Idylls from Messina
Idylls from Messina is a set of eight idylls composed by Friedrich Nietzsche. These poems were written in Sicily during the spring of 1882, where Nietzsche remained for three weeks after arriving from Genoa. In May 1882, those eight idylls were published in Internationale Monatschrift by Ernst Schmeitzner, Nietzsche's publisher at the time, with whom he would sever all ties and whom he will sue, they stem from the same voluminous amount of poetic attempts he took upon himself from February to April 1882, from which Nietzsche composed his Vorspiel in deutschen Reimen to Die fröhliche Wissenschaft in 1882. From these eight poems, Nietzsche used six, in marginally modified form, for the Lieder des Prinzen Vogelfrei, the appendix for the second edition of Die fröhliche Wissenschaft in 1887. Kaufmann, Sebastian: Kommentar zu Nietzsches Idyllen aus Messina, in: Historischer und kritischer Kommentar zu Friedrich Nietzsches Werken, hg. von der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Bd. 3/1, Berlin / Boston 2015, S. 457-543.
(Review: Hermann Josef Schmidt, Nietzsches Morgenröthe und Idyllen aus Messina, umfassend und kritisch kommentiert. Ein faszinierendes, wohlbelegtes, überfälliges, Diskussionen provozierendes Wagnis: Historischer und kritischer Kommentar zu Friedrich Nietzsches Werken, Bd. 3/1, diskutiert, aus genetischer Perspektive ergänzt und mit prinzipielleren Bemerkungen zur Nietzscheinterpretation garniert. Teil II: „Ich möchte eine Lerche sein“. Die Idyllen aus Messina, kommentiert von Sebastian Kaufmann, im Kontext der Entwicklung von Nietzsches Lyrik – eine subversive Agentin seiner moralkritischen Philosophie
The Dawn of Day
The Dawn of Day or Dawn or Daybreak is an 1881 book by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The Nietzsche scholar Keith Ansell-Pearson writes that Dawn is the least studied of all of Nietzsche's works. Nietzsche de-emphasizes the role of hedonism as a motivator and accentuates the role of a "feeling of power." His relativism, both moral and cultural, his critique of Christianity reaches greater maturity. In Daybreak Nietzsche devoted a lengthy passage to his criticism of Christian biblical exegesis, including its arbitrary interpretation of objects and images in the Old Testament as prefigurements of Christ's crucifixion; the polemical and informal style of this aphoristic book—when compared to Nietzsche's treatments of morality—seems most of all to invite a particular experience. In this text Nietzsche was either not effective at, or not concerned with, persuading his readers to accept any specific point of view, yet the discerning reader can note here the prefigurations of many of the ideas more developed in his books.
For example, the materialism espoused in this book might seem reducible to a naive scientific objectivism which reduces all phenomena to their natural, mechanical causes. Yet, straightforwardly not Nietzsche's strongest perspective traditionally most well-expressed in The Gay Science. Nietzsche, Friedrich; the Dawn of Day. Translated by Kennedy, J. M. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1995. ISBN 9780521599634. Dawn: Thoughts on the Presumptions of Morality. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2011. ISBN 9780804780056. Brooks, John Graham. "Book Review: The Dawn of Day. Friedrich Nietzsche". Doi:10.1086/intejethi.13.4.2376284. Quotations related to The Dawn of Day at Wikiquote
The term "world riddle" or "world-riddle" has been associated, for over 100 years, with Friedrich Nietzsche and with the biologist-philosopher Ernst Haeckel, who, as a professor of zoology at the University of Jena, wrote the book Die Welträthsel in 1895–1899, in modern spelling Die Welträtsel, with the English version published under the title The Riddle of the Universe, 1901. The term "world riddle" concerns the nature of the universe and the meaning of life; the question and answer of the World Riddle has been examined as an inspiration or allegorical meaning within some musical compositions, such as the unresolved harmonic progression at the end of Also sprach Zarathustra by composer Richard Strauss, made famous in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Friedrich Nietzsche referred to the "World Riddle" in several of his writings. Ernst Haeckel viewed the World Riddle as a dual-question of the form, "What is the nature of the physical universe and what is the nature of human thinking?" which he explained would have a single answer since humans and the universe were contained within one system, a mono-system, as Haeckel wrote in 1895: "The following lecture on Monism is an informal address delivered extemporaneously on October 9, 1892, at Altenburg, on the seventy-fifth anniversary of the "Naturforschende Gesellschaft des Osterlandes."...
