Free Prime On the Genealogy of Morals By Friedrich Nietzsche – Andy-palmer.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 208 pages
  • On the Genealogy of Morals
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • English
  • 01 May 2019
  • 019283617X

10 thoughts on “On the Genealogy of Morals

  1. says:

    On The Genealogy of Morals is made up of three essays, all of which question and critique the value of our moral judgments based on a genealogical method whereby Nietzsche examines the origins and meanings of our different moral concepts.The first essay, Good and Evil, Good and Bad contrasts what Nietzsche calls master morality and slave morality Master morality was developed by the strong, healthy, and free, who saw their own happiness as good and named it thus By contrast, they On The Genealogy of Morals is made up of three essays, all of which question and critique the value of our moral judgments based on a genealogical method whereby Nietzsche examines the origins and meanings of our different moral concepts.The first essay, Good and Evil, Good and Bad contrasts what Nietzsche calls master morality and slave morality Master morality was developed by the strong, healthy, and free, who saw their own happiness as good and named it thus By contrast, they saw those who were weak, unhealthy, and enslaved as bad, since their weakness was undesirable By contrast, the slaves, feeling oppressed by these wealthy and happy masters, called the masters evil, and called themselves good by contrast.The second essay, Guilt, Bad Conscience, and the like deals with surprise, surprise guilt, bad conscience, and the like Nietzsche traces the origins of concepts such as guilt and punishment, showing that originally they were not based on any sense of moral transgression Rather, guilt simply meant that a debt was owed and punishment was simply a form of securing repayment Only with the rise of slave morality did these moral concepts gain their present meanings Nietzsche identifies bad conscience as our tendency to see ourselves as sinners and locates its origins in the need that came with the development of society to inhibit our animal instincts for aggression and cruelty and to turn them inward upon ourselves.The third essay, What is the meaning of ascetic ideals confronts asceticism, the powerful and paradoxical force that dominates contemporary life Nietzsche sees it as the expression of a weak, sick will Unable to cope with its struggle against itself, the sick will sees its animal instincts, its earthly nature, as vile, sinful, and horrible Unable to free itself from these instincts, it attempts to subdue and tame itself as much as possible Nietzsche concludes that man would rather will nothingness than not will Nietzsche is difficult to read because he demands that we overturn or suspend many of the assumptions that our very reasoning relies upon He is one of the Western tradition s deepest thinkers precisely because he calls so much into question If we can come to understand Nietzsche s genealogical method, his doctrine of the will to power, and his perspectivism as all linked, his arguments will become much easier to follow.In Nietzsche s distinction between a thing and its meaning, we find the initial doubt with which Nietzsche unravels so many of our assumptions We are generally tempted to see things as having inherent meanings For instance, punishment is at once the act of punishing and the reason behind the punishment However, Nietzsche argues, these things have had different meanings at different times For instance, the act of punishment has been at times a celebration of one s power, at times an act of cruelty, at times a simple tit for tat We cannot understand a thing, and we certainly cannot understand its origin, if we assume that it has always held the same meaning.Central to Nietzsche s critique, then, is an attempt at genealogy that will show the winding and undirected route our different moral concepts have taken to arrive in their present shape Morality is generally treated as sacred because we assume that there is some transcendental ground for our morals, be it God, reason, tradition, or something else Yet contrary to our assumption that good, bad, or evil have always had the same meanings, Nietzsche s genealogical method shows how these terms have evolved, shattering any illusion as to the continuity or absolute truth of our present moral concepts.Because they can have different, even contradictory, meanings over the course of their long life spans, Nietzsche does not believe that concepts or things are the fundamental stuff that makes up reality Instead, he looks beneath these things to see what drives the different meanings that they adopt over time Hiding beneath he finds force and will All of existence, Nietzsche asserts, is a struggle between different wills for the feeling of power This will to power is most evident on a human level, where we see people constantly competing with one another, often for no other purpose than to feel superior to those that they overcome.That a thing has a meaning at all means that there is some will dominating it, bending it toward a certain interpretation That a thing may have different meanings over time suggests that different wills have come to dominate it For instance, the concept of good was once dominated by the will of healthy, strong barbarians, and had the opposite meaning that it does now that it is dominated by the will of weak, sick ascetics.According to Nietzsche, then, a belief in an absolute truth or an absolute anything is to give in to one particular meaning, one particular interpretation of a thing It is essentially to allow oneself to be dominated by a particular will A will that wishes to remain free will shun absolutes of all kinds and try to look at a matter from as many different perspectives as possible in order to gain its own This doctrine that has deeply influenced postmodern thought is called perspectivism Nietzsche s inquiries are thus conducted in a very irreverent spirit Nothing is sacred, nothing is absolute, nothing, we might even say, is true Our morality is not a set of duties passed down from God but an arbitrary code that has evolved as randomly as the human species itself The only constant is that we, and everything else, are constantly striving forpower, and the only constant virtue is a will that is powerful, and free from bad conscience, hatred, and ressentiment.Nietzsche s main project in the Genealogy is to question the value of our morality Ultimately, he argues that our present morality is born out of a resentment and hatred that was felt toward anything that was powerful, strong, or healthy As such, he sees our present morality as harmful to the future health and prosperity of our species While the blonde beasts and barbarians of primitive master morality are animalistic brutes, at least they are strong and healthy On the other hand, our present ascetic morality has deepened us by turning our aggressive instincts inward and seeing ourselves as a new wilderness to struggle against Nietzsche s ideal is to maintain this depth and yet not be ashamed of our animal instincts or of the life that glows within us


