What is Nietzsche's concept of the earth? While "earth" is often taken in a general way to refer to embodied life, to this world rather than to an imaginary and disastrous other world, I propose that the term and concept also have a significant political dimension-a geophilosophical dimension—which is closely related to the radical immanence so central to Nietzsche's thought. I shall argue that he often and pointedly replaces the very term "world" (Welt) with "earth" (Erde) because "world" is tied too closely to ideas of unity, eternity, and transcendence. "World" is a concept with theological affiliations, as Nietzsche indicates in Beyond Good and Evil:
Around a hero everything becomes a tragedy, around a demi-god everything becomes a satyr play; and around God everything becomes—what do you think? perhaps the "world"? (BGE 150)
Copyright © 2014 Fordham. This chapter first appeared in Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life.
Please note that downloads of the book chapter are for private/personal use only.
Purchase online at Fordham University Press.
Shapiro, Gary. "States and Nomads: Hegel's World and Nietzsche Earth." In Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life, edited by Vanessa Lemm, 303-17. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2014.