The Cow

Somebody asked me the other day if I knew of Nietzsche’s cow.  I stopped, I thought and I couldn’t remember Nietzsche ever having a cow – just a town named after a cow in Zarathustra [die bunte Kuh].  So I answered, “huh? Nietzsche and a cow?”  To which I was pointed towards Nietzsche’s Untimely Meditations [Vom Nutzen und  Nachteil der Historie für das Leben].  Nietzshe’s cow represents the power of forgetting.  To all of those philosophers and scientists who are worried about taking the next step, about making concrete progress, Nietzsche presents a cow.  The cow forgets and forgetting births the possibility of creating something new, of becoming individual.

I forgot about Nietzsche’s cow, which has me convinced that I remembered him all the more.  Convenient!


p.s. Nietzsche’s cow is not to be confused with his camel, his lion, his snake, his eagle, his donkey, his human or his sister.


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