The "exacting" Berlin physiologist shut this knowledge out from his mind, with a short-sightedness inconceivable, placed this special neurological question alongside of the one great "world-riddle," the fundamental question of substance, the general question of the connection between matter and energy. As I long ago pointed out, these two great questions are not two separate "world-riddles." The neurological problem of consciousness is only a special case of the all-comprehending cosmological problem, the question of substance. "If we understood the nature of matter and energy, we should understand how the substance underlying them can under certain conditions feel and think." Consciousness, like feeling and willing, among the higher animals is a mechanical work of the ganglion-cells, as such must be carried back to chemical and physical events in the plasma of these. -Ernst Haeckel, 1895 Haeckel had written that human behavior and feeling could be explained, within the laws of the physical universe, as "mechanical work of the ganglion-cells" as stated.
The philosopher William James in his book Pragmatism wrote about the world-riddle, as follows: "All the great single-word answers to the world's riddle, such as God, the One, Law, Matter, Polarity, the Dialectic Process, the Idea, the Self, the Oversoul, draw the admiration that men have lavished on them from this oracular role. By amateurs in philosophy and professionals alike, the universe is represented as a queer sort of petrified sphinx whose appeal to man consists in a monotonous challenge to his divining powers. THE Truth: what a perfect idol of the rationalistic mind!" --William James, Pragmatism, 1907. William James has questioned the attitude of thinking that a single answer applies to everything or everyone. In the passage, the capitalized "THE" signifies the viewpoint meaning "the one and only" absolute truth. Emil du Bois-Reymond used the term "World Riddle" in 1880 for seven great questions of science, such as the ultimate nature of matter and the origin of simple sensations. In the lecture to the Berlin Academy of Sciences he declared that neither science nor philosophy could explain these riddles.
Epistemology - study of the nature of knowledge. Existentialism - philosophy of being/existence. Weltschmerz Ernst Haeckel, The Riddle of the Universe, Publisher: Prometheus Books, New York, 1992, reprint edition, paperback, 405 pages, illustrated, ISBN 0-87975-746-9. Ernst Haeckel, Monism as Connecting Religion and Science, Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, Gutenberg.org webpage: GutenbergOrg-7mono10
The Birth of Tragedy
The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music is an 1872 work of dramatic theory by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It was reissued in 1886 as The Birth of Tragedy, Or: Pessimism; the edition contained a prefatory essay, "An Attempt at Self-Criticism", wherein Nietzsche commented on this earliest book. Nietzsche found in classical Athenian tragedy an art form that transcended the pessimism and nihilism of a fundamentally meaningless world; the Greek spectators, by looking into the abyss of human suffering and affirming it, passionately and joyously affirmed the meaning of their own existence. They knew themselves to be infinitely more than petty individuals, finding self-affirmation not in another life, not in a world to come, but in the terror and ecstasy alike celebrated in the performance of tragedies. Educated as a philologist, Nietzsche discusses the history of the tragic form and introduces an intellectual dichotomy between the Dionysian and the Apollonian. Nietzsche claims life always involves a struggle between these two elements, each battling for control over the existence of humanity.
In Nietzsche's words, "Wherever the Dionysian prevailed, the Apollonian was checked and destroyed.... Wherever the first Dionysian onslaught was withstood, the authority and majesty of the Delphic god Apollo exhibited itself as more rigid and menacing than ever." And yet neither side prevails due to each containing the other in an eternal, natural check or balance. Nietzsche argues that the tragedy of Ancient Greece was the highest form of art due to its mixture of both Apollonian and Dionysian elements into one seamless whole, allowing the spectator to experience the full spectrum of the human condition; the Dionysian element was to be found in the music of the chorus, while the Apollonian element was found in the dialogue which gave a concrete symbolism that balanced the Dionysian revelry. The Apollonian spirit was able to give form to the abstract Dionysian. Before the tragedy, there was an era of static, idealized plastic art in the form of sculpture that represented the Apollonian view of the world.
