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For example, a historian might look at the crucifixion of Jesus, and trace its many impacts on political, social, and economic life throughout history.Or a linguist might look at when the word "good" first became used and trace the meaning of this single word in isolation up to the modern use of the word "good".Like Socrates, Nietzsche engages in dialogue in order to make us question our conventional ways of understanding truth, morality, and the world around us.
So read his works carefully, and be weary of media portrayals of Nietzsche.
"It must be taken into the bargain, if various clouds and disturbances - in short, slight attacks of stupidity - pass over the spirit of a people that suffers and WANTS to suffer from national nervous fever and political ambition: for instance, among present-day Germans there is alternately the anti-French folly, the anti-Semitic folly, the anti-Polish folly..." ( “This most anti-cultural sickness and unreason there is, nationalism, this nervose nationale with which Europe is sick, this perpetuation of European particularism, of petty politics…is a dead-end street.” "Since then I’ve had difficulty coming up with any of the tenderness and protectiveness I’ve so long felt toward you.
Nietzsche urges philosophers to acknowledge a crucial fact about ideas: they are historically rooted.
Ideas like Christian morality, or the Enlightenment, or Social Darwinism, do not develop in isolation from their historical, political, social, and economic context.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Nee'-Cha) was born in 1844 in Germany.
Essay On Beyond Good And Evil
It might be helpful to think of him as following in the footsteps of Socrates.So what exactly does a "genealogy" of a concept such as morality look like?Conventional histories and philosophical texts often trace many disparate facets of modern life back to one single event or fundamental principle or trace the linear evolution of a concept over time.The separation between us is thereby decided in really the most absurd way.Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world?Just like John Stuart Mill, Nietzsche is a proponent of Epistemic Relativism, the position that knowledge is valid only relatively to a specific context, society, culture or individual. What are you, after all, my written and painted thoughts! You have already doffed your novelty, and some of you, I fear, are ready to become truths, so immortal do they look, so pathetically honest, so tedious! ( Nietzsche is part philosopher, part psychologist, part comparative linguist, and part historian, but above all he is an artist.He does not present his work as the Truth, nor does he want you to throw away your uncritical beliefs and uncritically accept his.Rather he wants to present you with an alternative picture of life -- a new perspective -- and he wants you to put your beliefs in strife with this new picture.This is why you will often see him using flagrant and hyperbolic language uncharacteristic of other philosophers.So much so, in fact, that they even eventually founded a Utopian "Aryan" colony in the Paraguayan jungle called Nueva Germania in 1887 (needless to say, it did not last long.Bernhard committed suicide in 2 years and Elizabeth returned to Germany in 6).