  2. says:

    When I was an undergraduate, I tried some Nietzsche I read BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, THE GAY SCIENCE and THE BIRTH OF TRAGEDY This was reading that I did on my own and not as part of a class I don t remember how I chose those books, but I can report now with no embarassment that my reading was superficial and that I did not genuinely understand much, if any, of it More surprisingly, I did not like Nietzsche He is too much work He uses words in idiosyncratic ways that are confusing and force mu When I was an undergraduate, I tried some Nietzsche I read BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, THE GAY SCIENCE and THE BIRTH OF TRAGEDY This was reading that I did on my own and not as part of a class I don t remember how I chose those books, but I can report now with no embarassment that my reading was superficial and that I did not genuinely understand much, if any, of it More surprisingly, I did not like Nietzsche He is too much work He uses words in idiosyncratic ways that are confusing and force multiple re readings He relies on clever aphorisms and allegories that seem calculated to appear profound, but always remain at least partly unexplained He is not expositive He rarely asserts a proposition and then defends it with evidence and reason in the conventional way Instead, he asserts something and generally cannot be bothered to defend it He would rather discuss the consequences of his assertions than examine their accuracy as the threshold question This irritates me now, and I can remember being irritated by it all those decades ago too I lost interest in Nietzsche.Several years ago, I read Curtis Cates biography of Nietzsche Ugh I do not remember why I picked that biography I have a vague recollection of seeing it in the sale bin at a used book store Whatever drove me to pick it up, it was not a good choice Nietzsche s life was boring and Cates intellectual history was not insightful I lost interest in Nietzsche again.Then, in a random conversation with a friend whose opinion I value, he mentioned that he had given a talk on ON THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS at a local college and thought it was worthwhile I did not run out and buy a copy, but I also did not forget his comment I made a mental note to read it when I had time Some years passed .This past spring, I had the time and inclination to finally read THE GENEALOGY Before I began, I was encouraged to learn that many regard THE GENEALOGY to be Nietzsche s most conventional book, and quite a few consider it his best book That seemed promising I thought that a conventional presentation of his ideas might make him understandable to someone like me I began to look forward to digging in and gaining enlightenment I had to admit that I would love to understand why Professor Nietzsche is held in such high regard.THE GENEALOGY is written as three distinct essays and I will discuss them as such, though I am going to touch on highlights only If you want the full down and dirty, you will have to read THE GENEALOGY yourself It s short and, at times, insightful and fun At others, it is very frustrating.In a brief introduction, Nietzsche explains that he intends to investigate the origin and value of morality He seems to want to understand the degree to which compassion, self denial and self sacrifice promote and benefit humankind.The first essay is Nietzsche s explanation of the difference between the good vs bad dichotomy in comparison to the good vs evil dichotomy He seems to see these distinctions as a refutation of utilitarianism which he disdains At this point, I was already confused In the introduction, Nietzsche talks of the value of morality in terms of its benefits to humanity This is utilitarianism talk Yet, he starts out almost immediately by disparaging utilitarianism This annoyed me and seemed a sort of classic Nietzschean maneuver In the case of good and bad, Nietzsche asserts that good is associated with the aristocracy and bad is associated with the peasantry He offers as proof for this the fact that the German word for bad, schlecht , has a common root with the German word for peasant like, schlicht He notes that Greeks referred to nobles applying the Greek word for true And the Romans used a word that also meant warrior to refer to the noble class There Now are you convinced Per Nietzsche, the words good and bad , in some languages, at a distant time in the hoary past, were terms for different social classes and some of that meaning lingers .Next, Nietzsche considers what happens when the ruling class is made up of priests instead of warriors Priests value purity whereas warrior aristocrats value health, strength, beauty and power These are the things that are good Priests stand the warrior values on their head To priests, the weak, poor, suffering and ugly are the truly good people Nietzsche calls this morality slave morality and in a passage that does nothing to endear Nietzsche to me, he attributes slave morality to Jews Though it was the martyrdom of Christ that baited the world into accepting slave morality, assuring the dominance of a priestly value system In the priestly value system, God is defined as good and the opposite of evil Evil is identified with the strong, the noble and the beautiful Therefore, in slave morality the world becomes ugly and banal because the beautiful is evil Nietzsche does not oppose kindness, humility and forgiveness per se He does want us to understand that they are transformations of the impotence, submission and cowardice of the slave class.Nietzsche believes that the conflict between good and bad vs good and evil reflects two value systems The latter has been predominant in recent times The second essay is mostly a discussion of conscience, justice and punishment According to Nietzsche, humans are unique in that they can make promises This presupposes a continuity of purpose that animals lack In humans, that purpose is opposed by a tendency to forget This is healthy Memory loss prevents a lingering sense of failure and disappointment in humans It makes it possible to be hopeful about the future.Conscience is an instinct to carry out responsibilities Societies have invented means to instill the habit of keeping promises But Nietzsche insists that a bad conscience is not a fear of punishment In fact, originally punishment had no connection with what we now call conscience Rather, punishment originated as a form of repaying a debt The debtor would repay his creditor by suffering The creditor was repaid in the form of the pleasure that comes from enjoying the suffering of another This pleasure is connected to