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Nietzsche's Reading of Emerson. A Genetic Study


"Ralph Waldo Emerson played a fundamental role in the development of Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophy. There was no author whom Nietzsche admired more and longer than Emerson. Nietzsche’s personal copies of Emerson's works provide us with strong and reliable evidence of his deep intellectual relation with the American essayist. The pages of these books are covered with a lot of signs of reading, from underlinings, exclamation marks, question marks, and dog-eared pages to numerous annotations and philosophical comments written in the margins. So far these signs of reading have never been taken into consideration by scholars in their studies of the relation between the two authors. Aim of the project is a philosophical study of Emerson’s influence on Nietzsche, based for the first time on a careful reconstruction and exhaustive analysis of the traces of their relation. The historical-philological approach to Nietzsche's philosophy introduced by Mazzino Montinari and then adopted by many scholars all over the world will be complemented with the methodology of genetic criticism developed at ITEM (CNRS/ENS, Paris) and successfully applied by Paolo D’Iorio to Nietzsche’s philosophy. This project can significantly reinforce European leadership in the research on Nietzsche and, more generally, in philosophical research. Moreover, the information technology tools elaborated by ITEM for the execution of genetic studies will enhance both impact and visibility of the research results."

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Rue Michel Ange 3
75794 Paris
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 261 384,60
Administrative Contact
Julie Zittel (Ms.)