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Friedrich Nietzsche

First Essay, Sections 1-9

❶But the sort of mischief this prejudice can cause, once it has become unleashed as hatred, particularly where morality and history are concerned, is revealed in the well-known case of Buckle: If you heard only their words, would you suspect that you were completely among men of resentment?

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In , Nietzsche published the first part of The Gay Science. She had been interested in Nietzsche as a friend, but not as a husband. This commune was intended to be set up in an abandoned monastery, but no suitable location was found. On 13 May, in Lucerne, when Nietzsche was alone with Salome, he earnestly proposed marriage to her again, which she rejected.

He nonetheless was happy to continue with the plans for an academic commune. After discovering about the situation, Nietzsche's sister Elizabeth became determined to get Nietzsche away from the "immoral woman". Nietzsche wrote of the affair in , that he now felt "genuine hatred for my sister. By , Nietzsche was taking huge doses of opium , but he was still having trouble sleeping. After severing his philosophical ties with Schopenhauer who was long dead and never met Nietzsche and his social ties with Wagner, Nietzsche had few remaining friends.

Now, with the new style of Zarathustra , his work became even more alienating, and the market received it only to the degree required by politeness. Nietzsche recognized this and maintained his solitude, though he often complained about it.

His books remained largely unsold. In , he printed only 40 copies of the fourth part of Zarathustra and distributed only a fraction of these among close friends, including Helene von Druskowitz. In , he tried and failed to obtain a lecturing post at the University of Leipzig.

It was made clear to him that, in view of his attitude towards Christianity and his concept of God, he had become effectively unemployable by any German university. The subsequent "feelings of revenge and resentment" embittered him: In , Nietzsche broke with his publisher Ernst Schmeitzner, disgusted by his antisemitic opinions. Nietzsche saw his own writings as "completely buried and unexhumeable in this anti-Semitic dump" of Schmeitzner—associating the publisher with a movement that should be "utterly rejected with cold contempt by every sensible mind".

He also acquired the publication rights for his earlier works and over the next year issued second editions of The Birth of Tragedy , Human, All Too Human , Daybreak , and The Gay Science with new prefaces placing the body of his work in a more coherent perspective. Thereafter, he saw his work as completed for a time and hoped that soon a readership would develop. In fact, interest in Nietzsche's thought did increase at this time, if rather slowly and hardly perceptibly to him.

He continued to have frequent and painful attacks of illness, which made prolonged work impossible. In , Nietzsche wrote the polemic On the Genealogy of Morality.

During the same year, he encountered the work of Fyodor Dostoyevsky , to whom he felt an immediate kinship. However, before fulfilling this promise, he slipped too far into illness. In the beginning of , Brandes delivered in Copenhagen one of the first lectures on Nietzsche's philosophy. Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values , he eventually seems to have abandoned this idea and instead used some of the draft passages to compose Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist in His health seemed to improve and he spent the summer in high spirits.

In the fall of , his writings and letters began to reveal a higher estimation of his own status and "fate". He overestimated the increasing response to his writings, however, especially to the recent polemic, The Case of Wagner. On his 44th birthday, after completing Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist , he decided to write the autobiography Ecce Homo.

In its preface—which suggests Nietzsche was well aware of the interpretive difficulties his work would generate—he declares, "Hear me! For I am such and such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else. Moreover, he planned the publication of the compilation Nietzsche contra Wagner and of the poems that made up his collection Dionysian-Dithyrambs. On 3 January , Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown. What happened remains unknown, but an often-repeated tale from shortly after his death states that Nietzsche witnessed the flogging of a horse at the other end of the Piazza Carlo Alberto, ran to the horse, threw his arms up around its neck to protect it, and then collapsed to the ground.

In the following few days, Nietzsche sent short writings—known as the Wahnzettel "Madness Letters" —to a number of friends including Cosima Wagner and Jacob Burckhardt.

Most of them were signed " Dionysos ", though some were also signed "der Gekreuzigte" meaning "the crucified one". To his former colleague Burckhardt, Nietzsche wrote: Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner.

Wilhelm, Bismarck , and all anti-Semites abolished. On 6 January , Burckhardt showed the letter he had received from Nietzsche to Overbeck. The following day, Overbeck received a similar letter and decided that Nietzsche's friends had to bring him back to Basel.

Overbeck travelled to Turin and brought Nietzsche to a psychiatric clinic in Basel. By that time Nietzsche appeared fully in the grip of a serious mental illness, and his mother Franziska decided to transfer him to a clinic in Jena under the direction of Otto Binswanger. In January , they proceeded with the planned release of Twilight of the Idols , by that time already printed and bound.

