فریدریش نیچه

از ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد
پرش به ناوبری پرش به جستجو
فارسیEnglish
فریدریش نیچه
Nietzsche187a.jpg
شناسنامه
نام کامل فریدریش ویلهلم نیچه
حیطه زیبایی‌شناسی، خداناباوری، فلسفه اخلاق، اگزیستانسیالیسم،

متافیزیک، هیچ‌انگاری، هستی‌شناسی، فلسفه تاریخ، شاعری، روان‌شناسی، تراژدی

دوره فلسفه قرن نوزدهم
مکتب فردگرایی، اگزیستانسیالیسم
پسانوگرایی، پساساختارگرایی
فلسفه قاره‌ای
زادروز ۱۵ اکتبر ۱۸۴۴
زادگاه روکن، پروس
تاریخ مرگ ۲۵ اوت ۱۹۰۰ (۵۵ سال)
محل مرگ وایمار، امپراتوری آلمان
امضا
Friedrich Nietzsche Signature.svg

فریدریش ویلهِلم نیچه (به آلمانی: Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche) (زادهٔ ۱۵ اکتبر ۱۸۴۴ – درگذشتهٔ ۲۵ اوت ۱۹۰۰) فیلسوف، شاعر، منتقد فرهنگی، جامعه شناس، آهنگساز و فیلولوژیست کلاسیک بزرگ آلمانی و استاد لاتین و یونانی بود که آثارش تأثیری عمیق بر فلسفهٔ غرب و تاریخ اندیشهٔ مدرن بر جای گذاشته‌است.[۱][۲][۳][۴]

در سال ۱۸۶۹ با ۲۴ سال سن، به کُرسی فیلولوژی کلاسیک در دانشگاه بازل دست یافت که جوان‌ترین فرد در نوع خود در تاریخ این دانشگاه به‌شمار می‌رود. در سال ۱۸۷۹ به خاطر بیماری‌هایی که در تمام طول زندگی با او همراه بود، از سمت خود در دانشگاه بازل کناره‌گیری کرد و دههٔ بعدی زندگانی‌اش را به تکمیل هستهٔ اصلی آثار خود که تا پیش آن به نگارش درآورده بود، اختصاص داد. او بیماری خود را موهبتی می‌داند که باعث زایش افکاری نو در وی شده‌است.[۵] در سال ۱۸۸۹ در سن ۴۴ سالگی، قوای ذهنی‌اش را به‌طور کامل از دست داد و دچار فروپاشی کامل ذهنی گردید.[۶] او سال‌های باقی‌مانده عمر را تحت مراقبت مادرش (تا زمان مرگ او در سال ۱۸۹۷) و پس از آن خواهرش الیزابت فورستر-نیچه گذراند و سرانجام در سال ۱۹۰۰ در گذشت.[۷]

شاکلهٔ اصلی نوشته‌های نیچه از جدل فلسفی، شاعری، نقد فرهنگی و قصه تشکیل شده و در کنار آن به‌طور گسترده‌ای نیز به هنر، لغت‌شناسی، تاریخ، دین و دانش پرداخته شده‌است. نوشته‌های او در عین آنکه سرشار از جملات قصار و گوشه کنایه[۸] است، شامل مباحث بسیار دیگری همچون اخلاق، زیبایی‌شناسی، تراژدی، معرفت‌شناسی، خداناباوری و خودآگاهی نیز می‌گردد. بنیان‌های اصلیِ فلسفهٔ او عبارتند از نقدهایی تند علیه حقیقت مطلق در دفاع از منظرگرایی، انگارهٔ «آپولونی و دیونیسی»، نقدهایی تبارشناسانه بر دین و اخلاق مسیحی و نظریه او در این رابطه تحت عنوان «اخلاق ارباب-برده‌ای»،[۹] تصدیق زیبایی‌شناسانهٔ هستی و وجود در واکنش به پدیدهٔ «مرگ خدا» و بحران عمیق هیچ‌انگاری، و تعریف سوژه بشری به عنوان تجلی‌گاه اراده‌های متنازع و در-کشاکش که در مجموع با عنوان «اراده قدرت» شناخته می‌شود.[۱۰] نیچه در آثار بعدی‌اش مفاهیم تأثیرگذاری همچون «اَبَر-مرد» و «بازگشت جاودان» را مطرح کرد و به‌طور فزاینده‌ای با قدرت‌های خلّاقهٔ فرد به عنوان نیرویی برای غلبه بر پیش‌فرض‌های اجتماعی، فرهنگی و اخلاقی و نیل به ارزش‌های نو و سلامتِ زیبایی‌شناسانه درگیر شد و به غور و تفحّص در بابِ آن‌ها پرداخت.[۱۱]

پس از درگذشتِ نیچه، خواهر او الیزابت فورستر-نیچه متصدّی و ویراستار دست‌نوشته‌های او شد و شماری از آثار منتشرنشدهٔ او را جهتِ تطابق با ایدئولوژی ملی‌گرایانهٔ آلمانیِ شخصی‌اش بازنویسی کرد، و در عین حال دیدگاه‌های صریح او را که به روشنی در تضاد با یهودستیزی و ملی‌گرایی بودند دچار واگردانی، پیچیدگی و غموض کرد. آثار نیچه در ویراست‌های چاپی الیزابت به فاشیسم و نازیسم ارتباط داده شد،[۱۲] اما شماری از پژوهشگران قرن بیستم چنین خوانشی از آثار نیچه را به چالش کشیدند و ویراست‌های اصلاح‌شدهٔ آثار او به زودی عرضه گردید.[۱۳] اندیشه‌های او در دههٔ ۱۹۶۰ بار دیگر به محبوبیت رسید، و از آن زمان تاکنون تأثیری عمیق بر اندیشمندان حوزه‌های فلسفه (به خصوص مکاتب فلسفه قاره‌ای همچون اگزیستانسیالیسم، پست‌مدرنیسم و پسا-ساختارگراییهنر، ادبیات، روانشناسی و فرهنگ عامه در قرن بیستم و بیست و یکم گذاشته‌است.[۱۱][۱۴][۱۵][۱۶][۱۷]

از مشهورترین عقاید وی نقد فرهنگ، دین و فلسفهٔ امروزی بر مبنای سؤالات بنیادینی دربارهٔ بنیان ارزشها و اخلاق بوده‌است. نوشته‌های وی سبک تازه‌ای در زبان آلمانی محسوب می‌شد؛ نوشته‌هایی بسیار ژرف و پر از ایجاز، آمیخته با افکاری انقلابی که نیچه خود روش نوشتاری خویش را گزین گویی‌ها می‌نامید. یکی از مشهورترین جملات او «خدا مرده‌است»[۱۸][۱۹] می‌باشد که بحث‌های فراوانی را پدیدآورده است.

زندگی[ویرایش]

نیچه در ۱۷ سالگی، سال ۱۸۶۱

او در ۱۵ اکتبر ۱۸۴۴ در شهر کوچک روکن واقع در لایپزیک پروس به دنیا آمد. به دلیل مقارنت این روز با روز تولد فریدریش ویلهلم چهارم، پادشاه وقت پروس، که در روز تولد نیچه چهل و پنج ساله می‌شد، پدر او که معلم چند تن از اعضای خاندان سلطنت بود، نام کوچک پادشاه را بر فرزند خود نهاد (نیچه بعدها بخش میانی نام خود ویلهلم را حذف کرد[۲۰]).