the human experience of power Are you rolling your eyes at this At least a little Nietzsche goes on at length about punishment and suffering Among other conclusions he draws, he offers the theory that God was invented to make human suffering meaningful Relatedly, he wonders if free will was invented to make the worldinteresting to God Nietzsche then returns to the subject of justice and offers a definition that justice is payment by a transgressor of what he owes to the community Nietzsche thinks that societies move through stages of justice, including a stage where a legal system will be devised to impose justice Such a system will include elements of mercy, a luxury of the strong.Nietzsche concludes the second essay by acknowledging that he has been harsh in his criticisms of Christianity But he feels that the disease of bad conscience warrants a harsh response Christianity has associated guilt with feelings that are fundamental and unavoidable as a part of our nature This creates a desire for other worldliness or purity that Nietzsche considers nihilistic He argues that humanity requires an upheaval of values so that moral condemnation no longer attaches to things that are a natural part of earthly human life He sees Zarathustra, of his earlier writings, as the embodiment of the upheaval that humanity needs The third essay addresses asceticism Nietzsche discusses the attraction asceticism holds for women, the psychologically ill and priests, among others Women find it enhances their charms, says Nietzsche He must have been a fun date Psychotic people find asceticism attractive because they wish to withdraw from the world Priest are drawn to it because it gives them power These differences suggest a shared fear of nothingness and a corresponding urge to find meaning, Nietzsche believes And folks, isn t that a weird inference to draw Or is it just me Nietzsche then considers the case of Richard Wagner and his opera Parsifal, which praises chastity Why would Wagner, a master of sensuality, praise asceticism He may have felt a need to embrace and associate with respectability To this end, Wagner accepted Schopenhauer and his special metaphysical category of music as an expression of the basic nature of the universe.Nietzsche then offers a discussion of Schopenhauer s personal psychology and his need for enemies Sort of like a guy elaborating on an old girlfriend, she could never get alongNietzsche thinks that philosophers generally like asceticism for the independence it brings Poverty, humility and chastity free one from desire At one time, irrationality, cruelty and violent emotions were considered virtues But now the opposite is true, resulting in the ascetic ideal becoming associated with priests, something Nietzsche seems mildly unhappy about The essay then discusses how asceticism is both a symptom and a cure of poor psychological health Little of this discussion seems plausible.Finally, Nietzsche concludes the third essay with the observation that asceticism is a will to nothingness and nothingness is a purpose for humans to cling to The alternative is to live with no purpose at all and that provides no meaning to one s will Humans would rather have nothingness for a purpose than have no purpose at all.So, wow That s a lot of stuff to wrap your head around But for me, it was filled with unsubstantiated and unlikely speculation Much of his speculation could have been checked via old fashioned scholarship, but Nietzsche makes no effort to do that For example, Nietzsche claims punishment started as way of repaying debts Really Or women gravitate to asceticism because it makes them seemattractive Where is the support for this And so forth I just don t get it For me, he lacks credibility Often, his argument amounts to nothingthan because I say so Plus, he is stubbornly cryptic for my tastes Are these points of his meant to be accurate descriptions of reality Or are they thought experiments meant to challenge us without necessarily resembling the real world Unraveling Nietzsche is exhausting It is possible, of course, that I am not reading Nietzsche in the right way It might be that I am holding him to a standard that should not be applied to him For example, when Plato or Aristotle or Augustine offer strange theories or recite tall tales, I ignore it and look for the larger meaning Perhaps, that is how to read Nietzsche too His prose displays no sense of accountability for the accuracy of details historical or otherwise So maybe I should not expect accuracy in the details with Nietzsche Perhaps, I should focus on the big picture.If I were to do that, I might conclude that Nietzsche does not like the bourgeois spirit of Europe in the latter half of the 19th Century He does not like the mediocrity and egalitarianism of the rising middle class He does not like the comfortable and smug thing that Christianity had become He longs for greater creativity, beauty and freedom He thinks that the creators of beauty should be treated as special and that they should be encouraged to think courageously, to act vigorously and to take risks The creators of beauty should be free to pursue their vision and not be held back by the passive, careful and mundane attitudes that are the hallmark of the middle class Nietzsche may be saying that provocative projects in art, literature and even morality should be valued by the rest of us, even when they challenge or frighten us.A friend reminded me the other day of a handy formulation to remind us of where Nietzche fits in to the history of western philosophy Socrates wanted to know nature, Descartes wanted to control nature, Nietzsche wanted to liberate nature and the post moderns want to cancel nature In the GENEALOGY, Nietzsche argues for restoring to ethics a natural order that has been lost He wants to return to an ethic that encourages and rewards human characteristics that he regards asnatural than the priestly values These include strength, vigor, power and the like This is at the heart of his rejection of slave morality.Most of us can accept Nietzche s thesis that ethics should conform to nature But the abiding question after reading his GENEALOGY is whether Nietzche has accurately characterized human nature At best, his characterization seems incomplete.Be that as it may, it is Nietzche s desire to craft an ethics that frees human nature that distinguishes him from the moderns, who want ethics to control nature And that is Nietzche s greatest contribution to western thought Even if we are not persuaded by Nietzche, we cannot deny that he changed the conversation and is rightly regarded as the end of the modern and or the beginning of the post modern period


