The Criminal – A Nietzschean profile and its Legal Implications
This paper examines Nietzsche’s view of the criminal, based on his “The Pale Criminal” in Thus Spoke
Zarathustra. Nietzsche has two major reasons to be interested in the criminal. First, Nietzsche claims that there is a common
denominator between criminals and artists-- so much so that one must considerwhether one does not have the right to account
all great men evil? This claim is at once infuriating and outrageous, yet at the same time presents us with an opportunity to
re-set, as it were, our ideas about the criminal mind. Second, and more relevant for the legal context, Nietzsche altogether
rejects the concepts of responsibility and guilt and therefore criticises the received procedures of judgement and punishment.
Index Terms - Nietzsche, The criminal, Strong person, Crime