والدین او کارل لودویگ نیچه (۱۸۴۹–۱۸۱۳) که کشیشی لوتری و سابقاً یک معلم بود و فرانسیسکا نیچه (۱۸۹۷–۱۸۲۶) یک سال پیش از متولد شدن نیچه در سال ۱۸۴۳ ازدواج کردند. آن‌ها صاحب دو فرزند دیگر نیز شدند: الیزابت فورستر-نیچه متولد ۱۸۴۶ و پسری دیگر به نام لودویگ جوزف متولد ۱۸۴۸. وقتی نیچه پنج سال داشت، پدرش بر اثر یک ناخوشی مزمن مغزی درگذشت. شش ماه پس از آن فرزند آخر خانواده لودویگ جوزف در دو سالگی فوت کرد.[۲۱] نیچه پس از آن همراه با خانواده به ناومبورگ نقل مکان کرد. در آنجا با مادربزرگِ مادری و دو عمهٔ مجرد نیچه زندگی می‌کردند. پس از فوت مادربزرگش در سال ۱۸۵۶، به خانهٔ اصلی خود که هم‌اکنون به موزه و مرکز مطالعات نیچه بدل شده‌است نقل مکان کردند. نایجل راجرز و مل تامپسون در کتاب فیلسوفان بدکردار نشان می‌دهند که نیچه دائماً بیمار بوده و سردرد داشته و اگر بر اثر بیماری سفلیس نمی‌مرد، می‌شد نتیجه گرفت که او در هنگام مرگ هنوز پسر بوده‌است. نیچه چند مورد به زنانی مثل لو سالومه و کازیما واگنر ابراز عشق کرده بود اما همه این موارد با تلخی پایان یافت و مخصوصاً خیانت لو سالومه و دوستش پل ری به او ضربه بسیار محکمی به او وارد آورد که بیماری او را تشدید کرد. در اواخر عمر نیچه خواهرش از او مراقبت می‌کرد که او هم حداکثر استفاده را از عواید فروش آثار او برد. نیچه در ده سال آخر عمرش عملاً مجنون بود.[۲۲]

تحصیلات[ویرایش]

او در ابتدا در یک مدرسه پسرانه و پس از آن مدرسه‌ای خصوصی مشغول به تحصیل شد، و در همان‌جا با افراد همچون گستاو کروگ،[۲۳] رادولف واگنر[۲۴] و ویلهلم پیندر[۲۵] که از خانواده‌های بسیار محترم بودند رابطه دوستی برقرار کرد. در سال ۱۸۵۴ به دبیرستان معروف دوم‌گیمنازیوم (Domgymnasium) در ناومبورگ وارد شد. بعداً به خاطر خدمتی که پدرش به عنوان کشیش به دولت کرده بود، بورسیه تحصیل در مدرسه پفورتا (Pforta) که از شهرتی جهانی برخوردار بود به او پیشنهاد گردید.[۲۶] او به این مدرسه منتقل گردید و در میانهٔ سال‌های ۱۸۵۸ تا ۱۸۶۴ در آنجا به تحصیل مشغول شد. در همان‌جا با افرادی همچون پائول یاکوب دویسِن[۲۷] و کارل فون گرسدورف[۲۸] دوست شد. او همچنین اوقاتی را به شاعری و نگارش موسیقی می‌گذراند. او تابستان‌ها در ناومبورگ هدایت یک انجمن ادبی و موسیقایی به نام «گرمانیا» (Germania) را بر عهده داشت. نیچه در مدرسه پفورتا توانست بنیه‌ای قوی در چندین زبان - یونانی، لاتین، عبری و فرانسوی - کسب کند و این‌گونه قادر به مطالعهٔ منابع دست اول مهم شود.[۲۹] او در این دوران برای نخستین بار دوری از خانواده را در محیط محافظه‌کارانهٔ یک شهر کوچک تجربه کرد.[۳۰]

نیچه جوان

نیچه در پفورتا تمایل به دنبال کردن موضوعاتی داشت که معمولاً نامناسب و ناشایست توصیف می‌شدند. در همین دوره، با آثار شاعر تقریباً ناشناختهٔ آن عصر، فریدریش هولدرلین، آشنا شد و از او به عنوان «شاعر محبوب» خویش یاد کرد، و در مقاله‌ای که در باب او نوشت، بیان داشت که این شاعرِ مجنون، آگاهی را به «متعالی‌ترین کمال» خود رسانیده‌است.[۳۱] معلّمی که مقالهٔ نیچه را تصحیح کرد نمرهٔ خوبی به کار او داد، اما از سویی به نیچه توصیه کرد که در آینده، خود را به نویسندگانی سالم‌تر، با بیانی روشن‌تر و البته «آلمانی» تر مشغول کند. او همچنین در این دوره با ارنست اورتلپ[۳۲] که شاعری غیرعادی، کافرکیش و اغلب مست و لم‌یعقل بود آشنا گردید که جسدش چند هفته پس از ملاقاب با نیچهٔ جوان در یک آبراهه پیدا شد. احتمالاً او بوده‌است که نیچه را با موسیقی و آثارِ ریچارد واگنر آشنا کرده‌است.[۳۳] شاید تحتِ تأثیر اورتلپ بود که روزی نیچه و یکی از همکلاسانش به نام ریشتر، مست و مخمور به مدرسه بازگشتند و در آن وضعیت با یک معلم روبه‌رو شدند، که همین امر باعث تنزّل نیچه از تراز اوّل بودن در کلاس و مخدوش شدن وجهه‌اش به عنوان یک دانش‌آموز نمونه و کامل گردید.[۳۴]

پس از فارغ‌التحصیلی در سپتامبر ۱۸۶۴،[۳۵] به امید رسیدن به مقام کشیش پروتستان، در دانشگاه بن به تحصیلِ الهیات و فیلولوژی کلاسیک مشغول شد. او و دویسن دوره‌ای کوتاه به عضویت انجمن برادری بوشِن‌شافت (Burschenschaft) در فرانکونی درآمدند. پس از یک ترم تحصیل، نیچه به مطالعات الهیاتی خویش پایان داد و ایمان و اعتقادات مسیحی خویش را رها کرد.[۳۶] در همان دورانِ نگارش مقالهٔ خود با عنوان «سرنوشت و تاریخ» در سال ۱۸۶۲، نیچه استنباط کرده بود که تعالیم بنیادین مسیحیت تحتِ تأثیر پژوهش‌های تاریخی بی‌اعتبار گشته‌است؛[۳۷] اما از سویی به نظر می‌رسد در همین دوران کتاب «زندگی مسیح» نوشتهٔ داوید اشتراوس نیز بر نیچه جوان تأثیری عمیق بر جای گذاشته‌است.[۳۷] افزون بر این، کتاب «جوهر مسیحیت» نوشتهٔ لودویگ فوئرباخ که در آن نویسنده استدلال کرده‌است که مردم خدا را آفریده‌اند بر نیچه تأثیرگذار بود.[۳۸] در ژوئن ۱۸۶۵، نیچه در نامه‌ای به خواهر شدیداً مذهبیِ خود خبر از رها کردن ایمان مذهبی خویش داد. نیچه در بخشی از این نامه چنین می‌نویسد:

«و این‌گونه راه‌ها از یکدگر جدا افتد: اگر طالب خوشی و آرامش روح هستی، پس ایمان داشته باش. لیک اگر طالب آنی که مُریدِ حقیقت باشی، پس تحقیق و جستجو کن…»[۳۹]

نیچه، ۱۸۶۹
نیچه در لباس سربازی ۱۸۶۸

در ۱۷ اوت ۱۸۶۵، بن را ترک کرد و رهسپار دانشگاه لایپزیک شد تا تحت نظر فریدریش ویلهلم ریچل[۴۰] به مطالعه لغت‌شناسی بپردازد.[۴۱] در آنجا بود که با هم‌کلاسیِ خود اروین روده[۴۲] پیوند دوستیِ نزدیکی برقرار کرد. نخستین آثار او در حوزهٔ لغت‌شناسی به‌زودی در همین دوران ظاهر شدند.

او در سال ۱۸۶۵ تمامیِ آثار آرتور شوپنهاور را مطالعه کرد. او بیداری علایق فلسفی خود را مرهونِ مطالعهٔ کتاب «جهان همچون اراده و تصور» اثر شوپنهاور می‌دانست؛ و بعدها تصدیق کرد که او یکی از معدود اندیشمندانی است که برایشان احترام قائل است، و بخش «شوپنهاور همچون آموزگار» را در کتاب «تأملات نابهنگام» به افتخار او به نگارش درآورد.[۴۳] او در دانشگاه لایپزیک با فلسفهٔ یونان نیز آشنا گردید.

