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Beyond Good and Evil I recommend, but with a warning The vast majority of people will not get much out of this book Filtering through these reviews, I see a lot of people who are clearly not meant for Nietzsche s writing They tend to fall under a couple of categories1 Easily Offended when Nietzsche says something they find offensive, they are turned off reading the book Nietzsche will offend you However2 People who make a superficial reading and criticize accordingly This follows from 1 Those who are in I recommend, but with a warning The vast majority of people will not get much out of this book Filtering through these reviews, I see a lot of people who are clearly not meant for Nietzsche s writing They tend to fall under a couple of categories1 Easily Offended when Nietzsche says something they find offensive, they are turned off reading the book Nietzsche will offend you However2 People who make a superficial reading and criticize accordingly This follows from 1 Those who are initially offended always seekways to find themselves offended, and read Nietzsche like he was an idiot Seek and ye shall find If you want to read Nietzsche as such, he will give you plenty of material 3 Those who want a clear list of premises and a linear argument Nietzsche s thought is ordered Much of this book develops thematically though, and not through premises Some won t like that style, but there is a reason Nietzsche is renowned for his writing This leads into4 People who don t think like Nietzsche Because Nietzsche doesn t write straight treatises, you need to understand the lines of thought he proposes Those who don t see those lines commonly write negative reviews complaining about how Nietzsche doesn t prove his assertions This leads to the final.5 People who don t understand Nietzsche s project This also has a lot to do with Nietzsche s style This book is not supposed to give formally structured arguments If you read Nietzsche according to some rubric you deem appropriate, you miss his point entirely Suggestions 1 Just because something is wrong, it doesn t mean it lacks value Stop reading Nietzsche like a science textbook filled with facts Also, stop reading him like he is attempting to make a logically impenetrable argument in defense of a single thesis 2 Look for the nuances, and appreciate them Was Nietzsche a misogynist Yes He was also a very thoughtful misogynist whose writings on women actually do hold some value He contextualizes these passage in the introduction to that section, where he explicitly recognizes his own prejudices as a personal stupidity Read in that light, his comments are actually quite interesting Secondly, he writes of the condition of woman in many passages, not woman as a fixed essence The two are quite distinct Much of what is offensive at first glance is actually passing judgment upon the character of humanity at large When he argues, for example, that men had good reason for not allowing women to speak in church, he isn t making an argument that women are inferior to men Rather, it is an argument based upon the equality of sexes He doesn t want to give women the chance to prove themselves just as foolish as men Behind their silence, Nietzsche notes, they are untainted by their real nature Whether or not you take Nietzsche to be making a serious suggestion here, he is obviously not making a offhand misogynistic comment In the same way we don t dismiss the Greeks on the grounds of their caste based society, it is silly to dismiss Nietzsche for a misogyny he acknowledges as his own weakness 3 Nietzsche writes to spark a line of thoughts and questions, not to answer all of them Tons of the complaints start from the presupposition that Nietzsche should write according to a goal they have established for him If you don t understand Nietzsche s goals, don t fashion your own for him 4 It is entirely possible that you are not the type of person who can identify with Nietzsche on any sort of personal level His work isn t meant to be read in a removed way If you don t understand his criticisms on a personal and emotional level not just logically , this book may not be for you Just don t make the leap and call him unintelligent or a loose cannon Most of the times, it is his readers that are bringing excessive emotion to the book, and their emotional reading that renders it obtuse 290 Every deep thinker isafraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.If Nietzsche had started here rather than nearly ending with this thought he might have beencomprehensible His readers might have said oh, right, so that is how it is going to be, is it We re dealing with some smart arse that is going to play games with us well, play away But, he doesn t start here he starts here SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman what then Now, my lecturer at university go 290 Every deep thinker isafraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.If Nietzsche had started here rather than nearly ending with this thought he might have beencomprehensible His readers might have said oh, right, so that is how it is going to be, is it We re dealing with some smart arse that is going to play games with us well, play away But, he doesn t start here he starts here SUPPOSING that Truth is a woman what then Now, my lecturer at university got very excited over this idea In fact, he was writing his doctorate on precisely this idea called it something like Nietzsche s Women So, I pretty much read this book as if it was written as an exploration of truth being defined as whatever a sort of German version of Victorian sexual relationships would have had the stereotype of woman be And really, Nietzsche, to me, simply doesn t sustain this metaphor at all Later in the work, when he talks of women a highly sexist version of women, admittedly but he talks of women, not of truth I ought to say something about how the book is structured Firstly, there is a Preface, nine