From November to February , the art historian Julius Langbehn attempted to cure Nietzsche, claiming that the methods of the medical doctors were ineffective in treating Nietzsche's condition. Langbehn assumed progressively greater control of Nietzsche until his secretiveness discredited him.

In March , Franziska removed Nietzsche from the clinic and, in May , brought him to her home in Naumburg. During this process Overbeck and Gast contemplated what to do with Nietzsche's unpublished works. In February, they ordered a fifty-copy private edition of Nietzsche contra Wagner , but the publisher C. Naumann secretly printed one hundred. Overbeck and Gast decided to withhold publishing The Antichrist and Ecce Homo because of their more radical content.

Nietzsche's reception and recognition enjoyed their first surge. In , Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth returned from Nueva Germania in Paraguay following the suicide of her husband. She read and studied Nietzsche's works and, piece by piece, took control of them and their publication. Overbeck eventually suffered dismissal and Gast finally co-operated. Elisabeth at one point went so far as to employ Steiner as a tutor to help her to understand her brother's philosophy.

Steiner abandoned the attempt after only a few months, declaring that it was impossible to teach her anything about philosophy. Nietzsche's mental illness was originally diagnosed as tertiary syphilis , in accordance with a prevailing medical paradigm of the time.

In and , Nietzsche suffered at least two strokes. This partially paralyzed him, leaving him unable to speak or walk. After contracting pneumonia in mid-August , he had another stroke during the night of 24—25 August and died at about noon on 25 August.

His friend and secretary Gast gave his funeral oration, proclaiming: Because his sister arranged the book based on her own conflation of several of Nietzsche's early outlines and took great liberties with the material, the scholarly consensus has been that it does not reflect Nietzsche's intent.

For example, Elisabeth removed aphorism 35 of The Antichrist , where Nietzsche rewrote a passage of the Bible. Indeed, Mazzino Montinari , the editor of Nietzsche's Nachlass , called it a forgery. General commentators and Nietzsche scholars, whether emphasizing his cultural background or his language, overwhelmingly label Nietzsche as a "German philosopher".

When he accepted his post at Basel, Nietzsche applied for the annulment of his Prussian citizenship. Nietzsche believed his ancestors were Polish , [] at least toward the end of his life. He wore a signet ring bearing the Radwan coat of arms , traceable back to Polish nobility of medieval times [] and the surname "Nicki" of the Polish noble szlachta family bearing that coat of arms. His descendants later settled in the Electorate of Saxony circa the year I am proud of my Polish descent.

Most scholars dispute Nietzsche's account of his family's origins. The name derives from the forename Nikolaus , abbreviated to Nick ; assimilated with the Slavic Nitz , it first became Nitsche and then Nietzsche.

It is not known why Nietzsche wanted to be thought of as Polish nobility. According to biographer R. Hollingdale , Nietzsche's propagation of the Polish ancestry myth may have been part of his "campaign against Germany".

As articulated in the novella Fenitschka , she viewed the idea of sexual intercourse as prohibitive and marriage as a violation, with some suggesting that they indicated sexual repression and neurosis. Yet, they bring other examples in which Nietzsche expressed his affections to other women, including Wagner's wife Cosima Wagner. Because of Nietzsche's evocative style and provocative ideas, his philosophy generates passionate reactions.

His works remain controversial, due to their varying interpretations and misinterpretations. In the Western philosophy tradition, Nietzsche's writings have been described as the unique case of free revolutionary thought, that is, revolutionary in its structure and problems, although not tied to any revolutionary project. The Apollonian and Dionysian is a two-fold philosophical concept, based on certain features of ancient Greek mythology: Secondarily derivative are lyrical poetry and drama, which represent mere phenomenal appearances of objects.

In this way, tragedy is born from music. Nietzsche found in classical Athenian tragedy an art form that transcended the pessimism found in the so-called wisdom of Silenus.

The Greek spectators, by looking into the abyss of human suffering depicted by characters on stage, passionately and joyously affirmed life, finding it worth living. A main theme in The Birth of Tragedy was that the fusion of Dionysian and Apollonian Kunsttrieben "artistic impulses" forms dramatic arts, or tragedies. He goes on to argue that this fusion has not been achieved since the ancient Greek tragedians.

Apollo represents harmony, progress, clarity and logic, whereas Dionysus represents disorder, intoxication, emotion and ecstasy. Nietzsche used these two forces because, for him, the world of mind and order on one side, and passion and chaos on the other formed principles that were fundamental to the Greek culture: In this mold, man appears as the satyr.

