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Beyond Good and Evil 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 I can think of few instances where an author s reputation isdifferent from the reality of who he was, what he believed, and what he wrote perhaps only Machiavelli has been as profoundly misunderstood by history Today, Nietzsche tends to be thought of as a depressive nihilist, a man who believed in nothing, and an apologist for the atrocities of fascism but no description could be further from the truth.There probably are not many men who hadreason than Nietzsche to feel resentful I can think of few instances where an author s reputation isdifferent from the reality of who he was, what he believed, and what he wrote perhaps only Machiavelli has been as profoundly misunderstood by history Today, Nietzsche tends to be thought of as a depressive nihilist, a man who believed in nothing, and an apologist for the atrocities of fascism but no description could be further from the truth.There probably are not many men who hadreason than Nietzsche to feel resentful and miserable he grew up a sickly child, prone to severe headaches which often left him literally blind with pain Then, during his brief career in the cavalry, he tore several muscles in his side, and while serving as a medical orderly in the Franco Prussian war, contracted a number of diseases These incidents would affect his health for the rest of his life, leaving him bedridden and in pain for hours or days at a time.It would not have been unreasonable to give in to misery and bitterness under such conditions, but on those days when Nietzsche felt well enough to write, he would emerge from his room with renewed passion and vigor, taking long walks in the beauty of the countryside before returning home to labor in producing a philosophy not of misery, but of joy Contrary to his reputation, Nietzsche rejected nihilism outright he thought that if the world does not provide your life with a clear meaning, it is up to you to go out and find one or create one , not to wallow and whinge.Likewise, he spent much of his life railing against the foolishness of nationalism and bigotry indeed, his famed falling out with the composer Wagner was over the increasingly nationalistic style of music the latter was producing So, that being the case, how did he gain such an unfortunate reputation at all The first reason is that, after his death, his sister took over his estate, and as she herself was a German nationalist and anti semite as was her prominent husband , she had a number of her brother s papers rewritten to support these execrable positions and then published them posthumously in his name Of course, this couldn t have fooled anyone actually familiar with Nietzsche s works and ideas, as the rewrites were in direct contradiction to his previous writings, but it still fooled many.The second problem with the interpretation of his work is one that mirrors Machiavelli precisely the author s observations on the nature of the world are mistaken for suggestions for how the world should be It s like reading a book about crime scene investigation and, because it admits that murder exists and describes the methods by which is is done, assuming that it is an instruction book for murderers, when in fact it is the opposite an instruction of how to combat them and stop them.Both Nietzsche and Machiavelli had a similar approach so the world can be a brutal place, a place where people gain power not by being wise and respected, but by dominating and taking advantage of others what are we going to do about it For Nietzsche, one of the necessary things we must do to free ourselves from this dominance over body and mind is to recognize that good and evil are just words, words that have been used by the powerful to justify anything they might choose to do their just wars against the evil foe , while that foe invariably preaches the same story in reverse, painting themselves as the hero, while in actuality both sides are motivated by greed and the desire for power.To say that someone is evil is to say that they have no rational motivation for what they do, that we should not attempt to understand them, but should oppose them without thinking about why It s a powerful tool to deny reality, and so, as individuals, if we refuse to accept definitions of what is good or evil as they are handed down by those in power, we will have taken the first step to freeing ourselves from mental tyranny.This was what Nietzsche meant by The Superman that the man of the future, if he is to be free, cannot allow anyone else to define his life for him, cannot take authority for granted, but must question the world without as well as the world within, to discover for himself what is important and what is true His famous Will to Power is the personal decision to wrest control of your life from those who would seek to dominate you To be free means being a philosopher.And this is something I have tried to achieve for myself but to unwind prejudice and ignorance is a lifelong battle, and I m certainly grateful to have, in my search, an ally like Nietzsche and the late Nietzsche scholar Rick Roderick Many have been the days when I felt run down and exhausted, put upon and disrespected by an impersonal world bent on breaking to its will, and at those times, Nietzsche s joyful and witty deconstruction of that ridiculous, artificial world has proven an invaluable comfort to me There is no authority who can tell you who you are, no church, no government, no university, no job, and no individual In the end, it is up to you to create yourself 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 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

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