parts and a final sort of ramble that I guess is supposed to be quite artistic The whole is divided into 296 numbered paragraphs Some of these paragraphs can go for a couple of pages which gets to be a pain in the bum to read, as they are thick text and quite dense Others are aphorisms and can be quite direct 141 The belly is the reason man does not easily take himself for a god or obscure to the point of incomprehensibility 184 There is a wild spirit of good naturedness that looks like malice Some of these end up on desk calendars, most don t.The paragraphs which I think my lecturer must have struggled over most were those from 233 to 239 where Nietzsche discusses the weaker sex This seems to me to be standard sexist nonsense and says nothing interesting about either women or truth Right then my division of the spoils The Good From 247 The preacher was the only one in Germany who knew the weight of a syllable or a word, in what manner a sentence strikes, springs, rushes, flows, and comes to a close he alone had a conscience in his ears, often enough a bad conscience for reasons are not lacking why proficiency in oratory should be especially seldom attained by a German, or almost always too late The masterpiece of German prose is therefore with good reason the masterpiece of its greatest preacher the BIBLE has hitherto been the best German book Compared with Luther s Bible, almost everything else is merely literature something whichhas not grown in Germany, and therefore has not taken and does not take root in German hearts, as the Bible has done I like this because I think it is based on a profound truth, that texts written that are not written to be voiced often do sound hollow and lack something very important I also liked some of the aphorisms, not least, 132 One is punished most for one s virtues yeah, tell me about it and the final one which since I first read it about 20 years ago has stayed in my memory and been something I have sought to avoid, 185 I do not like it Why I am not up to it has anyone ever answered like that I would like to think that I have tried to be someone who has answered like that that is, to admit to myself, if no one else when I have not understood something because it is beyond me But this aphorism is even deeper than this nevertheless, one should seek to avoid talking of disliking something because it hurts one s vanity in its being too far beyond where one is currently up to.The BadI find his rants against democracy and socialism against what he calls the herd mentality quite obnoxious From 202 after discussing Anarchists who are Apparently in opposition to the peacefully industrious democrats and Revolution ideologues, and stillso to the awkward philosophasters and fraternity visionaries who call themselves Socialists and want a free society, those are really at one with them all in their thorough and instinctive hostility to every form of society other than that of the AUTONOMOUS herd to the extent even of repudiating the notions master and servant ni dieu ni maitre, says a socialist formula at one in their tenacious opposition to every special claim, every special right and privilege this means ultimately opposition to EVERY right, for when all are equal, no one needs rights any longer the rant continues on and on in yet another example of Nietzsche s endless sentences and one I can only assume that doesn t read terribly well even in German despite his own advice quoted earlier As one who is proud to call out even in French, if necessary Neither God nor Master his rants did nothing to convince me otherwise Having seen some of the morons who float to the top and call themselves cream I will happily struggle against every special right and special claim.His criticism of the English in 252 It is characteristic of such an unphilosophical race to hold on firmly to Christianity they NEED its discipline for moralizing and humanizing is the sort of trite and pointless nonsense, meant only as an insult, that undermines his arguments generally.The EvilI have a rather visceral reaction to some topics eugenics is one that poisons the very depths of my heart s blood I find it hard to think clearly about something that I have such a potent reaction against and naturally, Nietzsche is quite in favour of such hideous excesses When he doesn t talk about Darwin in contempt, he reiterates the least interesting conclusion the need for a struggle for existence to strengthen the race oh how the rightwing love such notions as survival of the fittest as if human culture wasn t premised on mutual protection to make us strong despite all of our frailties see for example 262 A species arises, a type becomes fixed and strong, through protracted struggle against essentially constant unfavourable conditions oh yeah, says who And so he begins his most obnoxious part of the work, What is Noble with the line Every elevation of the type man has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society Or in 258, Its an aristocratic society s fundamental faith must be that society should not exist for the sake of society but only as foundation and scaffolding upon which a select species of being is able to raise itself to its higher task and in general to a higher existence Blah, blah, blah At university, when I would point to passages like these and complain about their obnoxious implications that the majority of humanity is cast in the role of the play thing of the powerful I would be told not to see such statements as being about society as such, but rather about the individual And this has become the standard, the received reading of Nietzsche that he was really about taking control of one s own life and making life an artistic project and such blather but I ve never been able to read him in this way His pronouncements on society are clear and unambiguous He may not be the forerunner of Hitler, as he was made out by his sister, but the fact remains he is not hard to twist into a rightwing ideologue his views