Nietzsche in a Nutshell

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 9/29/2013

Summary of Nietzsche's Philosophy

At first, Nietzsche attacked the Western world that had followed Socrates and his Apollonian rationalism and had denied the darker, Dionysian, irrational side of man, the tragic side. He claimed that morality, God and judgment in the after-world are an invention of the weak (Slave Morality) (the Christians and the Jews but for him the Jews were more superior because their god reflected their National will and pride into power) to be distractions from the pains of this life and to weaken the strong's will to power in this life (Master Morality). This is unnatural as a sheep convincing the wolf to act like a sheep, priests ruled through the invention of sins. He attacks the idea of god saying that science killed him. Soul, free will, immortality, reason, order and love, all these are "idols", little gods that are dying now that the Big God has died. He then attacks science's god (Truth) saying there is no objective truth, there is only wills, so truth is subjective. He extends his attacks to every Ideology that promotes the idea that "all men are equal" like Liberalism and Socialism because they reteach the Slave Morality in a new way. what he feared most was the pollution and crippling of the superior minority by intellectual disease from below. Hence comes the Over-man, the Superman is the new god who exercises his will to power to create his own good and evil, his own morality (Master morality) denying a universal morality for all human beings, this idea acts as the opposite of "The Last Man", what the western civilization has set for itself. The lives of the last men are comfortable, they have no great passion or commitment, unable to dream, they merely earn their living. The last men claim to have discovered happiness, but blink every time they say so. Nietzsche values lightness and kindness in a powerful person because such a person is also capable of great solemnity and cruelty. There is no virtue in being kind simply because one hasn't the power to be cruel. But sooner or later all gods die, even the Superman, all history necessarily moved in a cycle, endlessly repeating all past events due to finite amount of matter and infinite amount of time thus every possible combination of elementary particles, every possible world, occur an infinite number of times, given infinite time. The Eternal Return is a must, all will return again to dust, and evolve worm, ape, man and Superman again and again. The Eternal Return is the triumph of "life" over logic, the only meaning is life then is the will to power. Power becomes its own end, not a means. The spirit of Anti-Christ or Dionysus has never received a complete formulation except with Nietzsche, he is Hell's favorite philosopher.

Overview of the Books

The Birth of Tragedy (1872)

Human, All Too Human (1878)

In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments.

Daybreak (1881)

It is not enough to prove something, one has also to seduce or elevate people to it. That is why the man of knowledge should learn how to speak his wisdom: and often in such a way that it sounds like folly! 

The Gay Science (1882)

Become who you are. 
Do you believe then that the sciences would ever have arisen and become great if there had not beforehand been magicians, alchemists, astrologers and wizards, who thirsted and hungered after abscondite and forbidden powers?
“What, if some day or night, a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life must return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moonlight between the trees and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned over again and again—and you with it, speck of dust!’ Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god, and never have I heard anything more divine!’ If this thought were to gain possession of you, it would change you as you are, or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, “do you want this once more and innumerable times more?” would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?.
Preparatory human beings. — I welcome all signs that a more virile, warlike age is about to begin, which will restore honor to courage above all! For this age shall prepare the way for one yet higher, and it shall gather the strength that this higher age will require some day — the age that will carry heroism into the search for knowledge and that will wage wars for the sake of ideas and their consequences.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885)

Zarathustra was written in only a few days, in a frenzy, perhaps of literally demon-inspired "automatic writing." No book ever written contains more Jungian archetypes, like a fireworks display of images from the unconscious. Nietzsche chose Zarathustra to speak his words because he "was the first to consider the fight of good and evil. Zarathustra created this most calamitous error, morality; consequently, he must also be the first to recognize it". This book for Nietzsche in his own words, "a lifework, my Zarathustra holds a place apart. With it, I gave my fellow-men the greatest gift that has ever been bestowed upon them., This book, the voice of which speaks out across the ages".
I am not to be a herdsman, I am not to be a grave-digger. Not any more will I discourse unto the people; for the last time have I spoken unto the dead.
But I live in mine own light, I drink again into myself the flames that break forth from me.
The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who can't fly.
And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity—through him all things fall.
I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.
Of all that is written, I love only what a man has written with his own blood.
The most silent words are harbingers of the storm ; thoughts that come on dove's feet lead the world.
When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that God is dead!"
They devour each other and cannot even digest themselves.

