Presentation and History of Friedrich Nietzsche

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Friedrich Nietzsche is a philosophical writer who was born in 1844 and died in 1900. He invented many concepts such as the superman, nihilism, the will to power and the eternal return. He is a philosopher who also composed music.

In this article, we will see:

  • Information this philosopher
  • The story of this author
  • Things to remember about his work
  • Nietzsche's different books

Let's start now by discovering information about Friedrich Nietzsche.

Presentation of Friedrich Nietzsche

Here are some important points to summarize the character of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Portrayed Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Birth: October 15, 1844
  • Death: August 25, 1900 (at age 55)
  • Nationality: Prussian
  • Studies: Hellenic History
  • Passions: Music and writing
  • Country of residence: Germany, France, Italy
  • Profession: Writer, Philosopher, Poet and Composer.

The story of this 19th century philosopher

Friedrich's father died when the little one was two years old. He comes from a family of Lutheran pastors and grew up surrounded by women by his mother, his sister, his grandmother and his tents.

From a young age, he showed a talent for studies and music. During his studies in Leipzig, he devoted himself to music while completing a thesis in theology and philology. Even before finishing his thesis, in 1869, he obtained a position as a professor in Basel thanks to his professor Ritschl (1806-1876).

Nietzsche became interested in philosophy while studying ancient Greek history and the books of Schopenhauer. Between 1869 and 1872 he became friends with the composer Richard Wagner and composed music. After 1873, he severed his ties with the music of Wagner and the philosophy of Schopenhauer to find his own way.

Since 1874, he has suffered from an illness , he has many migraines and his life becomes an ordeal. He decided to travel to France and Italy where his illness dissipated for a while. It was during this period, until 1888, that he wrote his greatest books. He managed to use his illness to explore a broad spectrum of human consciousness in his works.

As early as 1889, he began sending strange letters from Turin. Following this, after having given all his strength to his work, he fell into madness . It was his sister who continued to publish his archives thereafter. She used her philosophy to help the Nazi regime.

What to remember about Nietzsche?

We will quickly see 3 important points of Nietzschean philosophy. They help to understand the worldview advocated by this author and his vision. We advise you to do your research, as there are often several interpretations for these concepts .

The Superman and the Will to Power

For Nietzsche, men and all living beings are endowed with the will to power. It is a life force that varies depending on the individual. It pushes living things to expand and survive. The superman is an unattainable ideal, halfway between man and beast. He exercises his will to power to accomplish his own, almost innate, will .

Decadence and Nihilism

For Friedrich, decadence translates into a desire to die (often unconsciously) of individuals, peoples, nations and societies. It is often combined with the end of traditions, the degeneration of Christian values ​​and the search for small happiness without grandeur and without accomplishments.

The eternal return and Christianity

This author places himself in opposition to religious people who only think of paradise. He develops the concept of eternal return which gives more importance to the earth and to actions here below. Even if we attribute the phrase "god is dead", Nietzsche is not opposed to Christianity, but to the degeneration of its values.

This philosopher is at the origin of many concepts which do not speak to everyone and which could be very useful today. We could cite the aristocratic morality and the slave morality described by Nietzsche.

Some books written by the author

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote more than 30 books. Given the variety of his writings, it is difficult to list all of his works. Here are the best-known books by this philosopher:

  • Human, too human
  • Dawn
  • The Gay Knowledge
  • Thus spoke Zarathustra
  • Beyond good and evil
  • Genealogy of morality
  • Twilight of the Idols
  • The Antichrist
  • Ecce homo
  • The Wagner Case
  • Nietzsche versus Wagner

3 memorable quotes from Nietzsche

Here are 3 very well-known quotes attributed to the philosopher. You've probably heard them before.

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger ” Twilight of the Idols

Become what you are. Do what only you can do. ” Thus spoke Zarathustra

He who knows how to command always finds those who must obey. ” The will to power

Some sources: Wikipedia , Introduction to Nietzschean philosophy , Google , Larousse