Nietzsche after World War IIThe appropriation of Nietzsche's work by the Nazis, combined with the rise of analytic philosophy, ensured that British and American academic philosophers would almost completely ignore him until at least 1950. Even George Santayana, an American philosopher whose life and work betray some similarity to Nietzsche's, dismissed Nietzsche in his 1916 Egotism in German Philosophy as a "prophet of Romanticism". Analytic philosophers, if they mentioned Nietzsche at all, characterized him as a literary figure rather than as a philosopher. Nietzsche's present stature in the English-speaking world owes much to the exegetical writings and improved Nietzsche translations by the Jewish-German, American philosopher Walter Kaufmann and the British scholar R.J. Hollingdale.
Nietzsche's influence on continental philosophy increased dramatically after the Second World War, especially among the French intellectual Left and post-structuralists. Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Michel Foucault all owe a heavy debt to Nietzsche. These figures were not without reason entirely baseless in hermeneutically conquering Nietzsche for themselves: although passionately anti-Lefist, Nietzsche's onto-metaphysical "black hole" of cosmic nihilism, opened the way for manifold interpretations. Gilles Deleuze and Pierre Klossowski (in a work aimed to make Nietzsche's importance purely "literary", bereft of unpleasant illiberal implications) wrote monographs drawing new attention to Nietzsche's work, and a 1972 conference at Cérisy-la-Salle ranks as the most important event in France for a generation's reception of Nietzsche. In the wake of the post-modernist hermeneutic conquest, Nietzsche and his philosophy became a subject of trivial "language games" and other absurdities in the lower circles of academia. In Germany interest in Nietzsche was revived from the 1980s onwards, particularly by the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, who has devoted several essays to Nietzsche. Ernst Nolte the German historian, in his literature analyzing Fascism and Nazism, presented Nietzsche as a force of the Counter-Enlightenment and foe of all modern "emancipation politics", and Nolte's judgment generated impassioned dialogue.
In recent years, Nietzsche has also influenced members of the analytical philosophy tradition, such as Bernard Williams in his last finished book, Truth And Truthfulness: An Essay In Genealogy (2002).