او در سالِ ۱۸۶۶ کتابِ «تاریخِ ماتریالیسم»[۴۴] نوشتهٔ فریدریش آلبرت لانگه[۴۵] را مطالعه کرد. شروحی که لانگه در این کتاب در بابِ فلسفهٔ ضد-ماتریالیستی کانت، خیزشِ ماتریالیسمِ اروپایی، علاقهٔ روبه‌رشدِ اروپا به دانش، نظریهٔ فرگشت چارلز داروین، و طغیان‌های عمومی علیه سنّت و سلطه ارایه کرده بود شدیداً نیچه را مجذوبِ خود ساخت. محیطِ فرهنگیِ عصری که در آن می‌زیست، نیچه را بیش از پیش تهییج کرد که افق‌های مطالعاتیِ خود را به فراسوی حوزه‌های لفت‌شناسی بسط دهد و مطالعاتِ فلسفی‌اش را همچنان دنبال کند، هر چند او ارایهٔ توضیحی فرگشتی در بابِ حسّ زیبایی‌شناسانهٔ بشری را ناممکن می‌دانست.[۴۶]

او در سال ۱۸۶۷ برای یک سال خدمتِ داوطلبانه در توپخانهٔ ارتشِ پروس در ناومبورگ ثبت‌نام کرد. در این دوران، او در میان هم‌قطاران تازه‌واردش به عنوانِ بهترین سوارکار شناخته شد، و افسرانِ او پیش‌بینی کردند که او به‌زودی به مقامِ فرماندهی دست خواهد یافت. با این حال، در مارسِ ۱۸۶۸ هنگامِ پریدن بر زینِ اسب سینه‌اش با قاشِ زین برخورد پیدا کرد و ماهیچه‌های سمتِ چپ آن از دو ناحیه دچار پارگی شد؛ این مسئله باعث شد که تواناییِ راه رفتن را برای ماه‌ها از دست بدهد.[۴۷][۴۸] از همین رو، نیچه بارِ دیگر توجّهِ خود را به مطالعاتِ پبشینِ خویش معطوف کرده و آن‌ها را در سال ۱۸۶۸ تکمیل کرد، و بعدها در همان سال برای نخستین بار با ریچارد واگنر ملاقات کرد.[۴۹]

استادی در بازل[ویرایش]

نا حدودی به واسطهٔ حمایت‌های ریچل، نیچه در سال ۱۸۶۹ پیشنهادی قابل‌توجه برای مقام استادیِ لغت‌شناسیِ کلاسیک در دانشگاه بازل سوییس دریافت کرد. در آن زمان نیچه تنها ۲۴ سال داشت و هنوز نه دورهٔ دکتریِ خود را به پایان رسانیده بود و نه گواهیِ شایستگیِ علمی دریافته کرده بود. در اینجا نیز باز با حمایت‌های ریچل از سوی دانشگاه لایپزیک به او دکترای افتخاری داده شده بود.[۵۰] این پیشنهاد در زمانی به او ارایه شد که او داشت به تغییر رشته از لغت‌شناسی به علومِ تجربی فکر می‌کرد، لیک به هر روی، او این پیشنهاد را پذیرفت.[۵۱] تا به امروز، هنوز هم نام نیچه در فهرستِ جوان‌ترین اساتیدِ ثابتِ علومِ کلاسیک به چشم می‌خورد.[۵۲]

او در این دوران آشنایی نزدیکی با «یاکوب بورکهارت» نویسنده کتاب «تمدن فرهنگی رنسانس در ایتالیا» داشت. او هوادار فلسفهٔ آرتور شوپنهاور فیلسوف شهیر آلمانی بود و با واگنر آهنگساز آلمانی دوستی نزدیکی داشت. وی بعدها گوشهٔ انزواء گرفت و از همه دوستانش رویگردان شد.

او در طول دوران تدریس در دانشگاه بازل با واگنر آشنایی داشت. قسمت دوم کتاب تولد تراژدی تا حدی با دنیای موسیقی «واگنر» نیز سروکار دارد. نیچه این آهنگساز را با لقب «مینوتار پیر» می‌خواند. برتراند راسل در «تاریخ فلسفه غرب» در مورد نیچه می‌گوید: «ابرمرد نیچه شباهت بسیاری به زیگفرید (پهلوان افسانه‌ای آلمان) دارد فقط با این تفاوت که او زبان یونانی هم می‌داند.»

با رسیدن به اواخر دهه۱۸۷۰ نیچه به تنویر افکار فرانسه مشتاق شد و این در حالی بود که بسیاری از تفکرات و عقاید او در آلمان جای خود را در میان فیلسوفان و نویسندگان پیدا کرده بود.

ترک شهروندی آلمان[ویرایش]

نیچه و لو آندره آس سالومه و پل ری در ۱۸۸۲

در سال ۱۸۶۹ نیچه شهروندی «پروسی» خود را ملغی کرد و تا پایان عمرش بی سرزمین ماند. او در حالی که در آلمان، سوئیس و ایتالیا سرگردان بود و در پانسیون زندگی می‌کرد بخش عمده‌ای از آثار معروف خود را آفرید.

تغییر نام[ویرایش]

نیچه ادعا کرد که دارای تباری از یک خانواده سرشناس لهستانی است و بر این مسئله اصرار زیادی نیز ورزید. از او نقل شده‌است که نوشته: «آلمان دارای ملتی بزرگ است چرا که مردمانش خون لهستانی در رگهایشان جاریست… من به لهستانی‌تبار بودن خود افتخار می‌کنم.»[۵۳][۵۴] نیچه نوشت: «به من گفته شده که نیاکانم از سرشناسان لهستانی بوده‌اند که حدود یکصد سال پیش به واسطه باورهای مذهبی‌شان (پروتستان در لهستان اکثریت کاتولیک) مجبور به ترک خانه و سرزمینشان شدند؛ نامشان بعد از مهاجرت، آلمانی‌مآب می‌شود و از نیتسکی (Niëtzky) به نیچه (Nietzsche) تغییر داده می‌شود.[۵۵]

«لو آندره آس سالومه» دختر یک افسر ارتش روسیه بود که به دردناک‌ترین عشق نیچه بدل شد. او می‌گوید: «من در مقابل چنین روحی قالب تهی خواهم کرد» و «از کدامین ستاره بر زمین افتادیم تا در اینجا یکدیگر را ملاقات کنیم.» اینها نخستین جملاتی بود که نیچه در نخستین ملاقاتش با سالومه بر زبان آورد.

جنون و مرگ[ویرایش]

پرتره کشیده شده توسط هانس الده در ۱۹۰۰

در باب شروع جنون نیچه روایتی معروف وجود دارد که می‌گوید روز سوم ژانویه ۱۸۸۹ نیچه در میدان کارلو آلبرتوی[۵۶] تورین داشت قدم می‌زد که با صحنهٔ شلّاق زدنِ یک اسب توسط یک کالسکه‌چی روبه‌رو گردید. نیچه با دیدنِ این صحنه منقلب می‌شود و به سوی آن حیوان می‌شتابد: نیچهٔ گریان گردن اسب را در آغوش می‌گیرد و با مهربانی نوزاش می‌کند؛ و پس از چند لحظه در برابر چشمان حیرت‌زدهٔ کالسکه‌چی و ناظران ناگهان نقش بر زمین می‌شود. جنون و کسوف معنویِ نیچه با این اتفاق در میدان کارلو آلبرتو آغاز می‌شود.[۵۷][۵۸]

نیچه زندگی شخصی پر تلاطمی داشت و چندان با زنان هم میانه‌ای نداشت. نیچه دائماً بیمار بوده و سردرد داشته و این سردردها را نتیجه زایش افکار نو می‌دانسته‌است. در اواخر عمر نیچه خواهرش از او مراقبت می‌کرد. نیچه در ده سال آخر عمرش عملاً مجنون بود. برخی روانپزشکان هم‌عصر نیچه به ویژه پزشکان معالج او علت دیوانگیِ نیچه را فلج تدریجیِ مغزی ناشی از عفونت سیفلیس دانستند.[۵۹] بنا بر این نظریه، طی سال‌های ۱۸۶۴ تا ۱۸۸۸ نیچه ابتدا در یکی از روسپی‌خانه‌های اروپا به سیفلیس مبتلا شده و سپس دچار فلج مغزی گردیده‌است. مدتی این تشخیص معیار عام و خاص بود و تا اواسط قرنِ بیستم بسیاری به آن استناد می‌کردند؛ موردی که بعداً هم از لحاظ روان‌شناختی و هم پزشکی به چالش کشیده شد. الیزابت فورستر-نیچه خواهر او معتقد بود عامل جنون او استعمال کلورال[۶۰] (نوعی مسکن که نیچه برای دردهای خود استفاده می‌کرد) است. او همچنین مدعی بود که کار فکری شدید نیز در آشفتگی‌های ذهنی برادرش نقش زیادی داشته‌است.[۶۱]