He is the horror of the annihilation of the principle of individuality and at the same time someone who delights in its destruction. The relationship between the Apollonian and Dionysian juxtapositions is apparent, in the interplay of tragedy: Elaborating on the conception of Hamlet as an intellectual who cannot make up his mind, and therefore is a living antithesis to the man of action, Nietzsche argues that a Dionysian figure possesses knowledge to realize that his actions cannot change the eternal balance of things, and it disgusts him enough not to be able to make any act at all.

Hamlet falls under this category—he has glimpsed the supernatural reality through the Ghost, he has gained true knowledge and knows that no action of his has the power to change this.

He describes this primordial unity as the increase of strength, experience of fullness and plenitude bestowed by frenzy. Frenzy acts as an intoxication, and is crucial for the physiological condition that enables making of any art. In this state one enriches everything out of one's own fullness: A man in this state transforms things until they mirror his power—until they are reflections of his perfection.

This having to transform into perfection is—art. Nietzsche is adamant that the works of Aeschylus and Sophocles represent the apex of artistic creation, the true realization of tragedy; it is with Euripides , he states, that tragedy begins its Untergang literally "going under" or "downward-way," meaning decline, deterioration, downfall, death, etc. Nietzsche objects to Euripides' use of Socratic rationalism and morality in his tragedies, claiming that the infusion of ethics and reason robs tragedy of its foundation, namely the fragile balance of the Dionysian and Apollonian.

Socrates emphasized reason to such a degree that he diffused the value of myth and suffering to human knowledge. Plato continued with this path in his dialogues, and the modern world eventually inherited reason at the expense of artistic impulses that could be found only in the Apollonian and Dionysus dichotomy.

This leads to his conclusion that European culture from the time of Socrates had always been only Apollonian and thus decadent and unhealthy. Only the beautiful middle, the interplay of these two forces, brought together as an art, represented real Greek tragedy.

An example of the impact of this idea can be seen in the book Patterns of Culture , where anthropologist Ruth Benedict uses Nietzschean opposites of "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" as the stimulus for her thoughts about Native American cultures.

Here Foucault references Nietzsche's description of the birth and death of tragedy and his explanation that the subsequent tragedy of the Western world was the refusal of the tragic and, with that, refusal of the sacred. Nietzsche claimed the death of God would eventually lead to the loss of any universal perspective on things, and along with it any coherent sense of objective truth.

In Thus Spoke Zarathustra , Nietzsche proclaims that a table of values hangs above every great person. He points out that what is common among different peoples is the act of esteeming, of creating values, even if the values are different from one people to the next. Nietzsche asserts that what made people great was not the content of their beliefs, but the act of valuing. Thus the values a community strives to articulate are not as important as the collective will to see those values come to pass.

The willing is more essential than the intrinsic worth of the goal itself, according to Nietzsche. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking: Humanity still has no goal. The idea that one value-system is no more worthy than the next, although it may not be directly ascribed to Nietzsche, has become a common premise in modern social science.

Max Weber and Martin Heidegger absorbed it and made it their own. It shaped their philosophical and cultural endeavor, as well as their political understanding. Weber, for example, relies on Nietzsche's perspectivism by maintaining that objectivity is still possible—but only after a particular perspective, value, or end has been established. Among his critique of traditional philosophy of Kant , Descartes and Plato in Beyond Good and Evil , Nietzsche attacked thing in itself and cogito ergo sum "I think, therefore I am" as unfalsifiable beliefs based on naive acceptance of previous notions and fallacies.

While criticizing nihilism and Nietzsche together as a sign of general decay, [] he still commends him for recognizing psychological motives behind Kant and Hume 's moral philosophy: For it was Nietzsche's historic achievement to understand more clearly than any other philosopher In Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morality , Nietzsche's genealogical account of the development of modern moral systems occupies a central place. For Nietzsche, a fundamental shift took place during human history from thinking in terms of good and bad toward good and evil.

The initial form of morality was set by a warrior aristocracy and other ruling castes of ancient civilizations. Aristocratic values of good and bad coincided with and reflected their relationship to lower castes such as slaves.

Nietzsche presents this "master morality" as the original system of morality—perhaps best associated with Homeric Greece. To be "good" was to be happy and to have the things related to happiness: To be "bad" was to be like the slaves the aristocracy ruled over: Here, value emerges from the contrast between good and evil: Nietzsche sees slave morality as pessimistic and fearful, values for them serving only to ease the existence for those who suffer from the very same thing.

He associates slave-morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, in a way that slave-morality is born out of the ressentiment of slaves. Nietzsche argued that the idea of equality allowed slaves to overcome their own condition without hating themselves. And by denying the inherent inequality of people such as success, strength, beauty or intelligence , slaves acquired a method of escape, namely by generating new values on the basis of rejecting something that was seen as a perceived source of frustration.

