In Nietzsche, Tension, and the Tragic Disposition, Matthew Tones undertakes an ambitious journey through Nietzsche's writings, dealing with, among other things, Nietzsche's notion of tragedy, his relation to ancient Greek thought, his naturalism, and the concept of nobility developed in GM and BGE. Tones thus gives a detailed and insightful reconstruction of Nietzsche's philosophy. But this strength of the book is unfortunately also its limit. Tones highlights the complexities of the problems he discusses, but one gets the impression that he succumbs to his “will” to systematize Nietzsche's thinking: he creates harmonies where there are tensions and gives answers where Nietzsche leaves us with questions.

Tones's main thesis is that Nietzsche's notion of nobility (Adel) requires the noble person to face an abysmal insight into man's “tragic disposition” in relation to the world—by which Tones means the state of tension between man's desire for stability and...

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