The Dionysian element was to be found in the wild revelry of festivals and drunkenness, most in music. The combination of these elements in one art form gave birth to tragedy, he theorizes that the chorus was always satyrs, goat-men. Thus, he argues, “the illusion of culture was wiped away by the primordial image of man” for the audience, but in this state, they have an Apollonian dream vision of themselves, of the energy they're embodying. It's a vision of Dionysus, who appears before the chorus on the stage, and the actors and the plot are the development of that dream vision, the essence of, the ecstatic dismembering of the god and of the Bacchantes' rituals, of the inseparable ecstasy and suffering of human existence. After the time of Aeschylus and Sophocles, there was an age. Nietzsche ties this to the influence of writers like Euripides and the coming of rationality, represented by Socrates. Euripides reduced the use of the chorus and was more naturalistic in his representation of human drama, making it more reflective of the realities of daily life.
Socrates emphasized reason to such a degree that he diffused the value of myth and suffering to human knowledge. For Nietzsche, these two intellectuals helped drain the ability of the individual to participate in forms of art, because they saw things too soberly and rationally; the participation mystique aspect of art and myth was lost, along with it, much of man's ability to live creatively in optimistic harmony with the sufferings of life. Nietzsche concludes that it may be possible to reattain the balance of Dionysian and Apollonian in modern art through the operas of Richard Wagner, in a rebirth of tragedy. In contrast to the typical Enlightenment view of ancient Greek culture as noble, simple and grandiose, Nietzsche believed the Greeks were grappling with pessimism; the universe in which we live is the product of great interacting forces. What we put together as our conceptions of the world, Nietzsche thought, never addresses the underlying realities, it is human destiny to be controlled by the darkest universal realities and, at the same time, to live life in a human-dreamt world of illusions.
The issue or so Nietzsche thought, is how to experience and understand the Dionysian side of life without destroying the obvious values of the Apollonian side. It is not healthy for an individual, or for a whole society, to become absorbed in the rule of one or the other; the soundest foothold is in both. Nietzsche's theory of Athenian tragic drama suggests how, before Euripides and Socrates, the Dionysian and Apollonian elements of life were artistically woven together; the Greek spectator became healthy through direct experience of the Dionysian within the protective spirit-of-tragedy on the Apollonian stage. In January and February 1870, Nietzsche delivered two lectures about ancient Greek drama. After receiving copies of the lectures, his friends Richard and Cosima Wagner suggested that he write a book about the subject. In April 1871, he submitted a manuscript to publisher
The Übermensch is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche has his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself, it is a work of philosophical allegory, with a structural similarity to the Gathas of Zoroaster/Zarathustra. In 1896, Alexander Tille made the first English translation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, rendering Übermensch as "Beyond-Man". In 1909, Thomas Common translated it as "Superman", following the terminology of George Bernard Shaw's 1903 stage play Man and Superman. Walter Kaufmann lambasted this translation in the 1950s for two reasons: first, the failure of the English prefix "super" to capture the nuance of the German über. Kaufmann and others preferred to translate Übermensch as "overman". Scholars continue to employ both terms, some opting to reproduce the German word; the German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is attached.
Mensch refers to a human being, rather than a male specifically. The adjective übermenschlich means super-human: beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity. Nietzsche introduces the concept of the Übermensch in contrast to his understanding of the other-worldliness of Christianity: Zarathustra proclaims the will of the Übermensch to give meaning to life on earth, admonishes his audience to ignore those who promise other-worldly fullfillment to draw them away from the earth; the turn away from the earth is prompted, he says, by a dissatisfaction with life that causes the sufferer to imagine another world which will fulfill his revenge. The Übermensch grasps the earthly world with gratitude. Zarathustra declares that the Christian escape from this world required the invention of an immortal soul separate from the earthly body; this led to asceticism. Zarathustra further links the Übermensch to the body and to interpreting the soul as an aspect of the body. Zarathustra ties the Übermensch to the death of God.
