German Faculty Publications

Document Type



The article revisits Nietzsche’s provocative claim that the Enlightenment’s emphasis on education and open exchange of information promotes rather than prevents the “loss of meaning” from a media studies and systems theoretical perspective. Nietzsche in fact ties what he understands as modern culture’s disintegration to information-processing modes of modern society, that is, as effects of the modern educational system and the mass media (at his time, the printing press). The article argues that while Nietzsche is an astute observer of modernity, his call for a return to a more authentic culture (with its daunting political implications) is indicative of Nietzsche’s failure to understand fully the structure of modern society, which created not only the need for social integration but also new means of integration (albeit for many in a self-conscious, or as Richard Rorty put it, “ironic” way).

Publication Date

Winter 2005

Publication Title

Comparative Literature

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