Nietzsche & Germany
Stefan Sorgner on Nietzsche’s still-controversial influence in the land of his birth.
The first major philosopher influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche was also one of the founding fathers of sociology, Georg Simmel (1858-1918). His views on Nietzsche are contained in a series of lectures which he published in 1907 with the title ‘Schopenhauer and Nietzsche’. There, he concentrates on Nietzsche’s role as a cultural analyst and stresses the importance Nietzsche attributes to nobility. Correctly, Simmel points out that Nietzsche was not an immoralist; he was not only a critic of Christianity and traditional morality, but also a philosopher who did try to create a new and higher set of values. On the other hand, in his own work, Simmel does not put forward any positive views about future cultural developments.