With thee have I wandered about in the remotest, coldest worlds, like a phantom that voluntarily haunteth winter roofs and snows.
With thee have I pushed into all the forbidden, all the worst and the furthest: and if there be anything of virtue in me, it is that I have had no fear of any prohibition.
With thee have I broken up whatever my heart revered; all boundary-stones and statues have I o'erthrown; the most dangerous wishes did I pursue,—verily, beyond every crime did I once go.
With thee did I unlearn the belief in words and worths and in great names. When the devil casteth his skin, doth not his name also fall away? It is also skin. The devil himself is perhaps—skin.
'Nothing is true, all is permitted': so said I to myself. Into the coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand there naked on that account, like a red crab!

Thou thinkest thyself wise, thou proud Zarathustra! Read then the riddle, thou hard nut-cracker,—the riddle that I am! Say then: who am I!"
—When however Zarathustra had heard these words,—what think ye then took place in his soul? PITY OVERCAME HIM; and he sank down all at once, like an oak that hath long withstood many tree-fellers,—heavily, suddenly, to the terror even of those who meant to fell it. But immediately he got up again from the ground, and his countenance became stern.
"I know thee well," said he, with a brazen voice, "THOU ART THE MURDERER OF GOD! Let me go.
You look up when you wish to be exalted. And I look down because I am exalted.
"This—is now MY way,—where is yours?" Thus did I answer those who asked me "the way." For THE way—it doth not exist!
When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible — such descent I call beauty. And there is nobody from whom I want beauty as much as from you who are powerful: let your kindness be your final self-conquest. Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the good from you. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.
Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves and only when ye have all denied me will I come back unto you.

Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby becomes a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
If you still experience the stars as something "over you," you still don't have the eyes of a knower
A man's stomach is the reason he does not easily take himself for a God 
He enters a labyrinth, he multiplies by a thousand the dangers already inherent in the very act of living, not the least of which is the fact that no one with eyes will see how and where he gets lost and lonely and is torn limb from limb by some cave-Minotaur of conscience. 

On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)

Twilight of the Idols (1888)

Out of life's school of war: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.
We have already gone beyond whatever we have words for. 

The Antichrist (1888)

The knight of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends. 
I know my fate. One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous — a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no man, I am dynamite. 
Have you understood me? Dionysus versus Christ 
Why I am so Wise - Why I am so Clever - Why I Write such Excellent Books - Why I am a Fatality

The Will To Power (1888)

An anthology of material from Nietzsche's notebooks of the 1880s, edited by his friend Peter Gast, supervised by his sister Elisabeth Nietzsche, and misrepresented by her as his unpublished magnum opus. All but 16 of its 1067 fragments can be traced to source texts in the historical-critical edition of Nietzsche's writings, Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke, though 204 of the 1067 sections involve patching together paragraphs not originally juxtaposed by Nietzsche, or dividing continuous passages into multiple "aphorisms" and re-arranging their order. Regarding the Anti-Christ, She hints that the text may have been garbled, after the author’s collapse, by some more sinister heretic.

Quotes About Him

His "noble" man—who is himself in day-dreams—is a being wholly devoid of sympathy, ruthless, cunning, cruel, concerned only with his own power. King Lear, on the verge of madness, says: "I will do such things—What they are yet I know not—but they shall be The terror of the earth." This is Nietzsche's philosophy in a nutshell ~ Russell, ibid. p. 767

Arguments against the Eternal Return

Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann has described an argument originally put forward by Georg Simmel, which rebuts the claim that a finite number of states must repeat within an infinite amount of time: Even if there were exceedingly few things in a finite space in an infinite time, they would not have to repeat in the same configurations. Suppose there were three wheels of equal size, rotating on the same axis, one point marked on the circumference of each wheel, and these three points lined up in one straight line. If the second wheel rotated twice as fast as the first, and if the speed of the third wheel was 1/p of the speed of the first, the initial line-up would never recur.

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