  3. says:

    ChronologyIntroduction NotesNote on the Text and TranslationFurther Reading Preface First Essay Good and Evil , Good and Bad Second Essay Guilt , Bad Conscience and Related Matters Third Essay What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean Notes ChronologyIntroduction NotesNote on the Text and TranslationFurther Reading Preface First Essay Good and Evil , Good and Bad Second Essay Guilt , Bad Conscience and Related Matters Third Essay What Do Ascetic Ideals Mean Notes


  4. says:

    For all his brilliance, Nietzsche was not one for exposition or systematic investigation He writes in impassioned bursts rather than extended thoughts a style in keeping with his abhorrence for all things stale, academic, and English This quality is evident right from the preface, which is divided into several shorter prefaces These frequent breaks are maintained throughout the book, each essay being divided into chunks too short for subchapters, but too long for aphorisms On one level, t For all his brilliance, Nietzsche was not one for exposition or systematic investigation He writes in impassioned bursts rather than extended thoughts a style in keeping with his abhorrence for all things stale, academic, and English This quality is evident right from the preface, which is divided into several shorter prefaces These frequent breaks are maintained throughout the book, each essay being divided into chunks too short for subchapters, but too long for aphorisms On one level, this is a mere trifle of formatting But on another as I alluded to above , these frequent bursts hint at Nietzsche s thought as a whole Nietzsche, in his characteristic way, flipped the traditional Western preoccupation for truth on its head explaining it as a weakness rather than a strength To be sure, this is a fascinating idea But this also helps to explain why Nietzsche wrote the way he did Instead of a scholarly treatment, which would be a manifestation of the traditional will to truth which he so detested, Nietzsche s mind skips along the inquiry like a flat rock on the surface of a pond He dips in quickly, just enough to get his fingertips wet, and then recoils To pick another analogy, he is somewhat like a fencer he searches for a problem s weakest point, makes a stab at it, and then draws back This style works well for some subjects, and poorly for others In The Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche is tackling a genuinely academic problem which is probably why academics tend to think this book is his masterpiece the origins of morality This brings Nietzsche dangerously close to dreaded methodical argument an awkwardness he tries to counteract by maintaining his gnomic and forceful style But if Nietzsche is not trying to get at the truth of the origins of Western morality, if he does not thinking that knowing the historical origins of good and evil is better than being ignorant of them, what is he doing For me, these are serious contradictions, and Nietzsche was probably aware of them As a result, this book is suggestive, not conclusive The fun comesfrom reading Nietzsche s prose than from any revelations about the nature of morality But there are some solid insights, nonetheless Nietzsche connects Christian meekness with the low status of the people who originated it And isn t that exactly the kind of idea you would expect from a powerless people to turn the other cheek Nietzsche points out that Christian morality effectively turns weakness into strength the perfect moral system for a religion of the lower classes But is this the true root of Christian morality I have no idea Such a question seems impossible to answer with any degree of certainty For this, and all of the other arguments in this book, you ll just have to take Nietzsche at his word


