chapter  2
Historicity
Pages 25

The influence of Friedrich August Wolf, Johann Wolfgang, and B. G. Niebuhr involved a massive upsurge of students dedicated to studying the past in the forms of philology and Historie. By quoting an historical figure without reference, footnote, or citation for which history should only be researched insofar as it invigorates the present, Friedrich Nietzsche was announcing that he too would only address the past insofar as he could make some use of it today. The obvious implication is that Nietzsche, like Goethe, means that over-abundant historical learning is only fit for the flames for the sake of keeping ourselves pure of the ignoble aspects of our past. But the fact that Nietzsche makes a cloaked historical reference that requires a certain level of historical training to catch reveals a colorful wrinkle. Following Hegel's death, German universities came to roundly reject his idealism, his dialectical logic, his dilettantism about natural science, and above all his historical theory.