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Learning to Love: Nietzsche on

Love, Education and Morality
Tracy B. Strong
This is an age without passion: it leaves everything as
it is, but it cunningly empties it of Instead
of culminated in a rebellion, it reduces outward reality
of all relationships to a reflective tension which leaves
everything standing but makes the whole of life
- S. Kierkegaard, The Present Age
Catastrophe: whether one should not believe in God,
not because he is true (but because he is false)
-Nietzsche, WKG VIII
, p. 382
Plato begins his dialogue about the philosophical availability
of excellence- the Protagoras- with an erotic badinage between
Socrates and an unnamed friend. Socrates is hurrying from
In memorium Sarah Kofman, a great spirit, who left life voluntarily
on Nietzsche's 150th birthday.
7'2 Tracy B. Strong
the of Protagoras (to keep an urgent appointment,
we later fmd out) when he encounters his friend who tease
him with the suggestion that he is in hot pursuit of
Not really so, responds Socrates, he has been in pursuit of
knowledge with Protagoras. He then proceeds to give a full
account of his encounter with the great Sophist - we must
his appointment was to make knowledge
<wadable to his friends, and, through Plato, to his readers. The
point of the exchange is not, I think, to indicate that Socrates'
friend is mistaken about Socrates' intent; it is rather to show
that love and knowledge are similar passions.
Importantly, the story bet,rins with the account of how the
young Hippocrates had come crashing into Socrates' bed-
room in the pitch dark, inquiring if Socrates were asleep or
awake. Hippocrates' enthusiasm is due to his having just
learned that Protagoras is in town; he intends to learn from
him. We_ are meant, I think, to be dubious of Hippocrates's
prep_aratwn for philosophical knowledge; after all, his first
mqmry of Socrates was the paradigm of the question that has
but one possible - and uninteresting - answer. We also learn
immediately that Hippocrates' slave Satyrus has just run
Hi_rpocrates cannot manage his eroticism and is not ready
for phll_osophy. Socrates, by contrast, has integrated both eros
and philosophy. Indeed, Socrates moves easily from the love
of an other to the love of knowledge. The erotic appears in the
as it will in the Symposium, as an integral part of cog-
mtion. However, there are two dangers that arise from this
link: that oflove overwhelming knowledge, and that of knowl-
edge going wrong for being without love. Hippocrates's eros is
out of control- as his question and the escape of his slave who
-and will take anything for an answer. The reverse situation is
that we can have too little of it, such that nothing appears to be
an answer. Or so Plato shows us a few pages later in the dia-
logue when the eunuch guarding the door of the house in
which Protagoras is residing denies entrance to Socrates on
the grounds that he is a Sophist. A lack of Eros makes it impos-
sible to recognize those who seek knowledge.
Learning to Love 73
If love is a form of, a necessary part of, knowledge, it is not
sufficient simply to announce this fact. What forms may that
relation take? What are possible interactions? Much has been
written recently about what one might call non-rational forms
of cognition.
I do not want here to replay that work, except to
call attention to the fact that important anticipations of it are in
Nietzsche, as they were in Plato. In general, authors who fol-
low in this line of thought find it important not to detach the
considerations of questions for that of the relations that exist
between particular persons, nor, indeed, form the relations a
person might have to him - or herself.3
I want then to look at what Nietzsche has to say about love.
While I shall be looking at what he says about Liebe, this will
require me to look, at least in passing, at what he says about
Eros. It will raise the following questions. What is the relation
of morality to love? If God loved the world, whom or what
may or do humans love? What does it mean to know love?
What is the relation of love and law? And, finally, if one is
"beyond good and evil," where exactly is one?
Some general considerations first. In The Gay Science,
Nietzsche glosses Spinoza's claim that laughing, lamenting
and detesting are other than understanding by asserting that
intelligere is in fact the "form in which we come to feel the other
three at once."
Nietzsche is concerned here to deepen both
the notion of thought and that of understanding. Most of our
cognitive activity, he says, "takes place unconsciously and
unfelt." Indeed, "conscious activity, especially that of the phi-
losopher, is the least vigorous and therefore also the relatively
mildest and calmest form of thinking; and thus precisely phi-
losophers are the most apt to be led astray about the nature of
The following paragraph in The Gay Science extends the
thought in a specific direction. It is entitled "One must learn to
love" and suggest that loving is a cognitive capacity analogous
to being able to hear a musical figure. We must, he says, isolate
it, tolerate it, be patient with it until we are used to it. Such
goodwill, patience, fair-mindedness and gentleness - all
Njetzsche's terms- with what is strange leads to the revelation
74 Tracy B. Strong
of a new beauty. Nietzsche's montage of these two paragraphs
underscores first that love is a form of knowledge, albeit not
conscious in origin and, secondly, that even unconscious
forms of knowledge have to be learned, i.e. they are not in
some crude sense of the word, "natural." They are an acquired
nature that may become our first nature.
Both love and sexuality are fused with what a person is. In
Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche notes that "The de_gTee and
kind of a person's sexuality ( Geschlechtlichkeit) reach up into
the last peaks of his understanding ( Geistes). "<i While
Nietzsche's comments on Eros and the erotic are not many,
they are not categorically disjunctive with what he says about
love. The erotic is not, I think, of central interest to Nietzsche.
But it is a way into what he thinks about love. If we take the
notion of Wollust to be the equivalence of the erotic, the con-
siderations in "On the Three Evils" in Zarathustra indicates
only that Wollust is a motile emotion, differing in its actualiza-
tion relation to character. Or, in the general process of
workmg up a theory of what we would call sublimation, he
remarks that "pity and the love of mankind [is a] development
of the sexual drive" and that "all virtues are really refined pas-
sions."7 The point here is not to suggest that at the bottom all
that goes by the name of moral discourse, that all considera-
tions of justice are merely sublimations of our drives, but that
understanding of such judgments must, if it is to be true,
mclude a consideration of the whole person by whom they are
We need then, for an understanding of what Nietzsche
means by love, look, if too briefly, at what he says about sexual
Sexuality is from early on in Nietzsche a topic which
as avoided in philosophy by most others,
mcludmg his friends. During the middle 1870's, for instance,
the eroti_c was _much on his mind. His friends were marrying
and havmg children. It is clear from a letter to Rohde on july
18, 1876, on occasion of his friend announcing his engage-
that expected from marriage a "completely
trustmg soul, With whom when found one might find oneself
on a "higher level." He himself proposed to Mathilde
Learning to Love 75
Trampedach in April 1876. About a month after she declined,
he wrote to Erwin Rohde in relation to the publication of
Rohde's book on the Greek novel. He told his friend that he,
Rohde, had, like others including Burckhardt, avoided the
topic of pederasty.
(T)he idealization of Eros and the most pure and wist-
ful feeling for the passion of love among the Greeks
first grew upon this ground [of pederasty], and, it
seems to me, was only transferred from there to pro-
creative [geschlechtliche]love, whereas earlier it actually
hindered the more delicate and higher development
of procreative love.
The older Greeks had not been able to make the transition
from pederastic love to procreative love. But such a transition
is possible and tells us something about what love can consist
of. Rohde's avoidance or omission had kept him from seeing
the way in which <j>tA.ta, which Nietzsche identifies with
pederastic love, and to which the "Aphrodite aspect of Eros is
not essential but only occasional and accidental," is at the
centre of things Greek.
