Talk:Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

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Archived discussion from Talk:Friedrich Nietzsche's view of Søren Kierkegaard

New Intro[edit]

So, I made the intro more interesting... (I'm waiting for the backlash). -Bordello (talk) 11:44, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

It's well known that 150.000 copies of Nietzsche's Zarathustra (along with Goethe's Faust and the Bible) were given to German soldiers in World War One (1914), but the article says that "Hitler will order that a (modified) copy of Thus Spake Zarathustra be put in every Nazi soldier's pack". I think you mixed up the years.. --D.H (talk) 12:16, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

-I think you may be right. What's you source? -12:17, 10 December 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bordello (talkcontribs)

There are innumerable sources. Google for "150000 zarathustra faust" and you will find many in German and English. In fact, WWI was dubbed by some the "Euro-Nietzschean War"... So I've corrected the article. --D.H (talk) 12:52, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
D.H is correct. See: Kaufmann, Walter (1974). Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. Princeton University Press. p. 8. ISBN 0691019835. ~ Alcmaeonid (talk) 14:52, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I think the old introduction was more idiomatic and provided more of what is recommended in WP:LEDE, so I have restored it. RJC TalkContribs 18:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

New Layout Proposal[edit]

I think a historical, bibliographical rundown of the Philosophy of Nietzsche page is called for. At this point, what people have perceived (Wikipedia is a tertiary source, afterall-- a source made of secondary sources) to be the essence of Nietzsche's philosophy narrated chronologically seems more coherent then a concept by concept breakdown (which seems totally unencyclopedic and really favor's Heidegger's labeling system). This article seems to do a brave but pitiful job at teaching by presenting the barest deconstructions of what Nietzsche's philosophy might be. Better to anchor it to something, I say: chronological order to me seems best.

It would sound like this: "In the early days, H.L. Menken thought Nietzsche was 'really super great,' as he explained in his book "I got a boner for Nietzsche." Other Americans had their opinions on the man and his philosophy, like famous hobo Thoreau, who said, "He reminds me of Emerson, 'cept not as cool" in a correspondence he had with Grover Cleveland, documented in an editorial by the New York Times dated 4/1/44."

In other words we should find quotes representative of the whole of what someone feels is Nietzsche's philosophy (and one accomplishes this by actually reading through all of what someone feels is Nietzsche's philosophy), and accompany it with the appropriate info: era, nationality, relevent cultural events, title of work (source). You know, basic shit.

I'm proposing this because people have had whole opinions on Nietzsche without citing every one of the concepts listed. The way the article is structured now, it would be difficult to include someone who opines in abstract terms, like a FOX news anchor who might have said "Nietzsche's philosophy is dreadful, egotistical and unhelpful." How would you categorize it? My guess is that you would have to awkwardly shimmy it in somewhere, or split it up-- which sort of loses the context and oomph of the original quote. It makes more sense to me to catalogue the time and place of the opinion and try to lasso all those times and opinions together, so that the historical dialogue comes to life.

Shall we have an honor code? I'd like to propose actually reading the books we're talking about, in their entirety, before sniping quotes from them. (And, this goes beyond ambitions, but maybe we could even say that TWO people would have to verify a quote in this way, through reading of all or most of the same text, coming up with their own conclusions, presenting them, discussing, and so on).

What do you think? -Bordello (talk) 10:33, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Considering that we have articles on topics in Nietzsche's philosophy, it makes sense to speak of these topics thematically in this article; cf. WP:SUMMARY. At least this way someone comes away with some understanding of what they don't understand; the narrative you propose will likely lose people along the way. A major criticism of philosophy articles on Wikipedia (judging from talk pages) is that readers have no idea what is going on. I'm also not sure why it is overly Heideggerian to speak of themes in Nietzsche's thought. As to chastising us to read the books we're talking about, please see WP:Assume good faith and WP:CIVILITY. RJC TalkContribs 19:06, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

List of Secondary Sources[edit]

In order to complete the task above (and to generally improve the article), we must have secondary sources. I'm copying and pasting all the sources I've seen, whether I've read them or not, and hope to find you guys who have read them.

