Tuppens och Förmiddagens filosofer

Thoreau och Nietzsche och uppvaknandets filosofi

AbstractThis paper is about the philosophies created by Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) and Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). The purpose is to show the high degree of similarities between Thoreau?s and Nietzsche?s philosphy.At first glance, it seems far-fetched to suggest an affinity between them; the differences in style and choice of subjects, have most certainly contributed to the fact that very few comparisons so far have been made. There is no evidence that one experienced any influence over the other, neither writer seems to have been aware of the other. Also their different areas of use during the 20th century, may have influenced the almost total lack of search for affinity. Thoreau?s philosphy has often been used by environmentalist movements, while Nietzsche has been connected to a wide range of various strivings, such as totalitarian regimes, individualistic artists and post-modern thinkers.But if one disregard these facts, look beyond the differences, and break down their texts in search for their most fundamental opinions, one will see that Nietzsche and Thoreau shared a number of concerns. They were both ciritical to many aspects of the modern civilisation, espacially the way of life it encouraged. It was a life style, deep rooted in an obstructive tradition, that did not take the very essential conditions of life into consideration. This was both Thoreau?s and Nietzsche?s opinion, and their philosophies represent a willingness to re-establish a way of life that ignores all traditions hostile to life.Both of them criticize the religion and its moral of work, the modern science, and many institutions of the modern society ? the schools and the prisons for example. But they also praise things, things they claim to have a value in contrast to the modern way of life ? the simple things. Both Thoreau and Nietzsche praise the solitude life style, the silent walking in the wilderness, the simple but healthy food, as well as some intellectual stimulus, especially good litterature and music. All these simple things contribute to Thoreau?s and Nietzsche?s opinion of life; it should be looked upon with the eyes of a child. Life should be like a play.The title of this paper is Philosphers of the Rooster and the Morning. The title suggests the similarities I have found between Thoreau?s and Nietzsche?s philosophies. They both announce an awakening. For them, a new morning has broken, and this paper shows the similar circumstances they give credit for their awakening.


Emil Dickson

Lärosäte och institution

Karlstads universitet/Estetisk-filosofiska fakulteten


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