While the concept of God was the ultimate expression of other-worldly values and their underlying instincts, belief in God did give meaning to life for a time. "God is dead" means that the idea of God can no longer provide values. With the sole source of values exhausted, the danger of nihilism looms. Zarathustra presents the Übermensch as the creator of new values to banish nihilism. If the Übermensch acts to create new values within the moral vacuum of nihilism, there is nothing that this creative act would not justify. Alternatively, in the absence of this creation, there are no grounds upon which to criticize or justify any action, including the particular values created and the means by which they are promulgated. In order to avoid a relapse into Platonic idealism or asceticism, the creation of these new values cannot be motivated by the same instincts that gave birth to those tables of values. Instead, they must be motivated of life. Whereas Nietzsche diagnosed the Christian value system as a reaction against life and hence destructive in a sense, the new values which the Übermensch will be responsible for will be life-affirming and creative.
Zarathustra first announces the Übermensch. All human life would be given meaning by; the aspiration of a woman would be to give birth for example. Zarathustra contrasts the Übermensch with the degenerate last man of egalitarian modernity, an alternative goal which humanity might set for itself; the last man appears only in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, is presented as a smothering of aspiration antithetical to the sprit of the Übermensch. According to Rüdiger Safranski, some commentators associate the Übermensch with a program of eugenics; this is most pronounced when considered in the aspect of a goal. The reduction of all psychology to physiology implies, to some, that human beings can be bred for cultural traits; this interpretation of Nietzsche's doctrine focuses more on the future of humanity than on a single cataclysmic individual. There is no consensus regarding how this aspect of the Übermensch relates to the creation of new values. For Rüdiger Safranski, the Übermensch represents a higher biological type reached through artificial selection and at the same time is an ideal for anyone, creative and strong enough to master the whole spectrum of human potential, good and "evil", to become an "artist-tyrant".
In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche vehemently denied any idealistic, democratic or humanitarian interpretation of the Übermensch: "The word Übermensch a type of supreme achievement, as opposed to'modern' men,'good' men and other nihilists... When I whispered into the ears of some people that they were better off looking for a Cesare Borgia than a Parsifal, they did not believe their ears." Safranski argues that the combination of ruthless warrior pride and artistic brilliance that defined the Italian Renaissance embodied the sense of the Übermensch for Nietzsche. According to Safranski, Nietzsche intended the ultra-aristocratic figure of the Übermensch to serve as a Machiavellian bogeyman of the modern Western middle
The superfluous man is an 1840s and 1850s Russian literary concept derived from the Byronic hero. It refers to an individual talented and capable, who does not fit into social norms. In most cases, this person is born into privilege. Typical characteristics are disregard for social values and existential boredom, he is unmindful, indifferent or unempathetic with society's issues and can carelessly distress others with his actions, despite his position of power. He will use his power for his own comfort and security and will have little interest in being charitable or using it for the greater good; the superfluous man will attempt to manipulate, control or enslave other individuals. Because he has no integrity or ambitions, he is self-serving and sees little point to being a benefactor or helping others, he will carelessly try to manipulate, degrade or pacify individuals within the society. The character type originates in Alexander Pushkin's verse-novel Eugene Onegin; this term was popularized by Ivan Turgenev's novella The Diary of a Superfluous Man and was thereafter applied to characters from earlier novels.
Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time depicts another Superfluous Man – Pechorin – as its protagonist. He can be seen as a fatalist. Examples include Alexander Herzen's Beltov in Who is to Blame?, Ivan Turgenev's Rudin, the title character of Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov. Russian critics such as Vissarion Belinsky viewed the superfluous man as a byproduct of Nicholas I's reign, when the best educated men would not enter the discredited government service and, lacking other options for self-realization, doomed themselves to live out their life in passivity. Scholar David Patterson describes the superfluous man as "not just...another literary type but...a paradigm of a person who has lost a point, a place, a presence in life" before concluding that "the superfluous man is a homeless man". The superfluous man is in contrast politically with the great man. Superfluous man at Encyclopædia Britannica
The Antichrist (book)
The Antichrist is a book by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche published in 1895. Although it was written in 1888, its controversial content made Franz Overbeck and Heinrich Köselitz delay its publication, along with Ecce Homo; the German title can be translated into English as either The Anti-Christ or The Anti-Christian, depending on how the German word Christ is translated. Nietzsche claimed in the Foreword to have written the book for a limited readership. In order to understand the book, he asserted that the reader "... must be honest in intellectual matters to the point of hardness to so much as endure my seriousness, my passion." The reader should be above politics and nationalism. The usefulness or harmfulness of truth should not be a concern. Characteristics such as "Strength which prefers questions for which no one today is sufficiently daring, he disdained all other readers. In § 1, Nietzsche expressed his dissatisfaction with modernity, he disliked the contemporary "lazy peace," "cowardly compromise," "tolerance" and "resignation."
