chapter  9
13 Pages

Nietzsche’s madness

A Jungian critique of Nietzsche’s model

Part III will attempt to test both Nietzsche’s and Jung’s model of opposites, and critically evaluate them from each other’s perspective. In accordance with their common insistence that the author is to be identified with his work, each criticism will comment upon the thinker’s model and the thinker himself. By evaluating each model by cross-examination we hope to arrive at a closer understanding of Nietzsche’s influence on Jung’s model and on Jung himself. We therefore hope to resolve the ambiguous relationship that was revealed by the method of direct comparison employed in Chapter 8. The first chapter in this part will focus upon a Jungian critique of Nietzsche’s model and will offer a Jungian ‘diagnosis’ of Nietzsche’s personality. We shall see that, according to Jung, Nietzsche’s model fails to unite the opposites and is essentially one-sided, and that this failure is the cause of Nietzsche’s eventual mental collapse. Nietzsche, far from attaining Selfhood in the union of opposites, is, in Jungian terms, an ‘un-individuated’ and neurotic personality. In Chapter 10 I shall criticize this Jungian interpretation and explain why I believe Jung misunderstands Nietzsche and his model. We shall see that Nietzsche’s model does not fail for the reasons Jung puts forward and we shall therefore try, in Chapter 11, to understand why Jung is reluctant to acknowledge those affinities between his own model and Nietzsche’s that I proposed in Chapter 8. Finally, Chapter 12 will focus upon a Nietzschean critique of Jung’s model and will offer a Nietzschean ‘diagnosis’ of Jung’s personality. I shall argue that Jung fails to adhere to the teaching of the Will to Power, so that, far from attaining Übermenschlichkeit in the union of opposites, Jung is, in Nietzschean terms, a ‘commonplace being’ or ‘inverse cripple’.