are poisonous to society And they are meant to be read as a social formula I have yet to be convinced otherwise.BeyondI ve gone back to reading Nietzsche again because twenty years ago I read him and hated him Since then I ve read many commentaries and listened to some lectures from the Teaching Company in which he is greatly praised by people I found quite sensible and worthwhile I thought that perhaps I really had disliked him because I was not up to him But if that was true then, it is still true now I find Modern Philosophy s obsession with the individual and the meaninglessness of the world to be a dead end I find it as dull as dishwater and part of the reason I stopped reading philosophy and went on to reading about the advances in neural science instead, for example I quickly become bored with obscurantism, and if there is one thing that the children of Nietzsche do exceptionally well it is obscurantism Oh Heidegger, Oh Sartre, Oh Derrida As wrong as that might make me I m just not interested enough in the rants of someone who simply does not want to be clear Life is too short.Now, an aside Throughout this book there are odd punctuation marks perhaps the cause of the sentences never seeming to come to an end Anyway, one of these marks is and it seemed a bit out of place, but also made me think of smileys or emotes or whatever these hideous things are called Except in this case they looked like little penises scattered throughout the text After a while I couldn t help feel this was quite appropriate Beyond Good and Evil simplified by Nietzsche s Ghost with the borrowed use of an uncouth female GR reviewer s desktop i I hate Germans and their silly jingoistic sense of self worth ii Women are fucking stupid and have no depthThey re not even shallow It is with Germans almost as it is with women one never fathoms their depths they don t have any, that is alliii No bloody German university or professor spares a thought for my writings Miserable old fools I approve of the l Beyond Good and Evil simplified by Nietzsche s Ghost with the borrowed use of an uncouth female GR reviewer s desktop i I hate Germans and their silly jingoistic sense of self worth ii Women are fucking stupid and have no depthThey re not even shallow It is with Germans almost as it is with women one never fathoms their depths they don t have any, that is alliii No bloody German university or professor spares a thought for my writings Miserable old fools I approve of the lone, goodly Danish professor who sees the value of my work thoughTen years and nobody in Germany has felt bound in conscience to defend my name against the absurd silence under which it lies buried it was a foreigner, a Dane, who first possessed sufficient refinement of instinct and courage for this, who felt outraged by my alleged friendsiv Screw notions of traditional morality.v Screw the Church Screw religionThe concept of God invented as a counterconcept of life everything harmful, poisonous, slanderous, the whole hostility unto death against life synthesized in this concept in a gruesome unity The concept of beyond , the true world invented in order to devaluate the only world there is in order to retain no goal, no reason, no task for our earthly realityvi Screw Martin Luther for restoring Christianity at the very moment it was on the verge of annihilation vii Jews are cool So was Zarathustra.viii Europe and the world are headed along the path of war and destruction the likes of which have never been witnessed beforeFor when truth enters into a fight with the lies of millennia, we shall have upheavals, a convulsion of earthquakes, a moving of mountains and valleys, the like of which has never been dreamed of The concept of politics will have merged entirely with a war of spirits all power structures of the old society will have been exploded all of them are based on lies there will be wars the like of which have never yet been seen on earthDisclaimerBefore I am labeled a philistine and the philosophy majors, Nietzsche enthusiasts, Doctoral students and venerated college professors descend on me with their metaphorical pitchforks, the format of this review is not to be considered a veiled mockery of the great philosopher or an affront to his ideas Just a flippant response to a first reading To be taken in good humor For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, Friedrich Nietzsche was an angry little man who protected himself from the Mean Old World by swaddling himself in an exaggerated ego and an evenexaggerated moustache.Rather than suggest that you read any or all of his works, I ve taken the liberty of creating a Nietzsche Book Generator that you can use to construct your very own philosophical tomes, in the comfort of your own home Just follow these simple steps 1 Make one orcompletel For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, Friedrich Nietzsche was an angry little man who protected himself from the Mean Old World by swaddling himself in an exaggerated ego and an evenexaggerated moustache.Rather than suggest that you read any or all of his works, I ve taken the liberty of creating a Nietzsche Book Generator that you can use to construct your very own philosophical tomes, in the comfort of your own home Just follow these simple steps 1 Make one orcompletely ridiculous claims2 Cover your ass by asserting that anyone who disagrees with you is simply too stupid to understand what you re saying aka The Emperor s New Clothes method of argument 3 When you run out of things to say, just write the most misogynistic thing that comes to mind4 Be sure to dazzle the reader with your endless supply of Latin clich s5 Repeat steps 1 4 two hundred times or so, and you ve got yourself a book Then all that s left is to sit back and prepare to be taken seriously by a large number of otherwise intelligent people A bit of well meaning advice right at the start don t read Nietzsche for moral insight or you ll drive yourself insane with rage, or else inhale