It is important to realize here that Nietzsche sees in this
both a strength and weakness of Greek culture. Women, he
says in a remark in Human All Too Human a few years later,
were to masculine Greek culture only publicly endurable on
stage. Their social role was to produce bring forth "beautiful
powerful bodies."
This relegation of women leads to,-as the
next paragraph makes clear a prejudice in favour of bigness
and to the monstrous development of only one part of their
abilities. "Men (Manner) subject themselves from habit to all
that wants to have power."
There is a four-part sequence here. Nietzsche is consider-
ing the dynamics that can attach themselves to a philosophical
education. He note in the Greek experience a progression
from <j>tA.ta to the love of boys, to that is Eros and pederasty.
From there erotic love is idealized from its origins in male edu-
cation. His indication is that the image we have of procreative
76 Tracy B. Strong
love - often translated misleadingly these days as "sexual
love" - that is, the image we have of erotic love between men
and women is distorted because we have derived it from an
idealization of the pederastic developments emerging from
male philosophical education. The point is, I think, that love
and education (each of the other) are part of any complete
It is not hard to read in this some of Nietzsche hopes for
and disappointment in his erotic relations with women. The
subject is much on his mind in his letters in the 1870's. The
same hopes will appear again during the period of his relation
with Lou Salome. I do not wish to pursue that topic here, nor
do I wish to pursue the general relation of pederasty to Eros
and knowledge and/or politics. It has in any case been
recently done better than I might. What is clear though is that
when connected with education the notion of love and the
erotic has a polymorphous sexual element for Nietzsche from
early in his writing.
All of this is significant for Nietzsche's understanding of the
human condition when read in relation to his examination of
the relation of the passion for human knowledge to its acquisi-
tion. This topic - that of the Protagoras - is already at the
centre of the third of the Thoughts Out of Season, Schopenhauer as
Educator. Two qualities of this essay are noteworthy. First, the
essay has an almost breathless erotic quality - that of the
eromene to the erastes. Nietzsche starts out by a description of
himself as what can only be seen as philosophical cruising. "In
those days, I roved as I pleased through wishes of all kinds ... I
tried this one and that." His first stance is thus that of the young
Hippocrates, in "need, distress and desire" for philosophy,
but unable to rest with it.
His encounter with Schopenhauer
is described in self-consciously explicit "physiological
terms. "
The question he poses himself is that of given life to a
bodily form.
The tone is different from that of the other essay in the
. r
Learning to Love 77
Untimely series. It is bodily, personal. As everyone notes it is
not really a discussion of Schopenhauer. It is a discussion of
himself and of the possibility of his relation to Schopenhauer.
The tone of the essay is strongly influenced by Nietzsche's
reading of Emerson. Indeed, two of Emerson's essays ("Expe-
rience" and "Circles") make an explicit appearance. And here
again Nietzsche's tone, as is Emerson, is of a to
investigate the bounds of limitations of morality. (For those
who doubt this in Emerson: "We permit all things to ourselves,
and that which we call sin in others, is experiment for us .... I
would gladly be moral . . . but I have set my heart on
h t
ones y ....
Schopenhauer is here seen as an image of the hardest
"Selbstsucht, Selbstzuchf' - self-seeking, self-rearing. It is thus
about how one finds oneself by making or changing or con-
structing a self that one acknowledges as oneself. The essay
points, Nietzsche claims, to a way of seeking expression of
being that is something new. It is, in other words, an essay
about a kind of practicum, about how one becomes what one
is. 17 It is also an essay that poses as the model of Erziehung the
relationship that Nietzsche found in Greek male education .
While Nietzsche's criticism of love between men and women
in the culture as he experiences it probably owes a good deal
to the problematic idealization of the erotic I noted above,_ he
does retain the early vision oflove as a model for what a philo-
sophical education would be like. I want to now to _the
relation of love to Nietzsche's understanding of a phtlosoph!Cal
education, not so much to say something about the latter as
about the former.
The aim of Schopenhauer as Educator is to establish what is
necessary for it to be possible for one to attach one heart,
to a great man. As he planned the essay, Nietzsche entertamed
the possibility of calling Schopenhauer the Germa?
Zuchtmeister, the taskmaster.
The figure of Schopenhauer IS
what is called here an "exemplar." An exemplar is what one
recognizes as part of ones self but which one not yet, to
which one feels the obligation of becoming. It IS a recognition
which happens only occasionally, when "the clouds are rent
78 Tracy B. Strong
asunder, and we see, how we in common with all nature, press
towards something that stands high over us."
Although this
relationship is explicitly said to be available, indeed, required

This relation is hard to obtain because "it is impossible
to teach love."
We shall look later at how love can be learned if it is impos-
sible to teach. I wish to look at now what the consequences of
this difficulty might be. It is the case that, if you will excuse me,
what the world needs is love. "Never was the world ... poorer
in love .... The educated classes ... become day by day restless,
thoughtless and loveless." They have, in other words nothing
to love, especially after "the waters ofreligion" have receded.
I take these considerations to refer to the claim that there is
nothing in the modern world for anyone to love- and that this
is one of the reasons that philosophy has become impossible.
Nietzsche is here concerned in Schopenhauer as Educator to
establish the following claims.
First, the question oflove and philosophy- of education -
is not one of self-recognition. The question is if it is possible to
find exemplars that one can recognize as one's own and with
the explicit knowledge that one is not (yet) the exemplar. It is
thus not coming to know how you know yourself. " Wie finden
wir uns selbst wieder'

It is a question of finding and how one
will recognize something as oneself own find. Nietzsche explicit
rejerts what one might call the artichoke model of the person
where one could discover the real person, the heart, by
peeling away the inessential layers. The focus of Schopenhauer
as Educator is to the future: to becoming what one is. Knowl-
edge must be a form of becoming rather than recognition. But
what one is has no existence prior to its existence.
This is a complex theme in Nietzsche. In The Birth of Trag-
edy, Nietzsche had argued against the Aristotelian notion of
anagnorisis, against, that is, the idea that the high point of trag-
edy came in the recognition of self by the protagonist. Such
a moment, for Aristotle, occurs, for instance, when Oedipus
finally comes to the recognition of who he is and blinds
himself. He sees rather than finds. Nietzsche argues against
Learning to Love 79
this that the essence of tragedy is transformation
Verwandlung- what he also calls transfiguration.H
This experience is generally associated by Nietzsche with
coming to know the place where one finds oneself, as if the self
were a journey and not in place. Famously, Nietzsche begins
the Preface to the Genealogy of Morals with "We are unknown
to ourselves, we men of knowledge." He continues, less
famously, in the next line by asking "how it could happen that
we should ever find

He goes on to intimate that
what is wrong with humans is that none of us appear to have
sufficient earnestness for "experiences" and that this is the case
because we only care about "bringing something
The question then is what has to be the case for one to find
where one is. The first answer in the Genealogy is that one
should not rush about with ones only intention being to "bring
something back home." I take this to be related to the implied
critique of Aristotle which I take to govern The Birth of Tragedy-
Aristotle having held, in Nietzsche's understanding, that who
one was was something that would be revealed at home, and
that one's task, willy-nilly, was to get back. So Oedipus rec-
ognizes himself at the end in the home of his parents which,
tragically, is also his home. Home, after all is the place at
which, when you go there, they have to let you in - which
Robert Frost noted as a tepid consolation of necessity in an
absence of freedom.