برخی پژوهشگران از جمله پییر کلوسفسکی به دیوانگیِ ساختگی نیچه اعتقاد دارند.[۶۲][۶۳] بنا بر این نظریه، نیچه توطئه کرده و طبقِ برنامه‌ای از پیش تنظیم‌شده طوری نقش بازی کرده‌است که با وانمود کردنِ خود هم جامعه و هم زمانهٔ خود را دست بیندازد. این نظریه با استناد به برخی پاره‌نوشت‌های نیچه بیش از پیش تقویت می‌شود. مثلاً او در کتابِ «سپیده‌دم» چنین می‌نویسد:

«تقریباً در همه‌جا جنون و دیوانگی راهِ اندیشهٔ جدید را باز می‌کند… قدیمی‌ها فکر می‌کردند که آنجا که جنون ظاهر می‌شود ذره‌ای نبوغ و خردمندی نیز همراهِ آن است… وقتی انسانِ برتر می‌خواهد یوغِ اخلاقِ حاکم را متلاشی و قانونی جدیدی را وضع کند ناچار است دیوانه شود؛ یا اگر واقعاً دیوانه نباشد [با رجوع به متن کتاب مشخص می‌شود که نیچه زیر عبارت «اگر واقعاً دیوانه نباشد» خط کشیده‌است!] خود را به دیوانگی بزند… مشاهده می‌شود که حتی نوآوران علمِ عروض مجبور شده‌اند نگرشِ شاعریِ تازهٔ خود را زیر نقابِ جنون پنهان و مطرح کنند… چگونه می‌توان دیوانه شد وقتی دیوانه نباشی و شجاعتِ وانمود کردن به آن را نداشته باشی؟... ای نیروهای الهی به من دیوانگی عطا کنید، آری دیوانگی عطا کنید تا بتوانم بالأخره خودم را باور کنم! آری به من هذیان، تشنج، روشنایی و تاریکی بدهید…»[۶۴]

نیچه در ادامه می‌نویسد که در یونان باستان سه شیوهٔ جنون وجود داشته‌است: جنون ساختاری (وجودی)، جنون عمد (ارادی) و جنون ساختگی (تظاهر). در گفتارِ دیگری از همین اثر، نقش مؤثر جنون در تغییر و تحوّل جامعهٔ سنتی مطرح شده‌است:

«تمامیِ رهبرانِ معنوی ملت‌ها به عوامل دیوانگی و شهادت متوسل می‌شدند و با تغییر آداب و رسوم جامعه روند راکد آن را متحوّل می‌کردند.»[۶۵]

نیچه در کتاب «دانش طربناک» می‌گوید که مردمِ عوام اشخاص برجسته و تاریخ‌ساز را دیوانه می‌پندارند:

«به چشم عوام، احساسات والا و سخاوتمندانه فاقدِ فایدهٔ عملی و در نتیجه به دور از واقعیت است… آدم‌های حقیر، آدم نجیب و بزرگ‌منش را دیوانه می‌پندارند، چون او سرشتِ نامعقول‌تری دارد. کشش انسان‌های برتر به طرف چیزهای استثنائی است، چیزهایی که هیچ جذابیتی برای سایر مردم ندارد.»[۶۶]

او همچنین در نامه‌ای به پیتر گاست صمیمی‌ترین دوست خود می‌نویسد:

«هر روز بیشتر به این واقعیت پی می‌برم که زندگی را نمی‌توان تحمل کرد مگر دیوانگی چاشنی آن باشد.»[۶۷]

به باور میشل فوکو، یکی از مهمترین شخصیت‌های مرزی در تاریخ جنون که برحسب شرایط مربوط به عصر روزگار خود وارد مرحله جنون گردیده، بی‌شک نیچه است. یکی از مهمترین مقولات انسان‌شناسی ساحتی از وجود انسانی است که در برزخی از عقل و عشق، سکر و صحو یا خرد و جنون بسر می‌برد. انسان‌هایی از آنان به «انسان‌های مرزی» تعبیر می‌شود، محصول عدم تعیّن به جغرافیای معنوی خاص می‌باشند و در تعابیر عرفانی، به عقلاءالمجانین شهرت یافته‌اند. این بُعد وجودی انسان را از آن لحاظ می‌توان به انسان‌های مرزی تعبیر کرد، که در وجود آنان، جدال میان «جهان‌های موازی» مشاهده می‌شود؛ لذا زمانی که از تجربه‌های عالم معنا در عالم ناسوت سخن می‌گویند یا بنا بر منطق آن جهان متعالی و شهودی در این جهان ناسوت عمل می‌کنند، توسط انسان‌ها متهم به جنون می‌گردند.[۶۸]

خاطره‌ای از روزهای اول جنون نیچه وجود دارد که نظریه «دیوانگی عرفانی»[۶۹][۷۰] را مطرح می‌کند. زمانی که نیچه دیوانه می‌شود اوِربک از دوستان صمیمی‌اش او را با قطار به شهر بازل برمی‌گرداند (دهم ژانویهٔ ۱۸۸۹). در ایستگاه قطار پروفسور ویل به پیشواز آن‌ها می‌آید تا شخصاً نیچه را در کلینیک فریدمات بستری کند. نیچه فوراً ویل را می‌شناسد و می‌گوید: «آقای ویل؟ آری، شما روانپزشک هستید. چند سال پیش با هم دربارهٔ دیوانگی عرفانی بحث کردیم و موضوع بحث ما دیوانه‌ای به نام آدولف ویشر بود که اینجا زندگی می‌کرد.» ویل بدون اینکه سخنی بر لب بیاورد حرف‌های او را با سر تأیید می‌کند.[۷۱] بدین ترتیب مشخص می‌شود که نیچه با مفهوم «دیوانگیِ عرفانی» آشنایی داشته و با پروفسور ویل در این‌باره گفتگو کرده بوده‌است.

پژوهش‌های پزشکی نیز چالش‌هایی را در باب نظریهٔ نقشِ سیفلیس در جنون نیچه مطرح می‌کنند. در پژوهشی که توسط پزشکی آمریکایی به نام لئونارد ساکس به انجام رسیده‌است، بیان شده‌است که عامل جنون او آن طور که پیشتر تصور می‌شد بیماری سیفلیس نبوده، بلکه سرطان مغزی از نوع دیر-پیش‌رونده آن بوده‌است. به گفتهٔ دکتر ساکس نشانه‌هایی که نیچه از خود بروز می‌داده‌است هیچ‌کدام با علائمی که امروزه برای تشخیص بیماری سیفلیس کاربرد دارد مثل بی‌حالتی چهره و نامفهومی گفتار، مطابقت ندارد. ساکس اضافه می‌کند که در اواخر قرن نوزدهم بیش از ۹۰ درصد مبتلایان به سیفلیس پیشرفته سریعاً ناتوان می‌شدند و ظرف پنج سال پس از تشخیص بیماری می‌مُردند؛ این در حالی است که نیچه یازده سال همچنان زندگی کرد. به گفتهٔ دکتر ساکس پزشکان نیچه احتمال می‌دادند که او به سیفلیس مبتلا نشده باشد، اما از ارائه تشخیصی جایگزین برای بیماری او ناتوان بودند. به گفتهٔ دکتر ساکس این عقیده که نیچه از روسپیان سیفلیس گرفته، برای نخستین بار در سال ۱۹۴۷ اظهار شد. لانگ-آیک‌بام[۷۲] در کتابی که در محکومیت نقش نیچه در فلسفه نازیسم نوشته بود، مدعی می‌شود که زمانی عصب‌شناسی برلینی به او گفته‌است که نیچه "در روسپی‌خانه‌ای واقع در لایپزیک وقتی که دانش‌آموز بود خود را گرفتار سیفلیس کرده و بخاطر این بیماری توسط دو پزشک لایپزیکی تحت درمان قرار گرفته‌است." "به‌طور عجیبی این خبر واحد که نیچه سیفلیس داشته‌است و در کتاب اساساً مشکوک و غیرمعتبر لانگ-آیک‌بام مطرح شده بود، به کرّات مورد استناد قرار گرفته‌است."[۷۳]نیچه در ۲۵ اوت سال ۱۹۰۰ در وایمار درگذشت.

