Simmel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche (1907); F.
Men desire strength or power not as ends but as means to ends beyond them; Nietzsche is most convincing when the Ubermensch is left undefined.
Brandes first drew European attention to Nietzsche by his famous essay in 1889; since then an enormous literature has grown up round the subject.
Lichtenberger, La Philosophie de Nietzsche (1895; German trans., 1899); E.
Yet it has been a true instinct which has led popular opinion as testified to by current literature to find in Nietzsche the most orthodox exponent of Darwinian ideas in their application to ethics.
As morality depicts him, he becomes intelligible; imagined as Nietzsche describes him he reels back into the beast, and that distinction which chiefly separates man from the animal world out of which he has emerged, viz.
Finally, the conceptions of strength, power and masterfulness by which Nietzsche attempts to determine his own moral ideal, become, when examined, as relative and unsatisfactory as other criteria of moral action said to be deduced from evolutionary principles.
Similarly the cynical contempt which Nietzsche shows for morality and the conventional virtues is counterbalanced by the theory of the 0bermensch, 'the highest type of manhood.
Consequently Nietzsche in effect maintains the following paradoxical position: he explains the existence of altruism upon egoistical principles; he advocates the total abolition of all altruism by carrying these same egoistical principles to their logical conclusion; he nevertheless appeals to that moral instinct which makes men ready to sacrifice their own narrow personal interests to the higher good of society - an instinct profoundly altruistic in character - as the ultimate justification of the ethics he enunciates.
Simmel, Schopenhauer und Nietzsche (1907).