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1. Homer and Classical Philology
2. Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book
3. We Philologists - Complete Works
4. Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern
5. On the Future of our Educational
6. The works of Friedrich Nietzsche
7. Beyond Good and Evil
8. The Portable Nietzsche (Portable
9. The Anti-Christ
10. Unpublished Writings from the
11. Thoughts Out of Season Part I
12. The Birth of Tragedy: The Complete
13. The Gay Science: With a Prelude
14. The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
15. On the Genealogy of Morals: A
16. Selected Letters of Friedrich
17. Ecce Homo (The Autobiography of
18. Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical
19. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices
20. Human, All-Too-Human (Parts I

1. Homer and Classical Philology
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Paperback: 18 Pages (2010-07-24)
list price: US$14.14 -- used & new: US$14.13
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Asin: 1770452265
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: Speeches, addresses, etc. ... Read more

2. Thus Spake Zarathustra: A Book For All and None (Volume 1)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 280 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$15.95 -- used & new: US$15.95
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Asin: 1453858652
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The classic book of philosophy that established the author as the father of modern psychology. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (113)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Kindle version needs some work
There's nothing I can really add to the number of reviews for Thus Spake Zarathustra. It's an amazing book and I probably need to read it again to digest it properly. However, the Kindle free version is strangely formatted. It has a weird left alignment, offsetting the text, along with two blank lines in between each paragraph. I know, I shouldn't complain about the quality of a free book, but it bothered me. Still, don't let it put you off downloading this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A work of poetry
Not the easiest book to read, but the ideas contained within it are well worth the effort of trying to understand them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Translation is the Key
I've seen some things on Nitsche before and it seems that translating him is difficult and of course subjective.This reads fairly well and I would recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars An all-time favorite.
I loved this book from the first time I read it, but I had never owned a copy until I bought this one.I'm not sure what the other people were talking about when they said it looks particularly nice.I mean, the book itself is simple and black with gold writing, but it's nothing that spectacular looking (but I suppose it looks better than other versions).I suppose if you like paperback books and care how it looks on your bookshelf, then this is the version for you.

4-0 out of 5 stars His Magnum Opus
The book embodies a number of innovative poetical and rhetorical methods of expression. It serves as a parallel and supplement to the various philosophical ideas present in Nietzsche's body of work. He has, however, said that among my writings my Zarathustra stands to my mind by itself (Ecce Homo, Preface, sec. 4, Kaufmann). Emphasizing its centrality and its status as his magnum opus. (From Source: Wikipedia ... Read more

3. We Philologists - Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Paperback: 54 Pages (2010-07-12)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003YL3842
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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We Philologists - Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Volume 8 is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Perfect!
This came right on time, on a 2 day devilery!Now that's a seller one can trust!The book came in securely packaged, safe, clean, no missing pages, no markings, no bended pages, just as promised! The book was in new like, wonderfuly condition, this is a great seller! ... Read more

4. Basic Writings of Nietzsche (Modern Library Classics)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 896 Pages (2000-11-28)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$6.72
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Asin: 0679783393
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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One hundred years after his death, Friedrich Nietzsche remains the most influential philosopher of the modern era. Basic Writings of Nietzsche gathers the complete texts of five of Nietzsche's most important works, from his first book to his last: The Birth of Tragedy; Beyond Good and Evil; On the Genealogy of Morals; The Case of Wagner; and Ecce Homo. Edited and translated by the great Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann, this volume provides a definitive guide to the full range of Nietzsche's thought.

Included also are seventy-five aphorisms, selections from Nietzsche's correspondence, and variants from drafts for Ecce Homo.Amazon.com Review
A better title for this book might be The Indispensable Writings of Nietzsche. Indeed, the six selections contained in Walter Kaufmann's volume are not only critical elements of Nietzsche's oeuvre, they are must-reads for any aspiring student of philosophy. Those coming to Nietzsche for the first time will be pleased to find three of his best-known works--The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, and On the Genealogy of Morals--as well as a collection of 75 aphorisms drawn from Nietzsche's celebrated aphoristic work. In addition, there are two lesser known, but important, pieces in The Case of Wagner and Ecce Homo. Kaufmann's lucid and accurate translations have been the gold standard of Nietzsche scholarship since the 1950s, and this volume does not disappoint.

Anyone who has slogged their way through the swamps of German philosophical writing---in Kant or Hegel or Heidegger--will find Nietzsche a refreshing and exhilarating change. The selections are well chosen, and a cover-to-cover read will aptly depict Nietzsche's philosophy. In this volume the reader will find many of Nietzsche's polemical (and frequently misunderstood) ratiocinations on Christianity, Socrates, Germany, and art. Here, too, are his seminal and unforgettable critiques of Western morality ("That lambs dislike great birds of prey does not seem strange: only it gives no ground for reproaching these birds of prey for bearing off little lambs"). For philosophical fireworks, Nietzsche can hardly be matched. His brazen defiance of intellectualism's conventions still rings in contemporary thought because he practiced philosophy with a hammer. --Eric de Place ... Read more

Customer Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating human being of exceptional complexity and integrity (P. Gay)
Nietzsche was the greatest polemist ever. He played the role of Saint-Michael, the dragon slayer, in his Homeric battle with the existing dragons (the Christian moralists). He tried to revalue all generally accepted `good and evil' values and really felt that mankind was pregnant with a new super-species, the `Übermensch'.
His influence on philosophy, literature, psychology and politics is immense.
Of course, some aspects of his vision on mankind are unacceptable.

The all important influence on his Nietzsche's life and philosophy came from Schopenhauer: `I very earnestly denied my `will to life' at the time when I first read Schopenhauer.'

The life of a Nietzschean immoralist
Life is to express one's will to and lust for power. The cardinal instinct of man is not self-preservation, but the discharge of strength. Everything evil, terrible, tyrannical in man, everything that is kin to beasts of prey and serpents serves the enhancement of the species `man'. This enhancement has always been the work of an aristocratic society. The noble man creates his own morality, his good and bad, with egoism and exploitation as his real nature. He despises the slaves, the unfree, the doglike people who allow themselves to be maltreated.

Christian morals, democracy
When the aristocratic value judgments declined, the plebeians imposed their own morality of unegoism, pity, self-sacrifice, self-abnegation and ascetic ideals on mankind. The egoistic `good' of the masters became the `evil' of the Christian faith.
This faith constitutes not less than a sacrifice of all freedom, enslavement and self-mutilation. By preserving all that is sick, it breads `a mediocre herd animal'.
Democracy, `the nonsense of the greatest numbers', with its `equality of rights', is the heir of Christianity.
It is a gruesome fact that an anti-life morality received the highest honors and was fixed as a law and a categorical imperative.

Art is a saving sorceress. She alone knows how to turn the nauseous thoughts about the horrors of life into the sublime and life's absurdity into the comic.
Musically speaking, Nietzsche himself was a composer.
`The Case against Wagner' compares the Dionysian opera `Carmen' by Bizet, with the Christian opera `Parsifal' by Wagner, the redeemer.

Besides his unacceptable profound misogyny (`woman's great art is the lie, her highest concern is mere appearance'), Friedrich Nietzsche's brutal evangel is not less than a call for war, not peace. But in an age of nuclear, bio- and chemo-weapons, of veiled State terrorism and of demographic explosions, his call for an uninhibited exploitation of man's basic instincts to fight for the spoils should be categorically rejected.
His romantic anti-rational and anti-scientific stances became pipedreams.
On the other hand, his attacks on the power of the moralists, his sincere call to live in `Dionysian' freedom and not for `eternal bliss', as well as his vision that art is the only truly metaphysical activity of man, will continue to appeal strongly to many and remain the bright parts of his virulent diatribes.

His work is a must read for all philosophers and lovers of truly essential polemics.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nietzsche is brilliant!
Much of Nietzsche's brilliance can be found within this one book. His influnce on philosophy is unmistakeable. His genius is nearly unmatch and is displayed with class throughout this book. This book is a must-have for anyone studying, or a fan of Nietzsche

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine compilation of a wholly inaccessible writer
Going by the majority of these reviews, one might acquire the illusion that Nietzsche is a writer who is difficult enough that you must be told where to start, but after that his entire spectrum will align into intelligibility. This is false, and I'd be surprised if there were one hundred people in America today that commune with Nietzsche on his terms.

There is also the problem of left-margin distortions, particularly from the post-68 Parisian-French position, whose dominion in our universities is reminiscent of the Gestapo. There are also others from this margin who over emphasize the literality of Nietzsche's writings, thus alienating themselves from Nietzsche's capacity for the anti-thetical, of which he was a master. The situation for a case like this is perfectly comprehended by the setting of a university class, or an Amazon webpage; one "reviewer", or academic apparatchik, pushes the words "morality" and "Christian" to the point where Nietzsche looks like a proto-democrat who just didn't understand himself well enough, or was a "victim" of the oppressive, discriminating customs of his day; a little leftist appropriation of his value-philosophy "creators/new values" and our thoroughly leveled, egalitarian world will be saved. In fact, I've had a professor declare that Nietzsche's comments on women were really just his way of satirizing the gender norms of the day, as if Nietzsche really was the direct ancestor of Judith Halberstam. This is despicable, but, of course, it could only happen now, at the very end.

The reality of this issue is that Nietzsche was from the far-Right, as far as "far" can possibly go. He derided self-professed liberals because they desired the Last-man, which is the only man of our world. He was more sympathetic to conservatives:

Whispered to the conservatives. -- What was not known formerly, what is known, or might be known, today: a reversion, a return in any sense or degree is simply not possible. We physiologists know that. Yet all priests and moralists have believed the opposite -- they wanted to take mankind back, to screw it back, to a former measure of virtue. Morality was always a bed of Procrustes. Even the politicians have aped the preachers of virtue at this point: today too there are still parties whose dream it is that all things might walk backwards like crabs. But no one is free to be a crab. Nothing avails: one must go forward -- step by step further into decadence (that is my definition of modern "progress"). One can check this development and thus dam up degeneration, gather it and make it more vehement and sudden: one can do no more. (Section no. 43 from The Twilight of the Idols)

However, "life", for Nietzsche, bears none of our connotations. For Nietzsche, life is pain, and pain is the origin of meaning. His philosophy is, to quote Harold Bloom, a "poetics of pain". Pain here is not just the sense of injustice or any of its current pussyfooted interpretations that may at any time be deemed an antipode of our universities's shibboleths. Disease, vice, racism, "sexism", slavery, war, death, and especially death--all of these harbingers of pain [of meaning!!!] are necessary and constitute the order of the species, which is to say, the order of life. For Nietzsche, the species of mankind was only at its greatest, which is to say, was only tolerable, where its existence was most threatened. Hence all the prattle about "over population", as if those people have any idea of what they are talking about.

Nietzsche would agree that there is an inclination to alleviate suffering, since he rightly observes that for the most part of the history of mankind suffering, which is to say pain, was taken not only as a separate thing, but as something to be abolished. This is after the species took the-Nothing as meaning under the name of "God". Hence, the creation of the "afterlife", or quite simply, "Art" in general. Thus at the end of the 19th century, as the world was being primed for its current absurd existence, Nietzsche proclaims that God is dead. This is a deeply complex proclamation that I won't go into here, but I think the best chronicler of this, and of Nietzsche in general, is his direct philosophical heir, Martin Heidegger, who is equally inaccessible.

Walter Kaufmann was a respectable scholar, and aside from his efforts in Zarathustra, his translations were solid, though I rather Hollingdale. However, Kaufmann's scholastic commentary in his translations really shows that he was a Jew living in the direct wake of the Holocaust. I do not mean this disparagingly, much less "racist"-ly. Kaufmann deserves praise for re-establishing a coherent image of Nietzsche, devoid of crud Nazi appropriations, but I think that his duel with Nazism led him to exaggerate what I think he perceived to be a pseudo-humanistic trait in Nietzsche. Nietzsche had absorbed the great canonized, Humanist tradition going back to wherever its origins may be in Greece, whether its Homer, Plato or both, but if Humanism means autonomy, reason, ethics or rights, then Kaufmann must be met with a resounding no. The entire span of his productive period is, in a way, a rational argument for abandoning reason, which means our regime is doomed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Just fine for college
It came a bit torn and used, but for the price, and the highlightings, and for college? Just what I needed! Thanks! Besides.. Neitzsche is always a good read!

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome collection
The Modern Library Hardcover is the best choice for a student of Nietzsche. Include the Viking Portable and you have most of his writing in two books- by a good translater. I also recommend Thus Spoke Zarathustra in The Modern Library Hardcover edition. But you can also find it included in the Portable Nietzsche- though it's nice to have a single, beautifully bound, hardcover to hold and read and carry around.

The Portable Nietzsche (Viking Portable Library)
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (Modern Library) ... Read more

5. On the Future of our Educational Institutions
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Paperback: 72 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B0040SYERI
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On the Future of our Educational Institutions is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more

6. The works of Friedrich Nietzsche ...
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Paperback: 396 Pages (2009-05-01)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$26.99
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Asin: 1429786205
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Originally published in 1918. This volume from the Cornell University Library's print collections was scanned on an APT BookScan and converted to JPG 2000 format by Kirtas Technologies.All titles scanned cover to cover and pages may include marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume. ... Read more

7. Beyond Good and Evil
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 140 Pages (2010-10-23)
list price: US$7.90 -- used & new: US$7.90
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Asin: 1936594072
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Beyond Good and Evil" is Nietzsche at his best. In the book the philosopher attempts to systematically sum up his philosophy through a collection of 296 aphorisms grouped into nine different chapters based on their common theme. For the reader who has yet to discover Nietzsche in this translation by Helen Zimmern will be found a fabulous introduction. For those who have already discovered Nietzsche here you will find the opportunity to understand the whole of Nietzsche's philosophy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (117)

1-0 out of 5 stars Incoherent Drivel
I was expecting so much more. Nietzche has been built up as a philosophical giant. Perhaps "Beyond Good and Evil" is simply a blemish amidst his "masterpieces".