The presumption in Nietzsche's version of Aristotle is that
one must encounter who one is, as if who was is needed only to
be seen. (The key passage for Aristotle is the moment of recog-
nition in Oedipus the King). For Nietzsche, rather, "one must not
look back towards oneself for each glance will become the
'evil eye'."
The governing trope in this situation is not sight
but oversight and love. One will have found oneself when one
has lost oneself and been freed from what one is by love:
"What have you ... truly loved? What has pulled out your soul,
mastered it and at the same time made it joyful"? Love pulls us
away from ourselves and dissolves the self into what Nietzsche
here calls "Freedom."
Love and freedom are linked. Love we know is learned. So
80 Tracy B. Strong
how is freedom learned? The second claim in Schopenhauer as
Educator is whereas before freedom had been learned from
models, in the present day and age these models are not avail-
able. (As I noted above, Nietzsche, is incidentally, quite clear
that such models are in principle available to everyone). Why,
however, are such models - the ones that one might love, that
are the principle of freedom and finding - not available?
Nietzsche's answer is the beginning of what will be a life-long
theme. He tentatively attributes this to a double fact: first,
Christianity had triumphed over antiquity, and, secondly, it is
now in decline. This has as consequence that when the "better
and higher ideals" of Christianity proved unattainable, one
could no longer relinquish them to go back to the still extant
but now devalued "good and high ideals" of antiquity. The
comparative leaves people in a The passage is
worth citing at some lenhrth;
In this back and forth (Hin und Her) between Christian
and Ancient ( Christlich und Antik) between an imitated
or hypocritical Christianity of morals and an equally
disheartened and self-conscious (hefangen) antiquitizing
lives the modern human being and he finds himself
quite unhappy with it. The inherited fear of the natural
and the renewed attraction of this naturalness, the
desire to have some place to stop, the impotence of his
knowledge, a reeling back and forth between the good
and the better - all this brings out a restlessness, a
confusion in the modern soul which condemn it to be
unfruitful and joyless.
We are caught in an unresting pendulum swing, drawn
towards two incompatible poles by virtue only have been
hung between them. I might note here that Nietzsche is careful
to say a "Christianity of morals" ( Christlichkeit der Sitte) and not
Christian morals.
It is what Christianity has done rather than
what it is that is the problem. The contemporary world is char-
acterized by Nietzsche as always going someplace, but with no
destination able to evince the quality of being satisfactory. It
Learning to Love 81
was from this condition, Nietzsche says, that he found release
when he found an educator.
But such an educator, such love- the capacity for philoso-
phy- is rare, almost non-existent. Why so? Nietzsche then ties
this to a tendency in modern philosophy to moralize the world
and morality in particular, to become a "reformer of life"
rather than a philosopher.
The third point in Schopenhauer as Educator is then a consid-
eration of what is wrong with modem so-called philosophy.
Nietzsche here approaches this question without discussing
the answer. He only asserts, with no real preparation, that the
answer is that of Empedocles. In the next Untimely Meditation,
"Richard Wagner in Bayreuth," Nietzsche will link the name
of Schopenhauer with that of Empedocles (and that of Wagner
with Aeschylus, that of Kant with the Eleatics).
\Vhat did Empedocles signify for Nietzsche? Nietzsche's
admiration is important here in that Empedocles understands
the world as the interaction between love and hate. He thus
sees even that which appears in the world as rational as resting
on "profound irrationality." This is for Nietzsche a political
position which, however, was not to acquire the world-histori-
cal importance that became that or Socrates. The indication is
that a philosophy based on dynamics such as those of
Empedocles could have provided a continuation of what had
been achieved in the tragic age. Empedocles is a reformer of
Greek life who stood as a possible opponent to Socrates.
"With Empedocles ... the Greeks were well on their way
toward assessing correctly the irrationality and suffering of
human existence; but thanks to Socrates, they never reached
the goal."
The important thing about this passage is that it adds an
explicitly political dimension to the analysis of the Birth of
Tragedy. It is worth remembering that the Birth is about how it
is possible to be Greek and that Nietzsche fully recognizes the
centrality of agonistic politics in Greece. The material that
found its way to the essay "The Greek State," one of"Five Pref-
aces to Five Unwritten Books" presented to Cosima Wagner
was originally intended to be part of an expanded form of the
82 Tracy B. Strong
Birth of Tragedy.
There existence had only admitted of an
aesthetic justification (which tells us more about justification
than existence, I believe). Now, had Empedocles carried the
day, the Greeks would have seen that value and beauty may
be found only in the world, not outside of the world, nor under
the world, nor in abstract forms that give meaning to the
world. We should rather look here, rather than run back out of
the world to home. It is also the case, I think that the reason
that "we are unknown to ourselves" when we are men of
knowledge is because we are men of knowledge, i.e. that we
are trying to locate where we find ourselves by means of
Humans may seek to know, but they do not look and see.
They find nothing in the space of human activity. And thus
they are blinded by illusions of which it has been forgotten
that they are illusions. Thus his famous claim from "Truth and
Lie in the Extra-Moral Sense" is a claim that what we need
to be human does not depend on knowing.
It is not precisely
that we have too much knowledge, but that what we have
keeps us from being. Existence cannot be built on a foundation
of knowledge, indeed, it cannot be built at all. "How do we
find ourselves"? Empedocles, who would have provided the
alternative to Socratic rationalist knowledge, is quietly recog-
nized by Nietzsche to be a "democrat, who has social reform
up his sleeve." He is identified with "love, democracy and
l t
communa proper y.
The discussion of Erziehung has taken us to that of the self
(how does one find oneself), to that oflove, and, in a quiet way,
to politics, a politics that has elements of democrac_Y in it, in
that the possibility of finding oneself in an exemplar IS open to
all. Nietzsche is quietly transforming or revealing the task of
education to involve love of others in the world (and thus of
the world). Later in Schopenhauer as Educator Nietzsche writes
as follows:
Everyone who recognizes himself as of a culture
expresses himself on it in this manner: I see something
higher and more human than I am above me; help me,
Learning to Love 83
all of you, to reach it, just as I will help everyone who
recot,rnizes the same thing and suffers the same thing.
By thus, at last, may again spring up the person who
feels himself infinite in knowing and loving, in seeing
and capacity, and who is completely of and in nature,
as the judge and criterion of that which is.
Note the Empedoclean democracy: "Everyone ... all of
you ... I will help everyone." The kind of being who can do
this must be one who loves. Nietzsche goes on to say that it is
hard to place someone in this kind of fearless self-knowledge
because, as we have seen, it is impossible to teach love. In" love
alone does the soul win for itself not only the clear, analytical
(zerteilended} and contemptuous view of itself but also gains the
passion to overlook (iiberschauen) itself and to seek with all its
might a higher self that is still hidden somewhere." Here again
the argument parallels the consideration of the same question
in the Protagoras. Socrates holds, after many twists and turns,
all of which are essential to the complexity of his position, that
virtue cannot be taught as a skill but that once acquired it
becomes part of what one is. Here, Nietzsche's investigation of
love is an investigation of what it means to be able to find
something or someone to be an education. It is thus an explo-
ration of what was not made explicit in the Protagoras.
