Letter: Mad? Maybe Nietzsche just cared for horses

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In discussing Leslie Chamberlain's Nietzsche in Turin, Ian Thomson touches on the famous incident of Nietzsche rushing into the street to embrace a cart-horse ("Ice-cream with the Anti-Christ", Review, 15 December). While some see this as a sign of his mental illness, many others see it as the profoundly sane act of a man disturbed that the horse was being beaten. Thomson cites Milan Kundera's interpretation of the incident as a commentary on Descartes' belief that animals do not possess souls. It might be more useful to see Nietzsche's action as that of a person capable of great empathy.

Nicholas Packwood

Lancaster University

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