Nietzsche Philosophy Summary


Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher

Nietzsche is the philosopher of the will to power, seen as vital creation and fulfillment. What is essential is our world as it is joy and desire for power. As for the illusion of ulterior worlds, Nietzsche stalking in all its forms.

Nietzsche : God is dead & nihilism

Nietzsche diagnosed the essence of the mortal crisis of our time: he described it, in its main features, and an almost clinical manner.

– He made a study at different levels and in so doing has often announced with great precision which only sketched in the late nineteenth century.

– This deadly disease of modern times, ours is the nihilism, reign of the absurd, of Nothing (“nihil”, as we pointed out the etymology).

– Nihilism or no sense …

– The future is so aimless and all traditional ideals lose their value.

But what is the core of this “Nothing” and how does it spring?

– The phenomenon of nihilism is fundamentally marked by the death of God, the most important recent event.

– The sun of the Christian faith has to lie. The darkness is now the lot of our world.

– The Divine, the supersensible, left us: we killed Nietzsche tells us sometimes.

The death of the Christian God, if it is, perhaps, the sign and the announcement of a new dawn, is marked in our time, by the coming of the Last Man, completion of nihilism.

– The “Last Man” means what is most contemptible in this world: those who are powerless to create and to love, the individual totally enslaved and enjoying a “happiness” programmed and petty.

– It bounces well on the surface of the earth.

Nietzsche, metaphysics and morality:

In truth, nihilism completes the metaphysics and concludes there is an immediate consequence.

In the crisis of our time (even within the nihilistic disease), we find, in fact, errors of metaphysics.

Nihilism is the sign of “Nothing”, pure Nothingness

– It means the unveiling of nothingness, conceived as hidden foundation of our world.

– However, the examination, we discover the origins of this crisis within the metaphysical project:

► Metaphysics, defined as the type of research and approach the truth lying beyond phenomenal appearances in a “other world” devalued because of this, our universe.

► The phenomenon is sensitive then reduced to a mere appearance, an envelope surface, it slides towards nothingness and reality and identifies the supersensible.

► Therefore, metaphysics must be overcome: she was born, in fact, suffering from the man and his weariness of life.

The individual, in his grief, has invented another world, stable, permanent place of truth. The object of study of metaphysics is the Being, in and of itself, essentially the same through the changes.

– But this is a metaphysical being fiction. It only responds to the need for stability of those that Nietzsche christened the “hallucinated the back-world: those that pose an ideal universe, beyond the empirical appearances and our phenomenal world.

– In the eyes of Nietzsche, what matters is, on the contrary, our world as vital fullness.

Traditional moral values ​​suffer, too, the “hammer” of the Nietzschean critique. Nietzsche is here, very hard on Christianity.

– Resentment is to say the feeling of resentment and bitterness felt by those who are unable to create a positive, gave birth to moral values, good and evil.

– Pain and bitterness are the source of morality, as they are the source of metaphysics.

– Those who can create and say something really positive (slaves) to avenge their existential helplessness by making it the negative value of their lives.

– Thus was born the Christian ascetic morality, the work of slaves.

Nietzsche and the Will to Power:

For the active nihilism, destroying traditional values ​​to enter new values, by immorality, by placing doctrine is beyond good and evil, we can hope to find the way of the creative life and the Will to Power.

Will to Power: that much overused phrase, a term which proliferate major contradiction or sophistry.

Do not designate it simply the will or appetite for power, the spirit of domination or competition?

– This would include the design or a very restrictive or destructive domination of a thrust to various aspects: a set of impulses essentially competitive (in the “poor”), but also very movement of creative transcendence (in the noble soul of the “aristocrat” – a concept taken from Nietzsche, in his essentially spiritual significance – that is to say the best!).

– It can mean struggle for life, but also existential spiritual wholeness and abundance.

The Will to Power is an ambiguous term, an ambivalent notion that one can not reduce its forms and manifestations superficial or trivial.

– In its most noble, it is a strength plastic and creative.

– To fully grasp its essence, the human body to be taken as a guide, because the body is wisdom and reason, define it as intelligent dynamic, organic faculty to understand and to think, think the whole organism and it is possible to speak of a mind unconscious body.

Following Schopenhauer, Nietzsche rehabilitates the Unconscious, conceived as psychic reality beyond the entry clear and transparent self.