some of the poison gas here Read him instead for his insights into the nature of value, truth and knowledge Nietzsche angers us most when he most successfully shows us how naked we humans are without our most cherished faiths whether it be in human nature, natural law, the power of reason, or in a transcendent being to ground our incomplete, finite A bit of well meaning advice right at the start don t read Nietzsche for moral insight or you ll drive yourself insane with rage, or else inhale some of the poison gas here Read him instead for his insights into the nature of value, truth and knowledge Nietzsche angers us most when he most successfully shows us how naked we humans are without our most cherished faiths whether it be in human nature, natural law, the power of reason, or in a transcendent being to ground our incomplete, finite, utterly contingent existence into a cosmic meaning He shows us that value lies at the center of reasoning, and that morality, as well as every ideal of excellence, falls because every purely rational, metaphysical grounding for value has failed He also reminds us how much of what we take to be knowledge is normative through and through, and also in danger of crumbling in a naturalistic worldview Therein lies his true contribution.Much that is said about Nietzsche is ridiculously point missing and amounts to nothan a nitpicking over details that are peripheral to his system Peripherals such as his virulent misogyny don t, I think, suffice to diminish the value of his key contributions to philosophy He is a challenging thinker to come to terms with in part because he doesn t deign to present an airbrushed counterfeit of himself, but instead presents his thinking about the conflicting sides of his nature including those areas filled with festering resentment and, at times, hatred We expect philosophy to proceed from a muchedited, manicured persona, and it is right here, at the start, that he defies our expectation and instead chooses to put his whole personality on the table for our dissection All of it He is unique in that he tries to philosophize with his whole self We cannot read him unless we strive to do the same and attain a bithonesty about the complexity of what drives us As Vaihinger pointed out in his The Philosophy of As If, Nietzsche s work can best be read astaking the Kantian critical project to its radical conclusion This is because he asks the questions that even Kant didn t feel the need to ask, namely, questions about the foundations that make critique possible any critique I have to admit with Vaihinger that Kant and Nietzsche are best understood in terms of each other Nietzsche s work furthers the Kantian exploration of the structure of experience by taking into account the ways that our embodiment shapes meaning in ways that Kant s transcendental starting point prevented him from taking into account Nietzsche takes his stance with the embodied, experiencing, meaning creating subject It is this starting point that motivates the epistemological perspectivism and constructivism which leads to his notoriously radical critiques of foundational metaphysical concepts.Nietzsche shows here how the materialist paradigm, by pushing value and meaning out of its reigning world picture, leaves us with the existential problem of overcoming nihilism I understand nihilism as the severing of a vital, sustaining link between mind and world it is the loss of our capacity to register the external world as a source of value and meaning This work brings the problem of value center stage Somehow we must find a source of meaning within subjective activity entirely unmoored from sustaining connection with the external world Whether the alienated self, conceived as creator, suffices to provide itself with such a source of meaning which I think it doesn t is the big question his philosophy leaves us with.His self description as an inverse Socrates turns out to be literally true here, though perhaps his real enemy is Plato for his attempt to co opt Socrates Much that Nietzsche does is to undo the Platonification of Socrates, which misleads us into replacing the fundamental question of self knowledge with the question of metaphysics Plato has perverted the purpose of philosophy Know Thyself by seeking to reduce the process of self knowledge to the process of a metaphysical speculation that seeks to situate the self in an objective order Scientific cosmology is no answer, either, for him The only thing that ll fix the damage, he says here, will be to go back to the pre Platonic, Socratic roots of critique, and to dig deeper, to ask the truly foundational questions anew, and without loaded dice And the big, unasked question, for him, is What is the value of truth, if we understand that its only grounding is the embodied striving of individuals to realize their characteristic mode of existence Most important is his claim that accepting the starting point of the embodied subject logically leads us to see ontology as a species of axiology i.e., of aesthetics and morals His analysis shows how metaphysics after Plato has been structured in terms of a tacitly presupposed normative, and ultimately aesthetic definition of truth One can recall Plato s normative definition of the forms as the only objects that really count as knowledge This is especially evident in Plato s metaphorical identification of the True with the Beautiful and the Good in Diotima s speech in the Symposium, where he normatively defines the highest act of knowing as one that is simultaneously cognitive theoretical, morally transformative and aesthetically satisfying Instead, Nietzsche busts the construct time and again to show how ontological principles and epistemological rules are rightly seen as mere coordinates set by the perspective optics of human life, which define the shape the real can take for us Ontologies are constructs that are defined in relation to embodied perspective taking The golden thread that runs through his