The Intellectual Poverty of the Nietzsche Hipster

I have been seeing a lot of casual quoting of Nietzsche lately, and I think I have discovered a new breed of amateur philosopher: the “Nietzsche Hipster”. The Nietzsche hipster loves quoting the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, embracing Nietzsche for the very simple reason that Nietzsche is very different from most other philosophers, both in the content of his ideas and in the style in which he conveys them (he is famously polemical). These Nietzsche hipsters are no different form hipsters in the ordinary sense–they are drawn to Nietzsche not because he has something worthy to say, but because he is different, against the mainstream, and radical. Nietzsche declares that “God is dead” and “Plato is boring”. He declares modern ethics to be a “slave morality” that keeps people down, and makes war on metaphysics (the notion that there is a truth that can be known) as a branch of philosophy more broadly.

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