Life and justice in Nietzsche's conception of history

Vanessa Lemm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Whereas historicism understands history as the objective knowledge of the past and sees in the necessity of the past the standard of the truth of historical knowledge, Nietzsche wants to shift historical knowledge away from science towards life and action. For him, life entails a constructive orientation towards the future which commits an injustice towards the past. The historical knowledge of historicism claims to be true to the past and to do justice to the past. But, seen from the perspective of life, historical knowledge will have to become unjust towards the past in view of being true to life and its future becoming. This essay explores the problem of how a historical knowledge that is inherently unjust can nonetheless provide the material for the constitution of a just order of life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNietzsche and the Becoming of Life
EditorsVanessa Lemm
PublisherFordham University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780823262908
ISBN (Print)9780823262908, 9780823262861
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • historical knowledge
  • Life
  • Nietzsche
  • Justice
  • History


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