Help is needed. -Bordello (talk) 11:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Books by single authors:

  • Kaufmann, Walter (1974). Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0691019835.
  • Tanner, Michael (1994). Nietzsche. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192876805.
  • Lampert, Laurence (1986). Nietzsche's Teaching: An Interpretation of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300044305.
  • Deleuze, Gilles (1983). Nietzsche and Philosophy. trans. Hugh Tomlinson. Athlone Press. ISBN 0485112337.
  • Seung, T.K. Nietzsche's Epic of the Soul: Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005. ISBN 0739111302
  • Pearson, Keith Ansell (1991). The Nietzsche Reader. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 0631226540. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bordello (talkcontribs) 13:02, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Books by multiple authors:

  • Magnus and Higgins, "Nietzsche's works and their themes", in The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche, Magnus and Higgins (ed.), University of Cambridge Press, 1996, pp.21-58. ISBN 0521367670
  • O'Flaherty, James C., Sellner, Timothy F., Helm, Robert M., "Studies in Nietzsche and the Classical Tradition" (University of North Carolina Press)1979 ISBN 0-08078-8085-X
  • O'Flaherty, James C., Sellner, Timothy F., Helm, Robert M., ""Studies in Nietzsche and the Judaeo-Christian Tradition" (University of North Carolina Press)1985 ISBN 0-8078-8104-X



  • Wicks, Robert "Friedrich Nietzsche". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2004 Edition). Ed. Edward N. Zalta.

News Papers:





This section is starting to turn into a POV essay, what's going on? Zazaban (talk) 02:14, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

How so? CABlankenship (talk) 02:23, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, it speaks in the first person and is written in an essay style; both of which go against established wikipedia guidelines. Also, it appears as though it is biased towards supporting a single viewpoint. Zazaban (talk) 02:24, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Can you please be more specific? I am simply stating scientific facts. Were this a discussion of Darwin's errors on heredity, I assure you that there would be no post-modernist obfuscation. Lets stick to the facts. Nietzsche was flat wrong on some things (heredity, speed of evolution), and correct about a few other subtle points (re-directed adaptations, 'blind-evolution', survival of the weak). This is discussed in factual terms, and there is nothing subjective about these points. We are discussing Nietzsche and Biology, not Nietzsche and some obscure point of postmodernism. These are not subjective issues. CABlankenship (talk) 02:32, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
It is still, essentially, an essay. Also, wikipedia is based on verifiability, not facts. We could very well go to creationism and write a long essay on how it is totally wrong, but that's not how it works. Zazaban (talk) 02:35, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand what you mean by "verifiability and not facts". Surely facts are something which are easily verifiable? I merely discussed where Nietzsche was in obvious error and conflict with modern science, and where he was correct and in agreement. What are your suggestions for how to improve the section? Be specific, please, as I find your previous comments somewhat vague. I'm open to improving this section and listening to your advice. CABlankenship (talk) 02:38, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:Verifiability. I simply feel that your edits are veering away from encyclopedic tone ( WP:TONE ) and into an essay. Really, the Biology section is more or less an essay. Zazaban (talk) 02:42, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll try to revise the section with your comments in mind. CABlankenship (talk) 02:44, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

After reviewing the rules on verifiability, I believe I have added sufficient citations. I will need more specific examples of what you consider to be objectionable. I do not, for instance, see the difference in "essay style" between my article and, say, the article 'on women' or the overman section. CABlankenship (talk) 02:48, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
This article is actually pretty terrible when it comes to style. It would probably be good to look at a few featured articles and see the style used there. Zazaban (talk) 03:15, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I plan on overhauling the article sometime soon. I'll keep your points in mind when I do so. CABlankenship (talk) 03:20, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

This article has needed that for ages upon ages, I've just never got around to fixing it. Glad you're here, I'll help with whatever I can. Zazaban (talk) 03:41, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

After further consideration, I agree with you that the style and content of my article is flawed. I will be fully rewriting it soon. CABlankenship (talk) 03:56, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Original Research[edit]

This article needs a lot of cleaning up. Please stop reinserting non-sourced original research. CABlankenship (talk) 19:22, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

"criticism of anti-semitism", etc.[edit]

This whole section is POV trying to detach Nietzsche from any connection to nationalism, anti-Semitism, Nazism, pan-Germanism, etc. Not only is this POV, it is unfounded. For example, according to Nietzsche in "Beyond Good and Evil": "the essential struggle between cultures has always been between the Roman (master, strong) and the Judean (slave, weak). He condemns the triumph of slave morality in the West, saying that the democratic movement is the "collective degeneration of man."