scattered, rambling critiques of the prejudices that grounded the philosophies of the Stoics, the Kantians, the Cartesians, the Christians, and even the materialist atomists, is his exposition of the way that each has committed the fallacy of ignoring embodiment, while presupposing creative, embodied processes of meaning making in order to get its thinking in motion Ignoring embodiment has led to reifying its products into ontologies which he characterizes as aesthetic anthropomorphisms The key to his argument especially in his essay, On Truth and Lies is giving cognitive priority to image based, rather than linguistic thinking, and showing that the latter is based on the former In his analysis, metaphysics emerges as the product of an aestheticizing simplification of the real, which abstracts from real, experienced particulars in order to construct general patterns that are then baptized with the honorific status of first principles This imagistic process generates all the aesthetic anthropomorphisms and regulative fictions that grounds all our reasoning Among those foundational constructs listed by Nietzsche are substance, individual thing, object, ego, causal agent, causal relation, law of nature, forms, ontological principles, etc All such epistemic and metaphysical principles are grounded entirely in a subjective, ultimately aesthetic necessity They define, in other words, the parameters within which we can maintain a coherent, life enhancing perspective on the real Ultimately, for Nietzsche, these beliefs in a permanent order did not win out because they were the most true, but the most useful Even logic, with its to Nietzsche, infamous claim to purity and disembodied independence from the human condition, isn t immune, as he notes in his discussion of the fictions of logic He points out the ways that logic is based on presuppositions that correspond to nothing in reality, as, for instance, the ideas of equality, identity, and perfect isolability of individual things which can correspond to the logical variables.Mathematics, too, according to him, is grounded on aesthetic anthropomorphisms that are reified into ontologies Mathematical reasoning, according to Nietzsche, cannot get off the ground without the foundational illusion of identity, of individual things, and of substances, since mathematical concepts such as lines would not be possible without the substance mode ontology that these myths support And what about the physicist s pride and joy, the atoms and the laws of nature Both are, in Nietzsche s eyes, abstract residues of our mythological dreaming Let us beware of saying that there are laws in nature There are only necessities there is nobody who commands, nobody who obeys, nobody who trespasses The total character of the world, however, is in all eternity chaos in the sense not of a lack of necessity but a lack of order, arrangement, form, beauty, wisdom, and whatever names there are for our aesthetic anthropomorphisms Nothing, absolutely nothing, escapes his stringent reorientation of philosophy in terms of the constructive processes of the embodied subject Even Kant s critique of reason, the instrument of all knowing, assumed too much right at the start, and thereby fell short of asking the truly foundational questions How are synthetic judgments a priori possible Kant asked himself and what really is his answer By virtue of a faculty But is that an answer An explanation Or is it not merely a repetition of the question How does opium induce sleep By virtue of a faculty Nietzsche suggests here that Kant is begging the question that such principles are accessible to us embodied existents But such replies belong in comedy, and it is high time to replace the Kantian question by another question, Why is belief in such judgments necessary and to comprehend that such judgments must be believed to be true, for the sake of the preservation of creatures like ourselves though, they might, of course, be false judgments for all that He goes on to note that synthetic judgments a priori should not be possible at all we have no right to them Kant thus assumed too much when he assumed their possibility He assumed we had a right to such principles Instead, a genuine critique of reason must consider the chilling possibility that human nature may just not be the kind of thing that is made for the kind of truth that we have thus far thought we sought From Nietzsche s perspective, then, it looks like Kant didn t altogether critique the ontological principles of past metaphysics rather, he projected them inward, as faculties in the subject that support synthetic a priori principles To all of the pseudo discovery projects of past metaphysics, Nietzsche retorts you would like all existence to exist only after your own image It wasn t knowledge of the real that was sought, after all, despite our explicit and self flattering claims to the contrary The traditional metaphysical approach to self knowledge involved us in an effort to measure reality against the purely invented world of the unconditional and self identical Philosophy is this tyrannical drive itself, the most spiritual will to power, to the creation of the world, to the causa prima Nietzsche points out that we cannot assume what most needs proving, namely, that there is an ontological correlate to our truth and value concepts He asks us instead to start by s upposing, that is, that not just man is the measure of all things From this reversed starting point, we ca no longer assume that knowing the truth will be knowing the good and the beautiful, as Plato did Knowing the truth may not bring us the fulfillment we seek Truth may be ugly, and it may be evil It may not be about the furtherance of life, but may instead reveal its insignificance If we can t assume objective normative standards as the grounds of truth, then the question of the status of truth hinges on identifying the true nature of our drives, since it is our drives that remain as its only possible foundation