Nietzsche on the English Taste

10 posts

Bronze Age Pervert

Nietzsche has some good reflections on the English taste and on the origins of modern depravity and nihilism. Leo Strauss tracing back modern nihilism to Hobbes and Locke...he was only copying Nietzsche, after all:


Does he care to explain which ideas are bad or why they are bad?

Or can this paragraph be boiled down? ..."The English suck and they're stupid"

Bob Dylan Roof


I am still not convinced that know and can are exclusive. The autistic diligence required to collect, catalog, and analyze empirical facts in the manner of Darwin with his finches or Aristotle with his eggs does strike me as "arid" in N's terminology. However the will to truth often goes hand-in-hand with a naked will-to-creation or -action. To be sure, they are few in number, but there have been those who both possessed knowledge and were capable of great action. I know one of your favorite rulers was Frederick II: does he fit the definition?

Niccolo and Donkey

Let's bump this thread.


It is not a matter of possessing knowledge (or will to truth) but a matter of taste. That is in so far as man is the valuing creature, an overemphasis on utilitarian ideals is the mark of mediocrity.

More Nietzsche:


I think much if this goes back to Newton and his mechanistic world. The Euros opted for a different narrative (Leibniz and Descartes). A mind captured by Newton will develop along much different paths than one captured by Leibniz...

In fact, Leibniz detected right away in Newton that there were profound unstated metaphysical assumptions underlying the Principia and was alarmed by what he suspected was there. I have been told it involved alchemical conceptions of reality but I know nothing about alchemy.

Anyway, Newton's Principia is the intellectual basis for the entire English Ideology and the Whig Project. It makes sense Nietzsche would hate it.

And finally, a key to reading Nietzsche (and he admits this) is to evaluate his opinion of his subject by how polemical he becomes. The more polemical, the more he respects/fears/appreciates the subject. I don't know how to take his dismissive tone toward the English. It could be the ultimate insult or maybe the ultimate acknowledgement of their power...

Confederate Rhetoric
This is actually an instrumental variable as to why the Industrial Revolution kicked off in England and not the continent. Of course the presence of coal helps, but an important pillar in the foundation of the Industrial Revolution was the mechanical view the English had that allowed them to use such resources. Many historians have pointed out things such as advanced designs in clockwork, innovative technologies in ship navigation, and concrete knowledge of gas laws (among other things) were expressive of this 'demystified' mechanical English worldview.

Where can I read what Liebniz said?


As to Newton and the Principia? What in know I got from Michael White's Isaac Newton: The Last Sorceror. It talks about Newton's alchemical background... The conflict with Leibniz was over gravity. Both Leibniz and Huygens were shocked at the lack of explanation of the central force. Leibniz wrote to him arguing that it was just the aether, Newton disagreed but merely argued it was a necessary logical conclusion from the behavior of bodies. Here is a Leibniz quote from White:

(Leibniz) was suspicious of Newton's entire concept of gravity, referring to it mockingly as "the rebirth in England of a theology that is more than papist and a philosophy entirely scholastic since Mr. newton and his partisans have revived the occult qualities of the school with the idea of attraction."

I actually pulled that quote from E Michael Jones Barren Metal where Jones has a good discussion of the issue in Chapter 39.


A Newton quote from Barren Metal:

"You sometimes speak of gravity as essential & inherent to matter, pray do not ascribe that notion to me, for the cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know & therefore would take more time to consider of it."