took place with its results and consequences. The poem comes from a text that was in the posthumous works "Monologue of a psychologist", that again shows, that a "monologue" must also contain Spinoza’s most profound problematic. To this "monologue" belongs an "appendix" from poems, to which this one belongs with the title "to Spinoza". The poem sounds as follows:

„Dem ‘Eins in Allem’ liebend zugewandt,
Ein amor dei, selig, aus Verstand -
Die Schuhe aus! Welch dreimal heilig Land! - -
Doch unter dieser Liebe frass
unheimlich glimmender Rachebrand:
am Judengott frass Judenfrass! -
Einsiedler, hab ich dich erkannt?”

It seems to us, that we could fairly copy the unsurpassable significance in complex and holistic dimensions of Spinoza’s authenticity for Nietzsche’s thinking, but also for his existence. In this way, this poem does not at all mean a really relevant change. This poem is relevant out of Spinoza’s warning address to a declaration of love in the first part, under a new aspect. This aspect is the concretization of the suspicion moments around the heart of the christianity, practically the assumption, that everything is "metaphysical suspicion" in Spinoza, i.e. the eventual rejection of the Enlightenment, of the right consciousness or of the way of the systematization, is not a quite spontaneous attitude, rather more a consciously or also unconsciously practicised residual practice on the ground of the christianity. Because nevertheless the idealtypically Christian described also attitudes just as under a generalized epistemological attitude, that rejected the Enlightenment etc... in a similar way and happened to the thinker therefore idealtypically as "Jewish", the probably not dayly identification of "Jewish " and "christian " occurs, which in the case of its use on a Jewish thinker requires also still supplementary explanations. In this context, the true content of the poem can reveal itself to us, and indeed the assumption in the second part, Spinoza’s relatively suspicious non-authenticity might be attributed with resentment to his idealtypically understood "Christian" attitude. Spinoza appears in Anti-Christ, to demonstrate at this moment maybe this somewhat incredible context through examples, as "pale" Christ and metaphysician ! If we however also think of the significance that the Christianity had straight in such perspectives for the Nietzsche of the second half of the eighties, then we can still further enhance on him the universality of the significance of Spinoza !

It must absolutely be summarized that, in Nietzsche’s age, that was indeed identical to the occurence of the psychology as scientific discipline, Spinoza’s emotion theory had been also fully recognized as science by many, like Müller or Eugen Dühring (Dühring, 1869, 302). Without this problem-free recognition, the constantly again emerging Spinoza’s questioning about his authenticity would have been also quite inconceivable. The appropriation of the emotion theory shows however also straight the (perhaps only temporary) frontiers of the reality references of this conception. The emotion theory made him understand, that the conception of the Enlightenment, in its initial form, was not alone   sufficient for carrying out the worldhistorical task of the upsetting of values. With respect to the emotion theory, it is clear, that not only a reflection of the emotions, but also a successful and dramatic coexistence with them is necessary to change the consciousness. In the construction of the someone’s self, the victory of the conscious individual is not absolutely considered from the beginning as certain.

With this cathartic human vision becoming suddenly more complex, Nietzsche must then master the task initially designed for the enlightened conception.

Nietzsche’s "new man" had initially the two mutually referring to each other parallel tasks, on the one hand to establish a state of the right consciousness through the upsetting and, on the other hand, to make certain the human-ecumenical dimensions of the human identity (Kiss, 1993). It goes without saying that the enlargement of the Enlightenment conception through the emotion theory can make doubtful the real historical mission, what might signify many further problems for Nietzsche.

If we conceive the emotion theory as a starting perspective, from where it can be relativized from the whole sociology of knowledge, then Nietzsche’s constant questioning of Spinoza’s simultaneous exigences of systematization appears as absolutely legitimate, although Spinoza, at his time, had his other reasons for this type of systematization. It is not a coincidence that in Nietzsche’s suspicion moments, Spinoza’s systematization (actually the discrepancy between positivistic-realistic content and geometric form) has constantly played an eminent role. An example for that: "what made me mistrustful against the philosophers is not that I saw how often and easily they adopt the wrong approach and are mistaken, but that I found nowhere in them honesty enough... " (KSA, 14 348). The peaks of these suspicion moments have been reached in these most general statements, in which Nietzsche intends to reduce the rejection from the right way of the thinking in his still sharp phase, but inclining to the pathology, to its actual formula. In this respect, one of the most important texts is: "... rational, simple, effective, sub specie Spinozae paraphrase: ’I, Spinoza’ " (KSA, 14, 415).

"Everything or nothing" – can summarize Nietzsche’s Spinoza-interpretation. On the one hand, Nietzsche observes in him the great human exception, which was for him philosophically and humanly of huge significance and a qualification, that Spinoza raises in superhuman heights. On the other hand, he tries, in front of Spinoza’s systematizations also constantly to put into question this image of the human luck and of the earthly human holiness.



►  Dühring, Eugen, Kritische Geschichte der Philosophie von ihren Anfaengen bis zur Gegenwart. Berlin, 1969.

►  Fischer, Kuno, Geschichte der neuern Philosophie I.2. Descartes’ Schule. Geulinx, Malebranche, Baruch Spinoza. Second, completely revised edition, Heidelberg, 1965.

►  Fuhrmans, Horst, Schellings Philosophie der Weltalter. Schellings Philosophie in den Jahren 1806-1821. Zum Problem des Schellingschen Theismus. Düsseldorf, 1954.

►  Kiss, Endre, Friedrich Nietzsche filozófiája. Budapest, 1993.

►  Kiss, Endre, Gibt es ein Projekt der Aufklaerung und wenn ja, wie viele? (Aufklaerung vor dem Horizont der Postmoderne). in: Sven-Eric Liedman (ed), The Postmodernist Critique of the Project of Enlightenment. Amsterdam - Atlanta, 1997. 89-104.

►  Kiss, Endre, Zur Bestimmung der wahren politischen Philosophie Friedrich Nietzsches. in: Endre Kiss (ed), Friedrich Nietzsche und die globalen Probleme unserer Zeit. Cuxhaven - Dartford, 1997. 249-263.

►  Nietzsche, Friedrich, Briefwechsel. Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Herausgegeben von Giorgio Colli und Mazzino Montinari. Third part, First volume. Friedrich Nietzsche, Briefe. January 1880 - December 1884. Berlin - New York, 1981.

►  Nietzsche, Friedrich, Saemtliche Werke. Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Baenden. Published by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari. Berlin - New York, 1967-1977.

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“...die Erkenntnis zum maechtigsten Affekt zu machen...” Baruch Spinoza als Vorbild von Friedrich Nietzsches Zarathustra. in: prima philosophia. Band 13/ Heft 2. 2000. 99-124.

Benedictus Spinoza.| 28-04-2010 |

Von Spinoza als Vorbild des Zarathustra bis zur Materialisierung der formalen Ethik. (Über die relevantesten Inhalte der Nietzsche-Spinoza-Relation). in: Pro Philosophia Füzetek, 26-27. szám, 2001. 145-179

“...die Erkenntnis zum maechtigsten Affekt zu machen...” Baruch Spinoza als Vorbild von Friedrich Nietzsches Zarathustra. in: Neuere Beitraege zur Nietzsche-Forschung. Band II. Herausgegeben von Sabine S. Gehlhaar. Cuxhaven-Dartford, 2001. 121-140.