It was used to overcome the slave's own sense of inferiority before the better-off masters. It does so by making out slave weakness to be a matter of choice, by, e. The "good man" of master morality is precisely the "evil man" of slave morality, while the "bad man" is recast as the "good man".

Nietzsche sees the slave-morality as a source of the nihilism that has overtaken Europe. Modern Europe and Christianity exist in a hypocritical state due to a tension between master and slave morality, both values contradictorily determining, to varying degrees, the values of most Europeans who are " motley ". Nietzsche calls for exceptional people to no longer be ashamed of their uniqueness in the face of a supposed morality-for-all, which he deems to be harmful to the flourishing of exceptional people.

He cautions, however, that morality, per se, is not bad; it is good for the masses, and should be left to them. Exceptional people, on the other hand, should follow their own "inner law". A favorite motto of Nietzsche, taken from Pindar , reads: A long standing assumption about Nietzsche is that he preferred master over slave morality. However, the Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann rejected this interpretation, writing that Nietzsche's analyses of these two types of morality were only used in a descriptive and historic sense, they were not meant for any kind of acceptance or glorifications.

He linked the "salvation and future of the human race with the unconditional dominance" [] of master morality and called master morality "a higher order of values, the noble ones, those that say Yes to life, those that guarantee the future. In Daybreak , Nietzsche begins his "Campaign against Morality".

Christianity, Kantianism , and utilitarianism. Nietzsche's concept " God is dead " applies to the doctrines of Christendom, though not to all other faiths: Art as the single superior counterforce against all will to negation of life, art as the anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Nihilist par excellence.

Nietzsche claimed that the Christian faith as practised was not a proper representation of Jesus' teachings, as it forced people merely to believe in the way of Jesus but not to act as Jesus did, in particular his example of refusing to judge people, something that Christians had constantly done the opposite of. Christianity is called the religion of pity.

Pity stands opposed to the tonic emotions which heighten our vitality: We are deprived of strength when we feel pity. That loss of strength which suffering as such inflicts on life is still further increased and multiplied by pity. Pity makes suffering contagious. In Ecce Homo Nietzsche called the establishment of moral systems based on a dichotomy of good and evil a "calamitous error", [] and wished to initiate a re-evaluation of the values of the Judeo-Christian world.

While Nietzsche attacked the principles of Judaism , he was not antisemitic: Nietzsche felt that modern antisemitism was "despicable" and against European ideals. The statement " God is dead ", occurring in several of Nietzsche's works notably in The Gay Science , has become one of his best-known remarks.

On the basis of it, most commentators [] regard Nietzsche as an atheist ; others such as Kaufmann suggest that this statement reflects a more subtle understanding of divinity. Recent developments in modern science and the increasing secularization of European society had effectively 'killed' the Abrahamic God, who had served as the basis for meaning and value in the West for more than a thousand years. The death of God may lead beyond bare perspectivism to outright nihilism , the belief that nothing has any inherent importance and that life lacks purpose.

Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value , belief in God which justifies the evil in the world and a basis for objective knowledge.

In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote to a primal form of nihilism—the despair of meaninglessness. As Heidegger put the problem, "If God as the suprasensory ground and goal of all reality is dead, if the suprasensory world of the ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory and above it its vitalizing and upbuilding power, then nothing more remains to which man can cling and by which he can orient himself.

One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls passive nihilism , which he recognises in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer's doctrine—which Nietzsche also refers to as Western Buddhism —advocates separating oneself from will and desires in order to reduce suffering. Nietzsche characterises this ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness", whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world.

This moving away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears to be inconsistent: A nihilist is a man who judges that the real world ought not to be, and that the world as it ought to be does not exist. According to this view, our existence action, suffering , willing, feeling has no meaning: Nietzsche approaches the problem of nihilism as a deeply personal one, stating that this problem of the modern world is a problem that has "become conscious" in him.

I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength! He wished to hasten its coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure. Heidegger interprets the death of God with what he explains as the death of metaphysics. He concludes that metaphysics has reached its potential and that the ultimate fate and downfall of metaphysics was proclaimed with the statement "God is dead".

A basic element in Nietzsche's philosophical outlook is the " will to power " der Wille zur Macht , which he maintained provides a basis for understanding human behavior—more so than competing explanations, such as the ones based on pressure for adaptation or survival. In presenting his theory of human behavior, Nietzsche also addressed, and attacked, concepts from philosophies popularly embraced in his days, such as Schopenhauer's notion of an aimless will or that of utilitarianism.

