This essay analyses Friedrich Nietzsche’s philological activity as a ‘style of thinking’ that has become ingrained over time to the point of becoming an indispensable forma mentis. From philological praxis Nietzsche retrieves a series of methodological tools and procedures in order to apply them, beyond philology itself, to the extra-textual dimension of reality. Philology is transformed into a methodology necessary for exercising the art of ‘reading well’, i.e. of fixing and interpreting in an honest and rigorous manner not only written texts, but also the phenomena of the real world. Philology is thus transformed into an explicit Kulturkritik, a refined tool for critiquing civilisation: operating on cultural phenomena as if they were the pages of a text to which to apply analysis and verify correct interpretations while discarding erroneous ones, just as the textual philologist selects the variants to be included in the text and those to be eliminated.
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