Nietzsche Friedrich

<history of philosophy, biography> born the son of a Lutheran pastor in Roecken, Saxony, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) quickly abandoned his own pursuit of theology in order to specialize in philology at Leipzig. His study of classical literature led to an academic appointment at Basel and the publication of Die Geburt der Trag–die aus dem Geiste der Musik (The Birth of Tragedy) (1872), with its distinction between Apollonian and Dionysian cultures. When ill health forced an early end to his teaching career, Nietzsche began to produce the less scholarly, quasi-philosophical, and anti-religious works for which he is now known, including Menschliches, allzumenschliches (Human, All Too Human) (1878), Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) (1883), Die Fr–hliche Wissenschaft (The Gay Science) (1882), and Jenseits von Gut und B–se (Beyond Good and Evil) (1886). Nietzsche never recovered from the mental collapse he suffered in 1889; his Der Wille zur Macht (Will to Power) (1901) and the autobiographical Ecce Homo (Ecce Homo) (1908) were published posthumously. Nietzsche sharply criticized the Greek tradition's over-emphasis on reason in his Die G–tzend”mmerung (Twilight of the Idols) (1889). Reliance on abstract concepts in a quest for absolute truth is merely a symptom of the degenerate personalities of philosophers like Socrates. From this Nietzsche concluded that traditional philosophy and religion are both erroneous and harmful. Progress beyond the stultifying influence of philosophy, then, requires a thorough "revaluation of values." In Zur Geneologie der Moral (On the Genealogy of Morals) (1887) Nietzsche bitterly decried the slave morality enforced by social punishment and religious guilt. Only the noble one -the Đbermensch- can rise above all moral distinctions to achieve a healthy life of truly human worth. Recommended Reading: Primary sources: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Werke, ed. by Georgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (de Gruyter, 1967- ); Basic Writings of Nietzsche, ed. by Peter Gay (Modern Library, 2000); A Nietzsche Reader, tr. by R. J. Hollingdale (Penguin, 1978); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, tr. by Helen Zimmern (Prometheus, 1989); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, ed. by Douglas Smith (Oxford, 2000); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is, tr. by R. J. Hollingdale (Penguin, 1993); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morality and Other Writings, ed. by Keith Ansell-Pearson and Carol Diethe (Cambridge, 1994); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, tr. by R.J. Hollingdale and Walter Kauffmann (Penguin, 1978); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols or How to Philosophize With a Hammer, ed. Duncan Large (Oxford, 1998); Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, The Will to Power, tr. by R. Hollingdale and Walter Kaufmann (Random House, 1987). Secondary sources: The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche , ed. by Bernd Magnus and Kathleen Marie Higgins (Cambridge, 1996); Michael Tanner, Nietzsche (Oxford, 1995); R. J. Hollingdale, Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy (Cambridge, 1999); Feminist Interpretations of Friedrich Nietzsche, ed. by Kelly Oliver and Marilyn Pearsall (Penn. State, 1998); Ronald Hayman, Nietzsche (Routledge, 1999); Richard Schacht, Nietzsche (Routledge, 1985); The New Nietzsche: Contemporary Styles of Interpretation, ed. by David B. Allison (MIT, 1985); Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins, What Nietzsche Really Said (Schocken, 2000); Reading Nietzsche, ed. by Robert C. Solomon and Kathleen M. Higgins (Oxford, 1990); James I. Porter, The Invention of Dionysus: An Essay on the Birth of Tragedy (Stanford, 2000); Arthur Coleman Danto, Nietzsche as Philosopher (Columbia, 1965). Additional on-line information about Nietzsche includes: Douglas Thomas's outstanding Nietzsche page. Robert Wicks's article in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Richard Schacht's article in The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Also see: Dionysian and Apollinian, eternal recurrence, "God is dead", irrationalism, moral philosophy, nihilism, skepticism about religion, resentment, slave morality, superman, tragedy, the transvaluation of values, and the will to power. The thorough collection of resources at EpistemeLinks.com. Katharena Eiermann's Nietzcsche page. Gary Brent Madison on Nietzsche's influence on postmodern thinkers. The article in the Columbia Encyclopedia at Bartleby.com. G. J. Mattey's lecture on Nietzsche's metaphysics. A comparison of Nietzsche and Kant by Scarlett Marton. Snippets from Nietzsche (German and English) in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. An interesting page (in German) from Jens Suckow. Bjoern Christensson's brief guide to Internet resources. A brief entry in The Macmillan Encyclopedia 2001.

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<2002-02-21>

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