  5. says:

    This treatise stands as the most sustained criticism of Judaeo Christian values, or rather, the origin of said values Nietzsche redefines them as the products of the brutal conditioning of our animal instincts over the centuries The failure to retaliate became goodness , fear into humility , submission to those who one hates obedience and cowardice into patience Discarding the methods of his contemporaries, Nietzsche comes up with a theory, which delineates how morals come to evolve wit This treatise stands as the most sustained criticism of Judaeo Christian values, or rather, the origin of said values Nietzsche redefines them as the products of the brutal conditioning of our animal instincts over the centuries The failure to retaliate became goodness , fear into humility , submission to those who one hates obedience and cowardice into patience Discarding the methods of his contemporaries, Nietzsche comes up with a theory, which delineates how morals come to evolve within cultures the transvaluation of values Nietzsche tells us to imagine two sets of creatures birds of prey and lambs Birds of prey are necessarily noble, strong and proud creatures and lambs in contrast are weak, timid and cowardly Lambs possess what we call a slave morality and birds of prey a master morality Thus, it is natural for the lambs to get pissed at being carried off by the birds of prey, they succumb to ressentiment of these superior beings So in order to make themselves feel better, they manufacture morals based off of the weaker parts of their character These morals then spread through society and culture like an infection when weaker natures reevaluate their character and transform it into something is it not.Later on, Nietzsche inquires as to why these behaviors went unchecked centuries ago Pain is the answer Free will can be a burden to slave moralities and so guilt and bad conscience may have arisen as a way to repay debts to our animal vitalities Nietzsche thinks that Christians and other slave moralities crave cruelty and breed martyrs, the most famous example of which would be Jesus Christ, of course There are innumerable reasons to punish to render harmless, to prevent bad behavior, to repay a debt, to isolate, to instill fear, for festivity etc Punishmentthan anything does not deter us from wrong doing, it makes us becomeprudent Beyond that, we internalize our instincts and bottle them up and thus this bad conscience is a subtle sickness in our society This leads to Nietzsche to conclude how much horror there is at the bottom of all good things The last chapter is a real departure The other two chapters were a rather lengthy indictment hehe, Confederacy of Dunces reference against the Christian faith and how they suppress our instinct of freedom This last chapter rather prophetically endorses human ambition and claims that all life has a will to power We affirm our own existence through our will and we become the authors of our morals and our fates Then in a similar way that atheists attack religion, Nietzsche scathingly bludgeons science s credibility Science looks for absolute truth as if it were a picture on a wall, but truth to Nietzsche is a sculpture you walk around it, observing many faces and many perspectives This represents Nietzsche s doctrine of perspectivism, which goes as far as to say that we can approach truth by looking at various perspective, but we may never actually obtain it This leads to one of the many bold declarations that Nietzsche is known for making There are no facts, only interpretations Nietzsche rarely stays on topic and that is not necessarily a bad thing In a book which was meant to sketch the evolution of morals over the centuries, we also looked at how science and religion have no claim to truth and also how we can make the most of our lives The versatility of topics makes the Genealogy the most forcible, ambitious and amazingly accessible work of Nietzsche s


  6. says:

