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Nietzsche

Here you’ll find everything I write about the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. I’m currently crawling my way through his book Beyond Good and Evil, and doing my best to make sense of it.

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter Two: Part 26

After my confused rant in last week’s post, and with the sting of my failure to understand Part 25 still fresh, I’m pleased to say that the message in Part 26 of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil is nice and plain. It’s simply worded, apt, and easy to understand. It’s also extremely snooty. It […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter Two: Part 25

I reached an important milestone this week in my reading of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. While reading through Chapter Two, Part 25, I got completely lost. I didn’t have a clue what Nietzsche was talking about, and at the time of writing this, I’ve only partly managed to pull myself out of the […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter 2: Part 24

It’s been a few weeks since I decided to take a break from reading Friedrich Nietzsche. The respite was much needed, and my brain is less fried now than it was back in July. I feel ready to dive into the next chapter of Beyond Good and Evil and I’m excited to get back at […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 23

Part 23 of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil marks the end of the book’s first chapter. This chapter, called On the Prejudices of the Philosophers, looked at different philosophers and philosophical traditions, from the ancient to the modern, and was critical of pretty much all of them. From Stoicism to Sensualism, from Plato to […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Parts 21 and 22

In Part 19 of Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche cast doubt on the notion that we can independently apply our will to ourselves and the world around us. He contended that the act of willing is complex, and that the sense of agency that accompanies it is but a superfluous part of the process. […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 20

In part 19 of Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche argued that the will was something complex—a commonwealth of interdependent parts which could only be properly understood when examined together. In Part 20, he returns his focus to philosophy in general, and applies that same principal of interdependence to the numerous philosophical concepts that have […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 19

Part 19 of Beyond Good and Evil starts off with another one of Nietzsche’s handy generalizations about all philosophers. This particular generalization states that “Philosophers are accustomed to speak of the will as if it were the best-known thing in the world; indeed, Schopenhauer has given us to understand that the will alone is really […]

The Half-Assed Philosopher Pays the Wages of Hubris

If there’s one thing about myself that I wish I could change, it would be my tendency to expect my present circumstances to persist indefinitely. This tendency takes a variety of different forms. Sometimes I find myself thinking that whatever misfortune I’m undergoing must last forever. I’ll feel glum for some reason or another, and […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Parts 15-18

The next few parts of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil deal mostly with our perceptions and our experience of the world. Nietzsche continues to avoid targeting individual philosophers or philosophical traditions—for the most part. He does casually refute them here and there in order to illustrate larger points, but he seems to have left […]

Beyond Good and Evil: Parts 12-14

Several posts ago I committed to keeping my analyses simple and general. I stated my intention to cover multiple sections of Beyond Good and Evil in each post, and to avoid crawling through the book one Part at a time. As I worked on last week’s recap, I realized that I’ve basically forgotten that goal […]

Beyond Good and Evil: Another Look at Parts 1-11

In the foreword to Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche declares that a “magnificent tension of the spirit” has seized European society. This tension comes from the decline of Platonic and Christian ideals, he says, and the empty space that they’ve left behind. Nietzsche is happy enough to see these old “dogmatic” ideals fall by […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 11

In Part 5 of Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche identified the German philosopher Immanuel Kant as of someone who covered up the deficiencies in his work with overly complex reasoning and colorful language. However, Nietzsche didn’t go into detail, and I grumbled about how it wasn’t much good using Kant as an example if he […]

Beyond Good and Evil: First Interlude

I have family visiting from far away places this week, and between that and a hectic work schedule, I’ve had to interrupt my examination of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. My posts might not be long, but there’s a lot of rereading, rewriting, and head scratching that goes into them, and I’m afraid I […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 10

Part 10 of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil starts with the invocation of an ancient philosophical trope: “The eagerness and subtlety—might I even say shrewdness—with which the problem of the ‘real and apparent world’ is today attacked all over Europe makes one think and wonder; and anyone who in the background hears nothing but […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 9

Since starting this blog, and in particular this examination of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, I’ve made it no secret that I’m a total amateur. I doubt that I have even of a fraction of the philosophical education that Nietzsche’s intended reader would have had. Beyond the Stoicism in which I’ve immersed myself in recent […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Parts 5-8

We’ve heard plenty from Nietzsche about the folly of philosophers—about their misconceptions, assumptions, and the fact that their philosophizing might not be altogether voluntary, but rather instinctual. Up to this point, his complaints have related mostly to their misunderstanding and guiltless confusion. But in Part 5 of Beyond Good and Evil he starts getting personal. […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 4

The last time I posted here, I said that I intended to start covering more of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil in each of my articles, rather than just having each post pertain to a single ‘part’ of the book. I meant that. I really did. And I will start being broader in my analysis. […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Part 3

I know that to limit each of my entries in this series to just one or two parts of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil is to expect a lot of myself. Spread out over nine chapters, this book contains almost three hundred smaller ‘parts.’ And even though I fully intend to get to the […]

Beyond Good and Evil Chapter One: Parts 1 and 2

When I was preparing to read Nietzsche—by which, of course, I mean aimlessly googling him in order to put off doing the actual reading—I came across a comment online that classified him as a highly skilled writer with nothing to say—that his writing is a pleasure to read but empty of real content. The opening […]

Nietzsche on Wooing Truth: The Preface to Beyond Good and Evil

As promised, here’s my first post about Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil, allegedly the most accessible of his works. I’ve read the book once already, though I did so in a truly half-assed fashion and don’t remember much about it, other than that I was vaguely impressed and surprised by how much I enjoyed […]

Next Stop: Nietzsche

I read Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil this summer, and I’m about to start reading it again. When I first decided to take a crack at the nineteenth century German philosopher, my plan was to read Thus Spoke Zarathustra, another one of his works which happened to be the only one I was aware […]