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My first book on Nietzsche was among the pioneering researches that emphasized the significance of his psychology for the understanding of his philosophy: Nietzsche's Enticing Psychology of Power, Ames: Blackwell Publishing, 1989.  The principal and novel assumption underlying these studies is that one of the most useful ways to explore Nietzsche’s aphoristic labyrinth is to take the psychological perspective as a guide. In my early works I showed how his philosophical psychology enables us to reconstitute and explicate Nietzsche’s positive theses, such as the positive power morality versus the negative power patterns – a distinction which has been largely ignored by most of his commentators. Likewise, his consistent distinction between the central notion of spiritual power (Macht) as against physical force (Kraft) and violence (Gewalt) was entirely ignored. I also made it clear how his anthropology can help us to solve several problems and alleged contradictions in his writings, especially the inner tension between the skeptical ramification of his thought and the more positive notions like the eternal recurrence, the will to power and the “tragic truth”. These difficulties, I believe, are partly resolved if we take his philosophy to be a kind of Versuch (thought experiment ) functioning for the reader as a Versuchung  (existential enticement) that tests our ability for self-overcoming and enhancing our spiritual-creative powers.  

            This book, and related publications (E.g. Nietzsche’s Psychology of Power: Between Nietzsche and Freud , Jerusalem, 1987; "Freudian Uses and Misuses of Nietzsche", American Imago, 37, 1980, pp.  371-385; “Nietzsche and Freud.” Iyyun 39 (1988): 167-176 also , also filled a significant lacuna in the history of ideas with respect to the relation between Freud and Nietzsche. My researches showed that some of the central Freudian ideas, like das Unbewusste, (the Unconscious), Sublimierung, Repression, Super-Ego, the Id, the secondary gains of illness or the interpretation of dreams, already served as central leitmotifs in Nietzsche’s writings.

                  The second field of research has dealt with tracing, explicating and analyzing a vital concept in modern European thought – namely that of the ideal of authentic life. My book In Search of Authenticity from Kierkegaard to Camus, (Routledge: London/ New York, 1995) is actually the first sustained attempt to explain this very influential tradition in continental thought which tried to promote the ideal of personal authenticity as a moral value. I argued that though it is not an objective norm, authenticity is still a viable moral value that can in principle be implemented in society despite certain theoretical difficulties. Highlighting this ideal in the thoughts of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Camus throws an original light on their teachings and explains their particular ethical stance on the subject. Thus, for example, I showed that Heideggerian notion of Eigentlichkeit (what Sartre later called authenticité)  is much more crucial  to hisontological phenomenologythan  is commonly thought. And see my book : In Search of authenticity from Kierkegaard to Camus, London/New York: Routledge, 1995 and the following articles: “Sartre’s Early Phenomenology of Authenticity in Relation to Husserl” in A. Tymieniecka (ed.) Phenomenology World-Wide, Lancaster: Kluwer, 2002, pp. 335-342; "Nietzsche on Authenticity." Philosophy Today, 34 (1990):  243-258; “Kierkegaard's Ironic Ladder to Authentic Faith."  International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 23 (1991): 65-81; “Rousseau’s Ways to Authenticity.” Iyyun  42 (1993): 249-273. (Heb.); “Camus's Ideal of Authentic Life." Philosophy Today 38 (1994):  268-277.

            This book opened up a new vista of scholarship as the many references to my researches and/or their reviews, coming from multifarious fields of humanities and social studies testify [1] .

            My third field of research is the clarification of the syndrome of German 'marginal Jews' (Grenzjuden). See my article on "Nietzsche and the 'Marginal Jews'", in a collection of articles I edited for Routledge of London and New York Nietzsche and Jewish Culture, (1997), pp. 158-192.

            I dealt with the enthusiastic and early reception of Nietzsche's writings and ideas among such Jewish men of letters like Schnitzler, Wassermann, Zweig, Freud,  Kafka, Buber, etc. arguing  that Nietzsche’s relevance to the need for personal authenticity manifested by these Grenzjuden contributed to the irresistible attraction his works had for them. My researches on the “marginal Jews” provided the basis for a more detailed research dealing with some of the figure mentioned above and was favorably received by critics as evidenced by many references and reviews. [2]   

           However, my most ambitious research project hitherto is the comprehensive study in book form on Nietzsche and Zion (Cornell University Press, 2004) which also makes use of material that has not been widely available. The results show that Nietzsche’s ideas were more widely disseminated and appropriated among the first Hebrew Zionists (Herzl, Nordau, Berdichevski, Ahad Ha’am, Martin Buber, H. Zeitlin), than was previously realized.[3]

            Currently I am immersed in the second and complementary part of this vast project: Nietzsche in Zion which deals with Nietzsche in British Mandatory Palestine (Brenner, A. D. Gordon, Bialik, Tschernihovsky, Greenberg); and Nietzsche in the State of Israel. This will include chapters on  Nietzsche and the Israeli Left in the Kibbutz and in Labor movements; Nietzsche and Right (Eldad, The Canaanite Movement); and the critique by post-Zionist historians of the ideal of the “new Jew.




[1] E.g.: Regina Bendix, In Search of Authenticity ,Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1997.

and Letters, vol. 50 (1997): 445-459; Desmond, W. (from Catholic Univ. of Louvain),“’Caesar with the soul of Christ’: Nietzsche’s highest impossibility”, Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, 61 (1999): 27-61; Dooley, Mark,  International Journal of Philosophical Studies, Vo. 4, No. 2, September 1996, pp. 334-336; Hodge, J., “In Search of Authenticity: From Kierkegaard to Camus by Golomb, J.”, Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 29, (1998): 102-105; McDonald, Barry,  “Tradition as personal relationship”, Journal of American Folklore,  110 ( 1997): 47-67; McDonald, Barry “The Idea of Tradition”, Yearbook for Traditional Music (New York), 28 (1996): 106-130; Parker, Martin “Judgement Day: Cyborganization, Humanism and Postmodern Ethics”, Organization (London), 5 (1998): 503-518; Steeves, James B, “Authenticity and Falling in Martin Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’”, Iyyun, 46, 1997, pp. 327-338; Storl, H.,Choice, June 1996, p.1656; Thody, P. French Studies, 51 (Jul., 1997), p. 353;

[2]Chowers, E., “Time in Zionism”, Political Theory, vol 26, 1998, pp. 652-685; Esterhuyse, W. P., “Friedrich Nietzsche’s position on anti-Christian ‘atheism’ and anti-Semitism”, South African Journal of  Philosophy, 17 (Aug. 1998): 239-261; Friedrich Niewöhner, “Die Dialektik der Verehrung”, Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, 6. III. 1997; Holub C. Robert, ”Nietzsche and the Jewish Question”, New German Critique, 66 (1995): 94-121; Kochan, L. Journal of Jewish Studies, 49, (1998), p. 187.

Santaniello, W., “Nietzsche’s Antichrist: 19th-Century Christian Jews and the Real ‘Big Lie’”, Modern Judaism 17 (1997): 163-177; Tyman, S., “Nietzsche and Jewish Culture”, Continental Philosophy Review, 32 (1999): 49-62.

[3] My relevant articles on this subject are: “Thus Spoke Herzl: Nietzsche’s Presence in Herzl’s Life and Work.” Leo Baeck Year Book  (London) 34 (1999): 97- 124; “The Case of Max Nordau against Nietzsche: The Structure of Ambivalence.” Historia (Heb)  (2001): 51-77; “Buber’s I and Thou vis-à-vis Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.” Existentia, 12 (2002): 413-427.