I do not believe that a drive to knowledge is the father of philosophy but rather that another drive has employed understanding as a mere instrument So which drive powers the pursuit of knowledge Behind all logic there stand valuations, or,clearly, physiological demands for the preservation of a certain type of life It is the drive to the realization of our characteristic mode of life that powers all we do, including our pursuit of knowledge Perhaps the best motto of Nietzsche s thought can be expressed in one of his followers , Ernst Becker s, words We create the world that we need in order to discover ourselves If we were honest, Nietzsche says, we would recognize that the true value of a judgment, for us, is not its truth value, but rather its life promoting value As he puts it in The Gay Science We have arranged for ourselves a world in which we can live by positing bodies, lines, planes, causes and effects, motion and rest, form and content without these articles of faith nobody now could endure life But that does not prove them Life is no argument The conditions of life might include error Even though such basic ideas have a subjective necessity by virtue of their being part of the perspective optics of life, and because, as such, they have their regulative importance for us, we must recognize that they may have limited accuracy as mere foreground estimates I think that such observations make Nietzsche s analysis of the epistemological consequences of Darwinism muchaccurate than is that of most otheroptimistic evolutionists He realizes that if reason is but the late adaptation of an organism, it loses even that last albeit relavitized, perspectivized transcendental foundation that Kant sought to give it What kind of a truth can an organism claim, whose reason is but an organ adapted to seeking out the conditions in which the organism can secure its wellbeing Knowledge, as part of this larger organismic self furthering project, is but an instrument to wrest control over the environment, to impose our shape over it, and to ultimately reduce the world to our own terms So, the take home points, for me ontologies are formalized lifeworlds in Husserl s terms i.e., they reflect our attempts to bridge the divide and conceive the world as our home they also specify what the world must be like if it is to support and fulfill our drive to realization, the psychological function of the pursuit of knowledge hasto do with our quest for self realization than with the attainment of impersonal, objective truth, and we cannot make the oh so convenient, yet fundamental assumption of post Platonic metaphysics, the assumption that objective truth is life affirming Perhaps such truth, once purged of our life affirming constructs, spells out a world that is radically Other and opposed to life s strivings an entropic universe, anyone Now take a breath for a minute and really think about how deep this criticism really cuts As a friend of mine put it, it is difficult to abide with Nietzsche on this point, to really follow him and take our questioning this far It is difficult to sustain this level of critical elucidation of these tacit life practices which alone ground our thinking, even though, each time, we erase our steps and delude ourselves into thinking that we re setting up our edifices on the firm foundation of the structure of being itself The big question is, of course, whether Nietzsche s is the inevitable conclusion of the critical tradition that Kant initiated Is this the inevitable last word Does this tradition, if pursued intransigently, really leave us in this abysmal pit of doubt Does the fact of the knower s embodiment really mean the dissolution of all foundations We must come to grips with Nietzsche muchcarefully if we are to answer these still vital questions Jenseits von Gut und B se Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft Beyond good and evil, Friedrich Nietzsche In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that finddirect exp Jenseits von Gut und B se Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft Beyond good and evil, Friedrich Nietzsche In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that finddirect expression in the evil man The work moves into the realm beyond good and evil in the sense of leaving behind the traditional morality which Nietzsche subjects to a destructive critique in favor of what he regards as an affirmative approach that fearlessly confronts the perspectival nature of knowledge and the perilous condition of the modern individual 1983 1358 296 9644870441 19 1361 296 9644870441 1387 247 9789642575244 1886 16 03 1399 Nietzsche definitely had the Will to Power The Power to Argue Logically, Employing Thoroughly Supported, Well Developed Premises and Reaching Incisive, Cogent Conclusions not so much Still, I did find quite a few of his wittily phrased sass attacks pretty entertaining Mostly. Why exactly, should I strive to be kind, and not cruel Why am I being taught to be fair and not selfish all my life Why should I subscribe to equal rights, non discrimination, egalitarianism and freedom of speech Nietzsche posits that the above mentioned virtues and aesthetic and or moral imperatives or indeed any imperatives are merely legacy, the result of Darwinian although he does not use this word qualities which have ensured the survival and prosperity of the issuing authority Goo Why exactly, should I strive to be kind, and not cruel Why am I being taught to be fair and not selfish all my life Why should I subscribe to equal rights, non discrimination, egalitarianism and freedom of speech Nietzsche posits that the above mentioned virtues and aesthetic and or moral imperatives or indeed any imperatives are merely legacy, the result of Darwinian although he does not use this word qualities which have ensured the survival and prosperity of the issuing authority Good and evil, salvation of the soul and growth has nothing to do with it As social structures change, so