– Consciousness is less rich than the body, which provides, in its wisdom, a starting point and a guide: it puts us in a position to understand the Will to Power, this destructive and creative life force, that life in perpetual growth .

The world of creative life:  Nietzsche and Dionysus


The Will to Power authentic as affirmation and fulfillment, unveils, within its creative glut, the real scope of life and transcendence. Among the creations of life figure, primarily, the Art, where it should not be misunderstood.

– Any identifies a tradition, indeed, the Art with works of art and the fine arts.

– Nietzsche, quite the contrary, creates art in a much more comprehensive and dynamic.

– Against the “art works of art” confined to a specific area, bounded and limited, art becomes, in Nietzsche, an invention of harmonious forms, production for beautification of all existence.

► It obscures the ugliness, it humanizes or concealing anything that is ugly.

Do not confuse the Arts and Fine Arts.

– All materials and signs created by an artist and exhibiting an ideal of beauty does not designate an appendix to this production of what forms of art in general, the intoxication of life, the will to exist through harmonious forms.

The scope of the creative life involves artistic activity, the authentic work and, in general, everything concerning the building of positive values.

– Thus, the real work, formatting things, related to joy and pleasure, he differs profoundly from the miserable toil for gain.

– For the powers of life relate the authentic moral values, those that create the best, the “masters”, lying in the lifeblood of the Will to Power.

– Thinking of Nietzsche is aristocratic, in the etymological sense of the word.

► At vile herd opposes the beautiful creative individuality.

► This spiritual opposition between the “aristocrat” and “flock” commanded a number of concepts of Nietzsche.

► Thus, the aristocratic morality (this creative act, this triumphant affirmation of values, an assertion that is in joy) Is a thousand miles from the slave morality, resentment begets related negative values.

– The criterion of “authenticity” is always linked with Nietzsche, to the affirmation and the creative power of life.

From this perspective, affirmation of the creative power of life, he must understand the symbol of Dionysus, which takes place in such a Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (1871), until the Will Power (posthumous fragments).

– Dionysus is in fact a symbol of life, be as full of life.

– God of drunkenness among the Greeks, he plays in Nietzsche’s thought, the creation and destruction to become like incessant Dionysus is sensuality, enjoyment of power generating and destroying.

– The word “Dionysian” expresses this participation (unleashed) aware of exuberant life.

– As for the Dionysia, it means the identification with the principle of ecstasy and life.

– Instead, Apollo, god of the measure and limit the Greeks, refers, in Nietzsche, anything that is sharp, clear, distinct, limited.

– At outburst “Dionysian” oppose the serenity “Apollonian” Apolline, designed as contemplation of a world of imagination and dream.

Nietzsche and the Superman:

By pushing back the reaction force, a simple denial, those related to ‘no’, with excess to those of life and creation, man transcends himself towards the Superman, to a higher human type, free-spirited and heart.

– The man, indeed, is it the end of evolution? he has not completed its route and calls the beautiful creative individuality.

– The superhuman is the meaning of the earth, the next term of evolution.

– Again, it should avoid any misunderstanding: the “superman” of Nietzsche was sadly caricatured, but it has nothing to do with the “blond beast” of Germanic myth.

The philosophy of Nietzsche and organized around a few key concepts: that of Superman, and the Dionysian, of course, Will to Power.

– Let us add, finally, that of Eternal Recurrence (any state of the universe back periodically).

– Nietzsche, and (as Lucretius and Spinoza) drew a philosophy of joy, creativity and wholeness vital.

He celebrated life and stressed that the secret of the greatest enjoyment is to live dangerously and intensely.

Works by Nietzsche :

– The Birth of Tragedy (1871)

– Human, Too Human (1878)

– The Wanderer and His Shadow (1880)

– Aurora (1880-1881)

– The gay science (1881-1882)

– Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1882-1885)

– Beyond Good and Evil (1886)

– The Genealogy of Morals (1887)


Go further on Nietzsche’s Philosophy :

Nietzsche’s Superman

The Will to Power

Nietzsche’s Quotes

Nietzsche and Morality

Nietzsche and Becoming

Nietzsche and the Death of God

Cite this article as: Tim, "Nietzsche Philosophy Summary, May 18, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 18, 2012,

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