Faversham Stoa is a philosophy discussion group meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30 to 9.30pm in the The Bull in Tanners Street. We cover a large range of topics. If you have an idea for a topic that you would like us to cover why not drop us a line? There's no charge for membership and everyone is welcome to drop in. Just bring your brain and some beer money!

Nietzsche’s sexuality

Despite a proposal to Lou Salome, Nietzsche never married. The Nietzsche scholar Joachim Kohler has attempted to explain Nietzsche’s life history and philosophy by claiming that Nietzsche was a homosexual. Kohler argues that Nietzsche’s syphilis, which is “usually considered to be the product of his encounter with a prostitute in a brothel in Cologne or Leipzig, is equally likely, it is now held, to have been contracted in a male brothel in Genoa”. Kohler also suggests Nietzsche may have had a romantic relationship as well as a friendship with Paul Ree.

Kohler’s views have not found wide acceptance among Nietzsche scholars and commentators. In The Journal of Modern History, Allan Megill argues that “Kohler does establish that the claim that Nietzsche was a man in confrontation with homosexual desire cannot simply be dismissed” but notes that “the evidence is very weak” and argues that Kohler may be projecting twentieth-century understandings of sexuality on nineteenth-century notions of friendship. Other scholars have argued that Kohler’s sexuality-based interpretation is not helpful in understanding Nietzsche’s philosophy.

Get the free Acrobat reader Print-friendly versions of articles are in PDF format and require Acrobat Reader