فلسفه[ویرایش]

آپولونی و دیونیسی[ویرایش]

آپولونی و دیونیسی یک مفهوم دو-وجهی فلسفی است که بر اساس شماری از چهره‌های اسطوره‌ای یونان باستان یعنی آپولون و دیونیسوس شکل گرفته‌است. هر چند این دیدگاه به‌طورِ معمول به کتابِ معروفِ نیچه «زایش تراژدی» نسبت داده می‌شود، اما هولدرلین نیز پیشتر در بابِ آن‌ها در اشعار خویش سخن گفته بوده، همچنین وینکلمان که از باکوس که نام رُمی دیونیسوس است، پیش از نیچه چیزهایی بیان کرده بوده‌است. یک سال پیش از انتشار زایش تراژدی، نیچه نوشتاری را تحت عنوان «در بابِ موسیقی و واژه‌ها»[۷۴] به نگارش درمی‌آورد. او در این نوشتار به ارائه داوری‌ای شوپنهاوری در باب موسیقی می‌پردازد که موسیقی بیانی است بنیادی از جوهرهٔ هر چیز. در وهلهٔ دوم نیز شعر غنایی و درام قرار می‌گیرد که از موسیقی مشتق شده‌است و تجلی‌هایی پدیدار از اشیا ارائه می‌دهد؛ و به این‌گونه با نظر گرفتنِ این فرایند، تراژدی از دلِ موسیقی زاییده می‌شود.

نیچه در بخش‌های ابتدایی زایش تراژدی داستانی اسطوره‌ای را از یونان باستان ذکر می‌کند که در آن حکایت تلاش‌های شاه میداس در جنگل برای شکار سیلنوس، همزاد دیونیسوس، روایت می‌شود. پس از سال‌ها تلاش، شاه میداس بالأخره سیلنوس را در جنگل به چنگ می‌آورد و از او این سؤال را می‌پرسد که خواستنی‌ترین و بهترین چیز در زندگی برای آدمی چیست. سیلنوس در ابتدا سکوتی گزنده اختیارمی‌کند؛ و در نهایت با فشارهایی که از سوی شاه میداس بر او وارد می‌شود، با خنده‌ای گستاخانه این‌گونه لب به سخن می‌گشاید که «آه، ای نژادِ مصیبت‌زدهٔ فانی… چرا مرا وادار به بیان چیزی می‌کنید که به صلاح شماست هرگز آن را نشنوید؟ خواستنی‌ترین و بهترین چیز مطلقاً از دسترسِ شما خارج است: زاده نشدن، نبودن، هیچ بودن. اما در درجهٔ دوم بهترین و خواستنی‌ترین چیز همانا… هر چه زودتر مُردن است.» نیچه بر آن است که یونانیان به خوبی وحشت هستی و وجود را درک می‌کردند؛ از همین رو برای برای پوشاندن این حقیقت تلخ (حقیقت دیونیسوسی هستی)، هنرهای زیبا و خدایان المپی خویش را همچون یک لفّافه و استتارِ رویاگونه (وجه آپولونی فرهنگ یونانی) آفریدند.[۷۵]

نیچه در تراژدی کلاسیک آتن شکلی هنری را می‌یابد که در آن بدبینی و تولدستیزی موجود در «خردِ سیلنوس»[۷۶] استعلا می‌یابد. تماشاگران یونانی با کنکاش در ورطهٔ تاریک رنج‌های بشری که توسط شخصیت‌های تراژدی بر صحنه بازنمایی می‌شد، شادمانه و با شور و حالی وصف‌ناپذیر به زندگی آری می‌گفتند و آن را شایسته و سزاوار زیستن می‌یافتند. زمینهٔ اصلی‌ای که در کتاب زایش تراژدی به آن پرداخته می‌شود این است که هنرهای دراماتیک و به‌طور خاص تراژدی‌ها حاصل تلفیق انگیختارهای هنریِ دیونیسی و آپولونی هستند. او در ادامه استنباط می‌کند که چنین تلفیق ظریفی در هنرهای دراماتیک از دورهٔ تراژدی‌نویسان یونان باستان تاکنون شکل نگرفته‌است. در اینجا آپولون بازنمایندهٔ هماهنگی، تکامل، شفافیت و منطق است؛ در حالی که دیونیسوس در سویی دیگر بازنمایندهٔ بی‌نظمی، مستی، عواطف، خلسه‌ها و جذبه‌های بشری است. نیچه برای بیان تفکر خویش از این دو نیروی متقابل استفاده می‌کند چون جهان ذهن و نظم از یک سو، و جهان شور، حرارت و بی نظمی و هرج و مرج از سوی دیگر، پایه‌های بنیادین فرهنگ یونانی را شکل می‌دادند.[۷۷][۷۸] طرفِ اپولونی جهانی رؤیاگونه و مملو از توهّمات است؛ و طرفِ دیونیسی حالتی است سرمستانه، که آزادی غرایز و کنار زدن مرزها و محدودیت‌ها را بازنمایی می‌کند. در این فازِ دیونیسی انسان همچون یک ساتیر ظاهر می‌گردد. او بازنمایندهٔ وحشت ناشی از اضمحلال اصلِ تشخّص[۷۹] و در عین حال تصویرگر کسی است که از این اضمحلال لذت می‌برد.[۸۰] نتیجه‌ای که از این دو بنیان فلسفی حاصل می‌شود، بازنمایی شرایط شناختی و ادراکی‌ای است که از طریق عوالمِ هنر خود را به عنوان قدرت طبیعت در انسان متجلّی می‌سازد.[۸۱]

نتیجهٔ حاصل از تقابلات آپولونی و دیونیسی در دلِ کشمکش‌ها و تعاملات تراژدی آشکار می‌شود: قهرمان تراژیکِ درام یا همان شخصیت اول داستان، در تلاش است تا سرنوشت پرآشوب و نامتعادل (وجه دیونیسیِ هستی او) خویش را تعادل و انتظام (وجه آپولونیِ هستی او) ببخشد؛ هر چند در نهایت ناکام از دنیا می‌رود. مانند آنچه در شخصیت هملت به عنوان نمونه‌ای از یک روشنفکر می‌بینیم که ارادهٔ تصمیم‌گیری ندارد، از همین رو برنهادی[۸۲] زنده از یک انسان عملگرا می‌تواند به‌شمار رود، نیچه چنین استنباط می‌کند که یک شخصیت دیونیسی در نهایت به این درک می‌رسد که اَعمالِ او توانِ ایجادِ تغییر در تعادل جاودانهٔ موجود در هستی را ندارند، و همین حقیقت او را آنچنان دلزده و رنجور می‌سازد که توانِ انجام هرگونه عملی در کلّیتِ آن از او سلب می‌شود. هملت در این دسته قرار می‌گیرد؛ او به واسطه شخصیت «روح» در داستان به حقایق فراطبیعی نظر کرده، او به معرفت صحیح دست یافته‌است و می‌داند که در هیچ‌یک از اعمالِ او توانِ تغییرِ آن موجود نیست.[۸۳] این نوع تراژدی برای مخاطبان درام زمینهٔ درک جوهره‌ای پنهان را که نیچه آن را یگانگیِ نخستینی می‌نامد و خود باعث احیای طبیعت دیونیسی می‌گردد، فراهم می‌آورد. نیچه این یگانگیِ نخستینی را همچون فزونی نیروها، و تجربهٔ سرشاری و غنای حاصل از سودا تعریف می‌کند. حالات سودایی در اینجا همچون یک سرمستی و به عنوان عاملی تعیین‌کننده در شکل‌گیری شرایط فیزیولوژیکی که فرد را قادر به آفرینش هنری می‌کند، ظاهر می‌شود.[۸۴] برانگیختگی‌ای که در چنین حالاتی به فرد دست می‌دهد، میل و ارادهٔ هنری را در او فزونی می‌بخشد:

در این حالت شخص هر چیزی را خارج از سرشاریِ درونیِ خویش، غنا می‌بخشد: هر آنچه را که می‌نگرد، هر آنچه را که بیرون از خویش اراده می‌کند، در نظرش گسترش‌یافته، قدرتمند، استوار و سرشار از نیرو جلوه‌گر می‌شود. فرد در این وضعیت چیزها را دچار استحاله و تغییر می‌کند، تا آنجا که به آیینهٔ قدرت او در بیرون بدل می‌شوند – آنچنان که گویی آن‌ها بازتاب‌هایی از تمامیت او هستند. انتظار می‌رود که این فرایند به تمامیتی که همان «هنر» است، منتج شود.

