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Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) declared himself to be “not a man but dynamite.” It is true that he is best known for dramatic doctrines: the “death of God,” the will to power, the “superman” (Übermensch), and the notion of eternal return. Yet his status as one of the major Western thinkers rests on other contributions as well: an epistemology according to which “there are no facts, only interpretations”; an ontology that reverses Platonism by identifying reality with becoming rather than timeless being; and a “revaluation of values” that replaces traditional morality with new and contrasted values. In this entry, the relevance of Nietzsche’s ideas to education is explored with emphasis on a theme that runs through his thinking: the relation between knowledge and life.

Nietzsche was born ...

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