Love conjoins clarity, analysis and contemptuousness;
these are combined with or lead to the passion to overlook
itself and thereby seek that which it is not.
In love, for
Nietzsche, one finds oneself not in oneself, but in overlooking
oneself. Overlooking oneself is a combination of the qualities
As Nietzsche notes in Richard Wagner in Bayreuth, love is
what produces is a transformation and the freedom of the self
from the self to a life "set among the stars."
If it is the case that
the Birth of Tragedy was intended by Nietzsche as a critique of
Aristotle and thus of the notion of identity as something that
one has but does not know and comes to recognize, how is
Verwandlung achieved? What are the dynamics that Nietzsche
found in tragedy other than the Aristotelian positing of
i I
84 Tracy B. Strong
anagnorisis. In the eight chapter of the Birth he had tried
give some account of the kind of audience that a Greek was for
his theatre. He will again use the notion of "overlooking" to
describe this possibility.
A public of spectators as we know it was unknown to
the Greeks: in their theatres, the terraced structure of
the concentric arcs of the place of spectatorship
(Zuschauerraumes) made it possible for everyone actu-
ally to overlook the whole world of culture around
him and imagine in sated contemplation that he was a
The word for overlook here is iibersehen, and it permits the
same sense, I think, as the iiberschauen of the Schopenhauer as
Educator text. Both words allow the double meaning of "sur-
vey" and "fail to see." The audience is in "sated contempla-
tion," that is, there is nothing missing from what it is the
audience for. During this time it finds itself in the place of
spectatorship. It knows that there is everything occurring be-
fore it cannot be affected by its actions. (As Shakespeare had
noted: "Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.")
This is what Nietzsche means by a Dionysian state- the erotic
origins of Dionysus are key. The spectator will not therefore,
Nietzsche indicates, "run up on stage and free the God from its
The rel2.tions of audience and r:l.rama are somewhat like
the love relations to an

As characters, the actors on

stage are in the presence of the audience but the audience is
not in their presence. There is no way in which the audience
can, as audience, compel the action on stage to acknowledge it-
indeed the educator who makes philosophy possible is in
Nietzsche's words "let loose" on the planet, as if on a great
stage. (Nietzsche quotes here from Emerson's Circles).
Throughout Sclwpenhauer as Educator, Nietzsche seeks to make
available a position in which one might actually look at
Schopenhauer. But it is precisely not a relation to another. The
theatre of philosophy is made possible by love and oversight.
Learning to Love 85
The audience, in the Birth, is in a Dionysian state; so also is
the chorus. Through the chorus the audience is swept up onto
the stage to contemplate the action but not to affect it. (The
chorus never does anything in Aeschylea.n tragedy.) Nietzsche
writes: "The proceeding of the tragic chorus is the dramatic
protophenomenon: to see oneself [as embodied in the chorus]
transforn:ed before ones very eyes [as spectator] and to begin
to act as If one had actually entered into another character."
My suggestion here is that what Nietzsche means by love
in Schopenhauer as Educator is descriptive of same state of affairs
as is his o.f the true spectators relation to tragedy. It
mvolves bemg besides oneself and being brought to acknowl-
edge, while besides oneself (hence the call for analytical clar-
ity) that experience as ones own experience. Being besides
oneself is, I remind you, the literal meaning of ecstasy. This is
why one can trace a pattern from Eros to love and why educa-
tion exemplifies both.
With this, we have, I hope, a bet,rinning of the answer to the
task Nietzsche sets us in the Gay Science: "we must learn to
love." The reason that we must learn to love is not just that like
all other human qualities, love is acquired rather than innate,
but also that love is lost from the world (and hence are also
education, freedom, philosophy, and politics) and for these
qualities to be available again we must learn to love. Our gates
are t,'llarded by fierce eunuchs.
But: is this to love not what Christianity commands us to
do? There are two great commandments: to love God and
one's neighbour. I shall have more to say about the command-
ments to love but for now we must look at the question of love
the context of what Nietzsche says about Christianity and
the person of Christ.
I begin with two texts:
1atever Is done out of love is done beyond good
and cviJ."l4
8() Tracy B. Strong
Jesus said to hisJews: "The law was for servants -love
God as I love him, as his son! What are morals to us
sons of God ?
These two passages are from the central section of Beyond
Good and Evil. That book is Nietzsche's most extended investi-
gation of a kind of transcendental deduction of knowledge.
More precisely it is an investigation of what occurs to a person
who makes claims of knowledge. It starts by raising the ques-
4(i 1
tion of what would be the case were truth a woman. t notes
that philosophers are not expert around women. One might
conclude from this that philosophy has little to do with truth. It
is, however, more natural to conclude that philosophers do
not know h ... love women - or truth. Love is, one might say, a
quality that one must manifest in order to raise
the question if something be true or false. Insofar as love IS a
form of cognition - and we saw at the beginning of this essay
that for Nietzsche it is- the consideration oflove here is a con-
sideration of what happens to us when we encounter the world
in love, that is as philosophersY
The first question the passages point at is what it would
mean to be or go "beyond good and evil," beyond, I take it, the
realm in which moral categories apply to ones actions. More
bluntly, when one has gone beyond good and evil (who can do
this? How is it done?) where does one find oneself? The sec-
ond passage raises a question about the difference
love and law. It suggests that for Nietzsche the figure of Jesus IS
a kind of immoralist or amoralist and that he knows something
about love that entitles him to claim that he is liberated from
the realm of law and perhaps that of morality.
The notion that love stands in a dangerous or perhaps
antagonistic relation to morality is not new to Nietzsche. Kant
makes a distinction between pathological and practical love
and suggests (both in the Doctrine of Virtue and the Critique of
Practical Reason) that will-governed practical love (as opposed
to what he calls pathological love) only is consonant with
moral behaviour.
s He suggests that marriage is a valuable
institution because it provides a moral framework for a
Learning to Love 87
relationship that threatens always to transform one between
b t b" t
persons to one e ween o Jec s.
Yet Nietzsche is unlikely to share with Kant the same valu-
ation oflove as potentially harmful to morality. In understand-
ing this, it is important to remember the intimate link between
morality and law. For Kant, we find the moral realm only as a
law - that is the only way we can experience morality. This
tells him something about the relation of human beings to
morality: as we are not perfect beings we must experience the
moral realm (which Kant acknowledges as the realm of free-
dom) as an imperative, i.e. as law. Nietzsche shares much of
this understanding of morality; but he is less likely to worry
about calling into question the status of morality. Kant, on the
other hand, must at some level devalue that which cannot be
experienced as law, as imperative. Is love commensurable
with morality as law?
