Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche developed his philosophy during the late 19th century. He owed the awakening of his philosophical interest to reading Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung and said that Schopenhauer was one of the few thinkers that he respected, dedicating to him his essay Schopenhauer als Erzieher, published in 1874 as one of his Untimely Meditations. Since the dawn of the 20th century, the philosophy of Nietzsche has had great intellectual and political influence around the world. Nietzsche applied himself to such topics as morality, epistemology, psychology and social criticism; because of Nietzsche's evocative style and his outrageous claims, his philosophy generates passionate reactions running from love to disgust. Nietzsche noted in his autobiographical Ecce Homo that his philosophy developed and evolved over time, so interpreters have found it difficult to relate concepts central to one work to those central to another, for example, the thought of the eternal recurrence features in Also sprach Zarathustra, but is entirely absent from his next book, Beyond Good and Evil.
Added to this challenge is the fact that Nietzsche did not seem concerned to develop his thought into a system going so far as to disparage the attempt in Beyond Good and Evil. Common themes in his thought can, however, be discussed, his earliest work emphasized the opposition of Apollonian and Dionysian impulses in art, the figure of Dionysus continued to play a role in his subsequent thought. Other major currents include the will to power, the claim that God is dead, the distinction between master and slave moralities, radical perspectivism. Other concepts appear or are confined to one or two major works, yet are considered centerpieces of Nietzschean philosophy, such as the Übermensch and the thought of eternal recurrence, his works involved a sustained attack on Christianity and Christian morality, he seemed to be working toward what he called the transvaluation of all values. While Nietzsche is associated in the public mind with fatalism and nihilism, Nietzsche himself viewed his project as the attempt to overcome the pessimism of Arthur Schopenhauer.
Nietzsche saw nihilism as the outcome of repeated frustrations in the search for the meaning of religion. He diagnosed nihilism as a latent presence within the foundations of European culture and saw it as a necessary and approaching destiny; the religious worldview had suffered a number of challenges from contrary perspectives grounded in philosophical skepticism, in modern science's evolutionary and heliocentric theory. Nietzsche saw this intellectual condition as a new challenge to European culture, which had extended itself beyond a sort of point-of-no-return. Nietzsche conceptualizes this with the famous statement "God is dead", which first appeared in his work in section 108 of The Gay Science, again in section 125 with the parable of "The Madman", more famously in Thus Spoke Zarathustra; the statement placed in quotation marks, accentuated the crisis that Nietzsche argued that Western culture must face and transcend in the wake of the irreparable dissolution of its traditional foundations, moored in classical Greek philosophy and Christianity.
In aphorisms 55 and 56 of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche talks about the ladder of religious cruelty that suggests how Nihilism emerged from the intellectual conscience of Christianity. Nihilism is sacrificing the meaning "God" brings into our lives, for "matter and motion", physics, "objective truth." In aphorism 56, he explains how to emerge from the utter meaninglessness of life by reaffirming it through the Nietzsche's idea of Eternal Return. In The Antichrist, Nietzsche fights against the way in which Christianity has become an ideology set forth by institutions like churches, how churches have failed to represent the life of Jesus. Nietzsche finds it important to distinguish between the religion of Christianity and the person of Jesus. Nietzsche attacked the Christian religion, as represented by churches and institutions, for what he called it is "transvaluation" of healthy instinctive values. Transvaluation consists of the process by which one can view the meaning of a concept or ideology from a "higher" context.
Nietzsche went beyond agnostic and atheistic thinkers of the Enlightenment, who regarded Christianity as untrue. He claimed that the Apostle Paul may have deliberately propagated Christianity as a subversive religion within the Roman Empire as a form of covert revenge for the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and of the Second Temple in 71 AD during the Jewish War of 66–73 AD. Nietzsche contrasts the Christians with Jesus, whom he regarded as a unique individual, argues he established his own moral evaluations; as such, Jesus represents a kind of step towards his ideation of the Übermensch. However, Nietzsche claims that, unlike the Übermensch, who embraces life, Jesus denied reality in favor of his "kingdom of God". Jesus's refusal to defend himself, subsequent death, logically followed from this total disengagement. Nietzsche goes further to analyze the history of Christianity, finding it has progressively distorted the teachings of Jesus more and more, he criticizes the early Christians for turning Jesus into a martyr and Jesus's life into the story of the redemption of mankind in order to dominate the masses, finds the Apostles cowardly and resentful.