    A truly delightful intellectual romp that is both entertaining and disturbing It is entertaining because Nietzsche is an outrageously brilliant writer who expresses his complex philosophical ideas in a creative way, and who makes even the most cynical ideas sound beautiful Nietzsche is truly blessed for having the analytical brain of a philosopher as well as masterful skill in sculpting beautiful phrases, like a poet It is disturbing because of Nietzsche s tremendous cynicism, which can often A truly delightful intellectual romp that is both entertaining and disturbing It is entertaining because Nietzsche is an outrageously brilliant writer who expresses his complex philosophical ideas in a creative way, and who makes even the most cynical ideas sound beautiful Nietzsche is truly blessed for having the analytical brain of a philosopher as well as masterful skill in sculpting beautiful phrases, like a poet It is disturbing because of Nietzsche s tremendous cynicism, which can often make one uncomfortable depending on how attached you are to a certain belief There is no way around it this book will probably offend you If you are a Christian, it will offend you If you are a leftist of any kind whatsoever it will offend you If you are an atheist, someone who believes in the power of science, or an agnostic, it will offend you If you believe in eastern philosophies, it will offend you That is the real beauty of Nietzsche he challenges your beliefs and offers a compelling alternative The Genealogy of Morals isfull of Nietzsche s criticisms of ideas than his attempts to supplant them, though I cannot stress how well written this book is Nietzsche s words will annihilate your beliefs at the same time that they caress your mind It isn t quite up to par as Nietzsche s masterpiece, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which is one of my favourite books But it is still excellent The only major flaw in this otherwise near perfect book is that I find his argument is really scattered Thus Spoke Zarathustra was scattered as well, but it didn t hurt that work because Nietzsche was deliberately trying to be esoteric and hard to understand and that worked really well, since Those Spoke Zarathustra is written as a kind of satire of religious scripture But Genealogy of Morals is his most structured work, and it doesn t seem that Nietzsche is trying to be overly hard to understand here, so I can t forgive him on that oneOther than that small nit picky detail, this is a truly excellent work of philosophy Highly recommended to anyone who likes to read philosophy It s very short, too


  7. says:

    Three essays each coherent This is Nietzsche s best work Almost all of his major ideas lurk within this book I would recommend the audio version There s just something about Nietzsche that when he s read aloud you just feel the contempt and frustration you know he has for mankind and even the reader of his book He ll say the world needs artist and poets He feels his truths and the reader feels them too There s good and there s bad with Nietzsche He has special dislike for women and femin Three essays each coherent This is Nietzsche s best work Almost all of his major ideas lurk within this book I would recommend the audio version There s just something about Nietzsche that when he s read aloud you just feel the contempt and frustration you know he has for mankind and even the reader of his book He ll say the world needs artist and poets He feels his truths and the reader feels them too There s good and there s bad with Nietzsche He has special dislike for women and feminism which even transcends the time period he s writing in I could probably identify 10 statements through out the book that even a modern day misogynist would blush at I hope that doesn t stop modern readers from reading this short masterpiece of a work.Everything we know is tinted by our current context, its history and our expectations Nietzsche does say in the book that most of philosophy is ahistorical, but in order to understand the proper context history must first be understood One of my favorite statements made by modern day homophobes often in the guise of religion is marriage is between a man and a woman and it was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden not Adam and Steve They always forget to mention the talking snake, and they were right when they made it a tautology, but, unfortunately for them, the world has moved and now it s marriage is between consenting adults and there is a new tautology in play.The theme that really ties all three essays together is that man prefers the will to nihilismthan the will to nothing The Christian and Nietzsche seems to focus mostly on the most popular religion in Western Europe at that time is the most nihilistic person of all for they have outsourced their morality to somebody else Who truly acts for the good The person who is promised an eternal life for performing according to scripture or the person who does the good for its own sake Nietzsche is not a nihilist He has a system and he defends them within these three essays There are no truths, there are only perspectives leading to the free spirit as he said in the third essay, and in the first essay or maybe the second he says what free spirit would actually do wrong because he has no God keeping him from acting wrongly Almost none Theinclusive set of beliefs that include the other inferior systems a recursive process of sorts give his rank order of being leading to his perspectivism of truth and keeping out of a nihilistic trap He s really clued into the pernicious teleological way for thinking that permeates society today He illustrates by saying the hand was made to grasp after all that s what we do with it The world gives but it also takes Idle chatter distracts He does obliquely mention his solution of modified poverty my words for the fulfillment of a philosopher artist, poet, or even a regular human like me The philosopher should only have the bare minimum necessary to survive and the rest is too much this will be another spot where he makes a gratuitous misogynistic statement which adds nothing to the point and ends up takingthan giving except for the gratuitous statement against women I have hearitly endorsed this advice for my life He has hints of his eternal return within the second essay But he only takes it as far as the absolute determination of the world He knows man is an animal but quotes Spencer survival of the fittestthan Darwin or Huxely, Darwin s bulldog He s definitely got a book that Nazis could embraced if they ignore the parts they don t like He is not anti Semite he goes out of his way to attack the anti Semites , but he does state the last great man was Napoleon, and Germans after 1930 could put Hitler within Nietsche s context of greatness This book surprised me by how much what the Nazis thought could fit into this book with a little bit of editing Will to Power is a term people love to throw out when discussing Nietzsche Nobody gets it right I suspect even Nietzsche doesn t always know what he means by it But, in the context of some of the book, he will say man s instinct to freedom or what I call will to power Nietzsche doesn t believe in free will as originally defined by St Augustine because St Augustine uses it for man analogously to God creating the universe The will isin line with that which contain all of our feelings, passions, and emotions, the Dionysian man, our rational intuitions of sorts The power is our drive or driving, because Nietzsche would say we are always becoming we never are Our drive comes about because everything that is must maintain itself and strives to conquer what is beyond it That s why Nietzsche calls out Napoleon as he does That s why the Nazis would have embraced this book because Hitler would be their ideal man Their aesthetic priest Man is an animal and thus has the instincts of an animal Debt and Guilt apparently practically the same word in German are the onus society puts on us Historically, cutting off someone s arm would compensate for my loss As if, their suffering would make me better That s how religion gets started The ultimate Christian sacrifice is of course Jesus on the Cross as payment Of course, Nietzsche calls all of this bunk Everything up til know has been designed in such a way to take away our instinct of freedom or our will to power The masters have been enslaved by the slaves the Roman Nobels by the Jews according to Nietzsche Our system of values have been turned upside down where the pitifiul, the needy, and the vulgar has been made the nobel, the good and the hoped for Nietzsche is clear Man took a wrong turn after Homer Truth or the best perspective is disclosed to man by appearance It s not necessarily to have a Copernican Revolution of the Mind he quotes Kant surprisingly often and actually in flattering ways or to think that Plato s Cave with ideal forms is helpful Truth is not correctness There are clear links to existentialism running throughout this book Man is absolutely responsible for his own actions because of his freedom that he is given according to him Man first historically has created someone to blame this is another one of the 10 times he ll single out women in a misogynistic way thus leading to religion and probably psychiatrists The hermeneutics of suspicion used by Nietzsche are clearly borrowed by the early 20th century psychoanalysts and this book shows why It s not what we see when we look at the great piece of art, but it s what the artist thinks That forms the basis of his aesthetic ideal They are going to lead us out of the wilderness.I don t like most of what Nietzsche says, but I love his thought process I m glad that Republicans don t like him because they falsely see him as a Nihilist but he surely is an Atheist , and they would be able to argue their viewpoints from a stronger perspective if they would take the time to read a masterpiece like this Nietzsche knows how to feel his way to the best perspective and in no uncertain terms he like the Republicans put the onus on the individual, and they would discount time and chance and say that government or society is the problem not the solution and most of all would never think there but for the grace of the universe go I since they both think the absolute freedom trumps equality almost always I suspect Nietzsche never wrote anythingcoherent than this book of essays, but he s always worth reading and I would recommend this book because of the depth and cohesion within the book


