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Weissmann, K. (1963). Nietzsche and the Anti-Maturism. Am. Imago, 20(4):315-329.

(1963). American Imago, 20(4):315-329

Nietzsche and the Anti-Maturism

Karl Weissmann

There exists a growing tendency in our days to explain the philosophy of Nietzsche in the perspective of his mental illness. Such a tendency may not be very original, nor duely respect-inspiring, but it is, to a certain extent, justified: the great thinker himself over-stressed the importance of his personal experience of illness to such a degree that he wouldn't admit the attainment of any “deeper knowledge” or of any “higher healthiness” without it. Largely inspired in his own pathological experience, the philosopher conceived of “a new healthiness, stronger, sharper, tougher, bolder and marrier than all healthiness hitherto” (The Joyful Wisdom). He symptomatically insisted on being “dangerously healthy”.

If we now undertake the task to view the philosophy of Nietzsche in connection with his systematic anti-maturism— a facet, which as far as I know, has never been explored — we do not essentially oppose to the foresaid tendency of contemporary pathographies. For anti-maturism is by its very nature, potentially illness, regressivity, nostalgy, death instinct, whereas the normal drive to psychological maturity stands closer to Eros, the libidinal integrating principle of the healthier personality, which doesn't strive backward, but predominantly foreward.

Through his mouthpiece “Zarathustra” Nietzsche declares:

“Thus do I love only my children's land……;

for it do I bid my sails to search and search.”

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