An additional question is raised by the comparison of
Nietzsche with Kant, as would be with most moral philoso-
phers. Typically moral philosophers have argued that the
validity of morality depended on the universalism of the claim
of reason (or utility, or whatever). That is, the principles on
which a true morality (as opposed to historically codified social
practices) rested must be able to evaluate every relevant
human act. (Exceptions were made, of course, for the realm of
Naturwissenschaft as well as for analytical statements). There
was, in other words a moral imperative that underlay morality
itself. Nietzsche's questions here open the possibility that
there may be occasions when we might choose as valued
actions which would not, however, be judged morally correct.
We must thus also determine how and who determines what is
and is not moral.
Does Christ do this? Clearly. Thus we must ask about
Him- how does he and who is he to determine what is moral.
Jesus stands for Nietzsche as the example of the man who
knows more and loves more than anyone else has - he is the
human being who has "flown highest yet and gone astray the
most beautifully."
Thus the investigation of Nietzsche on love
properly goes through an investigation of Nietzsche on Christ.
88 Tracy B. Strong
Nietzsche's relation to Christ, as that to Socrates, is multi-
ple and complex. Nothing can be more wrong or more mis-
leading than a facile conclusion that he was "against" either of
them. (This is not to say that he was not, only that the conclu-
sion cannot be facile.) Even a book like Der Antichrist is much
of the time better translated The Antichristian. There is
throughout Nietzsche's writing about Christ a distinct note of
admiration, not to say sometimes jealousy.
Christ, says
Nietzsche, is "the noblest man;" he wanted to "take the notion
of punishment and judgment out of the world;" he was "the
destroyer of the law."
Nietzsche focuses on Christ's life, not really on his teach-
ings. Christ taught, a "new praxis"
by which Nietzsche
means that what Christ was was exemplified by his life and
actions. Der einverfleischte Gott - God made flesh - is what
Nietzsche's attention is drawn to. And, as the importance is
what Christ did, not what he urged, what we might call Christ's
identity was for Nietzsche never fixed. Indeed, much of
Nietzsche's analysis of Christ sounds at times like all that
which we normally associated with Nietzsche seems to value.
Christ is "a free spirit: he has nothing to do with that which is
fixed (allem Festen) ... he believes only in life and the living-
and such 'is' not, such becomes."
But one may respond, Nietzsche clearly is not preaching
for Christ. And surely he curses Christianity. Some commen-
tators have here sought a tempting distinction between the
founder and the institutionalization - a sort of sophomore
reading of the Grand Inquisitor chapter of The Brothers
Karamazov- and argued that Nietzsche distinguishes the gen-
ius and the institutionalizing rationalist, in this case between
Christ and St. Paul (about whom Nietzsche has almost nothing
favourable to say). This will not quite do. There has to be
something in the manner in which Christ approached the
world that is responsible for what happened. If Christ is
presented so favourably- so Dionysianly- something has to
go wrong.
The Dionysian prototype is Hamlet, the person who
knows that there is no good reason for anything to have
Learning to Love 89
permanence. Nietzsche considers Christ_ to have attacked all
form. Christ "denies Church, state, soCiety, art, knowledge,
culture, civilization;" Nietzsche associates this attack with
what all wise ones (aile Weisen) have done:
Christ's life, His
praxis, is for Nietzsche a life of complete and p e r ~ e c t e d
interiority, abandoning all relations to others, almost a kmd of
self-referential solipsism. A consequence and an indication of
this for Nietzsche is that the life of Christ is only possible in iso-
lation from society. At the beginning of Thus Spoke Zarathustra,
Zarathustra encounters an old man who has not yet heard that
God is dead. Zarathustra hurries on, without telling the old
man. The reason is not simply to spare him the bad news -
Nietzsche rarely refrained from public pronouncements of
this nature. The reason is that the life the old man lives -
imitatio Christi- is in fact possible, but only as a hermit, only in
isolation from society.
From this it follows that the import and significance of the
actuality of God's death has to do with its consequences for
our relations with other beings. For Nietzsche, God is impor-
tant in terms of human interaction, not just as a "belief." Along
these lines Nietzsche's discussion of Christ is resolutely non
world-historical. The significance Christ assumes is not as the
head of the great social movement which we know as Christi-
anity, but as a particular being, unique in the history of the
world. In fact, Nietzsche declares that there "has been only
one Christian and he died on the cross." Such a life, he contin-
ues, is still possible, not "as a faith but as a doing."
What then was wrong with Christ? Christ establishes a
new way of life in which only so-called "inner realities"
countY The Gospels, claims Nietzsche, totally annihilate the
distance between God and humans. This is not a matter of
faith or believing in something but of lead a "different" kind of
life. Salvation - redemption - is our reality. The problem of
Nietzsche is that "inner realities" abandon effectively all crite-
ria of judgment.
The most interior form of praxis possible is a requirement of
and for love. In a important section of Beyond Good and Evil
Nietzsche argues
90 Tracy B. Strong
It is possible that under the holy fable and dis,t;uise of
Jesus' life there lies concealed one of the most painful
cases of the martyrdom of knowledge of love: the martyr-
dom of the most innocent and desirous heart, never
having enough of human love, demanding love, to be
loved and nothing else, with hardness, maniacally (mit
Wahnsinn), with terrible eruptions against those who
denied him love, the story of an unfortunate person,
unsatcd and insatiable in love, who had to invent hell
in order to send to it those who did not want to love
him - and who finally, having gained knowledge
about human love, had to invent a God who is all love,
all ability to love - who has mercy on human love
because it is utterly so wretched and unknowing. Any-
one who feels that way, who knows this about love -
seeks death.
This passage occurs in the section of Beyond Good and Evil
entitled "what is noble." It is preceded by the claim that one
who knows the heart will know that "Even the best and
profoundest love" is "more likely destroy than to save." There
is an opposition here between godly and human love. The
question is why does Christ love require of him that he seek
love, to be loved. Key, I think, to this passage is that Christ
is seen as "never having enough" of human love. There is no
satiation, none of that state which made the ecstasy of love and
the actuality of audience possible. The indication in the pas-
sage is that Christ's love found or must find human love insuf-
ficient. In terms of the analysis of audience and exemplars
given above, we might say that Christ could never be an audi-
ence for himself.
What is it about Christ's life that might make this so?
Again, it is His life that must be the problem for Nietzsche. His
life is "the road towards a holy mode of existence."(;o It leads
him towards death, to what Nietzsche explicitly calls a suicide
disguised as a judicial murder, one which Nietzsche thinks is
the same in mode as that of Socrates.
This happens because
in the fulfilment of the teachings of Christ (if we were to live
Learning to Love 91
them) "we understand all, we live all, we no longer retain any
hostile feelings." We claim that "all is good- and that it give us
pain, to deny anything. We suffer if we were once to be so
unintelligent as to take a stand against something."
\Vhat does Christ know about love that leads Him to seek
death? I think it is something like this. The exclusivity of love
as interiority means that the only way to overcome the exist-
ence of evil is to bring it inside you and transform it into one-
self. Emerson writes on this topic in "Experience," his essay
which be.t,rins with the question of "Where do we find our-
selves?", that "conscience must feel sin; as essence, essential
evil. That it [i.e. sin) is not: it has an objective existence, but not
subjective."(" In other words, evil is not and cannot be subjec-
tive. It is only actual or concrete (There is a deep criticism of
Hegel here) and one can only take a stand against it. For
Nietzsche, what is wrong with Christ's love is that it pushes
him to justify his life by requiring that others love Him. Since
He is all love, in Him all evil will be redeemed. I cannot replay
it here, but Nietzsche is opposed to the very idea of redemp-
tion, as an analysis of the "On Redemption" chapter in
Zarathustra shows.