نیچه مصمم است که در آثارِ آیسخولوس و سوفوکل می‌توان اوج آفرینش هنری و ظهور حقیقی تراژدی را مشاهده کرد. به زعمِ او، از دوران اوریپید است که شاهدِ شروعِ تنزّل[۸۵] تراژدی هستیم. نیچه به استفادهٔ اوریپید از عقلگرایی و اخلاقگرایی سقراطی در تراژدی‌هایش انتقاد وارد می‌کند و بیان می‌دارد که اضافه کردنِ اخلاق و عقل تراژدی را از بنیان‌های اصلیِ خود دور می‌کند و آن تعادل استواری را که میان عناصر دیونیسی و آپولونی در آن شکل گرفته‌است، برهم می‌زند؛ سقراط تا آن اندازه بر منطق تأکید می‌کرد که ارزش اسطوره و رنج بُردن را به حوزه‌های معارف بشری بسط و تقلیل داد. افلاطون نیز این خطِ مشی را در دیالوگ‌های خویش ادامه داد که خود باعث شد دنیای مدرن میراث‌دار منطقی شود که به قیمت چشم‌پوشی از انگیختارهایی که تنها در دلِ انشقاق موجود میان عناصر دیونیسی و آپولونی یافت می‌شود، به دست آمده‌است. تمام این موارد، نیچه را به این نتیجه‌گیری می‌رساند که فرهنگ اروپایی از زمانِ سقراط تنها جلوه‌ای آپولونی داشته و از همین رو در سطحی نازل و ناسالم به حیات خود ادامه داده‌است.[۸۶] نیچه همچنین بر این نکته تأکید دارد که وجهِ دیونیسی بدون چاشنیِ آپولونی فاقد ساختاری شایستهٔ برای به وجود آوردن هنری منسجم خواهد بود، و وجهِ آپولونی نیز بدون چاشنیِ دیونیسی از شور و وجدی ضروری در بطنِ خویش بی‌نصیب خواهد ماند. تنها با محقق شدنِ تعادلی زیبا و ظریف، یعنی تعامل متقابل این نیروها است که شاهدِ ظهورِ هنری اصیل که همانا بازنمایندهٔ تراژدیِ واقعی یونانی است خواهیم بود.[۸۷]

بازگشت جاودان[ویرایش]

پرتره‌ای از نیچه اثرِ ادوارد مونک، ۱۹۰۶

بازگشتِ جاودان[۸۸] (که با عنوان عُود جاودان[۸۹] نیز شناخته می‌شود) مفهومی فرضی است که بیانگر این مسئله است که هستی رجعت یافته و همچنان به رجعت یافتن‌های پیاپیِ خود به صورتی مشابه و یکسان در قالب فضا-زمان بی‌کرانه برای دفعات بی‌شمار ادامه خواهد داد. بازگشت جاودان مفهومی کاملاً فیزیکی و مادی است و شامل هیچ‌گونه تلقیِ تناسخی و ماورائی که با دخالت روح به وقوع می‌پیوندد نمی‌شود، بلکه بازگشتی است در قالب پیکرهای مادی مشابه و یکسان. نیچه برای نخستین بار به این اندیشه در قالب داستانی تمثیلی در بخش ۳۴۱ کتاب «دانش طربناک» اشاره می‌کند؛ او همچنان علاوه بر دیگر اشاراتی که به این مفهوم در آثار گوناگون خود داشته، در فصل «مشاهده و معما» از کتاب «چنین گفت زرتشت» نیز به این اندیشه بازمی‌گردد.[۹۰] نیچه از این مفهوم با عنوان اندیشه‌ای بالقوه «هراسناک و فلج‌کننده» یاد می‌کند و بیان می‌دارد که بارِ آن بر دوش فرد «سنگین‌ترین وزنه» ای است که می‌توان در تصور آورد ("das schwerste Gewicht").[۹۱] میل به بازگشت جاودانهٔ تمامِ رویدادها به تصدیق مطلقِ زندگانی و حیات می‌انجامد که خود واکنشی است متقابل به ستایش‌های شوپنهاور نسبت به انکارِ اراده و میلِ حیات. در اندیشه نیچه، به منظور درک کامل و همه‌جانبهٔ بازگشت جاودان، و نه اتّخاذ موضعی منفعلانه بلکه ادراکِ آن با تمام وجود، نیاز هست که فرد اندیشهٔ باستانی Amor Fati به معنای «عشقِ سرنوشت» را در خود پرورش دهد.[۹۲] هایدگر در نوشته‌های خویش در بابِ نیچه بیان می‌کند که نیچه برای نخستین بار در آثار خویش از این مفهوم بیشتر به عنوان پرسشی فرضی یاد می‌کند تا مُسلّم پنداشتن آن به عنوان یک حقیقت. به نظر هایدگر، آنچه که در تفکرِ مدرن از اهمیتی شایان برخوردار است همین بار سنگینی است که به واسطهٔ پرسش عود جاودان تحمیل می‌شود – صرف نظر از آنکه آیا چنین تلقی‌ای صحیح است یا خیر: «شیوه‌ای که نیچه در اینجا برای نخستین ارایهٔ خود از اندیشهٔ «بزرگترین بار» [عود جاودان] ارائه می‌کند، برای ما روشن می‌سازد که این «اندیشهٔ تمامِ اندیشه‌ها» در عین حال «مشقّت‌بارترین اندیشه» نیز هست.»[۹۳]

نیچه نه تنها قائل به این است که جهان در قالب فضا-زمانی بی‌کرانه در حال عود و بازگشت است، بلکه گمان می‌کند که اشکال گوناگونی از حوادثی که در گذشته رخ داده‌است، ممکن است در موقعیت‌هایی گوناگون بار دیگر به وقوع بپیوندد؛ از همین رو «تمامیِ ترتیباتی که پیشتر بر روی زمین وجود داشته‌است، می‌بایست هنوز هم رخ بدهد…»[۹۴]؛ و با ظهور هر صورتی از یک واقعه، انتظار می‌رود که مقادیر معینی از آگاهی و معرفت که باعث بهبود شخص می‌گردد به دست آید؛ و «به این‌گونه روزی فرا خواهد رسید که مردی درست شبیه من و زنی درست شبیه مریم متولد خواهد شد – تنها با این تفاوت که امید می‌رود مغز این مرد تازه، حماقت کمتری رو در خود جای داده باشد…»[۹۴]

الکساندر نِهاماس[۹۵] در کتاب خویش با عنوان «نیچه: زندگی همچون ادبیات»[۹۶] سه شیوهٔ نگرش به اندیشهٔ بازگشت جاودان را ارائه می‌دهد: «(الف) زندگانی من به صورتی کاملاً یکسان و مشابه دچار عود و بازگشت خواهد شد.» این تلقی خوانشی کاملاً جبری از این اندیشه ارائه می‌دهد. «(ب) زندگانی من ممکن است به صورتی کاملاً یکسان و مشابه دچار عود و بازگشت گردد.» این تلقی به‌طور نسبی بیانگر یک نوع کیهان‌شناسی است، اما از آنچه نیچه در بخش ۳۴۱ اثر خویش دانش طربناک به آن پرداخته‌است، بازمی‌ماند؛ و در نهایت «(ج) اگر قرار باشد که زندگانی من دچار عود و بازگشت شود، این فرایند تنها می‌تواند به صورتی یکسان و مشابه روی دهد.» نهاماس نشان می‌دهد این تفسیر سوم ماهیتی کاملاً مستقل از فیزیک دارد و حقایقِ کیهان‌شناسی را مد نظر خویش قرار نمی‌دهد. نهاماس در پایان چنین نتیجه‌گیری می‌کند که اگر قرار بر این باشد که اشخاص خود را بر اساس افعالِ خویش پی بریزند، تنها با زندگی کردنِ صورتی عودکننده از افعال و عملکردهای گذشته‌شان است که قادر خواهند بود خویشتن را در شرایط کنونی خود حفظ کنند (Nehamas 153). این اندیشهٔ نیچه در تقابل با اندیشهٔ تاریخی رستگاری و نجات قرار می‌گیرد.[۹۷]