Imagine sitting down and simply writing out every random thought that comes to mind. That is this book- congratulations- you are now a world-famous philosopher!

Nietzche is a misogynist- see his discourse on women. Nietzche is an elitist- see his discourse on the wonders of aristocracy and the needs for a caste system. Nietzche is a racist- see his discourse on the Germans amongst Europe. It isn't hard to see how Germany progressed to Hitler since Germans were consuming Nietzche as their first course.

He also used this book to self-aggrandize his paltry verses, or what some may call "poetry". Obviously, I was terribly unimpressed. I am wondering how this book has so many high ratings- are people actually reading this tiresome nonsense or is it just the cool eclectic Freshman Psyche Major thing to do? Nietzche is more hype than substance.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book to start off with
I bought this at the same time as I bought Zarathustra. This one is much easier to read, and still very interesting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pristine copy.
This book was labeled as "GOOD" and it arrived in pristine condition, as if it had come straight from a book store. Thanks again! Very satisfied.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Great Book"
I own other books of Nietzsche,love his books and I recommend to read "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"

2-0 out of 5 stars A dark, abstruse, sometimes impenetrable, but always whining diatribe
The following review is based on the Penguin Classics 2003 edition:

Nietzsche opens his work by criticizing philosophers for their dogmatism, which conceals a series of personal prejudices and beliefs that can only be uncovered by peeling away layers of social conditioning. Nietzsche contrasts the dogmatism of modern philosophy with "the free spirit" of a philosophical methodology that is not bound by inherited past truths, but rather, pushes the way forward by true philosophers that are not afraid of experimenting in unpioneered ground.
Nietzsche then devotes a chapter to religion, which he accuses of leading to the "sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of the spirit, at the same time enslavement and self-mockery, self-mutilation" (p. 71). He examines the natural history of morals, stating that "Every morality is, as opposed to laisser aller, a piece of tyranny against `nature', likewise against `reason'" (p. 110). He bemoans both the "commanders" of society, who "pose as executors of more ancient or higher commands" as well as the "herd-man in Europe," who glorifies "public spirit, benevolence, consideration, industriousness, moderation, modesty, forbearance, pity" (p. 121). Against this backdrop, Nietzsche praises Napoleon: "the history of the effect of Napoleon is almost the history of the higher happiness this entire century has attained in its most valuable men and moments" (p. 121).
The societal critique does not spare the scholars from piercing criticism. Nietzsche criticizes the "self-glorification and presumption of the scholars" and the herd-morality that has infused modern scholarship (p. 129). Nietzsche's ideal philosopher, in contrast, is not trapped in a system of rigid "truth" that holds to absolute, unchanging values. This rejection of absolute values carries into the chapter on virtue: Nietzsche rejects those values that have been inherited by the past and he instead defines virtue according to people's inclinations: "if we are to have virtues we shall presumably have only such virtues as have learned to get along with our most secret and heartfelt inclinations" (p. 147).
Nietzsche concludes with a chapter entitled "What is Noble?," where he affirms that there will be a few noble men in the future who will invent their own system of morality and rise to a place far above the herd and its slave morality, but this will be a lonely, solitary place.
Nietzsche's work is a sharp attack on traditional morality, on religion, and in particular, on Christianity. Nietzsche complains whiningly of the inherited ideas of the past but he fails to provide answers to his complaints. He suggests that every man be freed from slave morality and define his own system of truth, but he fails to explain to what end such inventions would serve. The book reads like a long, angry tirade that is occasionally confused and almost always abstruse or impenetrable. One is left wondering where Nietzsche was going with some of his passages and whether some of them were intended to have no meaning at all, thus exemplifying Nietzsche's thesis that all is meaningless.

... Read more

8. The Portable Nietzsche (Portable Library)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 704 Pages (1977-01-27)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$10.25
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Asin: 0140150625
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The works of Friedrich Nietzsche have fascinated readers around the world ever since the publication of his first book more than a hundred years ago. As Walter Kaufmann, one of the world's leading authorities on Nietzsche, notes in his introduction, 'Few writers in any age were so full of ideas', and few writers have been so consistently misinterpreted. The "Portable Nietzsche" includes Kaufmann's definitive translations of the complete and unabridged texts of Nietzsche's four major works: "Twilight of the Idols", "The Antichrist", "Nietzsche Contra Wagner" and "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". In addition, Kaufmann brings together selections from his other books, notes, and letters, to give a full picture of Nietzsche's development, versatility, and inexhaustibility. 'In this volume, one may very conveniently have a rich review of one of the most sensitive, passionate, and misunderstood writers in Western, or any, literature' - "Newsweek". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

1-0 out of 5 stars Awful. Don't read. Not worth your time.
This book (or rather, books) was written by a very angry, disillusioned person whose pedantic and purposefully convoluted Siddhartha-like writing style hides the fact (none too successfully) that he has nothing worthwhile to say.
He also loathes religion with a passion and might possibly like to see all religious people burn in hell--if he believed in hell.

Not at all edifying or useful except perhaps as a paperweight. Definitely not worth your time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Praise for Nietzsche, Shaker of Foundations, to Abet Christian Thought
The Kaufmann edition of Nietzsche shows its superiority by its longevity; the PORTABLE NIETZSCHE has been out for about 50 years of continuous availability.

I read Nietzsche to get a jolt to my Christian pre-concepts. It is clear that Nietzsche thought little of Christianity and wrote several deliberately blasphemous accounts of Jesus and his sway over Europe in the 19th century...What is less clear is that the Christian cannot avoid the ugly side of his/her nest and needs to invite the gadfly betimes to open rebuke-- exactly as Jesus Himself did to the Judaism of the 1st century-- of which He was a pious Pharisee exemplar.

That Nietzsche was a hero to the Nazis is a fact that Kaufmann in introduction is careful to 'dance around'; nevertheless reading Nietzsche is just as important--yea more so-- for understanding DUNKEL ROMANTISCHKEIT as understanding the mad genius of MEIN KAMPH. When one needs to 'shake the foundations' (see book of this ilk by Paul Tillich & Isaiah 24:18) such a look at the darkness Nietzsche presents can be stimulating.

--Vernon Lynn Stephens

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb Introduction to Nietzsche
A mentor in philosophy once mentioned in a book "Nietzschean intensity", so I had to check this guy out.The Portable Nietzsche has influenced me profoundly, and developed in me the resolve to attack my own convictions as Nietzsche remarks in one of his many startling aphorisms.

Check out Other Voices by Wasson for what is probably the very best collection of incisive Nietzsche quotes, and no-bs philosophical quotes in general.

I also recommend all of Kaufmann's translations and books on Nietzsche.

2-0 out of 5 stars Nietzsche was out there a ways
I have alot of respect for Nietzsche, he was brilliant in his own right and he also helped Freud in some of the formulation of psychoanalysis. But Nietzsche ended up in a mental hospital, and had emotional and mental problems in his later life....and his philosophies and views of life were certainly influenced by his own sadness and despair.Anyway, the book was disapointing and hard to read.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ah, women. They make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.
Without exploring the depths and meanings of Nietzsche's philosophy, I will keep this review succinct. This was my introduction to the writings of Nietzsche, and I found it to be profoundly insightful, witty, clever, eloquent; and at times obtuse, long-winded, and cynical; but undeniably brilliant. Nietzsche explores a vast array of topics, from war and friendship to Christianity and his seeming infatuation with dance.

Editor and translator Walter Kaufmann also provides an excellent preface and introduction, providing background information about who Nietzsche was, as well as ample analyses of most of the included writings. I am looking forward to re-reading this and exploring the essays and full works in more detail. ... Read more

9. The Anti-Christ
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 86 Pages (2010-03-28)
list price: US$5.25 -- used & new: US$5.25
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Asin: 1451574819
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Here is Friedrich Nietzsche's great masterpiece The Anti-Christ, wherein Nietzsche attacks Christianity as a blight on humanity. This classic is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand Nietzsche and his place within the history of philosophy. "We should not deck out and embellish Christianity: it has waged a war to the death against this higher type of man, it has put all the deepest instincts of this type under its ban, it has developed its concept of evil, of the Evil One himself, out of these instincts-the strong man as the typical reprobate, the 'outcast among men.' Christianity has taken the part of all the weak, the low, the botched; it has made an ideal out of antagonism to all the self-preservative instincts of sound life; it has corrupted even the faculties of those natures that are intellectually most vigorous, by representing the highest intellectual values as sinful, as misleading, as full of temptation. The most lamentable example: the corruption of Pascal, who believed that his intellect had been destroyed by original sin, whereas it was actually destroyed by Christianity!" -Friedrich Nietzsche ... Read more

Customer Reviews (54)

3-0 out of 5 stars Meh.
The content of the book is great, so far.

But the problem is the price. It was only $6.00, but I thought it was a book. It's more like a brochure. Just a few pages long. Resembles more of a book you buy in a church bookstore for two or three bucks.

5-0 out of 5 stars The AntiChrist Reviewed
Nietzsche's most incisive criticism is that Judeo-Christian morals invert the truly noble human virtues (honor, pride, beauty, and power), replacing them with diminutive human qualities such as pity, humility, meekness, submissiveness. Born of an enslaved people creating values for slaves, Nietzsche believes that Judeo-Christian values represent a resentment on the part of the Israelites--a resentment aimed at turning slave virtues into a morality for all people. By this accomplishment, the slave class becomes the truly ethical class and perhaps even God's people once again. That's Nietzsche's opinion.

However, I disagree with Nietzsche while remaining an admirer of his analysis. Nietzsche's ideal is the ubermensch ("the Superman"), but Judeo-Christian virtues are an expression of something far deeper that was born in the earliest days of human civilization. Specifically, Judeo-Christian values have a broader aim than creating a superman; that is, to create a Super People. They aim to tame selfish urges which, if unchecked, threaten to sever relationships, create division, and disband the greater whole. Judeo-Christian morality aims to transform selfishness so that the individual can balance self interest with the good of the greater whole. Accordingly, Judeo-Christian values increase cohesion and unity among people, enabling human civilizations to scale in numbers and become a super-people.

Early in our history, humans discovered the secret of their humanity--the power of scale; the power of increasing our social unions to achieve critical advantages that only humans can achieve. It can be summed up simply as: what unites us is good; what divides us is evil. The power of scale truly unlocked human potential, enabling tribes to become civilizations. The power of scale gave rise to societal advantages such as a stronger collective defense against enemies, more effective hunting, the division of labor, trade, commerce, skilled labor and specialization, education and learning, and the political state.

While incomplete early on, the Israelites articulated the will of a people to unite and scale. What unites us is good; what divides us is evil.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche
Every review of this book, without exception, calls to mind:
"Abiding in the midst of ignorance, thinking themselves wise and learned,
fools go aimlessly hither and thither, like blind led by the blind."~Katha Upanishad -
[Death as Teacher] -Six century BCE
& "Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. If a blind person
leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit."
~ Jesus Christ of Nazareth - Concerning the Pharisees - Matthew 15, Luke 6.
"That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power,
which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
~ Albert Einstein
Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!

5-0 out of 5 stars A very good read; good for analysis.
I initially bought the book simply out of interest of Nietzsche himself and found that the book can be used as a tool to help analyze Christianity and its influences much more deeply than it has been within the book.The one thing that is disappointing is that Nietzsche writes with a tone that seems to enforce the typical "angry atheist" stereotype that many Christians love to cling to (of course, I suppose one could argue that every time anybody voices their opinions on religion in a less than flattering manner, Christians will slap that stereotype on them).

3-0 out of 5 stars The Anti-Christ
Nietzsche really rips into Christianity in this one. There are other critiques of Christianity that I like better (Natures Eternal Religion by Ben Klassen and The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine are a couple off the top of my head) but for someone with the worldview that Nietzsche had this is pretty good. The main righteous point he makes is that Christianity is completely anti-nature, human and otherwise. ... Read more

10. Unpublished Writings from the period of Unfashionable Observations: Volume 11 (The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsch) (v. 11)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Hardcover: 536 Pages (2000-01-01)
list price: US$80.00 -- used & new: US$79.97
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Asin: 0804728844
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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This is the third volume to appear in an edition that will be the first complete, critical, and annotated English translation of all of Nietzsche’s work. Volume 2: Unfashionable Observations, translated by Richard T. Gray, was published in 1995; Volume 3: Human, All Too Human (I), translated by Gary Handwerk, was published in 1997. The edition is a new English translation, by various hands, of the celebrated Colli-Montinari edition, which has been acclaimed as one of the most important works of scholarship in the humanities in the last half century.

The present volume provides for the first time English translations of all of Nietzsche’s unpublished notebooks from the summer of 1872 to the end of 1874. The major works published in this period were the first three Unfashionable Observations: “David Strauss the Confessor and the Writer,” “On the Utility and Liability of History for Life,” and “Schopenhauer as Educator.” Translations of the preliminary notes for these pieces are coordinated with the translations of the published texts printed in Volume 2: Unfashionable Observations.