The centrality of love in Christianity derives from the
Scriptures - "God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him would not per-
ish but have everlasting life." Oohn 3: lG) Augustine made love
central to his understanding of human action, incorporating
into it the direction or object of love. Calvin took up Augus-
tine's challenge against the apparent legalism of the Catholi-
cism he opposed. In the Institutes, he writes that a central part
of "Christian liberty" is that one be released from the "yoke of
the law" so that God's love may be available as a loving son
and not a terrified servant.('
To think then about Christ on love, we have also to think
about the status of the law in Nietzsche.G
The law, he writes,
has been most at home in the realm of the "active strong, spon-
taneous, aggressive" individuals.(>? The founding of law is thus
an opposite of ressentiment; and ressentiment is explicitly
linked by Nietzsche with anarchists and anti-Semites. The
92 Tracy B. Strong
Christ-like opposition to law as a mode of governing beha-
viour is thus complexly linked to Nietzsche's understanding of
his relation to the Jews.
I cannot explore this at length here. Suffice it to say that
the Jews are the people of the law and as such are a people of
affirmation and aggression. This is because the law, as under-
stood here, is not everyday law, but is rather the establishment
of good and evil, a way of organizing the world, a manifesta-
tion of a positive will to power. The law is a creation of hori-
zons, and horizons are we know from Kant and Nietzsche the
condition of life.
From this it seems that one way of not being a person of the
law is to focus, as does Christ, entirely on inferiority. Christ,
however, was the only Christian and "he died on the cross."
This imperative towards innerness, towards privacy and away
from others has special consequences in the case of Christ.
Christ loves everyone, unconditionally. Such a great and
unselfish affirmation destroys all horizons, all that might
shape the world in his teaching. Christ's love is a kind of
absolute freedom and terror - sois mon frere ou je te tue. The
universality of Christ's love requires that all love him.
"What have we to do with the law?" By demanding a life
outside and beyond any structure or organization Christ
makes impossible or unnecessary any form of organised
human existence. (Christianity, notes Nietzsche in 1888, is the
"abolition of the state."
) And this also renders impossible
that seeing which is at the same time overlooking that was nec-
essary health or love. "The wisest man would be the richest in
contradictions; he, as is were, has feelers for all kinds of men;
and right among them has his great moments of grandiose har-
mony." Nietzsche refers to this state as one ofjustice.li
How are humans drawn instead towards the life of Christ
a life which dissolves itself? The gospels, in Nietzsche's read:
ing, in fact seduce by "means of morality."
They promise,
that is, that the rewards for moral behaviour will occur by
means of redemption. Redemption is, however, the stance
that one can by one's own actions (or by no actions at all) find
ones being changed. Others are not necessary. The problem
Learning to Love 93
with morality thus appears to occur for Nietzsche when
humans - especially loving humans - deny that they are in
contact with others. Morality is thus a form of the problem of
skepticism or of other minds. If this is true, then the Christian
need not make any distinctions between those he or she
encounters, which means that paradoxically the Christian
need encounter no person. This is (of course) disguised. In
Human-All-Too-Human, Nietzsche notes the cleverness of
Christianity to have focused on love:
There is in the word love something so ambiguous and
suggestive, something which speaks to the memory
and future hope, that even the meanest intelligence
and coldest heart still feels something of the lustre of
this word. The shrewdest (kliigste) woman and the
commonest man think when they hear it of the
relatively least selfish moments of their whole life,
even if Eros has paid them only a passing visit; and
those countless numbers who never experience love, of
parents of children, or lovers, especially, however,
when the women and men of sublimated Christianity,
have made their discovery (Fund gemacht) in
Love can go wrong. This passage is an argument against
the use that Christianity makes of Eros, a subject to which
Nietzsche occasionally returned.n But it is more interesting as
a reflection on love and the status of the self that loves. Com-
pare it, for instance, to this passage in Schopenhauer as Educator.
Nietzsche has just suggested that the fundamental import of
what he calls culture is to "further the production of the phi-
losopher, of the artist and the saint within and without us."
Three types: the philosopher makes becoming available to us;
the artist makes "a clear and distinct image" of what is never
seen "in the flux of becoming." The saint is the person whose
individual ego has entirely melted away and who feels
his suffering life as an identity, affinity, and unity with
94 Tracy B. Strong
all that is living .... There is no doubt that we are all
related and connected to this saint as we are to the phi-
losopher and the artist; there are moments and as it
were, sparks of the brightest fire of love in the l i ~ h t of
which we no longer understand the word "1" ....
Nietzsche goes on to applaud this state as at the root of our
hatred of ourselves (thus our ability to be outside ourselves)
and thus of the pessimism that Schopenhauer sought to
"reteach our age." Love breaks down the Apollonian. Like its
parent Eros it is the dissolution of definition the
deconstruction of limits. '
But alone it cannot suffice. The problem with Christ is that
his knowledge of love leads him to want death. Death is a dis-
solution - so much Nietzsche had gotten from Schopenhauer.
Love is a form of death in this sense - so much Nietzsche had
recognized in Wagner. In fact, should two be in love with each
other (which is not the education model) a species of madness
results. Nietzsche writes: "Both parties ... consequently aban-
don themselves and want to be the same as one another." In
the end, neither knows what he or she is supposed to be imitat-
ing, what is to be dissimulated, what is pretense. "The beauti-
ful madness of this spectacle is too good for this world and too
subtle for human eyes."
Love in itself produces nothing that
can continue in this world.
So the question must be what is loved. For Christ and God
this is clear. I noted the great commandments before. God
loves the world. But whom do humans love? They love God
with all their heart and mind and strength; and they love their
neighbours as themselves. Do they love themselves? In the
way they love God, I suppose. But what is left for our
neighbours if we must love them as we love God, uncondition-
ally and with the sundering intensity that Nietzsche attributes
to Christ. Christ really did love others as he loved himself as
he loved God. And that is death. Such love loves not wisely but
too well - as Othello discovered and Nietzsche intimates
Christ knew.
In other words, God and Christ do not function as
Learning to Love 95
exemplars, that is, we cannot, in fact, find ourself as not yet
ourself in them. Why then the attraction? There are two
important lessons here. First, morality is what keeps us from
dying on the cross. Morality thus preserves a life that is
constantly seeking to deny itself in love. There is an indication
in the Antichrist that humanity has become addicted to
moraline, that is to a dangerous and destructive drug which,
however, one cannot do without. We constantly run towards
God and must at the same time make it impossible for us to
reach Him. This is a form of nihilism. But it also means that not
anyone, as any time, can, for any reason, simply shake off the
demands of morality. One cannot go cold turkey on morality
without a serious reaction - and the danger that humanity
might in this century do so is at the source of Nietzsche's
distress about the century he foresaw. This is what sons of God
have to do with morals.
