Identità/alterità. Nietzsche e il mondo del femminile

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Identity / otherness. Nietzsche and the world of women

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[Autom. eng. transl.] Nietzsche and the woman. When you come across this topic it is never easy to approach it in a philosophical way, nor to get out of it unscathed without falling into the usual trivializations. In fact, there are many vulgians who paint a Nietzsche with the whip that accuses all the women he meets, or the infinite soap operas built around his relationship with Lou Salomé, or even the family diatribes with his mother and, above all, with his sister Elisabeth. The reasons for this embarrassment are various, but the most evident ones are probably the lack of a work dedicated, entirely or in part, to the theme of the female and the misogynist pathos with which the philosopher himself approaches to scrutinize the world of the female. In various fragments we can read Nietzsche's intention to compile a list of topics, such as woman, love, sexuality, marriage, family, children, which were then to become an integral part of his writings, or which represented the themes of new outdated considerations , the latter however never made. The ideas about women are exposed, as her custom, in the form of aphorisms, which if on the one hand limit the continuity of the argumentation, on the other are always an expression of slenderness, giving the speech a freshness and liveliness that, otherwise, would risk losing . Regardless of this oscillation between material shortage and aphoristic tension, in Nietzsche the feminine element is absolutely no less important than others. The chronological breadth of the texts in which she speaks of women, laid down over the entire twenty years of her activity, is in itself a sign of the essential role that the question of the female assumes in her thought. Numerous fragments, which highlight that for him this was not at all a secondary theme, often turning from a mere object of investigation to a way of thinking that permeated his speculative process. Perhaps - the Price highlights - Nietzschean femininity lies precisely in what most irritates all those who prefer a pure and absolute philosophy, clear and distinct categories, the principle of non-contradiction and identification. In short, it lies in constantly checking and denying the very idea of western rationality. Although Nietzsche suggests keeping a distance from the female, this disgust is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, in fact, it represents a clear stance against women, often insulted in no uncertain terms. This easily made him a victim of misogyny charges. Certainly there are repeated attacks of bad taste against women in Nietzsche's work, but this is certainly not enough to quickly reduce such a complex thought to the only charge of misogyny. On the other hand, however, this attempt to distance himself from a world other than the male denotes Nietzsche's weakness towards the female, a refusal from a reality that causes problems and is a source of contradiction. Escape from the woman is always a way of talking about her and, in the end, of finding herself even her debtor.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Identity / otherness. Nietzsche and the world of women
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationRassegna storiografica decennale (vol. III)
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Nietzsche
  • donne
  • femminile


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