The One Thing Needful
- Michael Tanner
‘The One Thing Needful’ is concerned with the concepts of style, culture, and character. Excerpts from The Gay Science are provided to illustrate Nietzsche's standpoint. What Nietzsche is starting on the road to advocating in The Gay Science is an extreme individualism, within a framework that does not lead to a scarcely intelligible atomism. He is proposing that we carry out a scrupulous survey of our character, assessing it, though we are not told at this stage by what criteria — what are to count as strengths and weaknesses — and give it that unity which is what is called having style. This suggestion inaugurates his new form of Classicism.