Second is the lesson that Cordelia tried to teach to her
father. To love according to ones bond, that is to what one is
(I did not say who - Nietzsche calls on us to become what we
are) - is all that can be required and no more should be
expected. In the refusal of the acknowledgment of this lesson,
there is only silence, or death. Such silence - the still between
two soundings, Nietzsche calls is, is the only possible human
acknowledgment of the absolute.
It is noteworthy that Nietzsche counterposes himself to
morality as a "Hyperborean," as, that is, a worshiper of Apollo
during the winter months.
He suggests that his love of
humans is such as to excise the emotion of pity from human
beings. In a late note, Nietzsche remarks that the
Hyperborean is in fact a particular kind of philosopher: "one
who is in no ways a moralist." In fact without not being a
moralist there is no other way to bring "philosophy back into
In fact: "There is nothing for it; there is no other
way to bring philosophy back to honour but to hang all the
moralists. "
Morality thus keeps philosophy from happening: It trans-
forms the human love that allows one to be besides oneself-
and thus always with oneself- into one that requires that one
9G Tracy B. Strong
be dissolved into another. Christian love was a form of solip-
sism, a solipsism only mitigated by morality and the promise
of redemption. The costs of the moral point of view, Nietzsche
suggests will be "hecatombs."
Against this Nietzsche occasionally counterposes what he
calls "human love." As he found himself in diagnostic explora-
tion of the will to morality he found himself increasingly
alone. The denial of the universal applicability of the moral
point of view seemed to leave only death open as a way of
making contact with others. He indicates, therefore, that he
sought form. "I had artificially to enforce, falsify, and invent a
suitable fiction for myself." What he needed, he continues,
was the belief that he was not alone, that he was not thus iso-
lated and not alone in seeing as he did. xo Recognizing that life
requires deception, he deceived himself. Recognizing this, he
indicates in a letter to Oberbeck on February 3, 1888 that his
writing must henceforth find release in attack. "No one would
expect a suffering and starving animal to attack its prey grace-
fully. The perpetual lack of a really refreshing and healing
human love, the absurd isolation it entails, makes almost any
residue of a connection with people merely something that
wounds one." It is worth noting that Elizabeth forges a letter
dated about the time of this one to the effect that Nietzsche is
longing for female companionship - her in fact. In her usual
perverse way, Elizabeth understood something of her brother.
The perversion oflove in Christianity means that we are in
danger of seeking an ideal in which to loose ourself. And this is
not just on what one might be tempted to call the political
level. "We must keep ourselves from becoming an ideal of
another," Nietzsche writes around 1880.x
At all costs then, we
must keep a distance on the other and on ourselves. This, how-
ever, can only be done, by living in and of this world. If we run
outside of it, we not only will deny tlw actuality of evil (in the
name of love) but we will be unable to tolerate the existence of
others. We need, he writes in the Preface to Human-All-Too-
Human, a "blindness for tvvo.'' Or, as Stevens wrote in "Of
Modern Poetry":
Learning to Love 97
It has to be living, to learn the speech of the place.
It has to face the men of the time and to meet
The women of the time. It has to think about war
And it has to find what will suffice. It has
To construct a new stage.
This is where, and how, we find ourselves.
1. Citations from Nietzsche are given with reference to the Werke.
Kritische Gesamtausgabe, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino
Montinari (Berlin. Gruytcr, 1966-). The work will be cited by
book {abbreviated thereafter} and internal subdivision (e.g. para-
graph number) then as WKG, Volume number (e.g. VIII
Volume VIII, number 2), then by page number.
2. I am thinking, of course, of works like Martha Nussbaum, Love's
Knowledge (Oxford. Oxford University Press, 1990); Bernard
Williams, Moral Luck (Cambridge. Cambridge U.P., 1981);
Stanley Cavell, Conditions Handsome and Unhandsome (Chicago.
University of Chicago Press, 1990) indeed, of any philosophical
thought that draws on literature, as well as those who have
sought to revive a theory of moral sentiments (e.g. Annette Baier,
A Progression of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume's Treatise (Cam-
bridge, Harvard University Press, 1991) and Postures of the Mind
{Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1985).
:-J. Sec Bernard Williams, op. cit., p. 2; Stanley Cavell, op. cit., 108-
1. FW 333 WKG V
p. 238.
p. 266. One should recall the passage in
Twilight of the Idols, What the Germans Lack 3 WKG Vl
p. 102:
"One has to learn to see; one has to learn to think; one has to
learn to speak and write." Sec the discussion (albeit with more
oedipal anxiety about sight than I think merited) in Gary
Shapiro, "In the Shadows of Philosophy," in David Michael
Levin, cd. Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision (University of
California Press, 19), pp. 124-141.
6. JGB 75 WKG VI
p. 87.
I. VI I I p. 704.
8. For a revealing discussion of Nietzsche as air erotic see the con-
tribution by Robert Pippin to this volume.
9. Letter to Rohde, 5/23/76.
10. MAM i 259 WKG IV
pp. 217-218.
II. MA,\;1 i 2Ci0 WKG IV
p. 218. I cannot help hearing here an
98 Tracy B. Strong
anticipation of the scene of the cripples at the bridge in
Zarathustra. Z ii On Redemption WKG VI, pp. 173-174.
12. For two views see Allan Bloom, Love and Friendship, chapter on
Symposium; Sarah Monoson, Erastes and Eromenes, POLITI-
CAL THEORY last issue. The standard book on pederasty in
Greece is Kenneth Dover, Greek Homosexuality ().
13. UB-SE 2 WKG III, p. 342.
14. Ibid., p. 345. Bloom (op. cit., p.) notes something of the same in
15. On this general question sec my jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Politics
ofthe Ordinary (SAGE, 1994), pp. 46-50 and Stanley Cavell, The
Claim of Reason (Oxford, 1984), part IV.
16. Emerson, "Experience," Essays and Lectures (Library of America.
New York, 1983), pp. 488, 483.
17. EH why 1 write such good books - The Untimely ones 3 WKG
pp. 317-318.
18. WKG III, p. 411.
19. UB-SE 5 WKG III, p. 374.
20. Ibid., p. 378; UB-SE 7 WKG III, p. 401 ("The artist and
philosopher ... strike only a few and should strike all.") For
revelatory discussion of this question in Nietzsche see Stanley
Cavell, op. cit., pp. 49-54 and a soon to be published essay by
James Conant. See also Steven Mulhall, "Perfectionism, Politics,
and the Social Contract," journal of Political Philosophy, Vol. 2,
Number 3 (September 1994), pp. 222-239.
21. UB-SE 6 WKG III" p. 381.
22. SE-UB iii 4 WKG III, p. 362.
23. SE-UB iii 1 WKG III, p. 336. Nietzsche here is probably echo-
ing the opening line of Emerson's "Experience" "Where do we
find ourselves?"
24. For a fuller discussion see my "Aesthetic Authority and Tradi-
tion: Nietzsche and the Greeks," History of European Ideas, Vol. II,
1989, pp. 989-1007 (1989).
25. GM Preface 1 WKG VI, p. 259.
26. See the discussion in Tracy B. Strong, The Idea of Political Theory
(Notre Dame, 1990), Chapter Five; and Stanely Cavell, This New
Yet Unapproachable America, (Living Batch Press. Albuquerque,
1989), pp. 24-26.