  8. says:

    Whenever I want to give someone a metaphor for what being actively engaged in close reading might look like, I often ask them to imagine a floating sphere I suggest they view it from every possible vantage point up, down, around, below, above etcetera And then they go deeper Of what material is it constructed , How old is it , What might it symbolize by itself or in relation to X , andThe answers are arbitrary of course, but the results are not This exercise is to first examine Whenever I want to give someone a metaphor for what being actively engaged in close reading might look like, I often ask them to imagine a floating sphere I suggest they view it from every possible vantage point up, down, around, below, above etcetera And then they go deeper Of what material is it constructed , How old is it , What might it symbolize by itself or in relation to X , andThe answers are arbitrary of course, but the results are not This exercise is to first examine presumptions, and then get beyond them through questioning literally as much as possible Every time its conducted, something new is discovered, and it is a fresh experience each time And it is within this spirit I always find myself when close reading Nietzsche, and trying to grasp as much as possible about what he is saying From what I view as perhaps the most essential vantage point in his three essays, he is trying to grapple with morality he himself examining and critiquing every conceivable angle , as well as the difficulty of suffering itself And while he has powerfully incisive and highly controversial critiques of Christian based morality, it is absolutely worth noting while decidedly off topic that Nietzsche was absolutely, as an objective fact, not a Nazi, and he had a pronounced hatred of the German nationalists of his time.What is the most vital thing to take away, I think is that Nietzsche believes in higher humans and that humans do not have equal worth Goethe, Beethoven, and other creative types and those who seize the day or his anointed champions The joy of achieving even a slight superiority is the greatest thing to strive for Etcetera.A wonderfully vigorous book that contains so much electricity, so much passion, that it is hard not to forgive Nietzsche for not being a bitsystematic, a bitformal in his argumentation They are so seductive there is always at least one person in every philosophy class who has read, or wills themself to read, every Nietzsche book as though they discovered the secret of life itself But honestly, who cares Nietzsche is so punk rock, so much fun to read and hear him disparage so much and question so much, that that is reward enough Like the Sphere Exercise, these are just perhaps the most import lens to dig through Nietzsche s work with On a second or third reading, there is no doubt muchto learn In summation, this is frankly an essential book if one is a philosophy buff and something of a completionist