This related to Schopenhauer's claim that knowledge of the inner nature of the world and life results in "... perfect resignation, the innermost spirit of Christianity...."Nietzsche introduced his concept of will to power in § 2. He defined the concepts of good and happiness in relation to the will to power. "What is good? — All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man. What is bad? — All that proceeds from weakness. What is happiness? — The feeling that power increases — that a resistance is overcome." Nietzsche's words were provocative and shocking in passages such as: "The weak and ill–constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy. And one shall help them to do so. What is more harmful than any vice? — Active sympathy for the ill–constituted and weak — Christianity...." This is an example of Nietzsche's reaction against Schopenhauer, who had based all morality on compassion. Nietzsche, on the contrary, praised "... virtue free of moralic acid."Nietzsche went on to say that mankind, out of fear, has bred a weak, sick type of human.
He blamed Christianity for demonizing strong, higher humans. Pascal, he claimed, was an intellectually strong man, depraved by Christianity's teaching of original sin. Mankind, according to Nietzsche, is corrupt and its highest values are depraved, he asserted that "... all the values in which mankind at present summarizes its highest desiderata are decadence values." Mankind is depraved because it prefers what is harmful to it. "I consider life itself instinct for growth, for durability, for accumulation of forces, for power: where the will to power is lacking there is decline." Depravity results because "... nihilistic values dominate under the holiest names." Christianity, as a religion of peace, is despised by Nietzsche. According to Nietzsche's account, pity has a depressive effect, loss of vitality and strength, is harmful to life, it preserves that which should be destroyed. For a noble morality, pity is a weakness. In Schopenhauer's philosophy, which Nietzsche sees as the most nihilistic and opposed to life, pity is the highest virtue of all.
But, for Nietzsche, pity "... multiplies misery and conserves all, miserable, is thus a prime instrument of the advancement of decadence: pity persuades men to nothingness! Of course, one does not say'nothingness.' One says'the Beyond' or'God' or' true life' or'Nirvana,"salvation,"redemption,"blessedness.'... Schopenhauer was hostile to life: therefore pity became a virtue for him." The moderns Leo Tolstoy and Richard Wagner adopted Schopenhauer's viewpoint. Aristotle, who lived in 384-322 BC, on the other hand, recognized the unhealthiness of pity and prescribed tragedy as a purgative. Theology and philosophy, practiced by priests and idealists, are antithetical to reality and actuality, they are supposed to represent a high and superior spirit, above and has "...benevolent contempt for the'understanding', the'senses','honors','good living' and'science'..." But, to Nietzsche, "Pure spirit is pure lie" and he called the priest a "... denier and poisoner of life...", a "... conscious advocate of nothingness and negation..." and who stands truth upside down on its head.
Theologians were placed by Nietzsche in the same class as priests. He defined the faith that they fostered as "...closing one's eyes with respect to oneself once and for all, so as not to suffer from the sight of incurable falsity." Seeing falsely is valued as the highest morality. This reversal of values is considered, by Nietzsche; when the theologians seek political power, "...the will to the end, the nihilistic will wants power." In his native Germany, philosophy is corrupt. Kant supported theological ideals by his discussions of the concepts of "true world" and "morality as the essence of the world." Kant's skeptical procedure was to show that these concepts could not be refuted though they could not be proved. Nietzsche was critical of Kant's Categorical imperative because it was not the result of a personal necessity and choice, its origin from concepts and logic was decadent because it was not a product of life, self–preservation, pleasure. Kant's practical reason was an attempt to give scientific legitimacy to his lack of intellectual conscience.
"... he invented a special kind of reason for cases in which one need not bother about reason — that is, when morality, when the sublime command'thou shalt,' makes itself heard." Kant's self–deceptive fraudulence is a result of the influ