Utilitarians claim that what moves people is mainly the desire to be happy, to accumulate pleasure in their lives. But such a conception of happiness Nietzsche rejected as something limited to, and characteristic of, the bourgeois lifestyle of the English society, [] and instead put forth the idea that happiness is not an aim per se —it is instead a consequence of a successful pursuit of one's aims, of the overcoming of hurdles to one's actions—in other words, of the fulfillment of the will.

Related to his theory of the will to power, is his speculation, which he did not deem final, [] regarding the reality of the physical world, including inorganic matter—that, like man's affections and impulses, the material world is also set by the dynamics of a form of the will to power. At the core of his theory is a rejection of atomism —the idea that matter is composed of stable, indivisible units atoms. Likewise he rejected as a mere interpretation the view that the movement of bodies is ruled by inexorable laws of nature, positing instead that movement was governed by the power relations between bodies and forces.

Nietzsche thoroughly criticized metaphysics, and by including the will to power in the material world, he would simply be setting up a new metaphysics. But now there is a counterforce against our honesty that helps us to avoid such consequences: Those views would entail that the basic conditions of cognition prevent our ever knowing things as they really are, independently of us see Anderson , ; Hussain ; and the entry on Friedrich Albert Lange.

But while those are the immediate allusions, Nietzsche also endorses more general ideas with similar implications—e. What is most important, however, is the structure of the thought in GS So it seems that the values Nietzsche endorses conflict with one another, and that very fact is crucial to the value they have for us Anderson This strand of thought continues to receive strong emphasis in recent interpretations—see, e.

Still others attempt to develop a position that combines aspects of both views Schacht As Reginster shows, what opposes Nietzschean freedom of spirit is fanaticism , understood as a vehement commitment to some faith or value-set given from without, which is motivated by a need to believe in something because one lacks the self-determination to think for oneself GS This appeal to self-determination suggests that we might explain the value of individuality by appeal to an underlying value of autonomy: A variety of scholars have recently explored the resources of this line of thought in Nietzsche; Anderson surveys the literature, and notable contributions include Ridley b , Pippin , , Reginster , Katsafanas b, , , , and especially the papers in Gemes and May We have seen that Nietzsche promotes a number of different values.

In some cases, these values reinforce one another. For this alone is fitting for a philosopher. We have no right to be single in anything: For example, the account of honesty and artistry explored in sections 3. As the passage makes clear, however, Nietzschean perspectives are themselves rooted in affects and the valuations to which affects give rise , and in his mind, the ability to deploy a variety of perspectives is just as important for our practical and evaluative lives as it is for cognitive life.

Meanwhile, Nietzschean pluralism has been a major theme of several landmark Nietzsche studies e. From his pluralistic point of view, it is a selling point, not a drawback, that he has many other value commitments, and that they interact in complex patterns to support, inform, and sometimes to oppose or limit one another, rather than being parts of a single, hierarchically ordered, systematic axiology.

A probing investigation into the psyche was a leading preoccupation for Nietzsche throughout his career, and this aspect of his thought has rightly been accorded central importance across a long stretch of the reception, all the way from Kaufmann to recent work by Pippin , Katsafanas , and others.

For psychology is once again on the path to the fundamental problems. On the positive side, Nietzsche is equally keen to detail the psychological conditions he thinks would be healthier for both individuals and cultures see, e. Aside from its instrumental support for these other projects, Nietzsche pursues psychological inquiry for its own sake, and apparently also for the sake of the self-knowledge that it intrinsically involves GM III, 9; GS Pref. Debate begins with the object of psychology itself, the psyche, self, or soul.

This apparent conflict in the texts has encouraged competing interpretations, with commentators emphasizing the strands in Nietzsche to which they have more philosophical sympathy.

In a diametrically opposed direction from those first three, Sebastian Gardner insists that, while Nietzsche was sometimes tempted by skepticism about a self which can stand back from the solicitations of inclination and control them, his own doctrines about the creation of value and self-overcoming in fact commit him to something like a Kantian transcendental ego, despite his protestations to the contrary.

These attitude types have been intensively studied in recent work see esp. Richardson and Katsafanas b, , ; see also Anderson a, Clark and Dudrick While much remains controversial, it is helpful to think of drives as dispositions toward general patterns of activity; they aim at activity of the relevant sort e.

Affects are emotional states that combine a receptive and felt responsiveness to the world with a tendency toward a distinctive pattern of reaction—states like love, hate, anger, fear, joy, etc.

