Why I wrote Tweetable Nietzsche
By: Dr. C. Ivan Spencer
Nietzsche ranks as an undisputed master who fashioned this age. In order to engage culture, we need to be aware of the key influencers of our culture. While people gather around the water cooler to discuss the latest game or news, Nietzsche’s scheme churns behind the scenes for the past century. The average person finds philosophy odd or difficult. I wrote this book so anyone can understand it, not just geeks or academics. I’ve been asked why I like Nietzsche and why I want to promote him in this book. That is not why I wrote Tweetable Nietzsche. This book explains the thinker who introduced ideas our culture now heralds as triumphant. Ideas elude us. Once they take root and most people assume them, we forget about where the idea came from or who introduced it. Consider the notion of equality that pervades every inch of our culture now. Where did the idea come from and why? Nobody cares because we all assume it now. A pungent odor engulfs a room when you enter. After a while, you don’t notice the odor at all. Ideas too waft into our mind and become the unnoticed ground of our social consciousness. This little book unveils the source of potent ideas many obliviously accept. You might think that you don’t. Maybe true. Others around you have…unwittingly. So instead of promoting Nietzsche, I hope people will notice the pungency of his influence upon the world they seek to engage.
Nietzsche pervades general culture through the arts and humanities, but especially in philosophy, theology, and literature. He inspired existential life patterns that urge and compel us to create ourselves and transform our nature through the tenacity of will, not predetermined formulas or socially constructed patterns of existing as individuals. We must create our essence and choose our own virtues. In theology, some radical movements root in Nietzsche’s thought. Secular theology derives some of its orientation from the stark Nietzschean prophecy that God is dead and that we killed him. Our secular age no longer centers on or even accepts transcendent values, believing the divine source for such values was a sham or a power play. If God died, so did all wholesome values rooted in God. In literature, Nietzsche conceives and gives birth to a hermeneutic that annihilates textual meaning. Few understand what has happened here or why. Nietzsche unleashed category 5 hermeneutical hurricanes that make landfall in America and Europe. Now texts have no meaning other than the meanings powerful people or groups impose. Thus the infamous hermeneutics of suspicion.
How I wrote Tweetable Nietzsche and how to read it
Tweetable Nietzsche employs a unique approach to unveiling his ideas. I write “tweets,” 140 character quotes that distill his ideas. This makes the book very easy to grasp. Each tweet and its explanation can be read in 5 minutes or less, making it approachable for fast-paced lives. The format helps readers focus on a singular thought. I gather those thoughts into chapters that fit into usual worldview topics such as morality or knowledge. Each chapter begins with a very brief introduction to that philosophical topic and its importance. By reading these tweets and my explanation of them an understanding of the whole emerges. When you finish this short book, you should grasp the major ideas and be able to see them at work in our world. Thus the book is a mash up of an introduction to philosophy with a worldview approach and a case study of Nietzsche through easily grasped tweets. I hope you like it!
Dr. C. Ivan Spencer is Professor of History and Philosophy at The College at Southeastern. He teaches the History of Ideas, Philosophy, and History. Dr Spencer was the creator of the school’s History of Ideas curriculum and has cultivated the study of the greatest thinkers from the past to the present.