If that is not an anti-Semitic and Nazi-like viewpoint of Jews as "weak" and "slaves", then I don't know what is. (talk) 07:36, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

You are right, you don't know what is. Skomorokh 07:41, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
He seems to be referring to philosophic viewpoints rather than races. I know that he dislikes judeo-christianity, and likes greek and roman tradition. Zazaban (talk) 18:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
  • He not only insults democracy but he equates Judean culture with being of slaves and weak, criticisms used by the Nazi party. He was a very deranged person in any case and had deep, hidden anti-semitism. (talk) 15:52, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

When he talk about Judean (just point to the era when he wrote the book), he was talking to the population of this area, jewish, arabs,christian and many other tribes, all of them considered as a barbaric tribes that live in those dusty places, and where the only importance in the history was (without mentioning some religious concept) when the roman and greek expeditioned to conquest such primitives guys (and missing to mentioned the Persian Empire). -- (talk) 00:16, 4 May 2009 (UTC)-- (talk) 00:16, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Nietzsche despised nearly every cultural group, with the exception of the French, oddly enough. CABlankenship (talk) 00:43, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche says that the Jews are the strongest, purest race in Europe and that Germany would benefit greatly if it expelled all of the anti-Semites so that the Jews could take part in government. Since that isn't going to happen, perhaps the Jews should intermarry with the Prussian Junkers so their blood could be incorporated into the German ruling caste. Sec. 251. Even if this is meant tongue in cheek, it is hardly the sort of joke that an anti-Semite would permit himself. The sources that seek to distinguish Nietzsche from the Nazis do not seem to be involved in an unfair whitewashing of his thought. RJC TalkContribs 17:58, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

There is also a large amount of flux and evolution in Nietzsche's thoughts (publications) and his later opinions often contradict earlier ones to a large part. It is hard to generalise 'this is what he was' or 'this is what he believed'. It changed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I tend to agree with the above comment, but it seems important for the arguably anti-semitic and anti-Jewish content in Nietzsche's writing to be discussed. The present section reads like apologia trying to play down the ambiguity of Nietzsche's opinions on the issue that is obvious from reading his published works. In the past I have thought it possible that his expressions of dislike for the widely held German anti-semitic views of his time relate, at least partly, to the fact that this type of anti-semitism was popular, related to Christianity and mainstream German nationalist views of his era. Rather than being based on actual rejection of aversion (possibly expressions of hatred) for Jews, Judaism, Jewish cultural values etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

The thing is, is that he also said very nice things about Jews, and compared anti-semites to dogs. It's a very weird thing. Zazaban (talk) 19:22, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

I am surprised at how little people try to think about this stuff as a whole. Arguably, the main point Nietzsche has tried to make was that "superior" individuals should be allowed to rise up to their full potential without being limited by a morality that enslaves them to being at the same level as everyone else. The reference to Jews being "weak" and "slaves" was a historical reference. This is pretty clear when you read the whole book "Beyond Good and Evil" instead of quoting bits of it out of context for your own weird purposes. Jews were treated poorly by the Romans. Go to chapter 5 (The Natural History of Morals) of the aforementioned book and note the reference to Tacitus, who was a senator in the Roman Empire. To reference another Wikipedia article, Tacitus had "antipathy towards Jews and Christians of his time." He, in the same entry, attacks "their prophets" for creating a slave-morality -- a slave-morality being one that prevents the "superior" individuals from reaching their full potential. It has nothing to do with Jewish people being "weak" or "slaves" by nature. (talk) 03:14, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Quote-mining Nietzsche is all this is. I could just as easily locate a handful of quotes where he speaks of Jews in the highest regards, well above those of the ‘Germans’. Open the index and look up “J”. Not only does a section like this need to be read *in context* of the piece it belongs to, but also—I’m sorry to say, because it actually might take effort on the part of the reader, the interpreter—it needs to be read in relation to the entirety of his work. In fact that doesn’t suffice either—it is pretty much *necessary* to read Schopenhauer, as well as being ideally somewhat versed in the zeitgeist of their time. Further, please consider the style of his writing. If one were to read more of BGE or any of his other works you should quickly realise he does not write “on face-value”; it’s not prescriptive—as outlined above by others he describes people, nationalities, cultures, religions, etc. according to their then (historical) positioning and evaluation, and largely rejects their mystic and theistic metaphysics and associated moralities. Don’t presume you’re reading a manifesto. If this all seems too much effort then please stop reading Nietzsche, because you are doing Nietzsche and yourself a grand disservice. (talk) 19:40, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

