The Psychology of the Criminal in Nietzsche and Dostoevsky
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At surface level, Friederich Nietzsche and Fyodor Dostoevsky are two completely different authors, in that Nietzsche completely rejects the faith which is so important to Dostoevsky's novels. However, in his letters, Nietzsche refers to Dostoevsky as the only psychologist from whom he had anything to learn and comments on the deep kinship he felt when reading his work. In my thesis, I examine this affinity, focusing on the similarities in both men's portrayal of the criminal and demonstrating how these harmonies indicate a deeper likeness between the two. Both Nietzsche and Dostoevsky emphasize the importance of the subconscious in the formation of the criminal and make a distinction between the weak and strong criminal's reactions to their crime and punishment. These similarities reveal Dostoevsky and Nietzsche's similar conceptions of the role of the subconscious in man's psychology and the difference between weakness and strength.