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Friedrich Nietzsche: A Darwinian Religion

Friedrich Nietzsche: A Darwinian Religion

(p.25) 1 Friedrich Nietzsche: A Darwinian Religion
The Moral Meaning of Nature
Peter J. Woodford
University of Chicago Press

The first chapter examines Nietzsche’s appropriation of Darwinian thought by analyzing his concept of life. It traces how this concept developed in writings throughout his literary career and shows how an attempt to understand biological life informed both his critical interpretation of Christianity and his understanding of the relationship between science and religion generally. Nietzsche’s conception of life as “autotelic” created a bridge between reflection on natural drives and processes and normative reflection on human ethical and religious ideals. The notion that life was fundamentally after something, and that this established basic conditions for any ultimate satisfaction, showed that science and religion could be mutually informative and that science was, indeed, always in the service of life.

Keywords:   Friedrich Nietzsche, life, value, Socrates, tragedy, asceticism, genealogy, Science and religion

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