  9. says:

    Very readable, once I got into it I would recommend to anyone wanted to make a start with Nietzsche, and it s really short too He was obviously a very troubled man as well as a bit of a psychologist I m pretty sure he wouldn t give a second thought to my opinion though I m definitely one of the sick From a history of ideas point of view, his take up of ideas about degeneration and frequent health and illness related metaphors are particularly useful And good to read in conjunction with Fo Very readable, once I got into it I would recommend to anyone wanted to make a start with Nietzsche, and it s really short too He was obviously a very troubled man as well as a bit of a psychologist I m pretty sure he wouldn t give a second thought to my opinion though I m definitely one of the sick From a history of ideas point of view, his take up of ideas about degeneration and frequent health and illness related metaphors are particularly useful And good to read in conjunction with Foucault who he clearly influenced a great deal mobile power relations, geneaologies, exploring our values categories rather than what is categorised etc Similar style too historical detail illustrative rather than accurateSome great quotes Who would not a hundred times prefer fear accompanied by the possibility of admiration to freedom from fear accompanied by the disgusting sight of the failed, atrophied and poisoned I d go for the latter definitely Every instinct which does not vent itself externally turns inwards this is what I call the internalization of man it is at this point that what is later called the soul first develops in man The whole inner world, originally stretched thinly as between two membranes, has been extended and expanded, has acquired depth, breadth and height in proportion as the external venting of human instinct has been inhibited Once they the sick succeeded in forcing their own misery, the whole of misery as such into the conscience of the fortunate so that these latter would one day begin to feel ashamed of their good fortune and perhaps say to one another it is a disgrace to be fortunate there is too much misery


  10. says:

    I think it will be useful for future readers that I point out a few of Nietzsche s highly problematic ideas in this book this book is not one of my favorite Nietzsche books, but it s still full of great ideas 1 Nietzsche goes a little too far in his attack of dirtiness when he states that we should segregate the sick from the healthy, he suggests that the healthy and happy men should, keep clear of the madhouses and hospitals Didn t Nietzsche spend quite a lot of time in a madhouse 2 He I think it will be useful for future readers that I point out a few of Nietzsche s highly problematic ideas in this book this book is not one of my favorite Nietzsche books, but it s still full of great ideas 1 Nietzsche goes a little too far in his attack of dirtiness when he states that we should segregate the sick from the healthy, he suggests that the healthy and happy men should, keep clear of the madhouses and hospitals Didn t Nietzsche spend quite a lot of time in a madhouse 2 He also portrays sick people, in general, and especially those with mental illnesses as though they all have this self pitying attitude He mocks the sick man, Some one or other must be to blame for my feeling ill 3 Another anti spiritual thought was that man should use other men as enemies as a means to qualify his own distinctive character sounds quite egoistic and rather non autonomous and Nietzsche loves his autonomy On the other hand, in his third essay, he points out the lack of spirit all so apparent in the scholarly sciences indepth than he has in any of his other books, which is nice and unique And his insight on punishment should be read and heeded by everyone involved in systemic discipline punishment makes men hard and cold it sharpens the feeling of alienation it strengthens the power of resistance To sum it up, I think it s important that readers understand that when Nietzsche offends it s almost always due to fact that the limited diversity he encountered in his life gave him a limited scope in philosophy his era was also a lotnarrow minded than our own But, there is no question this man is an essential for all thinkers


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On the Genealogy of Morals On the Genealogy of Moralsis a book about the history of ethics and about interpretation Nietzsche rewrites the former as a history of cruelty, exposing the central values of the Judaeo Christian and liberal traditions compassion, equality, justice as the product of a brutal process of conditioning designed to domesticate the animal vitality of earlier cultures The result is a book which raises profoundly disquieting issues about the violence of both ethics and interpretation Nietzsche questions moral certainties by showing that religion and science have no claim to absolute truth, before turning on his own arguments in order to call their very presuppositions into question The Genealogy is the most sustained of Nietzsche s later works and offers one of the fullest expressions of his characteristic concerns This edition places his ideas within the cultural context of his own time and stresses the relevance of his work for a contemporary audience


About the Author: Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond Central to his philosophy is the idea of life affirmation, which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life s expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be Often referred to as one of the first existentialist philosophers along with S ren Kierkegaard 1813 1855 , Nietzsche s revitalizing philosophy has inspired leading figures in all walks of cultural life, including dancers, poets, novelists, painters, psychologists, philosophers, sociologists and social revolutionaries.From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy