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Original scientific paper

Natural Selection, Levelling, and Eternal Recurrence. How Nietzsche Addressed Darwinism in His Effort to Surpass the Body-Mind-Dichotomy

Sven Gellens orcid id ; Universiteit Gent, Blandijnberg 2, BE–9000 Gent
Benjamin Biebuyck orcid id ; Universiteit Gent, Blandijnberg 2, BE–9000 Gent

Full text: english pdf 432 Kb

page 139-158

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Full text: croatian pdf 432 Kb

page 156-157

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Full text: german pdf 432 Kb

page 157-157

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Full text: french pdf 432 Kb

page 157-158

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This paper addresses the ongoing debate on Nietzsche’s relationship to Darwinism, pursuing the specific meaning of Nietzsche’s integrative account of evolution in his writings. Exploring the evolutionary vocabulary in his discussion of the will to power and his criticism of Malthus’s concept of adaptation, the article claims that the so-called explicit Anti-Darwin position in Nietzsche’s late writings is part of his encompassing attempt to surpass the narrow margins of a strictly anatomical-biological or socio-Darwinist concept of evolution. That Nietzsche does so by using biological vocabulary shows his eagerness to map the impact of biological and cultural forces on humankind’s evolution. This article wants to put the contemporary debate on culture and evolution in a broader historical perspective. At the same time, it also wants to contribute to a better understanding of Nietzsche’s philosophical anthropology, and in particular, of his changing ideas on weakness and strength, on the intellect and eternal recurrence as a principle of selection – ideas Nietzsche developed in his effort to surpass the traditional dichotomy of body and mind.


evolution, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, eternal recurrence, will to power, body, adaptation, mind, selection

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