So in short people... he hated everybody who refused to take action and raise to the maximum of his capabilities... that pretty much guaranties them, that is the whole lot of Jews, Christians, Nazis, communist,democrats, revolutionaries, (and whatever group of people that happens to indulge in this act of impeding others from development "slave morality") Nietzsche's loathing, so yes he pretty much was anti-semit, and anti everything else, he hated on all practically, democracy and feelings of sympathy and pity where seem as a plague against human nature, nationalism pretty much allows to harbor this feelings inside your own members. to put it simple a dog eats dog full out capitalist system would be ideal under this approach. sure that he hated Jews or not seems like a little problem, if you realize how he practically justifies the disconnection whit morals as long as you make some advancement towards your achievements, the destruction of the idea of "just & unjust" to be replaced whit a a will to power, and yet he dares to talk about cooperation there is no cooperation between the slave and the master, only domination and force of wills. U mad? fine.. clarify yourself. (talk) 04:37, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Relationship to Max Stirner[edit]

Although some have attempted to link his philosophy with Max Stirner's radical individualism, it is first of all unlikely that Nietzsche read The Ego and Its Own (1844), and secondly it appears that Nietzsche's ignorance of Stirner lead him to incorrectly relate Stirner to Schopenhauer, to whom Nietzsche directly opposed himself.

This is directly contradicted by the article Relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner, where cited passages establish that Nietzsche was at least familiar with Stirner, even if the degree of influence is open to debate. Peter G Werner (talk) 13:56, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. For details of the question see Relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner and the referenced article.
--Nescio* (talk) 15:44, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Kierkegaard and Nietzsche comparisons[edit]

Isn't it strange that when one types in "Kierkegaard" in the search box, the suggestion "Kierkegaard and Nietzsche comparisons" appears in the suggestion box and that this leads to this page? There are 13 mentions of Kierkegaard in the article, compared to 157 of Nietzsche. I respectfully suggest someone remove the link/suggestion/... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest that an editor look at the relationship between Kierkegaard, Brandes, and Nietzsche. Brandes seems to have mediated the two of them.

(User talk:11614soup) --11614soup 12:29, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

moral relativist/realist description: harmonization needed in 2 articles[edit]

In the article related to this Discussion page, N seems to be described as a moral relativist. But in the Moral Relativism article N seems to be described as potentially a moral realist. Maybe one of the articles can spark thoughts in some editor to harmonize and polish the other article or both articles. Bo99 (talk) 02:03, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Relationship to Schopenhauer[edit]

It might be worth qualifying the quote by George Santayana, since it contains a very clear misinterpretation of Nietzsche (interprets will to power as a will to dominate). This same idea is qualified earlier in the article when it discusses how Nazi ideology deliberately misinterpreted will to power as will to dominate, but it should be qualified again here, since the quote from Santayana reads as if it is a statement of fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:57, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

"locating Nietzsche in the conservative-revolutionary tradition"[edit]

Hmmm... I'm not so sure someone who was anti-Christianity and anti-nationalism could be considered a "conservative-reactionary". An elitist sure, but this seems like an attempt by someone to claim Nietzsche for themselves, which is just as bad when someone who is left-wing or racist does it. Besides not a lot of left-wingers or liberals claim Nietzsche was one of them, even if they borrow from some of his writings and ideas that doesn't mean they think he's "with them". In fact most professor's I've had fully admit Nietzsche probably wasn't "egalitarian", though they still consider him a genius. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:39, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

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