He argues that successive generations further misunderstood the life of Jesus as the influence of Christianity grew. Nietzsche criticized Christianity for demonizing flour
The Nietzsche-Haus in Naumburg, Germany, is a building dedicated to the life and work of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In the summer of 1858 Nietzsche's mother, Franziska Nietzsche, moved with her two children and Friedrich, to 18 Weingarten in Naumburg, the site of the Nietzsche-Haus, she rented a spacious apartment on the upper floor. In 1878 she bought the house and continued to live there until her death in 1897. Since 1994, the Nietzsche-Haus has been open to the public as a museum. In October 2010, the Nietzsche Documentation Centre opened, dedicated to research into and critical engagement with Nietzsche. Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria Official site of the Nietzsche-Haus, Naumburg
Ecce Homo (book)
Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is is the last original book written by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche before his final years of insanity that lasted until his death in 1900. It was written in 1888 and was not published until 1908. According to one of Nietzsche's most prominent English translators, Walter Kaufmann, the book offers "Nietzsche's own interpretation of his development, his works, his significance." The book contains several chapters with self-laudatory titles, such as "Why I Am So Wise", "Why I Am So Clever", "Why I Write Such Good Books" and "Why I Am a Destiny". Walter Kaufmann, in his biography Nietzsche: Philosopher, Antichrist noticed the internal parallels, in form and language, to Plato's Apology which documented the Trial of Socrates. In effect, Nietzsche was putting himself on trial with this work, his sardonic judgments and chapter headings can be seen as mordant, self-deprecating, or sly. Within this work, Nietzsche is self-consciously striving to present a new image of the philosopher and of himself, for example, a philosopher "who is not an Alexandrian academic nor an Apollonian sage, but Dionysian."
On these grounds, Kaufmann considers Ecce Homo a literary work comparable in its artistry to Vincent van Gogh's paintings. Nietzsche argues that he is a great philosopher because of his withering assessment of the pious fraud of the entirety of Philosophy which he considered as a retreat from honesty when most necessary, a cowardly failure to pursue its stated aim to its reasonable end. Nietzsche insists that his suffering is not noble but the expected result of hard inquiry into the deepest recesses of human self-deception, that by overcoming one's agonies a person achieves more than any relaxation or accommodation to intellectual difficulties or literal threats, he proclaims the ultimate value of everything. Nietzsche's primary point is that to be "a man" alone is to be more than "a Christ": his position is that the idea of "a Christ" is in truth an empty impossibility, that it is nothing more than a dangerous creation of the human imagination. One of the main purposes of Ecce Homo was to offer Nietzsche's own perspective on his work as a philosopher and human being.
He wrote: "Under these circumstances I have a duty against which my habits more the pride of my instincts, revolt at bottom – namely, to say: Hear me! For I am such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else!" Throughout the course of the book, he expounds — in the characteristically hyperbolic style found in his period — upon his life as a child, his tastes as an individual, his vision for humanity. He gives reviews and insights about his various works, including: The Birth of Tragedy, The Untimely Meditations, All Too Human, The Dawn, The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morality, Twilight of the Idols and The Case of Wagner; the last chapter of Ecce Homo, entitled "Why I Am a Destiny", is concerned with reiterating Nietzsche's thoughts on Christianity, corroborating Christianity's decadence and his ideas as to uncovering Christian morality. He signs the book "Dionysus versus the Crucified." Kaufmann, Walter. "Editor's Introduction" in On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo, edited by Walter Kaufmann.
New York: Vintage, 1967. Pp. 201–209. Andreas Urs Sommer, Kommentar zu Nietzsches Der Antichrist. Ecce homo. Dionysos-Dithyramben. Nietzsche contra Wagner. XXI + 921 pages. Berlin / Boston: Walter de Gruyter 2013. Ecce homo, standard critical text published by Nietzsche Source Ecce homo, Wie man wird, was man ist at Project Gutenberg Ecce homo, abridged English text at archive.org
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
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy, he became the youngest 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. 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 with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900. Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, history, tragedy and science, his writing spans philosophical polemics, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism. He developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his work, he became preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health. After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts, reworking his unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while 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 Nazism. 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 and post-structuralism—as well as art, psychology and popular culture.
Born on 15 October 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. He was named after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth. Nietzsche's Carl Ludwig Nietzsche, a Lutheran pastor and former teacher, they had two other children: a daughter, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, born in 1846. Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; the family moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Nietzsche's maternal grandmother and his father's two unmarried sisters. After the death of Nietzsche's grandmother in 1856, the family moved into their own house, now Nietzsche-Haus, a museum and Nietzsche study centre. Nietzsche attended a boys' school and a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug, Rudolf Wagner and Wilhelm Pinder, all of whom came from respected families. In 1854, he began to attend Domgymnasium in Naumburg; because his father had worked for the state the now-fatherless Nietzsche was offered a scholarship to study at the internationally recognized Schulpforta.