But what about a personal-level self to serve as the owner of such attitudes? BGE 12 provides some provocative ideas about what such a reformed conception might involve: Here Nietzsche alludes to traditional rational psychology, and its basic inference from the pure unity of consciousness to the simplicity of the soul, and thence to its indivisibility, indestructibility, and immortality.

As he notes, these moves treat the soul as an indivisible hence incorruptible atom, or monad. Nietzsche thus construes the psyche, or self, as an emergent structure arising from such sub-personal constituents when those stand in the appropriate relations , thereby reversing the traditional account, which treats sub-personal attitudes as mere modes, or ways of being, proper to a preexisting unitary mental substance— see Anderson a for an attempt to flesh out the picture; see also Gemes ; Hales and Welshon Moreover, since the drives and affects that constitute it are individuated largely in terms of what and how they represent , the psychology needed to investigate the soul must be an interpretive, and not merely and strictly a causal, form of inquiry see Pippin While this suggestion, and even the very idea of self-creation, has remained controversial both textually and philosophically see, e.

Most of us this entry included are defeated by the bewildering richness of the subject matter and content ourselves with a few observations of special relevance to our other purposes.

Perhaps Alexander Nehamas Most philosophers write treatises or scholarly articles, governed by a precisely articulated thesis for which they present a sustained and carefully defended argument.

Many are divided into short, numbered sections, which only sometimes have obvious connections to nearby sections. While the sections within a part are often thematically related see, e. To the natural complaint that such telegraphic treatment courts misunderstanding, he replies that. One does not only wish to be understood when one writes; one wishes just as surely not to be understood.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is unified by following the career of a central character, but the unity is loose and picaresque-like—a sequence of episodes which arrives at a somewhat equivocal or at a minimum, at a controversial conclusion that imposes only weak narrative unity on the whole. Lichtenberg wrote his fragments for himself rather than the public, but the strategies he developed nevertheless made a serious impact.

His aphorisms revealed how the form could be extended from its essentially pedagogical origins providing compressed, memorable form for some principle or observation into a sustained, exploratory mode of reasoning with oneself.

Occasionally, these aphorisms are even set up as mini-dialogues:. But the reader should take care, for not every Nietzschean aphorism is an experiment, and not every short section is an aphorism.

Indeed, many sections build up to an aphorism, which enters only as a proper part included within the section, perhaps serving as its culmination or a kind of summative conclusion rather than experiment. But the first section itself is not simply one long aphorism. Instead, the aphorism that requires so much interpretation is the compressed, high-impact arrival point of GM III, 1; the section begins by noting a series of different things that the ascetic ideal has meant, listed one after another and serving as a kind of outline for the Treatise, before culminating in the taut aphorism:.

That the ascetic ideal has meant so much to man, however, is an expression of the basic fact of the human will, its horror vacui: It is to this compressed formulation, and not the entirety of the section, that Nietzsche returns when he wraps up his interpretation in GM III, But the aphoristic form is only one challenge among many. What is more, Nietzsche makes heavy use of allusions to both contemporary and historical writing, and without that context one is very likely to miss his meaning— BGE 11—15 offers a particularly dense set of examples; see Clark and Dudrick Almost as often, Nietzsche invents a persona so as to work out some view that he will go on to qualify or reject BGE 2 is a clear example , so it can be a steep challenge just to keep track of the various voices in action within the text.

Nevertheless, such comprehensive readings are there to be had. Clark and Dudrick offer a a sustained, albeit controversial, close reading exploring the unity of Part I of Beyond Good and Evil ; their efforts reveal the scope of the difficulty—they needed an entire book to explain the allusions and connections involved in just twenty-three sections of Nietzsche, covering some couple-dozen pages!

Following such connections, he proposes, allows us to understand the books as monologues presented by a narrator. It is impossible to conclude that the work is not deliberately designed to be as offensive as possible to any earnest Christian believer. He achieves both at once by ensuring that exactly those readers will be so offended by his tone that their anger will impair understanding and they will fail to follow his argument.

If this is right, the very vitriol of the Genealogy arises from an aim to be heard only by the right audience—the one it can potentially aid rather than harm—thereby overcoming the problem that.

There are books that have opposite values for soul and health, depending on whether the lower soul… or the higher and more vigorous ones turn to them. Commentators have therefore expended considerable effort working out rational reconstructions of these doctrines. This section offers brief explanations of three of the most important: Others receive it as an anti-essentialist rejection of traditional metaphysical theorizing in which abstract and shifting power-centers replace stable entities Nehamas Opposing all such readings of the will to power as a doctrine in theoretical philosophy, Maudemarie Clark , see also As we saw 3.