The content of these notebooks goes far beyond the notes and plans for published and unpublished Unfashionable Observations, encompassing numerous sketches related to Nietzsche’s major philological project from this period, a book on the pre-Platonic Greek philosophers. The ideas that emerged from Nietzsche’s deliberations on these early Greek thinkers are absolutely central to his thought from this period and contribute in significant ways to the development of several of his major themes: the role of the philosopher vis-à-vis his age and the surrounding culture; the relationships among philosophy, art, and culture; the metaphorical nature of language and its relationship to knowledge; the unmasking of the modern drive for absolute “truth” as a palliative against the horror of existence; and Nietzsche’s “unfashionable” attack on modern science and modern culture, especially on the Germany of the Bismarck Reich. These notebooks represent important transitional documents in Nietzsche’s intellectual development, marking, among other things, the shift away from philological studies toward unabashed cultural criticism.

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Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Has a great index, notes, and an afterword.
The value of this book depends entirely on the ability of the reader to think about it.I happened to enjoy it as confirmation of many efforts I have previously made to understand Nietzsche and the world at large, and this review pays far too much attention to the world, which is as at large as ever.

Long ago, I had the opportunity to consider what Nietzsche thought about a normal appreciation for the truth, compared to the opposite which he discovered in what was most forceful."When the Christian crusaders in the Orient encountered the invincible order of Assassins, . . . whose lowest ranks followed a rule of obedience the like of which no order of monks ever attained, they obtained in some way or other a hint concerning that symbol and watchword reserved for the highest ranks alone as their secretum:`Nothing is true, everything is permitted.' "(ON THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS, translated by Walter Kaufmann, p. 150).This collection of notebooks of private thoughts, which Nietzsche did not publish, reflect the process in which he prepared his work.Trying to find some secret doctrine, which the public could never understand, seems to be like trying to understand everything, as dangerous as any other aspect of his thought.

In 1872 or early 1873, he had written, "Conversely, we are returning to culture in a sectarian manner, we are trying once again to suppress the philosopher's immeasurable knowledge and convince him of the anthropomorphic character of all knowledge."(p. 57).This is so true, I need only mention GENIUS by Harold Bloom, in which "A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds" are explained by classifications which seek to glorify how individuals think.Otherwise, in our culture, "Groupthink is the blight of our Age of Information, and is most pernicious in our obsolete academic institutions, whose long suicide since 1967 continues.The study of mediocrity, whatever its origins, breeds mediocrity."(Bloom, p. ix).

When Nietzsche was becoming an expert in Greek civilization, learning about the Pre-Platonic philosophers, a battle was fought at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, early in July, 1863.The Confederacy lost that battle, but in 1870-1871, the newly united states of Germany, under Prussia, having organized its troops for rapid deployment, had triumphed in a war with France.Long years of division and deprivation had prepared Germany to become the economic powerhouse which it is today, third in the world, following the United States and Japan.In the monetary system of the world, the dollar, the yen, and now the euro are the leading currencies.The state of financial collapse which is now a threat to the dominance of globalization is best imagined by considering Iraq like Gettysburg, a battle dragged out for years instead of days, in which the United States, the chief invader (England was the foreign power which offered the most support for the Confederacy during the American Civil War), has managed to remain in the area, which it considers a battlefield on which it may yet triumph.In his notebook, Nietzsche sought the "Value of truthfulness. --It does indeed improve things!Its aim is decline.It sacrifices.Our art is the likeness of desperate knowledge."(p. 57)

Though Nietzsche has been dead for over a hundred years, the range of his thought is accessible to people who are willing to search within themselves for whatever is the matter with their situations.Trouble?I could show you trouble.Compared to the twentieth century, thinking about America in Iraq seems to be the most hopeful way to go for anyone who has hoped for money, or oil, or power, or the opportunity to be right in a way that the world can't deny.But Nietzsche went looking into the big question, and found:

"When among the tumult at the outbreak of the last great war an embittered French scholar called the Germans barbarians and accused them of lacking culture, people in Germany still listened closely enough to take deep offense at this; and it gave many journalists the opportunity to polish brightly the armor of their culture, . . . and venerable Carlyle publicly praised precisely those qualities in the Germans and, for the sake of these qualities, gave their victory his blessing, then everyone was clear about German culture; and after the experience of success, it was certainly quite innocuous to speak of the victory of German culture.Today, when the Germans have enough time to examine in retrospect many of the words flung at us then, there are probably a few who recognize that the Frenchman was right:the Germans are barbarians, despite all those human qualities."(p. 93).The distinction Nietzsche would like to draw is regarding the future:"the hope for an emerging culture vindicates the Germans:whereas one gives no deference to a degenerate and exhausted culture."(p. 93).It is necessary to look in another book to find the phrase of Goethe which Nietzsche was to include in his published work."But another couple of centuries may have to pass before our countrymen will have absorbed sufficient spirit and higher culture for one to be able to say of them:it has been a long time since they were barbarians."(UNFASHIONABLE OBSERVATIONS, p. 10).Since the United States bombed bridges and buildings in Europe in 1999 to react to a civil war in which a ruling party there seemed uncivilized to us, perhaps the stance of the German and French people today tries to seem more cultured than the Americans as their last, best hope to avoid the terrorists that can do far more to hasten the decline of civilization than America would acting alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Right on.
I don't like the idea that people have to study books like this.I think they should just be left lying around in the living room, next to the most comfortable chair, and anybody who is curious can just pick it up and open it to see what it says.This book has a great page 6.It helps if you can be listening to music that says the same thing, like Jewel's "Spirit," which has a song called "What's Simple is True."At the top of page 6, Nietzsche is trying to write about a philosopher who "does not stand so completely apart from the people."Nietzsche wants a philosophy that is like "art--its own transfiguration and redemption.The will strives for purity and ennoblement."People who read this without listening to Jewel might not know what Nietzsche is trying to say, but Jewel actually sings it.

There is a section on "the thirst to know it all," which doesn't seem all that great to anybody anymore, but then the last sentence on page 6 says, "The philosopher is a means for coming to rest in the rushing current, for becoming conscious of the enduring types by disdaining infinite multiplicity."If anything, Jewel ends up being too right for this book, she's so much better than the number of ways that Nietzsche might still get it wrong by his own standards.Wrong, wrong, wrong.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up to Stanford Univ Press
Nietzsche has gained much fame and notoriety over the 100 years since his death. This has, unfortunately, led many people to believe that they have some idea what he wrote, why and when. The other "reviews" hereare a case in point.

The writings here are from the period just afterThe Birth of Tragedy. Specifically, these are notes and fragments from theperiod of the Untimely Meditations, here called Unfashionable Observations,basically 1872-74.

I was struck by the richness of these jottings, andby the breadth of topic and subject. You can find insights concerningsemiology and linguistics, politics and sociology, etc., written withrefreshing originality and boldness. What surprised me most of all is howreadable this volume is. In some ways, it is more engaging than thepublished texts of the same period.

One more thing, Nietzsche's cerebralbreakdown occurred many years after this period, and even so, it is quitedubious to call his writings into question even from that later period. Hisproblem was organic, not psychological. And secondly, anyone who thinksthat the value of reading Nietzsche is for "a couple of clever quotesto throw around at dinner-parties", has really missed something.

Anyone who has studied Nietzsche's philosophy will be thrilled by thiscollection of notes. Not only do they throw light on the UnfashionableObservations; they show how wide reaching Nietzsche's interests were atsuch an early period.

5-0 out of 5 stars The real bible
To anyone who thinks that Nietzsche's rambling when he wrote his stuff, there's only one answer -- read it again, this time carefully. Nietzsche says so much in his books, and he is intentionally writing in this style. For those who aren't really interested they'll see a bunch of mad rambling,but for those who care, it is the real bible.

2-0 out of 5 stars Think before you believe!
In philosophy, Nietzsche is the equivalent of a BMW - recognizable, but is the badge worth it. His convaluted ramblings are little more than a collection of clever phrases artlessly patched together in a poor quality quilt of imitation philosophy.

Nietzsche spent the last 11 years of hislife in a medically testified state of drooling insanity and I wouldsuggest he was crazy long before that. If you're serious about philosophy,all you can hope to get from these works is a couple of clever quotes tothrow around at dinner-parties, not a philosophy to discover the 'truth' ofthe universe. ... Read more

11. Thoughts Out of Season Part I
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
Paperback: 102 Pages (2010-03-07)
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Subjects: History / Study ... Read more

12. The Birth of Tragedy: The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 236 Pages (2007-04-03)
list price: US$13.45 -- used & new: US$12.10
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Asin: 1594625859
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The Birth of Tragedy, first Nietzsche's books. It was republished in 1886 asThe Birth of Tragedy, Or: Hellenism and Pessimism. An Attempt at Self-Criticism, wherein Nietzsche commented on this very early work. In this book Nietzsche characterizes the conflict between two distinct tendencies - theApollonian and Dionysian. Nietzsche describes in this book how from Socrates onward the Apollonian had dominated Western thought, and raises German Romanticism as a possible reintroduction of the Dionysian to the salvation of European culture... ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars For Nietzsche, art is nothing less then a "life affirming force"
I read this book for a graduate seminar on the philosophy of art.Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy" and "On The Genealogy of Morality" begin to shape or force the latter character of his thought, which is an affirmation of life.An affirmation of life, even with its tragic character rather than an affirmation of life without tragedy.Nietzsche agrees with Schopenhauer about the nature of reality being dark.He accepts Plato's characterization about tragedy, but affirms tragedy instead of wanting to ban it like Plato argued for in his "Republic."He rejects Aristotle' formalism, Nietzsche rejects Kant's notion of disinterest, and its life denying implications, the whole idea that you have to be disinterested in art is a complete contradiction of the vitality of art.It betrays a kind of life denying implication, if the point of art is to find a zone to turn off ones interests, then why would you think that, that is valuable.Why would someone think that that is a good thing?Nietzsche accepts the idea of genius and like Hegel, although not in the same way as Hegel, Nietzsche elevates art to a high level, by saying that art and reality mirror each other, in that art is a kind of forming formlessness and that is the way reality is.Nietzsche had a big influence on 20th century art.

Nietzsche unlike Aristotle insists on a religious component in tragedy, the two main Greek myth currents is Apollo and Dionysus.By associating these two religious sects with tragedy, it is more historically true for Nietzsche.He observes Greek tragedy and Dionysian religion and its character.The image of Greek culture was one of being measured and civilized, however Nietzsche sees the Dionysian religion was dark and violent and irrational as well.Tragedies were performed at Dionysian festivals it is a "nature" based religion, celebrating the cycle of life, both birth and death.The world is like a restaurant, all living things live off other living things.Dionysian rites probably included animal sacrifices, maybe human as well.Dionysus was an unusual deity in Greece; he was the only one to suffer death and to be brought back to life, unlike other Olympian deities.Dionysian religion was very popular in Greece; Apollonian religion was very popular as well.Nietzsche says tragedy has something to do with Dionysius religions dark side.

One of the best sources of the Dionysian religion is Euripides in the "Bacchae."There is some question about his intent in writing the "Bacchae."Euripides turns against his Greek tragic tradition by showing the Greeks the absurdities and ironies in their tragic tradition with his plays, which also essentially recommend that Greeks turn away from their form of tragedy.Euripidean heroes are usually rebelling against the state rather than accommodating it.However, the "Bacchae" is an unusual play because it seems to be just the kind of portrayal of the Dionysian religion.It is a tragic satire of Dionysian religion by presenting its absurdities.

Nietzsche's point is that there is something very different about tragedies, they have measured constructions of beauty and form, and Aristotle is very good at pointing that out.Greek tragedys are not chaotic not just wild abandonment, they are beautifully constructed artistic works with plots and characters and story lines.This is often misunderstood, for Nietzsche Greek tragedy is not a purely Dionysian phenomenon.Apollo, the Apollonian religion is equally important to understand tragedy, and in fact, it is the Apollonian part that makes tragedy for Nietzsche not a life of pessimism art form.You could say the Dionysian and Apollonian religions were two powerful forces that are very different from each other.Nietzsche said they had different manifestations and often looked on each other with antagonism.Dionysian religion and Christianity has similarities, the dying God, sacrament of eating and drinking of the body.Nietzsche's tragic hero is done in by faith, for both.Big difference for Christianity is the resurrection.Nietzsche believes that what makes Greek tragedy special is that it is a joining of these two forces, the Apollonian form in representing measured power and the darker undoing power of the Dionysian religion.

Apollo represents form and Dionysus formlessness.Apollonian form is an artistic phenomenon it is not a rational form.Sometimes people read the Apollonian as a rational principle, but they do this because Socrates comes on the scene who represents what Plato wanted.The overcoming of the tragic by way of the conscious reflection and rational principles and so on.The Apollonian is always an artistic sensuous produced form.The Dionysian is the impulse to self-transcendence and by self-transcendence Nietzsche means the Greek word ecstasy, which literally means to stand outside oneself.It would be proper therefore to say that the Dionysian experiences were ecstatic in the literal sense because there was a loss of individualization a loss of self-consciousness and an emersion in these powerful natural forces.Therefore, the whole point of the Dionysian religion was to overcome the self.You can see that eroticism and killing are two forms of dismemberment.Killing is obviously the termination of life,but as every human culturalknows, the power of the erotic has its own kind of dismembering force in that it is a natural force that can easily undue the culture.Sex is always an enemy in some respects, and yet, no sex, no culture.The erotic is a natural force and all cultures have recognized the power of the erotic as a powerfully disintegrating force.It can lead people to abandon all decorum and measure and responsibility.Therefore, sex, birth, and death are the Dionysian religion in a nutshell.Dionysian's would argue no sex no culture, so why not give cultural expression to power of sex.This releases pent up depression.Nietzsche wants to understand tragedy as interdependent, yet the form of the one religion is dependent of the other religion.Dionysian part and Apollonian part are together in tragedy, but with dark theme but no wholly chaotic art form.Tragedy represents reconciling of the two religions.Nietzsche's point is we truly don't understand what tragedy meant to the Greeks.It wasn't simply a dark story of destruction.It had religious connotations.