27. GD-Skirmishcs 7, WKG VI
p. 109.
28. "Pulled out" here calls to mind Emerson's discussion of "provo-
cation" in The Divinity School Address, op. cit., p. 79.
29. UB-SE 2 WKG III, pp. 340-341.
30. Ibid., p. 341.
31. Hollingdale's translation, which is usually good, falls off badly
Learning to Love 99
32. UB-SE 3 WKG III, p. J58.
33. UB-RWG 4 WKG Ill, p. 18.
34. Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy and Truth. cd., Brezeale (Humaniteis
Press, New Jersey, 1990), pp. 135-U7. Cf WKG IV, pp. 182 ff.
, p. 34ti. For a discussion of the political clements in
the Birth of Tragedy, sec my "Nietzsche's Political Misappropria-
tions," in B. Magnus and K. Higt,rins, cds. Cambridge Companion
to Nietzsche (Cambridge, 1995) and "Aesthetic Authority and Tra-
dition: Nietzsche and the Greeks," History of European Ideas, Vol.
II, 1989, pp. 989-1007 ( 1989).
p. : ~ 7 4 - 5 .
: ~ 7 . WKG IV 1, p. 189, 195.
38. UB-SE 6 WKG III, p. 381.
39. There is thus a parallel between the clements of love and the
clements of the three kinds of history set forth in the preceding
Untimely. See UB-NN 2 WKG III, pp. 260-261.
40. UB-RWG II, IV" pp. 79, 81.
41. GT 8 III, pp. 55-56.
42. Augustine, incidentally, uses the same parallel of spectatorship
and love to explain the political realm.
43. GT 8 III, p. 56.
44 . .JBG 153 WKG Vl
p. 99.
45. JBG 164 WKG VI
p. 101.
46. For the best investigation of this sec Sarah Kofman, Baubo in M.
Gillespie and T. Strong, cds. Nietzsche's New Seas (Chicago, 1988),
pp. 175-202.
47. For a full discussion of the fact that in Nietzsche selfhood is
consequent to modes of apprehending the world and does not
precede them, see my "Texts and Pretexts: Reflections on
Nietzsche's Doctrines of Perspectivism," in Political Theory (May,
1985) reprinted with modifications as Chapter Ten of the
expanded edition of my Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Trans-
figuration. (University of California Press. Berkeley and Los
Angeles, 1988).
48. See I. Kant, Critique of Practical Reason (Babbs Merrill.
Indianapolis, 1956), p. 85: "We must not [in love) by an egotis-
tical illusion subtract anything for the authority of the law." The
Doctrine of Virtue (Philadelphia, 1979), p. 447. For a critique see
Annette Baier, "How can Individualists Share Responsibility,"
Political Theory, 21, 2 (May, 1993), pp. 228-248. I am conscious
here of a general influence of Martha Nussbaum, Love's Knowl-
edge, especially chapters 13 and 14, to which I owe the Kant
49. See Barbara Herman, The Practice of Moral judgment (Harvard
University Press, Cambridge, MA 1993).
100 Tracy B. Strong
50. See my "Nietzsche's Political Misappropriations," Cambridge
Companion to Nietzsche, ed. Bernd Magnus, forthcoming. Similar
considerations are central to the chapter "Knowledge and the
Basis of Morality" in Stanley Cavell, The Claim ofReason. Indeed,
the final question of this paragraph appears in a sharper form on
pp. 269-270, as I rediscovered not to my surprise.
51. JBG 60 WKG V I ~ p. 77. Walter Kaufmann thinks this refers to
52. Frederick Copleston's Friedrich Nietzsche: Philosopher of Culture
(London, 1942) expresses the surprise of a Jesuit who cannot
quite figure out why Nietzsche so seems to dislike Christ. See
also Karl Jaspers, Nietzsche and Christianity (Chicago. Gateway,
l9GI ). One must resist, as I hope to make clear, the tendency to
assert in a more or less sophisticated fashion the claim that
Nietzsche never quite got rid of his childhood and that both his
rejection and his fascination with Christ are due to that. See
Egcn Biser, "Nietzsche's Relation to Jesus," in Claude Jeffre and
Jean-Pierre Jossua, eds. Nietzsche and Christianity (Seabury Press.
New York, 1981), pp. 58-64; sec also W.L. Hohmann, Zu
Nietzsche Fluck auf das Christentum oder Warum Wurde Nietzsche
nicht fertig mit dem Christentum? (Die blaue Eule, Essen, 1984):
"His existence (Dasein) was a tension between evasion and
rebellion" (p. 69).
53. WKG Vlll
p. 351.
54. Ibid., p. 406.
55. Ibid., p. 338.
56. AC 39 WKG Vl
p. 209.
57. AC 34 WKG Vl
p. 204. If this sounds like a strong version of
salvation by faith alone, one might note the importance of
Lutheranism in Nietzsche. He means that the state of being of
the Christian is what counts. Nietzsche docs not mean "spiritual"
as opposed to "fleshly" however.
58. JGB 269 WKG V I ~ p. 235.
59. If this is a correct reading of Nietzsche's understanding, then the
most difficult moment for Nietzsche to grasp fully must be the
scene in Gcthscmane, before the arrest. "Father, if it be possible,
let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as thou
wilt." (Matthew xxvi, 39). It is the supreme moment of Christ's
humanness. For Nietzsche it is a suicide. See below.
p. 58.
61. MAM ii VM 94 WKG IY
p. 50.
62. WKG V I I I ~ p. 409.
6 ~ ~ - R.W. Emerson, "Experience," Essays and Lectures, p. 489. I owe
a debt here to the chapter "On Political Evil" in George Kateb.
The Inner Ocean (Cornell U.P., Ithaca, l'\.Y., 1992).
Learning to Love 101
(i-1. See my Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of Transfiguration, pp.
liS. J. Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, III, 19 (ed.
Beveridge), Vol. 2, p. 133).
()(i. Some of the material in the next paragraphs draws from or is
prompted by Sarah Kofman, Le mipris desjuifs. Nietzsche, les]uifs,
l'antisimitisme (Galilee, Paris 1994).
(i7. GM ii II WKG V I ~ p. 327.
(i8. WKG V I I I ~ p. 337.
(i!J. WKG V I I ~ , pp. 179-180; See Martin Heidcggcr, Nietzsche
(l'fiillingen, Neske, 19GI) I, pp. 632ff. See my "Texts and Pre-
texts," op. cit.
70. AC 44 WKG Vl3 p. 218.
71. MAM ii VM 95 WKG IV
pp. 50-51.
72. e.g. JBG 168 WKG Vll p. 102: "Christianity gave Eros poison
to drink>."
73. UB-SE 5 WKG 111
p. 378.
74. M 532 WKG VI P 308.
75. See WKG VIII
, p. 336.
76. AC 7 WKG V I : ~ p. 172.
77. WKG V I I I : ~ pp. 411-412: "As long as philosophy continues to
speak of happiness and virtue only old ladies will be persuaded
to go into philosophy."
p. 412.
79. Ibid., 413.
80. MAM 1886 Preface I WKG I V ~ p. 8.
81. Friedrich Nietzsche, Die Unschuld des Werdens (ed. Baumler) I #
902 (p. 296).