Ivan Soll - Wikipedia
Kaufmann left Germany and immigrated to America in and began studying at Williams College , where he majored in philosophy and took many religion classes. Although he had the opportunity to move immediately into his graduate studies in philosophy, and despite advice not to do so by his professors, he ultimately joined the war effort against the Nazis by serving in U. After the war, he completed a PhD in the philosophy of religion at Harvard in a mere two years.
His dissertation was titled "Nietzsche's Theory of Values" and eventually became a chapter in his Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist He spent his entire career thereafter, from to , teaching philosophy at Princeton University , where his students included the Nietzsche scholars Frithjof Bergmann , Richard Schacht , Alexander Nehamas , and Ivan Soll. Kaufmann became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America in In a article in Harper's Magazine , he summarily rejected all religious values and practice, especially the liberal Protestantism of continental Europe that began with Schleiermacher and culminated in the writings of Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann.
He argued that critical analysis and the acquisition of knowledge were liberating and empowering forces. He forcefully criticized the fashionable liberal Protestantism of the 20th century as filled with contradictions and evasions, preferring the austerity of the book of Job and the Jewish existentialism of Martin Buber.
Kaufmann discussed many of these issues in his Critique of Religion and Philosophy. Kaufmann had great admiration for Kierkegaard's passion and his insights on freedom, anxiety, and individualism. Kaufmann edited the anthology Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre. Kaufmann disliked Martin Heidegger 's thinking, along with his unclear writing. Kaufmann is renowned for his translations and exegesis of Nietzsche , whom he saw as gravely misunderstood by English speakers, as a major early existentialist , and as an unwitting precursor, in some respects, to Anglo-American analytic philosophy.
Michael Tanner called Kaufmann's commentaries on Nietzsche "obtrusive, self-referential, and lacking insight",  but Llewellyn Jones wrote that Kaufmann's "fresh insights into Kaufmann also sympathized with Nietzsche's acerbic criticisms of Christianity. However, Kaufmann faulted much in Nietzsche, writing that "my disagreements with [Nietzsche] are legion.
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