Some commentators take this to suggest a monistic psychology in which all drives whatsoever aim at power, and so count as manifestations of a single underlying drive or drive-type. He thought that past philosophers had largely ignored the influence of their own perspectives on their work, and had therefore failed to control those perspectival effects BGE 6; see BGE I more generally. Particularly as knowers, let us not be ungrateful toward such resolute reversals of the familiar perspectives and valuations with which the spirit has raged against itself all too long…: This famous passage bluntly rejects the idea, dominant in philosophy at least since Plato, that knowledge essentially involves a form of objectivity that penetrates behind all subjective appearances to reveal the way things really are, independently of any point of view whatsoever.

There is of course an implicit criticism of the traditional picture of a-perspectival objectivity here, but there is equally a positive set of recommendations about how to pursue knowledge as a finite, limited cognitive agent. In working out his perspective optics of cognition, Nietzsche built on contemporary developments in the theory of cognition—particularly the work of non-orthodox neo-Kantians like Friedrich Lange and positivists like Ernst Mach, who proposed naturalized, psychologically-based versions of the broad type of theory of cognition initially developed by Kant and Schopenhauer see Clark ; Kaulbach , ; Anderson , , ; Green ; Hill ; Hussain The Kantian thought was that certain very basic structural features of the world we know space, time, causal relations, etc.

In particular, the Genealogy passage emphasizes that for him, perspectives are always rooted in affects and their associated patterns of valuation. Thus, theoretical claims not only need to be analyzed from the point of view of truth, but can also be diagnosed as symptoms and thereby traced back to the complex configurations of drive and affect from the point of view of which they make sense.

Nietzsche makes perspectivist claims not only concerning the side of the cognitive subject, but also about the side of the truth, or reality, we aim to know. These efforts argue for strong connections between perspectivism and the will to power doctrine section 6. Nietzsche himself suggests that the eternal recurrence was his most important thought, but that has not made it any easier for commentators to understand.

But the texts are difficult to interpret. Skeptics like Loeb are correct to insist that, if recurrence is to be understood as a practical thought experiment, commentators owe us an account of how the particular features of the relevant thoughts are supposed to make any difference Soll already posed a stark form of this challenge. Three features seem especially salient: The supposed recurrence 1 plausibly matters as a device for overcoming the natural bias toward the future in practical reasoning.

Since we cannot change the past but think of ourselves as still able to do something about the future, our practical attention is understandably future directed. But if the question is about the value of our life overall , events in the past matter just as much as those in the future, and disregarding them is a mistake, at best, and a case of motivated reasoning or dishonesty, if we are exploiting future-bias to ignore aspects of ourselves we would rather not own up to General form: By imaginatively locating our entire life once again in the future, the thought experiment can mobilize our practical self-concern to direct its evaluative resources onto our life as a whole.

Similar considerations motivate the constraint of sameness 2. If my assessment of myself simply elided any events or features of my self, life, or world with which I was discontent, it would hardly count as an honest, thorough self-examination.

The constraint that the life I imagine to recur must be the same in every detail is designed to block any such elisions. It is nevertheless clear that it does make a practical difference: Reginster proposes that the eternity constraint is meant to reinforce the idea that the thought experiment calls for an especially wholehearted form of affirmation— joy —whose strength is measured by the involvement of a wish that our essentially finite lives could be eternal.

More modestly, one might think that Nietzsche considered it important to rule out as insufficient a particular kind of conditional affirmation, which is suggested by the Christian eschatological context, and which would leave in place the judgment that earthly human life carries intrinsically negative value.

After all, the devout Christian might affirm her earthly life as a test of faith , which is to be redeemed by an eternal heavenly reward should one pass that test—all the while retaining her commitment that, considered by itself, earthly life is a sinful condition to be rejected.

It is held in many university libraries and is typically cited by volume and page number using the abbreviation KGA. This entry cites published works in the English translations listed below, and for the unpublished writing, it cites the useful abridged version of the critical edition, prepared for students and scholars the Kritische Studienausgabe , KSA. Those references follow standard scholarly practice, providing volume and page numbers of the KSA , preceded by the notebook and fragment numbers established for the overall critical edition.

English translations have now appeared containing selections from the unpublished writing included in KSA , and those volumes WEN , WLN are listed among the translations in the next section. The full bibliographical information for the German editions is. Citations follow the North American Nietzsche Society system of abbreviations for reference to English translations. For each work, the primary translation quoted in the entry is listed first, followed by other translations that were consulted.

Original date of German publication is given in parentheses at the end of each entry. I am grateful to Rachel Cristy for exchanges that helped me work out basic ideas for the structure and contents of this entry. Joshua Landy, Andrew Huddleston, Christopher Janaway, and Elijah Millgram provided helpful feedback on a late draft, and each saved me from several errors. Friedrich Nietzsche First published Fri Mar 17, Life and Works 2.

