Nietzsche, Spirit

For a healthy perspective I revisit Walter Kaufmann’s translations of Friedrich Nietzsche. When reading Beyond Good and Evil I encounter uses of words, such as artist or mother, which do not name any person or even a demographic of people, but instead name a thematic entity: the spirit of the artist or mother.

Consider Nietzsche’s critique of progress. What has been progressive in ‘man’ is that which is shared between animals, the physiological need—progressed through an understanding of mechanics. Yet, that which is ‘human’ (the human spirit) occurs rarely and intermittently throughout history (See The Antichrist, section 4, page 5).

But these are only three examples found in those translations. There are others. The creator, the ascetic, the Greek, the German, the Good European, and yes, the man and woman.