From this religious cultural analysis, Nietzsche wants to form an art theory.In Nietzsche's "Birth of Tragedy" he sees things in the Greek world having a stimulus of thought starting philosophy.Regeneration of art world, was he thought, found in Richard Wagner's music.Nietzsche is a life philosopher.Nietzsche believes there is some life force tapped into by the creative person.Artists are "touched" by a force.Dionysian religion is a bit of this you lose yourself and are given over to something more powerful like Nietzsche's life force.Creativity has to be a little abnormal or as Nietzsche says dissatisfaction with the normal.Nietzsche argued that philosophy should contain artistic elements.One of the messages of Nietzsche's philosophy is that the problem arose when philosophy came on the scene and tried to organize and govern everything by rational concepts and methods and reflection and categorization and demonstration and logical arguments.That is the reason why Socrates and Plato found tragedy so offensive, so unwieldy and such a stimulation.But then again Nietzsche asks the question, before I get on board with this plan to overcome these terrible forces, I want to know why its so terrible, this is his constant method, which is to ask, prove to me why tragedy has to give way to philosophy.Part of Nietzsche's approach to philosophy itself is that philosophy should contain artistic elements.This is the reason for his writing style, which are elusive and not straightforward argumentations.

Remember, Schopenhauer who influenced Nietzsche's thinking said the ultimate nature of will is this formless chaotic energy, that we strive for meaning that we have here and there but in the end it is all taken away from us and that is the end of it and that is why life is meaningless.However, Nietzsche says the fact that the Greeks had this very same insight but did not turn away from life should not have been a puzzle to Schopenhauer it should have made Schopenhauer question his own argument.Instead, Schopenhauer argued that the Greeks didn't realize the full impact of tragic insight, they were naive.Nietzsche thought Schopenhauer was wrong about tragedy.Schopenhauer thought tragedy was a necessary insight into meaninglessness, which would lead to resignation.That is why the Apollonian is so important for Nietzsche; the Apollonian is what saves the human spirit from disintegration.Therefore, art has this saving power.However, the fact that the Greeks had in one form in tragedy, the two forces of Apollo and Dionysus interests Nietzsche.On the one hand, they recognize the limits of things, in the other hand they delighted in the artistic orientation of this dark story.How can there be pleasure from dark themes in art, in a way Nietzsche is giving his own version of it, for him it is inherently life affirming to actually render the dark in artistic form.There is a difference between coming to the insight that life is meaningless, and then saying that now guides all my thinking and all my dispositions.The very fact of tragedy as an artistic form is life saving element for the Greeks.The curious thing is that the Greeks could enjoy these tragic performances and yet the message was dark.

Therefore, it is important to note that Nietzsche insists that the Apollonian and Dionysian dyad are a characteristic of reality.One by themselves is not real.Form is by itself just an allusion of formal structure; an allusion of formal structure is what so many philosophers wanted, eternal being eternal structures, timeless truths that would be form.Formlessness by itself is too chaotic, no culture, no art, no creativity.Nietzsche was always a philosopher of culture, always pointing to his German culture that he thought needed to be renewed and revived.Nietzsche recognizes the force and reality of wildness, but it is the two together that make human life, the wild, and the cultured, both are unavoidable dualities the Apollonian and Dionysian.Greek tragedy brought them into focus; his philosophy tries to work from that and he says, yes that is how we should see existence.

So poetry and tragedy are both pre-conceptual artforms that start culture, no culture starts with philosophy, conceptual formations and definitions and axioms and truths.Culture begin with religion and art forms and habit and things that are not clarifying with conceptual structure.They have life to them and a culture lives them out.Although he values philosophy as higher form of thinking, he always insists that philosophy can't alienate itself from pre-conceptual world of art, (poetry), which he certainly thought Plato was saying when he wanted to ban poetry.Nietzsche would say there is an infinite relationship between poetry and philosophy and that means that those who might want to distinguish philosophy with having a higher value than just poetry are wrong.He thinks it is wrong that you can have a pure conceptual procedure on the one hand and have anything of deep value or that you can simply have a poetic genre on one hand all by itself.Thinking is important, not just poeticizing.However, Nietzsche argues we must have thinking with poeticizing.

I recommend this work for anyone interested in Nietzschean philosophy, philosophy of art, Greek tragedy, culture, and history.
... Read more

13. The Gay Science: With a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
by Friedrich Nietzsche
 Mass Market Paperback: 416 Pages (1974-01-12)
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Asin: 0394719859
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Nietzsche called The Gay Science "the most personal of all my books." It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God -- to which a large part of the book is devoted -- and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence.

Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being and illuminates his philosophy. The book contains some of Nietzsche's most sustained discussions of art and morality, knowledge and truth, the intellectual conscience and the origin of logic.

Most of the book was written just before Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the last part five years later, after Beyond Good and Evil. We encounter Zarathustra in these pages as well as many of Nietzsche's most interesting philosophical ideas and the largest collection of his own poetry that he himself ever published.

Walter Kaufmann's English versions of Nietzsche represent one of the major translation enterprises of our time. He is the first philosopher to have translated Nietzsche's major works, and never before has a single translator given us so much of Nietzsche. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Gay Science
Translated as the Gay Science, or roughtly, the Joyful wisdom, there is nothing Gay about this book as some might think. If anything it would be the happy science, since we are happy to be free from religious morals. Coming out of a nearly all religious world, Nietzsche was somewhat of an outcast. The philosophies expressed in this book are presented in a brutal way. Called the "brutal philosophy" he told of Nihilism, in that, Any type of religious based morals are regarded as irrational. This is because we as a human have been able to grow up from our religious beliefs and see that "God is dead" and we can move on from this discovery and put religion behind us.Nietzsche talks of the Ubermachen, or the Over Men. These men are supreme beings that understand things like science being rational and religion being something more false and made up. Of course Nietzsche and his philosophy at the time were regarded as just some way to get out of doing your duty to God, now today his books are seen as a way to understand the world in a "freedom" perspective, and almost a prophecy.

This is a good book if you are interested in 17th and 18th century and even modern philosophy, humanities or eye opening reading. Nietzsche is a philosopher among many.. ahead of his times. Much like Galileo, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin, Anton LaVey.. Nietzsche's writings seem to push on beliefs that society are afraid to accept as true. Now today we begin to accept these views as science and rational though progresses...

There is nothing that you can do, Nietzsche's ideas are climbing out of the falsehoods that society has bound us by.. slowly, and slowly, as everything tends to unfold.. And they shiver, hoping that we as a society will not be able to open our eyes.

3-0 out of 5 stars A secular Pope
Nietzsche's place in the history of philosophy
Nietzsche was the first disciple of Schopenhauer, but where the latter turned into a pessimist, Nietzsche became an optimist (fröhlich) for the same reasons.
Schopenhauer countered I. Kant (who stated that we couldn't know `the thing in itself') by remarking that we experience our own body. His analysis of the way of the world unveiled a mankind driven by a universal destructive impulse for uninhibited power, which he called the `Will'. Nietzsche turned this `negative' message into a positive one: let's quit the age of tragedy and live `fully' by accepting that `expansion of power' is a fundamental instinct of life.

Nietzsche's message
His message to the members of mankind is: Why have morality, when life, nature and history are not moral. Quit this age of moralities, remorse and moral valuations. `Be yourself'. Make your `own new tables of what is good'. Create your own laws.

Nietzsche's enemies
His first and foremost enemy was religion with its morality of selflessness, self-sacrifice, virtue, pity and charity. This morality makes man an assistant of his neighbor. It is a disadvantage, `good' only for the other. Man is a victim of his virtue.
Other enemies are the Utilitarians and their trade (`a prostitution of the spirit'), I. Kant and his categorical imperative, the French revolutionaries (`we don't need the sirens and their song about equal rights'), Darwinism (`an incomprehensible one-sided doctrine of the struggle for existence'), science (a doctrine), the human herd (`the herd animal with its profound mediocrity') and the poor (`the smell of distress and overcrowding'); also, consciousness (`a disease') and women (his profound misogyny).

Nietzsche's friends
The warriors (`war is for the noblest people a pleasure'), Ancient Greece (he only names two people: the anti-democrat Plato and a member of a secret society, Pythagoras) and Evil (`hatred, the mischievous delight in the misfortune of others, the lust to rob and to dominate'), which belongs to the most amazing economy of the preservation of the species.

Philosophy in a bad position
With all this `mediocrity' around him, Nietzsche didn't become a misanthrope. But, he recognized that `we, philosophers are in a bad position nowadays regarding knowledge', because `science keeps growing'.

Nietzsche's message of freedom, against religious and moral oppression is still a must today. But his contempt for the great majority of humanity as well as his ruthless call to follow man's instinct for domination (and war) is unacceptable.
This book is a long series of invective shouts without much argumentation by someone who believes that only he knows the ultimate `truth' about `human' behavior and who admonishes his followers from his pulpit like a secular Pope.

Only for Nietzsche fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars La gaia scienza
This work of Nietzsche may be the most accessible for the casual reader. For philosophers and scholars, it may be one of the deepest. Many reviewers here have noted the "God is dead" stated for the first time in this book. To fully understand Nietzsche's perspective, and "God is dead" statement, one has to read deeper into - Heinrich Heine and his writings. Like Heine, Nietzsche does not write for the small-minded reader. This is why both of them are often misunderstood.

"The Gay Science" is also a magnificent literary achievement. This is the book to be read and re-read whenever you have a chance. The aphorisms are very well-suited for that but do not forget that all Nietzsche's writings are just the tip of the iceberg and that full appreciation comes from knowing them all (or most of them, at least).

5-0 out of 5 stars Master of persuasion
The explosive, defiant spirit of Nietzsche is engraved in his very own fierce writing. His words are alluring and somewhat dangerous, as the reader will come to feel guilty for recognizing sparks of truth even in his most provocative & offensive ideas . His defiant character makes you shiver from pleasure: here is someone who has no fear of sounding raw and brutal. His ferocity and cynicism will often make you laugh; the painful laugh of realization.

5-0 out of 5 stars Heraclitus comes to the fore-- Im Fluss:Panta rei
The best first and/or last step into Friedrich Nietzsche's thought. It reads quickly and gives a fair cross-section of his writings chronologically: just before TSZ, right after his "free spirit" epoch, and Bk. V from around the time of Beyond Good & Evil. Only a shame that a Hollingdale translation is not available in English.
And now some buffoonery from yours trulery.

Down Going Limerick

Zarathustra is now down going
And so he speaks in rhyme:
The madman said, "God is dead.
Where is he? Is it we who killed a lie?"

Now I Exhort You to Love What is Most Distant, to
Dionysus Against the Crucified.

Burn Your Ships and move to Inland Deserts
Onward--To the Great Noontide,
For The Twilight of the Idols Approaches,
And The Overman's Time is Well Nigh.

At Last Behold the Higher Man--
Whom With Hammer Doth Philosophize:
"You yourself are this Will to Power,
and nothing else besides!"

Now Completely Drunk With Laugher,
And Unafraid to Die
The Higher Man Declares: Amor Fati!
Finally Dionysus Will Fly!

Thus Spoke Zarathustra in His Down Going
Of the Innocence of Becoming from on High.
"Together, Apollo and Dionysus unite
Against the Crucified."

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

The Sorcerer unpursed his lips
laying his flute beside him, and sighed. ... Read more

14. The philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
by H L. 1880-1956 Mencken
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-08-25)
list price: US$31.75 -- used & new: US$22.73
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Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

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2-0 out of 5 stars Failed Attempt
1.Had I known exactly how badly this book was produced and printed by the publisher I would never have purchased it.I understand now, after TRYING (struggling!) to read the book, why it was so cheap.

2.H.L. Mencken gives a thoughtful exposition of Nietzsche's basic tenants.But he fails completely in one, absolutely essential and critical, respect -- He equates Nietsche's "Will to Power" with Schopenhaur's "Will to Live."Nothing could be further from what Nietzsche intended!

3.I have spent approx. 40 years, on and off, attempting to understand what exactly Nietsche was trying to say -- the "vision" he was trying to communicate to others.I purchased this book to obtain Mencken's interpretation -- his "view" of Nietsche's meaning.In that sense, the content of the book fulfilled its purpose.However, there are better, much better, books delineating Nietzsche's ideas and tenents than this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Social Darwinist Nietzsche.
_The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche_, first published in 1908, by Baltimore newspaperman H. L. Mencken was the first complete exposition of Nietzsche's thought written in English and presents a version of Nietzsche that may be unfamiliar to his latter-day interpreters.H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956) was an iconoclastic newspaperman who made a name for himself through his brash style and opposition to F.D.R.Mencken, whose ancestry was German and thus was heavily influenced by Germanic thinkers, wrote this book when he was twenty-seven years old to present the thinker of Nietzsche to the American people.This book presents Nietzsche as an elitist and atheistic philosopher who foretold the destruction of Christianity (which has yet to occur) and advocated a Social Darwinist philosophy.Mencken's political thinking may be understood as largely libertarian, though it included a racialist element to it, and thus this book contains much of the all-too-typical commentary against altruism common to the Social Darwinists of the time.Latter-day interpreters of Nietzsche have attempted to soften his image; however, as this book effectively shows, Nietzsche was a staunch advocate of eugenic breeding policies and Social Darwinism.I strongly disagree with the contents of this book, but nevertheless I find it a useful exposition of an alternative Nietzsche which our modern day academics seem afraid to face.Politically and philosophically there is much to disagree with about Mencken but he is always fun to read.