He transferred and studied there from 1858 to 1864, becoming friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff. He found time to work on poems and musical compositions. Nietzsche led a music and literature club, during his summers in Naumburg. At Schulpforta, Nietzsche received an important grounding in languages—Greek, Latin and French—so as to be able to read important primary sources, his end-of-semester exams in March 1864 showed a 1 in German. While at Pforta, Nietzsche had a penchant for pursuing subjects, he became acquainted with the work of the almost-unknown poet Friedrich Hölderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and composing an essay in which he said that the mad poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality." The teacher who corrected the essay gave it a good mark but commented that Nietzsche should concern himself in the future with healthier, more lucid, more "German" writers. Additionally, he became acquainted with Ernst Ortlepp, an eccentric and drunken poet, found dead in a ditch weeks after meeting the young Nietzsche but who may have introduced Nietzsche to the music and writing of Rich
Anarchism and Friedrich Nietzsche
The relation between anarchism and Friedrich Nietzsche has been ambiguous. Though Nietzsche criticized anarchism, his thought proved influential for many thinkers within what can be characterized as the anarchist movement; as such "here were many things that drew anarchists to Nietzsche: his hatred of the state. During the last decade of the 19th century, Nietzsche was associated with anarchist movements, in spite of the fact that in his writings he seems to hold a negative view of anarchists; this may be the result of a popular association during this period between his ideas and those of Max Stirner. Spencer Sunshine writes that "here were many things that drew anarchists to Nietzsche: his hatred of the state. For Sunshine, "he list is not limited to culturally-oriented anarchists such as Emma Goldman, who gave dozens of lectures about Nietzsche and baptized him as an honorary anarchist. Pro-Nietzschean anarchists include prominent Spanish CNT–FAI members in the 1930s such as Salvador Seguí and anarcha-feminist Federica Montseny.
In European individualist anarchist circles, his influence is clear in thinker/activists such as Emile Armand and Renzo Novatore among others. More in post-left anarchy Nietzsche is present in the thought of Albert Camus, Hakim Bey, Michel Onfray, Wolfi Landstreicher. Max Stirner was a Hegelian philosopher whose "name appears with familiar regularity in historically-orientated surveys of anarchist thought as one of the earliest and best-known exponents of individualist anarchism". In 1844, his The Ego and Its Own was published, considered to be "a founding text in the tradition of individualist anarchism"; the ideas of 19th-century German philosophers Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche have been compared, many authors have discussed apparent similarities in their writings, sometimes raising the question of influence. In Germany, during the early years of Nietzsche's emergence as a well-known figure, the only thinker discussed in connection with his ideas more than Stirner was Schopenhauer.
It is certain that Nietzsche read about Stirner's book The Ego and Its Own, mentioned in Lange's History of Materialism and Eduard von Hartmann's Philosophy of the Unconscious, both of which young Nietzsche knew well. However, there is no irrefutable indication that he read it, as no mention of Stirner is known to exist anywhere in Nietzsche's publications, papers or correspondence, and yet as soon as Nietzsche's work began to reach a wider audience the question of whether or not he owed a debt of influence to Stirner was raised. As early as 1891 Eduard von Hartmann went so far as to suggest. By the turn of the century the belief that Nietzsche had been influenced by Stirner was so widespread that it became something of a commonplace, at least in Germany, prompting one observer to note in 1907 "Stirner's influence in modern Germany has assumed astonishing proportions, moves in general parallel with that of Nietzsche; the two thinkers are regarded as exponents of the same philosophy."Nevertheless, from the beginning of what was characterized as "great debate" regarding Stirner's possible influence on Nietzsche—positive or negative—serious problems with the idea were noted.
By the middle of the 20th century, if Stirner was mentioned at all in works on Nietzsche, the idea of influence was dismissed outright or abandoned as unanswerable. But the idea that Nietzsche was influenced in some way by Stirner continues to attract a significant minority because it seems necessary to explain in some reasonable fashion the often-noted similarities in their writings. In any case, the most significant problems with the theory of possible Stirner influence on Nietzsche are not limited to the difficulty in establishing whether the one man knew of or read the other, they consist in establishing how and why Stirner in particular might have been a meaningful influence on a man as read as Nietzsche. The two men were compared by French "literary anarchists" and anarchist interpretations of Nietzschean ideas appear to have been influential in the United States. One researcher notes: "Indeed, translations of Nietzsche's writings in the United States likely appeared first in Liberty, the anarchist journal edited by Benjamin Tucker."
He adds "Tucker preferred the strategy of exploiting his writings, but proceeding with due caution:'Nietzsche says splendid things, – indeed, Anarchist things, – but he