منظرگرایی[ویرایش]

نیچه بر آن است که مرگ خدا در نهایت منجر به از دست دادن هر گونه چشم‌انداز جهان‌شمول در باب چیزها، و به موازات آن هر گونه فهم و درک منسجم از حقیقت عینی می‌شود.[۹۸][۹۹] نیچه بشخصه اندیشه وجود یک حقیقت عینی و خارجی را رد می‌کند و بر آن است که معرفت و شناخت مشروط و مقیّد است و وابسته به چشم‌اندازها و علایق نااستوار و متغیّر چیزها.[۱۰۰] از این امر می‌توان بازنگری مدام قواعد (چه فلسفی و چه روش‌های علمی و غیره) را بر اساس مقتضیاتی که چشم‌انداز هر دوره و شخص ایجاب می‌کند، استنباط نمود.[۱۰۱] این تلقی فلسفی و معرفت‌شناسانه «منظرگرایی» خوانده می‌شود.

نیچه در «چنین گفت زرتشت» بیان می‌کند که بر بلندای هر شخص بزرگی لوحی از ارزش‌ها آویخته شده‌است. او اشاره می‌کند که آنچه میان اشخاص گوناگون مشترک است، گرامیداشت و آفرینش ارزش‌ها است، هر چند ارزش‌های موردِ نظر از شخصی به شخص دیگر متفاوت باشند. نیچه اعلام می‌دارد که آنچه شخصی را بزرگ می‌گرداند نه محتوی و مضمون عقاید او که خودِ عمل ارزش‌آفرینیِ او است. از همین رو، اهمیت ارزش‌هایی که یک جامعه در صدد بیان آن است، به اندازهٔ اهمیت میل و ارادهٔ جمعی آن جامعه برای تحقق آن ارزش‌ها نیست. از نظرگاه نیچه، میل و اشتیاق اساسی‌تر از ارزشِ ذاتی و فی‌نفسهٔ اهداف است. عنصر اصلی ارادهٔ و میل است، فارغ از محتوی و مضمون ارزش‌ها و اهداف. «تا کنون هزار هدف وجود داشته، چون هزار فرد وجود داشته‌است. تنها جای یک یوغ برای هزار گردن خالی است: جای یک هدف خالی است. بشر هنور هیچ هدفی ندارد.» نیچه این عبارت را تحت عنوان «هزار و یک هدف» بیان می‌کند. این اندیشه که زین پس یک دستگاه ارزشی بر دیگر دستگاه‌ها برتری‌ای ندارد، هر چند شاید به‌طور مستقیم به نیچه منسوب نشده باشد، اما مبدّل به پیش‌فرضی رایج در علوم اجتماعی مدرن گشته‌است. ماکس وبر و مارتین هایدگر این اندیشه را جذب کردند و آن را شخصی‌سازی کرده و به مالکیت خویش درآوردند. این تلقی تمام تلاش‌های فلسفی و فرهنگی این دو شخصیت و همچنین چشم‌انداز سیاسی‌شان را شکل داد. به عنوان مثال، وبر با تکیه بر منظرگرایی نیچه معتقد است که هنوز نیز می‌توان از عینی‌گرایی سخن گفت، تنها با این پیش‌فرض که چشم‌انداز، ارزش یا هدفی خاصی پیش از آن بنیان نهاده شده باشد.[۱۰۲][۱۰۳]

نیچه در کتاب «فراسوی نیک و بد» ضمن نقد فلسفهٔ سنتیِ دکارت، کانت و افلاطون، به انگارهٔ «شی فی‌نفسه»[۱۰۴] و «می‌اندیشم پس هستم» به عنوان تلقی‌هایی ابطال‌ناپذیر مبتنی بر پذیرشِ خام‌دستانهٔ انگاره‌ها و مغالطات پیشینی حمله می‌کند.[۱۰۵] السدیر مک‌اینتایر، فیلسوف نامدار اسکاتلندی، نیچه را در تاریخِ فلسفه در جایگاهی عالی قرار می‌دهد. او در عین نقدِ نیچه و پوچ‌گرایی به عنوان نشانه‌های از یک زوال کلّی، او را بخاطر بازشناخت انگیختارهای روانشناسانه‌ای که در پسِ فلسفهٔ اخلاقی کانت و هیوم نهفته‌است، ستایش می‌کند:[۱۰۶]

چرا که فهمِ این مسئله واضح‌تر از هر فیلسوفِ دیگری، دستاورد تاریخی نیچه بود… که نه تنها آنچه به نظر می‌رسید گریزی بر عینی‌گرایی است، در حقیقت نمودهایی از امیال ذهنی بود، بلکه ماهیت مسائلی که برای فلسفه ایجاد می‌کرد نیز وضعیتی این‌گونه داشت.[۱۰۷]

معرفت‌شناسی و زبان‌شناسی[ویرایش]

نیچه در کتاب «در باب حقیقت و دروغ در مفهومی غیراخلاقی» به ارائه گزارش و همچنین نقدی در باب نگرش‌های معاصر به حقیقت و مفاهیم می‌پردازد و بدین‌گونه چنین استنباط می‌کند که این نگرش‌ها از خودِ ایجاد و به وجود آوردن زبان، نشات می‌گیرند.

هر واژه‌ای بی‌درنگ به مفهومی بدل می‌شود، تا آنجا که گویی قرار نبوده‌است یادآور تجربه‌ای یگانه و کاملاً شخصی و اصیل باشد که زایش خود را بدان مدیون است؛ بلکه انگار می‌بایست با موارد بی‌شمار و کم و بیش همانندی – که به معنای واقعی کلمه یکسان نیستند – تطابق بیابد؛ به عبارتی دیگر با بسیاری موارد ناهمسان. در حقیقت هر مفهومی از همسان‌سازیِ مواردی ناهمسان سرچشمه گرفته‌است.[۱۰۸]

به عقیده پل اف. گلن[۱۰۹] نیچه در اینجا چنین استنباط می‌کند که «مفاهیم استعاراتی هستند که با واقعیت تطابق ندارند.»[۱۱۰] نیچه می‌نویسد که هر چند مفاهیم در حقیقت استعاراتی هستند که توسط بشر ابداع شده‌اند (به واسطه موافقتی همگانی برای تسهیل بر قراری ارتباط)، اما انسان‌ها پس از ابداع آنها، این حقیقت را به دست فراموشی سپردند و و باور کردند که این آن‌ها «حقیقی» و مطابق با واقعیت هستند.[۱۱۰]

به زعم نیچه «حقیقت» در واقع:

سپاهی است متحرک از استعارات، کنایه‌ها و انسان‌انگاری‌ها – کوتاه سخن آنکه مجموعه‌ای است از روابط انسانی که فزونی گرفته، دچار جابجایی گشته و با آرایه‌هایی بیانی و شاعرانه تزیین شده‌است، و پس مدت‌های مدیدی استفاده از آن، برای فرد به نظر پایدار، قانونمند و الزام‌آور می‌رسد: حقایق توهماتی هستند که فرد فراموش کرده‌است که این همان چیزی است که آن‌ها هستند، استعاراتی فرسوده که دارای هیچگونه نیروی حس‌انگیزی نیستند؛ سکه‌هایی که تصویر خود را از دست داده‌اند و همینک تنها به چشم فلز به آن‌ها نگریسته می‌شوند، و نه دیگر سکه.[۱۱۱]