The first section of this book is devoted to Nietzsche the man.Mencken begins by tracing Nietzsche's boyhood and youth.Nietzsche was the son of a preacher and from an early age had a strong fear of the Lord.Mencken explains Nietzsche's relationship with his father and sister (who eventually became the executor of his estate) as well as his early interest in literary matters.Mencken goes on to explain Nietzsche's progress in school and his developing cynicism and loss of faith.Following this, Mencken turns to Nietzsche's early development as a philosopher.In particular, Nietzsche's youthful reading of Arthur Schopenhauer framed his experience and led to his pessimistic understanding of the world.Nietzsche decried Christianity as a weakening doctrine and developed his notion of the superman.Mencken explains how Nietzsche's sickly constitution contrasted so starkly with his philosophy.Later in life, Nietzsche was to develop an illness which rendered him helpless and thus was left to his sister's care.The exact nature of this illness (and as to whether or not it was syphilis - it probably was not) has been debated much since.

The second section of this book is devoted to Nietzsche the philosopher.Here, Mencken explains the Nietzschean contrast between Dionysus and Apollo in his early philological work.This contrast was to play a further development throughout Nietzsche's philosophical life.Following this, Mencken turns to the Nietzschean conception of the origin of morality.Nietzsche viewed Christian morality as a means of "slave revolt" and as a weakening doctrine which destroyed the will to live.Nietzsche maintains that morality is man-made and that the masters have a right to create their own morality.Following this, Mencken turns his attention to Nietzsche's comments that it is possible to move beyond good and evil.Here, Mencken maintains that Christianity developed as a conspiracy of the Jews, a slave people against the masters.Mencken further maintains that Nietzsche is fundamentally an immoralist.Following this, Mencken turns his attention to the Nietzschean conception of the superman.Here, Mencken and Nietzsche emphasize individualism and an opposition to charity and altruism as only serving to further weaken the race.Nietzsche also feared the notion of the eternal recurrence, which played some role in his later philosophy.Regarding Christianity, Nietzsche has very harsh words believing it to be an utterly corrupting influence.Mencken also mentions such notable evolutionists and Social Darwinians as Haeckel, Darwin, T. H. Huxley, and Herbert Spencer in this respect.Nietzsche regarded Christianity as essential a Jewish plot against the masters.Regarding truth, Nietzsche opposed the platitudes of the metaphysicians, the theologians, and politicians as Mencken says.Mencken finds the direction in which civilization is moving towards "universal brotherhood" to be rooted in the Christian conspiracy and thus to be anathema as well.Nietzsche firmly believed in the caste system and the aristocracy and thus opposed all forms of democratic leveling and socialism.Regarding women and marriage, Nietzsche's views were somewhat shaped by Schopenhauer's views on women.Nietzsche remained a lifelong bachelor and opponent of marriage.Regarding government, Mencken presents Nietzsche as a libertarian anarchist.Mencken writes, "Like Spencer before him, Nietzsche believed, as we have seen, that the best possible system of government was that which least interfered with the desires and enterprises of the efficient and intelligent individual."Nietzsche condemned both the monarchical ideal and the democratic ideal.Mencken also shows Nietzsche to be an elitist and Social Darwinist who despised altruism as a weakening doctrine.Regarding crime and punishment, Mencken argues that Nietzsche maintains that from torture arose self-torture and from this the idea of Christian sin.Regarding education, Mencken maintains that the ideal of education is to impart culture.Mencken ends with a section of "sundry ideas" of Nietzsche emphasizing his thinking on various topics.Following this, he details the rather complicated relationship between Nietzsche and Richard Wagner.

The third section of this book attempts to examine Nietzsche as prophet.Mencken delves into Nietzsche's origins showing his philosophical development.Mencken also considers Nietzsche and his critics, both pro and con and ends with an outline for how to study Nietzsche mentioning various sources.

Mencken's presentation of Nietzsche is certainly far from the modern day sanitized version we are given from academics.As such, I think this book is a useful account of the philosopher.I certainly do not agree with much of what Nietzsche or Mencken have to say, for example regarding altruism and Christianity, and believe that similar ideas were largely responsible for the rise of the Nazi tyranny.Nevertheless, this book gives a useful accounting of the Social Darwinist Nietzsche.

For an appropriate response to the excesses of Social Darwinism, please consider the book _Darwinian Fairytales_ by the late Australian philosopher David Stove.

3-0 out of 5 stars Flawed but useful
The first thing that needs to be said about this book is that, as an exposition of Nietzsche's philosophy, it's profoundly flawed.Of course it doesn't claim to be exhaustively comprehensive, and today most of its readers will be drawn as much to the author and his interpretation as to the subject itself.But here the interpretation effectively buries the subject.In his own lifetime Nietzsche observed that in most cases "whoever thought he had understood something of me had made up something out of me after his own image (Ecce Homo III I)," and such is the case of Mencken.

Symptomatic of this is Mencken's tendency to blithely dismiss (as "sheer lunacy", p.85, or "absurd", p.154) whatever in Nietzsche he fails to properly understand or finds to be at odds with his own reading.But the main problem is not so much in this, nor in his omissions, nor in his over-simplifications, nor even in his errors as such; as the introduction quite rightly notes, Mencken is "dead wrong" in equating Nietzsche's will to power with Schopenhauer's will to existence.The real problem is that, in so thoroughly misunderstanding this & other such key aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy, Mencken inevitably, and substantially, misunderstands that philosophy as a whole.

In this particular case, whereas a -higher- and -fuller- existence is seen by Nietzsche as the aim of the will to power, and hence the greatest good, Mencken's misinterpretation takes existence in itself to be the goal (eg, pp.81-83) and thereby interprets the overman as the man most fit to survive the Darwinian struggle for existence (pp.67, 79, etc.).In fact, Nietzsche repeatedly insisted that it is the mediocre who are most successful as far as mere survival goes ("the last man lives longest" Zarathustra Prologue 5; "species do -not- grow in perfection; the weak prevail over the strong again & again" Twilight of Idols IX 14), and by contrast frequently laments the fragility of the higher man ("the ruination of the higher man, of souls of a stranger type, is the rule" Beyond Good and Evil 269, see also 276 & 62, inter alia).

Another example, the more lamentable for the sheer intellectual laziness it represents on Mencken's part, is his chapter on "Truth".Now, Nietzsche's critiques of objectivity and of the limits of conscious reason, as notably in BGE & TOI, are among the most brilliant and influential things he ever wrote.Yet Mencken wastes half the chapter in a pedantic general discussion of truth, then finally turns to Nietzsche by announcing his views are too complicated to be summarized in the available space, proceeds to misrepresent them, and concludes with the patently false assertion that Nietzsche was a moral ("atheistic") determinist.

More unfortunate still, and far less forgiveable coming after the century of further Nietzsche scholarship which has been undertaken since Mencken first wrote, is that this book's introduction, which is supposed to be there to catch Mencken's errors, cheers him on in this one, as well as as in others.Let it be noted too, in passing, how absurd it it when the author of this introduction complains about the lack of clarity in Nietzsche's style--nevermind the countless passages (the Gay Science 381 is especially instructive, but see also Zarathustra, BGE, EH...) in which Nietzsche addresses the issue of style, connecting it with his conception of the order of rank.In other words, his style is a reflection of his philosophy and can't be criticized in isolation from it, any more than one can speak of Plato's use of dialectic as a mere question of style.

As a final point, this particular edition of Mencken's work is further unsatisfactory in its sloppy editing and in its lack of corrections for those facts Mencken gives about Nietzsche's life which are objectively wrong (generally he was as accurate as possible for his time, but since them far more material has come to light--about Nietzsche's relationship with Lou Salomé, for example, not to mention that awful sister of his, who in Mencken's time was still posing as the--largely unquestioned--voice of authority in all things concerning her brother).

To be fair one might find this book worthwhile for a number of reasons; as an example of how Nietzsche was often understood when his influence was first making itself felt; as one of the earliest works of an exceptional man in his own right; and there are even parts which do serve their intended purpose quite well (I think Nietzsche would have entirely approved of the chapter on Education).Finally I myself found Mencken useful here as a sort of intellectual sparring partner; having read a good deal of Nietzsche, I wanted to sort out my own thoughts by putting them up against those of another intelligent but non-specialist reader.So the book does have its uses, just not the one it claims to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good as an example of early Mencken
As an example of H.L. Mencken's nascency as a serious writer and critic, this biography of the philosopher Nietzsche is invaluable to anyone interested in the writings of either man. The introduction by the editor is insightfully critical but does fail to emphasize the context in which Mencken himself held certain views controversial by today's accepted standards. Mencken's interpretations of Nietzsche's ideas tend toward social Darwinism. Especially where he is writing about the early life of Nietzsche, Mencken's outline is better than any other book in English on the subject. But Mencken mixes and matches concepts arising from Dionysus and Apollo too loosely, sometimes to the point of miscomprehension of Nietzsche's position, and sometimes by using their Roman name equivalents. All in all, Mencken is thorough, conscientious and clear in his expose on the great German philosopher.

3-0 out of 5 stars Nietzsche andMencken: "Let the Harshness Commence!"
_Friedrich Nietzsche_ by noted early 20th century American journalist H. L. Mencken is a both a brief biography of Nietzsche as well as a basic outline of his philosophy.Nietzshe's biggest influence is easlily recognized as his predescessor in German pessimism, Schopenhauer, along with the ancient Greeks before Socrates.Nietzsche is criticized as being only a destructive force in his philosophy, merely tearing down the decadent Christian morality that reigned in the West during the 1800s.However, Nietzsche's ultimate goal was the "superman," men who were above morality, sentimentality, religion and the "mindless grazing herd of cows" that constituted most of humanity.Much of this book attacks Christianity, which Nietzsche abbhorred above all other things, and considered it a "slave-morality" derived from the Jews as opposed to the "master-morality" of the European aristocrats.The origin of morality, according to Nietzsche and derived from Schopenhauer, comes from a race's will to live, and this manifests itself in a the law codes, usually of divine origin, of any given tribe, ethnicity, social group, civilization, race or nation.Nietzsche differed from Schopenhauer in that he felt that a heroic life was the best life to lead, instead of giving up the will to live as Schopenhauer taught.Both Nietzsche and Schopenhauer rejected trying to live a "happy" life, realizing that true happiness is unnatainable.In some respects, Nietzsche is reminiscent of the religious prophets he hated so much--he does not believe in free will, that people are more or less determined in their ways by forces that are beyond individual control, but he still exhorts them to dust themselves off and better themselves anyway.As far as his views of marraige and women are concerned, they are very pessimistic yet grounded in reality."Love" comes from physical desire, and marriage is the official sanctioning of it.The ultimate purpose of marraige should be to breed a better race of humans to attain the "superman" in the future.There are some areas where Nietzsche's thoughts went a little fantastic.One theory he propounded was that Christianity was created by the Jews to make the rest of the ancient world a "slave morality".This is ridiculous, as Mencken notes, however some Jewish scholars today like to credit their own people with Christianity's rise at the same time voicing their disgust towards Christianity itself.But Nietzsche predicted that in the future Jews would be the ones that would virtually rule the world and have the greatest amount of influence in the intellectual fields.Another of Nietzsche's offbeat ideas is the doctrine of "eternal reccurance," that time repeats itself in cycles from eternity to eternity and gives the heroic "superman" the same struggle (in which the superman glories in) forever.As far as Nietzsche's influece goes today in 21st century America: I would only conclude that it is partial.It is readily apparent from reading Menckens exgesis where Nietzsche influenced Nazism, libertarians, nihilists, right-wing anarchists, "Ayn Rand style" objectivism and Satanism.Nothing exists for racial improvement, eugenics or euthanasia that is propelling humanity upward.The racial policies and ideals in ascendancy today are extremely dysgenic instead.Some of Nietzsche's ideas which are more readily observabable are the rule by an elite that is above the law--an "Illuminati" of sorts--but it is not bringing the human race upward--it is sending it crashing down to hell.I do not personally agree with many of Nietzsche's ideas, especially his attack on Christianity, but this is a thought provoking book of the "mad prophet of Nihilism." ... Read more

15. On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. By way of clarification and supplement to my last book Beyond Good and Evil (Oxford World's Classics)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 208 Pages (2009-01-15)
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Asin: 0199537089
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) is a book about interpretation and the history of ethics which raises profoundly disquieting issues about the violence of both. This is the most sustained of Nietzsche's later works and offers one of the fullest expressions of his characteristic concerns. The introduction places his ideas within the cultural context of his own time and stresses the relevance of his work for a contemporary audience. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Morals Reviewed
Nietzsche's most incisive criticism is that Judeo-Christian morals invert the truly noble human virtues (honor, pride, beauty, and power), replacing them with diminutive human qualities such as pity, humility, meekness, submissiveness. Born of an enslaved people creating values for slaves, Nietzsche believes that Judeo-Christian values represent a resentment on the part of the Israelites--a resentment aimed at turning slave virtues into a morality for all people. By this accomplishment, the slave class becomes the truly ethical class and perhaps even God's people once again. That's Nietzsche's opinion.

However, I disagree with Nietzsche while remaining an admirer of his analysis. Nietzsche's ideal is the ubermensch ("the Superman"), but Judeo-Christian virtues are an expression of something far deeper that was born in the earliest days of human civilization. Specifically, Judeo-Christian values have a broader aim than creating a superman; that is, to create a Super People. They aim to tame selfish urges which, if unchecked, threaten to sever relationships, create division, and disband the greater whole. Judeo-Christian morality aims to transform selfishness so that the individual can balance self interest with the good of the greater whole. Accordingly, Judeo-Christian values increase cohesion and unity among people, enabling human civilizations to scale in numbers and become a super-people.

Early in our history, humans discovered the secret of their humanity--the power of scale; the power of increasing our social unions to achieve critical advantages that only humans can achieve. It can be summed up simply as: what unites us is good; what divides us is evil. The power of scale truly unlocked human potential, enabling tribes to become civilizations. The power of scale gave rise to societal advantages such as a stronger collective defense against enemies, more effective hunting, the division of labor, trade, commerce, skilled labor and specialization, education and learning, and the political state.

While incomplete early on, the Israelites articulated the will of a people to unite and scale. What unites us is good; what divides us is evil.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great translation of a great book.
The translation is very good in this book and it has enough remarks from the translator to not be overwhelming but still give you the information you need to understand some of the things Nietzsche references from his time.The paper and binding are a good quality.The way I read tends to wear down bindings, but this one had no trouble.

The content itself is great.Genealogy of Morals is extremely insightful into the human psyche and explains very well where a lot of our morality stems from.What's even more interesting, in my opinion, is that he talks at length about what the psychology of this morality causes in society.

Ecce Homo is great on another level.It's rare to see a great thinker make great note of his faults.He talks about his thought process for each book he wrote.While this may not seem greatly informative I think this books main purpose it to encourage people to not deify him the way we tend to do with long dead figures.

Nietzsche is a great writer, but if this is your first book of his I would strongly recommend reading it in entirety before agreeing or disagreeing with it.He likes to speak in extremes.I find this a great approach when it comes to understanding his entire book, but it's easy to get the wrong idea if you only read part of it.For instance, he's call the Jews some of the most harmful forces in human history and then many pages later (and with some of these things even books later) he will say that despite that their general mentality is essential to our survival and that any form of antisemitism is horrifically misguided.In general it's best not to quote Nietzsche, rather paraphrasing tends to be more accurate.He writes so that you have to actually read his work, not just read the wiki on him.

5-0 out of 5 stars A noble blond beast
In his characteristic raging style and with a sometimes obscene vocabulary, Friedrich Nietzsche shouts (`Am I understood?') his vision on the origin of morals (good, bad and evil), of guilt and bad conscience and on the value of ascetic ideals.

The origin of morals
The antithesis good-bad was established by `noble' rulers who seized the right to create their own values. They called their egoistic actions good, which means `of first rank'. Who were these masters? At the bottom all these noble races were `blond beasts of prey in search of spoil, living the voluptuousness of victory and cruelty.'
It was only when the aristocratic value judgments declined that the slaves (other names: the herd, the plebeians, the low, the mob, cellar rodents, insects, the oppressed, the downtrodden, the worm-eaten) could impose their own morality of unegoism, pity, self-sacrifice and self-abnegation on mankind.
The moral revolt of the slaves began when their ressentiment became creative. This ressentiment is an imaginary revenge, a brain-sickness, by those who are denied true action.The egoistic `good' of the rulers became `evil'.
However, the slave morality is an illness based on the phantasmagoria of anticipated bliss, the `Last Judgment'. It is anti-life and a danger for the species `man'.

Guilt, Bad Conscience
Guilt has its origin in `debts', in the contractual relations between creditor and debtor, in which the latter pledged that if he should fail to repay, he would substitute his debt by something else that he possessed (body, limbs, wife, freedom).
The origin of bad conscience comes from the internalization of instincts which couldn't discharge themselves. All those instincts of the wild, free, prowling man (cruelty, destruction) turned against man himself, because the political organization (the State) protected itself against these old instincts of freedom.
Real masters don't know what guilt is. One day, the man of the future, the Antichrist, will come, as a sovereign individual, liberated from the slave morality. He will call his dominating instincts his conscience.

Ascetic ideals
The three slogans of the ascetic ideal are poverty, humility and chastity.
But, an ascetic planet is a nook of disgruntled, arrogant creatures filled with a profound disgust of themselves, of the earth, of all life.
Ascetic life is a self-contradiction. It is an attempt to employ force to block the wells of force, beauty and joy. Its pleasure is sought in decay, pain, ugliness, voluntary deprivation, self-mortification, self-flagellation.
The allies of the ascetics are the scientists (`these trumpeters of reality are bad musicians'), with their belief that truth cannot be criticized (?) and with their aim to dissuade man from his former respect for himself.
What we need is the freedom of `Nothing is true, everything is permitted.'

The powerful, the beasts of prey use(d) religion and its slave morality as a means to keep their power and wealth intact. The many accepted it, until in some countries general free elections (democratic rule) put the power base of the beasts in danger. The beasts had a new problem to face: how to control democracy.
Nietzsche's anti-democratic, anti-scientific, barbaric, full spectrum egoistic rule is unacceptable and indefendable in our `enlightened` world.
However, his shout to mankind to wake up and to live a real `human' life, free from a slave morality, is still highly needed and even more than ever before.

These brutal, raw, blasphemous essays didn't loose one ounce of their invective and polemic power. A real catharsis.
A must read for all Nietzsche fans, but with the necessary caution.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Genealogy of Nietzsche
"The Genealogy of Morals" is one of the more straightforward and easily-comprehensible of Nietzsche's philosophical works. It is a sustained focus on a single topic - the origins of morality - and is comprised of three related essays which explore morality and the nature of "ressentiment," or "suppressed resentment." According to Nietzsche, "ressentiment" is the fundamental motive force, the "will to power," of the religious (specifically the Christian)temperament and character, and results in moral and spiritual corruption: hence Nietzsche's claim that Christianity is the greatest of all evils because it fosters, nurtures, and embodies "ressentiment." Although Nietzsche's diatribes against the Christian religion sometimes get tedious, his psychological analysis of the origins of morality is insightful and intriguing.

The companion piece in this edition, "Ecce Homo," is one of the most entertaining and fascinating autobiographies ever written. Nietzsche recounts events, people, and places that were important to him personally and significant for the development of his philosophy; he offers summaries and "humble" appraisals of his philosophical works (appraisals which are as provocative as they are "humble"); and he claims to have destroyed Christianity and invented psychology -- and while these claims sound exaggerated, they're true from a Nietzschean perspective.With Nietzsche's own commentary on the meaning and significance of his books, "Ecce Homo" is a wonderful introduction to his philosophy and a literary experience.

3-0 out of 5 stars Kaufmann is standard translation, but others are better
I should note up front that my review refers to the Vintage edition--the review and the rating pertain to Kaufmann's translation only, not to Nietzsche's text. Nietzsche's work is a classic and should be read by anyone with an interest in philosophy or related fields. That point, I think, goes without saying. What does need to be said is which translation you should choose to read it in. Kaufmann's is, pretty much, the standard translation. And, for the most part, his translation is true to Nietzsche's German. But it suffers in one important way, and that is how it conflates Hegel's idealism and Nietzsche's thought through the use of a Hegelian, idealist vocabulary. To be sure, Nietzsche draws on Hegel a lot, but Kaufmann's translation misleads the reader into thinking that there are more similarities than there actually are. It also makes this translation unbearably difficult to read.

The second problem I have with this particular edition is that Kaufmann's notes are so shallow, and not really helpful at all. A perfect example is on the first page of the first essay, where Nietzsche abandons his native German for a moment and refers to the English Psychologists pushing the "partie honteuse" of our inner world into view. Kaufmann leaves the phrase untranslated, as he ought, and lets a note do the work of translating it. His note says simply, "shame." In my view, it may be as if he had just omitted the note altogether, because this tells me almost nothing about what Nietzsche means, and doesn't even attempt to get at his metaphor. If one were to turn to Clark and Swenson's translation, put out by Hackett (On the Genealogy of Morality), however, one would learn that the phrase means "shameful part" and when pluralized it is equivalent to the English phrase "private parts." This is a helpful note which explains Nietzsche's metaphor and the connotations he's aiming for.

I'll give this edition three stars because I have to compare it to others, such as Clark and Swenson's, above, or Douglas Smith's translation in the Oxford World Classics edition (On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. By way of clarification and supplement to my last book Beyond Good and Evil (Oxford World's Classics)). In many ways Smith most avoids the "Hegel-ization" of Nietzsche (although it is possible to overdo it, and Smith might be guilty). But in my estimation, Clark and Swenson's is the best, deserving five stars, and Smith's is a close second, perhaps deserving four and a half, or four and three-quarters, not least because Clark and Swenson's notes are better. (Smith's would get five stars if I reviewed it.) Kaufmann's is so far behind these that I cannot justify giving it more than three stars. For a more formulaic, objective approach, you can subtract one star from the translation for at times confusing Nietzsche's thought, and doing so in a confusing way, and subtract one from the edition in general for having mediocre notes. Then you also end up with my three-star rating. ... Read more

16. Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche
by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Christopher Middleton
Paperback: 384 Pages (1996-12)
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This is a reprint of the University of Chicago Press edition of 1969. This collection of over two hundred of Nietzsche's letters offers a representative body of correspondence on subjects of main concern to him - philosophy, history, morals, music and literature. Also included are letters of biographical interest which, in Middleton's words, 'mark the stresses and turnings of his life'. Among the addressees are Richard Wagner, Erwin Rohde, Jacob Burkhardt, Lou Salome, his mother, and his sister Elisabeth. The 'annihilating split' in Nietzsche's personality that has been associated with his collapse on a street in Turin in 1889 is described in a moving letter from Franz Overbeck which forms the Epilogue. Index. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading
If you want to gain insight into Nietzsche's thinking outside of his usual philosophical writings, or follow his chain of thought throughtout his life, this collection of letters is somewhat helpful, but he does not seem to engage in the manner in which he does in his formal philosophical works. One of the features I found surprising in his letters is the courtesy he showed to his recipients. It is evident that Nietzsche treasured the friendships he had, and this is very apparent in his letters. And interestingly, I did not find any hostility in any of the letters addressed to Richard Wagner, considering the history of their relationship.

The book is well-edited, and there is an index of recipients near the end of the book. The editor also includes a general index with subentries that allow the reader to scan an entire topic. This is a helpful aid for amateur readers of Nietzsche, such as myself, but could also be helpful I think to dedicated scholors of Nietzsche.

I was only disappointed that more letters did not address more of Nietzsche's thinking on Dionysus and Apollo. It would have been interesting to read what he had to say about them via the "freestyle" of letter writing. Nietzsche's philosophical writings are actually the most frank and unrestrained of all in nineteenth-century philosophy. He is very honest with himself, and because of this he might be viewed as somewhat narcisstic by some readers. This may be true to some degree, but Nietzsche is refreshing in his style of writing, and actually it is quite entertaining to randomly move through his books and read his maxims and opinions.

The most interesting letter is the one addressed to Carl von Gersdorff on April 6, 1867. He is writing about what he has called "the scholarly forms of disease", and tells of a story about a talented young man who enters the university to obtain a doctorate. He puts together a thesis he has been working on for years, submits it to the philosophical faculty. One rejects the work on the grounds that it advances views that are not taught there. The other states that the work is contrary to common sense and is paradoxical. His thesis is therefore rejected, and he does not therefore earn his doctorate. Nietzsche describes the "not humble enough to hear the voice of wisdom" in their negative judgment of his results. Further, the young man is "reckless enough", in Nietzsche's view, to believe that the faculty "lacks the faculty for philosophy. Nietzsche uses this story to emphasize the virtue of independence: "one cannot go one's own way independently enough. Truth seldom dwells where people have built temples for it and have ordained priests. We ourselves have to suffer for good or foolish things we do, nor those who give us the good or the foolish advice. Let us at least be allowed the pleasure of committing follies on our own initiative. There is no general recipe for how one man is to be helped. One must be one's own physician but at the same gather the medical experience at one's own cost. We really think too little about our own well-being; our egoism is not clever enough, our intellect not egoistic enough."

He's right.

5-0 out of 5 stars What a strange but brilliant fellow...
This book is real fun to have, and shows a side of Nietzsche that is hard to come across in his formal works and the countless biographies. You can read first-hand the conflicts with his sister's anti-semitic husband, read his own giddyness about finishing a new book, and follow his decline into a state of insanity (during which he wrote the strangest letters of all). His wierd sense of humor is much more visible in his letters, which helps one to recognize when he is humoring himself at the expense of the suprised reader in his other works.

"Dear Professor: Actually I would much rather be a basel professor than God; but I have not yet ventured to cary my private egoism so far as to omit creating the world on his account. You see, one must make sacrifices, however and wherever one may be living..." (Jan. 6 1889, To Jacob Burkhart, from Turin).

Also, the index in the back of this book is very thorough, making it easy to find any person or concept that he deals with.

Note: If you are looking for other writers that write as intangible and beautiful as Nietzsche's works but less harsh on the world, try reading some Emmanuel Levinas, a briliant French Jewish Philospher who died in 1995, (Good book: Dificult Freedom) ... Read more

17. Ecce Homo (The Autobiography of Friedrich Nietzsche)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 80 Pages (2009-01-01)
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Written in 1888 just before the final years of insanity that would plague Friedrich Nietzsche until his death in 1900, "Ecce Homo" is an insightful reflection by the author upon his own life and his impact on the world of philosophy. In "Ecce Homo" Nietzsche offers his personal perspective on his various philosophical works including: "The Birth of Tragedy", "Thoughts out of Season", "Human, All-Too-Human", "The Dawn of Day", "The Gay Science", "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", "Beyond Good and Evil", "The Genealogy of Morals", "The Twilight of the Idols", and "The Case of Wagner". In this revealing little work we gain great insight into what Nietzsche was as he saw himself and a final reiteration of his core philosophy, a rejection of the Christian ideal that asserts suffering as a noble necessity of life and of Christianity as the bastion of supreme morality. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Self-Portrait
Nietzsche's literary addendum to his philosophical oeuvre is, at its root, a radically modern autobiography. Written weeks before his collapse into paralysis, these are the final reflections of cogency from this great thinker; the sections are indeed self-inflated and passionate, with titles like `Why I am So Wise,' and `Why I am So Clever,' etc. However, Nietzsche is finally dubious about his reputation and whether or not he will ever be truly understood. He insists that his name "will be associated with the memory of something tremendous," and indeed it would. His work sought to expose the power structures of old societies and to expose the moral systems of Christianity. Nietzsche's tone is eerily prophetic as he insists that "there will be wars the like of which no one has ever seen," his stylish prose rings of a bold yet hysterical urgency. However, at the foundation of Nietzsche's thought is one of the great and subtle tensions in philosophy, the idea that his negating and destroying are "conditions of saying Yes." This is the difficulty of Nietzsche, who is all too easily categorized as the "Will to Power" philosopher of the modern period. We are still catching up to his profound insight, and this self-analysis should be a window into his genius and original intentions.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ecce Homo
Nietzsche entitled his chapters brazenly: "Why I Am So Wise", "Why I Am So Clever", "Why I Write Such Good Books", followed by his discussion of his individual works, and then "Why I Am Destiny". It has been suggested that Nietzsche may have been experiencing the early symptoms of his mental (and physical) decline at the point of writing this work, and his complete mental collapse was to occur soon thereafter. The titles of the chapters in Ecce Homo seemed to be self-indulgent, pointing towards Nietzsche's impending insanity, but after reading Ecce Homo, I had to think that this portrayed arrogance and superiorityfunctioned (at least partially) as a mockery of the narcissistic nature of autobiographies, of which The Confessions by Rousseau offers a good example.
A proof of this sarcastic intention is this sentence from the Preface of Ecce Homo: ""Under these circumstances I have a duty against which my habits, even more the pride of my instincts, revolt at bottom--namely, to say: Hear me! For I am such and such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else!" This sentence shows how Nietzsche acknowledged the limits and self-indulgent dangers of an autobiography. At the same time, Nietzsche did use the autobiography as a medium to strengthen and emphasize his thoughts about Christianity, Western morality, modern culture, anti-Semitism and the German people.
The chapters in Ecce Homo attempt to show Nietzsche's philosophical progression as he began his career as a philologist, the influence of Wagner on his early life, his subsequent break with Wagner, and his later writings. Nietzsche also includes commentary on his own writings, particularly his Zarathustra and shows the opposition between the Dionysian and the Apollonian.
Ecce Homo is a self-portrait in writing. When discussing his image of himself, Nietzsche states that he is a philosopher "who is not an Alexandrian academic nor an Apollonian sage, but Dionysian", meaning that Nietzsche insisted that his suffering, and the scorn he received by his critics, was not noble but tragic. In this regard, the wording of his title was not meant to draw parallels with the Christ, but suggest a contrast, that Nietzsche truly is "a man." Nietzsche's point is that to be "a man" alone is to be more than Christ.
"Ecce Homo" is Nietzsche's philosophical autobiography that attacks the unselfish ideal, metaphysical abstractions, and traditional views of morality. What I liked most about Ecce Homo was Nietzsche's unflinching conviction to his unpopular perspective on religion, morality and life. Amongst his strong points was his plea for all followers of his readings to learn from him, expand due to him and then forget him. To disconnect the connection and move on. To claim the new ideas as only your own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ecce Homo
Ecce Homo is a book written by a man of genius, solitude and an overwhelming insight to the times in which he lived.
In his depiction of the society that has come and past, it's striking how much the people of then are like the people of now.When he spoke of the judgement, misunderstanding and blatant disrespect based solely on an image, he spoke of the cliques of the modern day.When he spoke of the shallow, moral-filled strong arms that controlled society, he spoke of the society of today.Thus the life of a philosopher.
In this book, he reflects on his past.It is his version of an autobiography.He talks of past works, reinstates his beliefs with more clarity, and of other admired artists/philosophers and their works that have impacted him.
The book is almost like an essay, with his old beliefs coming to light and covering new grounds, new theories put on the table and a strong voice that makes for a delivery that was anything but shaky in disposition.
What I liked most about Ecce Homo was Nietzche's unflinching conviction to his unpopular perspective on religion, morality and life.Amongst his strong points were his ideas or one liners that leave you pondering after you have put the book down for the night. Also powerful was his voice that reflected his mental state at the time in which Ecce Homo was "conceived".Not to mention his plea for all followers of his readings to learn from him, expand due to him and then forget him.To disconnect the connection and move on.To claim the new ideas as only your own.
There was nothing to hate about the book as far as I am concerned.I have read several of his works, and where they showed his weaknesses as being against society, this final work has really summed up the man well.It leaves no doubt in your mind as to where he stands and who he is.And given his fate, I'd be happy to have this be my final testament if I were him.
I highly recommend this read to all with an open mind; to anyone who is bored with standard teachings or beliefs; or anyone who is lonely as hell and can't see the beauty and clarity to such circumstances.

4-0 out of 5 stars Afew questions about the autobiography of agreat disturber
The striking power , the unique individuality of Neitzsche's writing is like no other. He is close to being the greatest of all aphoristic philosophers. And his writing has a strength, an intensity that profoundly strikes the reader.
In this 'summa' of his own thought made before he went off into his last years of complete non- communicability he summarizes his major works, and discourses on and on about the subjects which most disturb and obsess him.
One would like to see in this obvious work of genius something worthy of praise alone. For Neitzsche is courageous, he is bold, he is daring and his daring is a daring to truthfulness , in irony even about himself, or what he knows about himself.
Yet there is a message which is conveyed in the work beyond the straightforward meaning of the page. It is in the tone and in the stance. It is in the hysteria and the hatred. And this is where my objection to Neitzsche comes.
For if he was an opponent of Wagner, and would have despised with all his soul the complete misinterpretation of his message made by the Nazis ( Their collective racism was far from his teaching as I understand it of what the 'overman' should be) the very tone of his hatred and hysteria, the very pose of all knowing certainty , the firmness of his tone and voice certainly transmit something that most hatefilled and evil movement absorbed.
For the rest, for the lonely individuals finding in Neitzsche some deep solace( "The thought of suicide enables me to get through many a rough night") for the critics of certain forms of Western thought, Neitzsche might provide a more excusable message.
But the style is also the man, and the man who wrote 'Ecce Homo' was not only not to be compared to the first Christian, he is in some deep human terms , less than wholly commendable.
God should give us kinder and saner geniuses.

5-0 out of 5 stars Why I write such great reviews
Forgive me for wasting all your time because I haven't read the book yet, but just reading about it fills me with excitement because I have Nietzsche's books to keep me company, a fellow Overman/madman/AntiChrist. If I can be so immodest as to compare myself to him in any way, I know from experience that as he descended into madness he thought he was the AntiChrist as Christian bigots would accuse, a worthy title for the great philosopher who is to enlighten the masses of the ills of Christianity and lead us into at least a less hypocritical time. Who knows what great work he would have produced in his later years if he had medication to keep him balanced, walking on the fence that separates the world of the sane from the insane. From up here you see all. I love you Nietzsche! ... Read more

18. Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography
by Julian Young
Hardcover: 676 Pages (2010-03-08)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$32.40
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Asin: 0521871174
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this beautifully written account, Julian Young provides the most comprehensive biography available today of the life and philosophy of the nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Young deals with the many puzzles created by the conjunction of Nietzsche's personal history and his work: why the son of a Lutheran pastor developed into the self-styled "Antichrist"; why this archetypical Prussian came to loathe Bismarck's Prussia; and why this enemy of feminism preferred the company of feminist women. Setting Nietzsche's thought in the context of his times - the rise of Prussian militarism, anti-Semitism, Darwinian science, the "Youth" and emancipationist movements, as well as the "death of God" - Young emphasizes the decisive influence of Plato and of Richard Wagner on Nietzsche's attempt to reform Western culture. He also describes the devastating effect on Nietzsche's personality of his unhappy love for Lou Salomé and attempts to understand why, at the age of forty-four, he went mad.This book includes a selection of more than thirty photographs of Nietzsche, his friends and his work sites. Seventeen of the philosopher's musical compositions, which are key to a deeper understanding of his intellectual project are available online.

To listen to Nietzsche's compositions, visit: http://www.cambridge.org/us/nietzschemusic
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars adding bits to the well known background on Nietzsche
I was surprised to read on page 171 that Nietzsche's colleagues elected him dean of the faculty for the following year. The next paragraph describes agonizing pain in the eyes that had him finish his Untimely Meditation on David Friedrich Strauss by dictating to one of his friends. Nietzsche was quite amusing, and having a doctor tell him "be more stupid and you will feel better" is exactly what I expected.

4-0 out of 5 stars A worthy addition
This is a very serviceable and reasonably detailed account of Friedrich Nietzsche's life and thought.It proceeds chronologically with brief sections interpreting Nietzsche's ideas inserted among biographical narratives.Although somewhat mechanical, this approach works well to demarcate the developmental phases of Nietzsche's thinking and it seems especially appropriate for a man who believed strongly that he should live his philosophy, that his life was an art work.

Julian Young presents a picture different from the distant, arrogant, inscrutable, lugubrious character of some Nietzsche lore.Though sometimes depressed and suffering from chronic health problems (ultimately insanity), Nietzsche was a happy student, had important friends throughout his life, maintained active correspondence, and generally seemed to enjoy the company of others.

Of course Nietzsche, probably more than any other figure in modern philosophy, has been subject to varying and contradictory interpretations, and Young is not bashful in offering his.He claims that the fundamental interpretive issue is whether Nietzsche believed the outstanding individual to exist for the sake of the entire community, or, conversely, the community to exist for the sake of the outstanding individual.Young sides with community benefit (cultural uplift) as Nietzsche's chief aim.

While many may disagree with Young on some counts, even readers with considerable prior familiarity are likely to gain insight from the author's takes on key Nietzschean ideas -- on the Dionysian, the eternal return, the revaluation of values, self-overcoming, the will to power, and perspectivism, for instance.Young dissects each of Nietzsche's major works, moving section by section through Zarathustra in about twenty pages, for example.

Though Young is an admirer, this is no hagiography.He is often critical and is notably direct about Nietzsche's misogynism, in particular.

While occasionally Young comments on the views of other biographers and interpreters, readers should not expect much of a literature review in these pages. Young has read Nietzsche's works, notes, and correspondence comprehensively, but the secondary bibliography is relatively thin for a volume of this magnitude.

Consequently, this addition to the extensive body of Nietzsche scholarship is probably most appropriate for those already grounded in the basic controversies about him and his ideas.Readers new to Nietzsche might better be served by first going straight to some of his works for an introduction to his thought and style -- The Portable Nietzsche, edited and translated by Walter Kaufmann, apparently remains in print and has served this purpose well for many thousands since its initial publication in 1954.

4-0 out of 5 stars Physician of Culture
I took this book up knowing little about the German thinker, Friedrich Nietzche. After completing it, I do think I have acquired a rough outline of Nietzche's ideas and a good account of his personal life, including its tragic end.

Those with previous exposure to Nietzche's actual works would probably enjoy this book more than those, likeme, who come to this biography empty-handed (or -headed) in this regard. It is also a book that those interested in Richard Wagner will want to read.

I believe the author, Dr. Young, might have aided the general reader with a chapter both on how Nietzche's wide-spread fame came about and the enduring legacy (if any) of his streams of thought on man's reason for being and the health of modern European cultures. Did it matter that he lived?

(I happen to be reading the complete set of letters of Nietzche's near contemporary Vincent van Gogh. If it becomes a matter of choosing to read about only one these two brilliant but troubled souls, I recommend van Gogh's letters.)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Yes & No Saying Spirit
Julian Young's new philosophical biography of Nietzsche is a wonderful addition to Nietzsche studies & is full of fresh perspectives on his development as a thinker & social being. But my concern here is the embarrassing editing this book has become a victim of. The book is replete with not only grammatical & typographical errors but towards the end of the book there are even two erroneous time frames: p.552 puts Nietzsche's mother Franziska moving her disabled son into a house in March of 1990 (90 years after Nietzsche's death!)--the correct date being 1890; as p.557 has a more modest mistake of ten years, published as August 1887, whereas the correct date is 1897. How could all these "rave" reviews & its paid-off readers fail to mention such a nerve-racking oversight on behalf of the Cambridge University Press? Until we see some justice due to Professor Young's informative & captivating book, I would refrain from buying this 1st edition hardcover.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Book for All
I just finished Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography tonight, and I can assuredly state I am glad to have read it. Before I began with it, I had read only bits and pieces of Nietzsche's various works, as well as all of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Twilight of the Idols, and while I felt as though I understood certain aspects of his philosophy well enough, Young's biography has given me a much clearer picture of the shape and scope of Nietzsche's thought across the span of his productive life. It's a book I wanted to read very quickly--it's fluidly written, without a ton of graduate-level technicalities or esoteric jargon, and at times the pages seem to breeze by--but I frequently found myself having to slow down to fully grasp the facts and analyses I was encountering. Young presupposes a moderate level of philosophical familiarity in his readers, but barring that, his book is most definitely appropriate for those only recreationally interested in Nietzsche, a category in which I myself fall.

