Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche

German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːtʃə] (listen) or [ˈniːtsʃə]; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, writer, and philologist whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest person ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889, at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900. Nietzsche's writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; a genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and related theory of master–slave morality; the aesthetic affirmation of life in response to both the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism; the notion of Apollonian and Dionysian forces; and a characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power. He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome cultural and moral mores in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health. His body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture, and science, and drew inspiration from figures such as Socrates, Zoroaster, Arthur Schopenhauer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts. She edited his unpublished writings to fit her German ultranationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with fascism and Nazism; 20th-century scholars contested this interpretation, and corrected editions of his writings were soon made available. Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics, and popular culture.

Add Remove

The Gay Science authored-by Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/15/2019, 11:18:48 AM

Twilight of the idols, or, How to philosophize with the hammer authored-by Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/15/2019, 11:23:47 AM

The truth is terrible – TheTLS references Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/26/2019, 12:33:18 PM

On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense authored-by Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/26/2019, 6:47:45 PM

After God references Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/27/2019, 1:48:06 PM

Modern Monuments: T. S. Eliot, Nietzsche, and the Problem of History references Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/27/2019, 2:00:39 PM

On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life authored-by Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/27/2019, 3:07:05 PM

Many great writers (and Nietzsche was of course a very great one) address audiences who do not exist. Nietzsche was always addressing people who did not exist. To address passionately and sometimes with very great wisdom *people who do not exist* has this disadvantage (especially when the imaginary audience is a very large one, as was the case with Nietzsche) that there will always be a group of people who, seeing a man shouting apparently at somebody or other, and seeing nobody else in sight, will think that it is they who are being addressed. ... For a message getting into the hands of the many, or of people opposite those for whom it is destined, has usually an opposite effect to that it is intended to have by its sender.123 references Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/27/2019, 6:01:28 PM

Toward a Genealogy of Modernism: Herder, Nietzsche, History tag-as Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/29/2019, 11:17:59 AM

Thus both Herder and Nietzsche criticize what they perceive as an arrogantly self-confident and undialectical understanding of reason: one that engulfs the world but cannot turn back on itself and that creates a universe in its image by imagining itself to be universal. Herder and Nietzsche both criticize what can be called the “formalism” of Enlightenment rationalism, which filters the world through abstract categories that replace the vital exercise of creative cognitive energy generated from individual examples. 509 references Friedrich Nietzsche on 5/29/2019, 11:26:22 AM

In the mountains the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that one must have long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks—and those who are addressed, tall and lofty.” As with Greek temples, so with philosophies: the fascination of the fragment, seen up close, leads to the pathos of the ruin, seen from a distance. authored-by Friedrich Nietzsche on 8/21/2019, 3:49:13 PM

You should understand the secret language spoken by this guilty innocent, and then you, too, would learn to understand the inward state of that independence which is paraded outwardly with so much ostentation. Not one of these noble, well-qualified youths has remained a stranger to that restless, tiring, perplexing, and debilitating need of culture: during his university term, when he is apparently the only free man in a crowd of servants and officials, he atones for this huge illusion of freedom by ever-growing inner doubts and convictions. He feels that he can neither lead nor help himself; and then he plunges hopelessly into the workaday world and endeavours to ward off such feelings by study. The most trivial bustle fastens itself upon him; he sinks under his heavy burden. Then he suddenly pulls himself together; he still feels some of that power within him which would have enabled him to keep his head above water. Pride and noble resolutions assert themselves and grow in him. He is afraid of sinking at this early stage into the limits of a narrow profession; and now he grasps at pillars and railings alongside the stream that he may not be swept away by the current. In vain! for these supports give way, and he finds he has clutched at broken reeds. In low and despondent spirits he sees his plans vanish away in smoke. His condition is undignified, even dreadful: he keeps between the two extremes of work at high pressure and a state of melancholy enervation. Then he becomes tired, lazy, afraid of work, fearful of [133]everything great; and hating himself. He looks into his own breast, analyses his faculties, and finds he is only peering into hollow and chaotic vacuity. And then he once more falls from the heights of his eagerly-desired self-knowledge into an ironical scepticism. He divests his struggles of their real importance, and feels himself ready to undertake any class of useful work, however degrading. He now seeks consolation in hasty and incessant action so as to hide himself from himself. And thus his helplessness and the want of a leader towards culture drive him from one form of life into another: but doubt, elevation, worry, hope, despair—everything flings him hither and thither as a proof that all the stars above him by which he could have guided his ship have set. authored-by Friedrich Nietzsche on 9/6/2019, 8:45:36 PM