does the concept of morality This of course, is the point, where his ingenious treatise of master and slave morality comes in Under feudal conditions, it is the rulers who determine the conception of good and morality We truthful one s the nobility in ancient Greece called themselves, as it is a fundamental belief of all aristocrats that the common people are liars, insignificant, and cowards It is obvious that everywhere the designations of moral value were applied first to men, and were only derivatively applied at a later period to actions The noble man regards himself, then as a determiner of values, he does not require to be approved of, he alone passes the judgment On slave morality supposing the abused and oppressed were allowed to moralise What will be the common element in their moral estimates Probably a pessimistic suspicion with regard to the entire situation of man will find expression, perhaps a condemnation of man together with his situation The slave has an unfavourable eye for the virtues of the powerful, a scepticism of anything good there honoured he would fain persuade himself that an happiness found there was not genuine Those qualities which serve to alleviate the existence of sufferers are brought into prominence it is here that sympathy, the kind, helping hand, the warm heart, patience, diligence and humility attain to honour, for here they are the most useful qualities, and almost the only means of supporting the burden of existence Here is the seat then of the famous antithesis of good and evil In essence, it is this slave morality , which arose incumbent on certain socio economic conditions which no longer exist today, which has prevailed, and which tells me to be kind and fair, and not cruel Why has it prevailed Because it has been propped up by the Church for its own reasons according to Nietzsche which are not the subject of my review Under this argument, there can be no intrinsic value attached to say my being kind or equitable or any such it is an essence an arbitrary signifier, devoid of inherent good or evil , simply a n evolving measure of utility imposed by the establishment in order to normalise expected intragroup behaviour, based on social and cultural conditions at the prevailing time The idea that morality is a tool for managing expectations is intriguing In essence, in any subject object interaction, the qualitative determination of the action in terms of good and evil is not objective phenomena it is simply an arbitrarily shared agreement between the two entities The bible, for example, condones slavery In the Unforgiving Slave Mathew 18 21 35 there are a lot of people throwing themselves at each other s feet depending on rank and debate on forgiveness should you do it 7 or 77 times 7 times But, interestingly, neither slave nor master seem in the least bit preoccupied about the institution of slavery There is an expectation, an agreement, on both sides of the equation, at that particular time, that slavery is a non negotiable condition, and certainly not contra morality The ethical quandary arises when their is a mismatch between subject object expectations So, how many times should you forgive 7 77 Not at all What determines this decision The negation, in the first instance, of a universal morality The demand for one morality for all is detrimental to the higher man which can be applied as a sympathetic action and the determination of person specific morality is informed particularly by the power to will , namely that intra group, we are not all equal A hierarchy of power, circular in nature, is established whereby everyone surrenders their will to someone else, everyone has power over someone else Therefore, a sympathetic action i.e moral action is not an independent, objective and universal phenomenon but must be, by default, be derived from the dynamics of the specific subject object agreement from which it emanates In essence, a higher excellence individual is the originators of his own personalised morality, which will constantly adapt and evolve according to the specificity of the recipient The above process is relevant only to higher excellence individuals e.g superman , e.g those who do not follow the slave mentality outlined above And it is by no means a pain free process the man who is a product of contrary instincts finds himself the hotbed of values which struggle with one another, and are seldom at peace It is a weak man whose desire is that the war within him should come to an end happiness appears to him in the character of a soothing medicine the happiness of repose, undisturbedness, of repletion which effectively portains the shutdown of mental faculties and free will, the strive for perfection and completion, a dumbing down and surrender to the status quo, the non crystallisation of endless possibility Instead, Nietzsche argues, if men, in addition to their powerful and irreconcilable instincts, have also indoctrinated in themselves a subtlety for carrying on the conflict in themselves, there then arisesthose marvellously incomprehensible and inexplicable beings, predestined for conquest, achievement, fulfilment.In essence, suffering is an essential prerequisite and necessary for the cultivation of human excellence If an individual were to internalise the norm that suffering must be alleviated, then instead of suffering to create , all energy is wasted, squandered in self pity and lament A possible explanation for Nietzsche s insistence on suffering is his conception of a human being is one constituted by non conscious type facts that determine his actions One will become only what one is and he can only follow to the end what is fixed about him His argument here is informed by a reversal of the Cartesian I am therefore I think to I think, therefore, I am , caveated with an epihenomenological explanation of the occurrence of thoughts a thought arrives when it wishes, not when I wish Consequently it follows that actions are not caused by conscious