The subject matter in Friedrich Nietzsche is arranged, for the most part, chronologically. Young divides his discussions primarily into biographical and philosophical sections, the former addressing events in Nietzsche's life and the latter issues in his philosophy, especially in the context of his written output at the corresponding times. Most of the twenty-eight chapters in the book devote equal time to each sort of discussion though some are strictly biographical and others purely philosophical.

I really enjoy Young's voice as a biographer. It is at once genial and professorial. He has a taste for relating what he is examining to modern-day topics including global warming and twenty-first-century environmentalism, hippies, the scientistic outlooks of Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, and (if I recall correctly) even American Idol, among others. (Someone correct me if I have remembered incorrectly.) He advances the claim, controversial among Nietzsche scholars, that Nietzsche possesses a considered political philosophy mirroring Plato's conception of the ideal republic, which itself is comprised of a broad sector of craftsmen and peasants as well as two other closely allied classes of ruler-warriors and philosopher-kings. Young also advances the (perhaps more) controversial claim that Nietzsche is a religious communitarian, i.e., that in the future society he envisions, religion, as such, will not be abolished but will be supplanted by a life-affirming "game plan" according to which men and women will be given common cause in this thing we call life. He regards the theory that Nietzsche's madness resulted from tertiary syphilis as unlikely and hypothesizes plausibly that he actually suffered from bipolar disorder with later-life psychotic manifestations.

I walked away from this biography with an impression of Nietzsche as a socially conservative, mannered, sickly and health-obsessed, regrettably misogynist (though rarely in his personal relationships), and uniquely prodigious and self-consciously "untimely" man. He was possessed of a genuine anti-anti-Semitism and would often praise Jews not as individuals, but as a race of people--as opposed to his fellow Germans, whom he missed no opportunity to disparage. His personal and intellectual relationship with Richard Wagner was undoubtedly the most important of his life, and even after their falling out, Wagner's shadow continued to hang ominously over him for the rest of his life. Ancient Greece is the only authority more important for Nietzsche than Wagner, and Schopenhauer is identified as his only true teacher. One other thing I would like to mention is that the judgment Young ultimately passes on Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth is a decidedly unfavorable one, a fate she unquestioningly deserves for the familial injustices she perpetrated against her brother and their mother--and the literary injustices she perpetrated against Nietzsche and his friend Heinrich Köselitz--from the point of Nietzsche's mental collapse in 1889 until her death in 1935.

I really enjoyed reading Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography, and I only hope I can retain what I have learned for longer than two weeks. ... Read more

19. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 292 Pages (1997-11-13)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$5.00
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Asin: 0521599636
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Daybreak marks the arrival of Nietzsche's "mature" philosophy and is indispensable for an understanding of his critique of morality and "revaluation of all values." This volume presents the distinguished translation by R. J. Hollingdale, with a new introduction that argues for a dramatic change in Nietzsche's views from Human, All too Human to Daybreak, and shows how this change, in turn, presages the main themes of Nietzsche's later and better-known works such as On the Genealogy of Morality. The edition is completed by a chronology, notes and a guide to further reading. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best daybreak./dawn
Great addition to Genealogy or BG&E, and to the beginning phase of the mature Nietzsche's writing; Leiter's introductory material is top-notch.

2-0 out of 5 stars choose a different one
this is not a book.it never made it that far along the writing process.it's a collection of brief thoughts sometimes loosely related, sometimes totally random.only about 20% of the entries have anything to do with the "predjudices of morality".there are plenty of really interesting entries but you gotta sift through a lot of nonsense.unless you're really studying nietzche the man in depth, stay away and pick one of his more famous titles.this would be a waste of time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful version
The following review pertains to the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy edition of Friedrich Nietzsche's `Daybreak' edited by Clark and Leiter and translated by Hollingdale.Daybreak was originally published in 1881, and, as with the majority of Nietzsche's other works received little recognition during the author's lifetime.

Along with `Human all too Human', `Daybreak' is often seen as a transitional text between Nietzsche's early writings and his more mature work (e.g. On the Genealogy of Morality), and, as a result has sometimes been overlooked.Written in his trademark aphoristic style the text offers a range of insightful observations regarding; human nature, Christianity and free will amongst other topics.

As an aside, I am surprised that Nietzsche's writing does have a wider following amongst modern-day atheists. While I tend to disagree with Nietzsche on many religious issues, and though his work has the occasional hint of late- nineteenth century naiveté, it is passionate and thought provoking critic.From my perspective, he offers a more realist assessment of a world without God than many contemporary commentators who cling to the fruits of religion (e.g. free will and moral value) while denying the source.

My only criticism of the text pertains to the end-notes.While they are brief and helpful with regard to translations and introducing historic ideas and individuals, they are not referenced in the body of the text.I am not sure what the reason for this is, however, converting them to footnotes and referencing them in the text would be helpful in future editions.

Overall, Daybreak is another helpful installment in the Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy.I recommend it to all students of Nietzsche's

5-0 out of 5 stars a must for nietzscheans
The review of this book by " A customer" (one size does not fit all) is plagiarised from a work, I can't remember which. naughty!

Anyway, this is one of Nietzsche's greatest (and least fashionable) books and is itself more profound, honest and radical than virtually every other author's best work. This book contains many of the most tragic and dangerous opinions that Nietzsche would subsequently express more shrilly. Nietzsche is not for the faint-hearted, but those with a strong stomach who are estranged by much of Nietzsche's later shouting, should read this wonderful book. I cannot praise this book too highly, but as already stated, the stylistic beauty and dazzling erudition cannot disguise that, to paraphrase Hollingdale, what is really going on here is destruction.

5-0 out of 5 stars Prolegomena To Any Future 'Gay Science': Artemis vol. 2 (Human All Too Human: Apollo vol. 1)
Daybreak being as much the culmination of Nietzsche's early philosophy as the beginning of his mature philosophy, is the marker from which he would later depart for new philosophical territories, latitudes and altitudes of thought and inquiry. The thoughts 'left on ice' will soon melt-over in a true eruption as seen in The Gay Science through Beyond Good and Evil. If Human All Too Human is the Groundwork for the Revaluation of All Values, Daybreak delineates the nihilistic abyss and chasm over which Nietzsche poses his challenge to the overman and their forefathers, the philosophers of the future. The bridge to the future begins with the Dawn, and the Great Noontide and Twilight of the Idols begin with the gloaming thought in this text: Artemis hunts at night. ... Read more

20. Human, All-Too-Human (Parts I and II)
by Friedrich Nietzsche
Paperback: 378 Pages (2010-01-01)
list price: US$11.99 -- used & new: US$10.71
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Asin: 1420934546
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"Human, All-Too-Human (Parts I and II)" is a collection of philosophical aphorisms by famed philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The first part, originally published in 1878, is a collection of 638 aphorisms in which Nietzsche discusses metaphysics, the Christian idea of good and evil, religious worship, the idea of divine inspiration in art, social Darwinism, the respective roles of men, women and children in society, the power of the state, and in a final section "Man Alone with Himself". In the second part we find what were originally published as parts II (1879) and III (1880), which contains 408 and 350 aphorisms respectively. Friedrich Nietzsche is widely regarded as one the most important philosophers of all time and that impact is ever apparent in this book, an accessible volume of thoughts upon social, religious, cultural, political and psychological issues. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (26)

4-0 out of 5 stars The first book of aphorisms
Nietzche is one of the most strikingly original of the great aphorists. An interesting question is why the works of 'aphorisms' seem more appealing than the longer essay - works. Perhaps it is because each aphorism causes one to pause and meditate. And each aphorism like a small poem can be readily committed to memory and made part of one's own internal life.
There is however a downside to the aphoristic in Nietzsche. There is a violence of absolute certainty. This of course makes the work appealing to those who would have their truth whole, but less so to those who would see subtleties of reality. Nietzsche's misogyny is part of his own psychological illness. One understands why he commends those somehow weak and defective as source of a special kind of creativity. His love of the free spirit, the adventurer in mind, who has the courage to continually check and challenge his own assumptions is of course his not so hidden tribute to himself as highest kind of mind of all.
One of the horrible ironies of this individual of individuals was that his work was taken upon by the Nazis and distorted for their own evil ends. One of the most interesting passages in this work is his long paean to the Jewish people for their creative genius.
There is something enjoyable and stimulating about Nietzsche's writing. He moves us to think. He wakes us up. And this without our having to accept the fundaments of his analysis of the human situation.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite version
This review is for the Stanford University Press (SUP) paperback edition. I really like the SUP edition by Gary Handwerk and consider this review as my vote for it without a detailed justification. I haven't personally compared it to the other translations but from what I heard from other more knowledgeable people this version reads better. I first came across a copy of this book checked out from the Stanford library and loved it so much that I decided to get my own copy. I only wish it came in hard cover.

3-0 out of 5 stars Free Spirits
In these short comments and aphorisms, F. Nietzsche asks himself: `Cannot all values be overturned?' And, `Is Good perhaps Evil?' (3)
His answers to these provocative questions are rather boring and don't reach the same level of his biting, polemic, destructive shouting in his later work.
There are exceptions, like `Almost every politician needs an honest man so badly that, like a ravenous wolf, he breaks into a sheep pen: not in order to eat the ram he has stolen, but rather to hide behind its woolly back.' (470) Or, `Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.' (483)

Of course, one can find here the seeds of his later philosophizing with a hammer, but they are rather meager one.

Good and Evil
`In the soul of the ruling clans and castes, the man who has the power to requite goodness with goodness, evil with evil, is called "good". The man who is unpowerful and cannot requite is taken for bad.' (45)

`Ruling persons and classes will be enlightened about the benefit provided by religion; they are using it as a tool.' The state needs (the priest's) most private, secret education of souls. Without the help of priests no power can become legitimate.' (472)

`All psychological inventions of Christianity work toward the deep corruption of head and heart. Christianity wants to destroy, shatter, intoxicate.' (114)

Anti-democratic stance and contempt for the masses
`A higher culture can come into being where there are two castes of society: the caste of forced labor and the caste of free labor.' (439)
And, quoting Voltaire: `Once the populace begins to reason, all is lost.' (438)

`Pithy is nothing less than a disease.' (47)

Power and morality
`This is how the brutal, powerful man acts, the original founder of a state, who subjects to himself those who are weaker. Force precedes morality. (99)

The characteristics of his later works are still absent here: Christ is still the `noblest being', no misogyny and no war worship.

This book is not a good introduction to Nietzsche's work; better are `Genealogy of Morals' or `Beyond Good and Evil'.
Only for Nietzsche fans and scholars.

1-0 out of 5 stars What book is this?
This copy of Human All Too Human was 50 pages total and nothing like any other translation. Don't bother with this one, many others are better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Accessible, provocative writing/philosophy
(My comments on Nietzsche are hardly worth noting; his fame and notoriety, his value as a philosopher and writer, will not be affected by one Amazon reviewer.I intend my review to be a comment on my own sentiments in reaction to the work, and also to reflect on the make of the book itself.)

Nietzsche is fascinating and thought-provoking.This book is a great primer for anyone who eventually intends to tackle some of Nietzsche's more cryptic or "heavy" works.It lays out some of the thoughts he will develop more thoroughly later in his life, and is helpful for finding orientation within his philosophies.As a Christian, I strongly disagree with Nietzsche's opinions about religion, the freedom of the spirit, and so much more,--nevertheless his thoughts here cannot be ignored or easily brushed aside, and his style is so infectious, compelling, and mystifying that I cannot help but be haunted by those thoughts, cannot help but respond and react and expose deeply buried sentiments in myself.Furthermore, in reading Nietzsche's "psychological observations" (what he calls "reflection on the human, all too human") there is much insight gained into many of the prevalent European and American philosophies present today.I may disagree with him on a number of points, but he is clearly a penetrating and insightful beholder of the world whose thoughts have been steeped into our modern or post-modern culture.

(As I wrote above, my like or dislike has no bearing on his indispensable value in the history of philosophy and understanding the present-day philosophies.)

I would recommend Human, All Too Human, especially to someone who cannot commit an intense few weeks of serious study to one of Nietzsche's later works.The observations are arranged in aphoristic style, and there are many different themes throughout the work, making this one of those philosophical texts that can be opened at almost any page and read at leisure.Some of Nietzsche's observations would make more sense with a background in early Kantian philosophers, along with Rousseau, Pascal, and La Rochefoucauld, the Bible, and Greek philosophy and tragedy, and a handful of other works.But if experience here is lacking, most of Human, All Too Human can still be read an enjoyed.

The Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy soft-cover edition is right on par with all of their books.Solid binding, nice white pages, pleasant typeface, clean printing; if the reader likes to pencil in notes, he will find these pages treated very well to make erasing effective and clean.The introduction is weak, but that's to be expected from these editions.Introductions usually should be skipped anyway. ... Read more

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