Friedrich Nietzsche's Writings

Introduction

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (/ˈniːtʃə, -tʃi/;[6][7] German: [ˈfʁiːtʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːtʃə] (listen) or [- ˈniːt͡sʃə];[8][9][10] 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history.[11][12][13][14][15] He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24.[16] Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade.[17] In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties.[18] He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.[19]

Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture and science. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer,[2] Richard Wagner[2] and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[2] His writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony.[20] Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and his related theory of master–slave morality;[12][21] his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism;[12] his notion of the Apollonian and Dionysian; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power.[22] He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return.[23][24] In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health.[15]

Nietzsche was explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism, although his sister attempted to associate his work with fascism and Nazism.[25]

Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics and popular culture.[13][14][15][26][27]


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