but rather than unconscious will If so, then it is not possible to resolve a conflict against one own self So far, so much waffle Not that Nietzsche doesn t waffle because he does Epi consciousness, will of power, normative and descriptive components of morality, so the fuck what Where exactly is the show me the money shot here I come away with I suffer Its been a life long project with an end goal to alleviation Now, I am free, because I I accept that suffering is OK its a non balancing equation I do not need to gas it, I need to accept it Its not something I will ever neutralise If you can t beat them join them I will NOT waste any energy in suppression tactics I will, instead, harness it and make it work for me God, the relief.I will no longer measure my worth in accordance with accepted dogma, and penalise myself if I feel I fall short Morality is arbitrary there is no objective good and evil I will make my own morality It is OK then, to take the path less travelled, and not subscribe to slave morality If there is subject object disagreement, is it possible, perhaps, that you are wrong and I am right Does your disagreement and sense of entitlement obviate my sense of reason My life is determined by will of power You can go on and disagree, be a Jesuit But I accept that I will hurt people, and that people will hurt me, despite my best efforts Even when I think I m labouring for the greater good , someone will be coming unstuck for it This is OK It is a fallacy to strive for perfection in the non hurting business One man s poison is another man s meat.But finally The money shot I don t need to hate myself Instead of wasting energy on penitence and self flagellation, I need to be finding my own little community I would much rather sin with a group of five than suffer in isolation amongst millions If I failed you you weren t for me We just don t have subject object agreement I don t want to give up my morality for you I don t want you to give up your morality for me.I want us to share a morality.Is this a drunken review Friedrich Nietzsche s Beyond Good and Evil is translated from the German by RJ Hollingdale with an introduction by Michael Tanner in Penguin Classics Beyond Good and Evil confirmed Nietzsche s position as the towering European philosopher of his age The work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a slave morality With wit and energy, he turns from this critique to a philosophy that celebrates the present and demands that the individual imposes their own will to power upon the worldThis edition includes a commentary on the text by the translator and Michael Tanner s introduction, which explains some of the abstract passages in Beyond Good and EvilFrederich Nietzsche became the chair of classical philology at Basel University at the age ofuntil his bad health forced him to retire inHe divorced himself from society until his final collapse inwhen he became insane A powerfully original thinker, Nietzsche s influence on subsequent writers, such as George Bernard Shaw, DH Lawrence, Thomas Mann and Jean Paul Sartre, was considerableIf you enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil you might like Nietzsche s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, also available in Penguin Classics One of the greatest books of a very great thinker Michael Tanner Beyond Good and Evil is a profound book about the Power, passion, and love of individuals Nietzsche offers us in this book a way of life, in which one s Will to Power is the fundamental principle of society, and the individual.Nietzsche criticizes every philosophy hitherto, as having been deceived by a presupposed moral system, or at least a moral end goal, therefore not reaching for truth, rather, making truths so as to validate its moral preachings.Christianity too, fell into the trap of valu Beyond Good and Evil is a profound book about the Power, passion, and love of individuals Nietzsche offers us in this book a way of life, in which one s Will to Power is the fundamental principle of society, and the individual.Nietzsche criticizes every philosophy hitherto, as having been deceived by a presupposed moral system, or at least a moral end goal, therefore not reaching for truth, rather, making truths so as to validate its moral preachings.Christianity too, fell into the trap of valuing truth, despite the fact that there was nothing truthful about it This lead Christianity to create truths and mis truths in order to add value to that which they perceived to be the righteous path.One would therefore assume that Nietzsche was a supporter of the Scientific method, but even this, he says, is a falsity, for the goal of science, for most scientists, would be to create Utopia through science, therefore a moral evaluation.What Nietzsche rebelled against here was the magnitude through which these moral systems preached truth, yet ignored the fact that there was nothing true about the statements made It was the hypocrisy of it Be honest Call it what it is A mis truth, to rationalize one s morality Only when man admits to its mis truths, can it go about being moral If you want all your beliefs criticized and questioned, and also all other people s beliefs criticized and questioned, this book does it to perfection Few philosophers are able to critique all systems of belief with such passionate and rich language, and still do it so naturally Almost impulsively.Many have criticized Nietzsche for his nihilistic nature But this is frankly not true Nietzsche is filled with passion of life, which one can obviously see through his writing, and is also incredibly capable of love, for it is Beyond Good and Evil, he argues, that one can truly love that which deserves it

  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Beyond Good and Evil
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • English
  • 12 May 2018
  • 014044923X

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


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