Critique of Religion and Morality 3. The Self and Self-fashioning 5. Critique of Religion and Morality Nietzsche is arguably most famous for his criticisms of traditional European moral commitments, together with their foundations in Christianity. This control over the future allows a "morality of custom" to establish. Such morality is sharply differentiated from Christian or other "ascetic" moralities.

The product of this morality, the autonomous individual, comes to see that he may inflict harm on those who break their promises to him. Punishment, then, is a transaction in which the injury to the autonomous individual is compensated for by the pain inflicted on the culprit.

Such punishment is meted out without regard for moral considerations about the free will of the culprit, his accountability for his actions, and the like: The creditor is compensated for the injury done by the pleasure he derives from the infliction of cruelty on the debtor. Hence the concept of guilt Schuld derives from the concept of debt Schulden. Nietzsche develops the "major point of historical methodology": The origin of punishment, for example, is in a procedure that predates punishment.

Punishment has not just one purpose, but a whole range of "meanings" which "finally crystallizes into a kind of unity that is difficult to dissolve, difficult to analyze and The process by which the succession of different meanings is imposed is driven by the " will to power "—the basic instinct for domination underlying all human action.

Nietzsche lists eleven different uses or "meanings" of punishment, and suggests that there are many more. One utility it does not possess, however, is awakening remorse. The real explanation of bad conscience is quite different.

A form of social organization, i. Under such conditions the destructive, sadistic instincts of man, who is by nature a nomadic hunter, find themselves constricted and thwarted; they are therefore turned inward. Instead of roaming in the wilderness, man now turns himself into "an adventure, a place of torture.

Nietzsche accounts for the genesis of the concept "god" by considering what happens when a tribe becomes ever more powerful. In a tribe, the current generation pays homage to its ancestors, offering sacrifices as a demonstration of gratitude. As the power of the tribe grows, the need to offer thanks to the ancestors does not decline, but rather increases; as it has ever more reason to pay homage to the ancestors and to fear them. Nietzsche ends the Treatise with a positive suggestion for a counter-movement to the "conscience-vivisection and cruelty to the animal-self" imposed by the bad conscience: It is much too early for the kind of free spirit—a Zarathustra -figure—who could bring this about, although he will come one day: As Nietzsche tells us in the Preface, the Third Treatise is a commentary on the aphorism prefixed to it.

This opening aphorism confronts us with the multiplicity of meanings that the ascetic ideal has for different groups: The ascetic ideal, we may thus surmise, means very little in itself, other than as a compensation for humanity's need to have some goal or other. As Nietzsche puts it, man "will rather will nothingness than not will". Nietzsche selects the composer Richard Wagner as example. Artists, he concludes, always require some ideology to prop themselves up.

Wagner, we are told, relied on Schopenhauer to provide this underpinning; therefore we should look to philosophers if we are to get closer to finding out what the ascetic ideal means. It is only in the guise of the ascetic priest that the philosopher is first able to make his appearance without attracting suspicion of his overweening will to power.

As yet, every "true" philosopher has retained the trappings of the ascetic priest; his slogans have been "poverty, chastity, humility. He sets himself up as the "saviour" of d the physiologically deformed, offering them a cure for their exhaustion and listlessness which is in reality only a therapy which does not tackle the roots of their suffering.

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The following essay will discuss the problems in society during the ’s and prove Nietzsche’s greatness in giving new meaning to the world. The essay then proves that it was by Elizabeth Forster-Nietzsche’s deliberate tampering that Nietzsche’s Superman came to be a symbol of Nazi principles.

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In the second essay, Nietzsche continues with an account of how feelings of guilt, or the “bad conscience,” arise merely as a consequence of an unhealthy Christian morality that turns an evil eye towards our natural inclinations.

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Nietzsche and Wagner Essay. Nietzsche and Wagner In terms of artists and their influences, the case of Nietzsche and Wagner has been the focal point of discussion between many great academic minds of the last century. Nietzsche wants something better, to believe in human ability once again. Nietzsche’s weariness is based almost entirely in the culmination of ressentiment, the dissolution of Nietzsche’s concept of morality and the prevailing priestly morality.

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A summary of First Essay, Sections in Friedrich Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Genealogy of Morals and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, . This essay was compiled using Nietzsche’s ideas of the history of truth and lies in conjunction with the human mind. In the midst of his crazy word choices and overfilled sentences, his message is quite clear: nothing can be deemed true or false just as it is.