Self-creation and freedom in the works of Nietzsche

Alison Peterman


Throughout his oeuvre, Nietzsche attacks the notion, ubiquitous in Western philosophy since Plato, that the essence of the individual human is a substantial, unified self. He develops a fairly comprehensive (if not entirely systematic) account of the phenomenon of selfhood and the individual with which he tries to replace the traditional notion of 'the thinking thing.' In its place, he puts a conception of the self which allows for and embraces self-creation and one that, I argue, emphasizes freedom.