This is the Chalk Cliffs on Ruegen by Kaspar David Friedrich, which Routledge was good enough to put on the cover of Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue. I chose this painting because, with its depiction of a man and woman staring into a dizzying vortex, it embodies an important Nietzschean theme: the fear of chaos. My favorite Friedrich painting, though, is the eerily tranquil Large Enclosure by Dresden.

Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue: This book is a discussion of Nietzsche's ethical and political ideas. It is an attempt to be both scholarly and, in a sense, activist. The ultimate point is to see how believers in liberal democracy (like me and most of my readers) should respond to the challenge that Nietzsche represents. As with any profound challenge, one is never the same again after it is overcome. In particular, I suggest that liberals can learn something very important from the ideas that grow out of Nietzsche's early discussion of Homer's notion of agon or Wettkampf (roughly, conflict or competition).

Table of Contents.


Chapter III: Politics and Anti-Politics.