As mentioned on the race episode, I thumbed through a book edited by Andrew Valls called Race and Racism in Modern Philosophy,which includes essays on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. To give Valls’s words on the last of these, since I mentioned it in the discussion:
…James Winchester examines Nietzsche’s views on race. Against those who charged that Nietzsche was a racist, Winchester shows that his relation to race is far too complex to be captured by this label. Although Nietzsche made some disturbing remarks on this score, he also departed from conventional racial thinking of his day by claiming, for example, that Jes constituted a strong race and Germans a mixed and weak one. These views, among others, do show that Nietzsche was a racialist–he believed that races were real and had great causal significance in shaping thought and culture. This view, combined with his assessment of the German and Jewish races, led Nietzsche to recommend “mixing” of the two in order to strengthen the German race. While Nietzsche sometimes thought in racial terms, his use of racial ideas was neither consistent nor well worked out.”
Knowing that Nietzsche didn’t have his shit together on this topic despite talking about it so much doesn’t make me feel much better about him in this respect, but then again, I was already looking past the many unforgivable things he said about women, so the race issue doesn’t require any further stretching of the brain on my part.