Nihilism and the ascetic ideal: on the value of asceticism in Nietzschean genealogy

Clademir Araldi


I investigate in this article the connection of nihilism with the ascetic ideal in the third essay of the Genealogy of Morals. In this essay, Nietzsche contrasts the genuine Philosopher with the ascetic priest, in order to open space for his affirmative philosophical-artistic intentions. While the ascetic priest radicalizes moral nihilism, the authentic Philosopher develops ascetic forms of life to provide the conditions for his creative work. I ask, finally, whether the “Philosopher” is able to overcome the nihilistic crisis of values and the physiological deca- dence of man.

Keywords: nihilism, ascetic ideal, value, Philosopher.

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