چنین دیدگاه‌هایی از او در باب حقیقت و ارتباط آن با زبان انسان، تأثیری خاص بر نظریه‌پردازان پست‌مدرنیسم بر جا گذاشته‌است؛ و همین نوشتهٔ «در باب حقیقت و دروغ در مفهومی غیراخلاقی» یکی از آثاری است که بیشترین تأثیر را در شهرت نیچه (شهرتی هر چند مورد اختلاف) به عنوان «سلسله‌جنبان پست‌مدرنیسم» داشته‌است.[۱۱۲]

زیبایی‌شناسی موسیقی[ویرایش]

نگرش نیچه به موسیقی برآیندی است از نظرگاه او به فلسفهٔ فرهنگ. نیچه در ابتدا برتری و تفوق موسیقی کلاسیک اروپا را می‌ستاید. در این دوره او جنبه‌های غیرعقلانی نبوغ آهنگسازانی را که با بازآفرینش نیروهای دیونیسوسی به اصلاح اضافات جنبه عقلانی و خشک فرهنگ اروپایی کمک می‌کنند ستایش می‌کند. اما نیچه سرانجام از این موضع خود بازمی‌گردد و با حملاتی سخت و دامنه‌دار به موسیقی واگنر، مشخصه‌های «والا» یی را که با آن موسیقی هنری و کلاسیک را شناسایی می‌کنند مورد رد و انکار قرار می‌دهد. او معیارهای زیبایی‌شناسانه‌ای را که تا حد زیادی کانتی است در عالم هنر و موسیقی رد می‌کند و موسیقی عوام پسند افرادی همچون ژرژ بیزه و اوپرای کارمن او را می‌ستاید و سادگی و حس‌انگیز بودن آن را ارزش تلقی می‌کند.[۱۱۳]

نظریه در مذهب[ویرایش]

نیچه بر خلاف آنچه تصور می‌شود بیشتر بر اساسِ حرکت جمعی جامعه پیش می‌رود و مرگ یک ملت را مُردن آرمان‌ها و ارزش‌های انسانی می‌پندارد و همین را دلیلی مستحکم بر نفوذ مذهب و نابودی پیشروی می‌داند؛ او مذهب را زادهٔ خیال می‌داند و تا آنجا پیش می‌رود که می‌گوید: تمامی قلمرو اخلاق و دین ذیل این برداشت از علت‌های زادهٔ خیال جای می‌گیرد و شناخت انسان را زیباترین می‌داند، به جای آنچه توهُم مذهبی می‌نامیم که باید اطاعت بی‌چون‌وچرا داشت.[۱۱۴]

ابر-انسان معنای زمین[ویرایش]

فلسفهٔ وی متأثر از عقاید داروین است؛ و مفهوم ابر انسان او بر مبنای نظریه تکامل داروین طرح‌ریزی شده‌است. در برابر ابر-انسان واپسین انسان قرار دارد که معتقد به برابری انسان‌ها است. ابر-انسان کسی است که، فراسوی نیک و بد زندگی می‌کند و انسان اخلاقی را پشت سر گذاشته‌است. او مفهوم ابر-انسان را اولین بار در شاهکار خود چنین گفت زرتشت مطرح می‌سازد که یکی از مفاهیم بنیادین فلسفهٔ اوست. وی ستایشگر نبوغ و نکوهشگر دموکراسی و برابری انسان‌هاست.

چکیدهٔ نظریات[ویرایش]

انتقاد با لحنی گزنده از تلقیِ ارزش و ضدِ ارزش در جامعه پیامِ محوریِ نیچه است. این پیام با مرگِ فراروایت در فلسفهٔ پست مدرنیته به منصه ظهور رسید. ارزش و ضدِ ارزش در اراده معطوف به قدرت نهفته‌است، به‌طوری‌که گاه خودِ ما فریب ظاهرِ حقیقت‌طلبی و عدالت‌خواهیِ نمادینِ خود را می‌خوریم، اما داوریِ ارزشیِ ما در پسِ میل به قدرت قرار دارد.[نیازمند منبع]

نیچه و ایرانیان[ویرایش]

نیچه در ۱۸۸۲

اطلاعات وسیع نیچه در زمینه زبان‌ها، تاریخ، فرهنگ، از جمله یونانی و رومی و پژوهش‌هایی که صورت می‌دهد نشان از تسلط او بر فرهنگ و فلسفه ایران باستان دارد؛ مثلاً در «روزگار تراژیک یونانیان» که از نخستین آثار او است. شناخت او دربارهٔ تاریخ و فرهنگ یونان و روم، و مطالعهٔ آثار تاریخیِ بازمانده از ایران باستان، سبب آشنایی و علاقهٔ زیاد او به تاریخ و فرهنگِ ایرانِ باستان گردید. او در آثارِ خود، شامل پاره‌نوشته‌ها و یادداشت‌های بازمانده در دفترهای او، که حجم زیادی از کلِ نوشته‌های او را شامل می‌گردد، از فرهنگ ایرانِ باستان مکرراً یاد می‌کند. دل‌بستگی نیچه به ایران و ستایش فرهنگ باستانی آن را در کتاب چنین گفت زرتشت به وضوح می‌توان دید؛ وی با نهادن نام زرتشت بر کتاب، سعی در با ارزش نشان دادنِ تحقیقات خود می‌کند.[۱۱۵]

نیچه و حافظ[ویرایش]

اما نیچه یکی از نمونه‌هایِ عالی خردمند بینای دیونوسوسی خود را در حافظ می‌یابد. نام حافظ ده بار در مجموعه‌یِ آثارِ وی آمده‌است. بی‌گمان، دل‌بستگی گوته به حافظ و ستایشی که در دیوان غربی-شرقی از حافظ و حکمتِ شرقی او کرده، در توجه نیچه به حافظ نقشی اساسی داشته‌است. در نوشته‌های نیچه نامِ حافظ در بیشتر موارد در کنار نامِ گوته می‌آید و نیچه هر دو را به عنوانِ قله‌های خردمندیِ ژرف می‌ستاید. حافظ نزدِ او نمایندهٔ آن آزاده‌جانی شرقی است که با وجدِ دیونوسوسی، با نگاهی تراژیک، زندگی را با شور سرشار می‌ستاید، به لذّت‌های آن روی می‌کند و، در همان حال، به خطرها و بلاهای آن نیز پشت نمی‌کند (بلایی کز حبیب آید، هزارش مرحبا گفتیم!). این‌ها، از دید نیچه، ویژگی‌های رویکرد مثبت و دلیرانه، یا رویکرد «تراژیک» به زندگی ست.[۱۱۶][۱۱۷]

در میان پاره‌نوشته‌های بازمانده از نیچه، از جمله شعری خطاب به حافظ هست:

به حافظ، پرسش یک آبنوش

میخانه‌ای که تو برای خویش
پی‌افکنده‌ای
فراخ‌تر از هر خانه‌ای است
جهان از سر کشیدن می‌یی
که تو در اندرون آن می‌اندازی،
ناتوان است.
پرنده‌ای، که روزگاری ققنوس بود
در ضیافت توست
موشی که کوهی را بزاد
خود گویا تویی
تو همه‌ای، تو هیچی
میخانه‌ای، می‌یی
ققنوسی، کوهی و موشی،
در خود فرومی‌روی ابدی،
از خود می‌پروازی ابدی،
رخشندگی همهٔ ژرفاها،
و مستی همهٔ مستانی.
- تو و شراب؟[۱۱۸]

آثار[ویرایش]

فراسوی نیک و بد[ویرایش]

این کتاب در اصل در ۱۸۸۶ از پیِ «چنین گفت زرتشت» چاپ شد. این اثر را به نوعی بیان تمامیِ آنچه که در چنین گفت زرتشت آمده‌است اما به زبانی دیگر می‌دانند. آنچه که نیچه در زرتشت به زبانی شاعرانه و فشرده به‌طوری غیرمستقیم بیان کرده بود، در این کتاب بیانی دیگر یافته‌است. خود نیچه در نامه‌ای به یاکوب بورکهارت در سپتامبر ۱۸۸۶ می‌نویسد: «خواهش می‌کنم این کتاب را بخوان. اگر چه همان چیزهایی را می‌گوید که زرتشتِ من گفته‌است، اما به زبانی دیگر، بسیار دیگر.»[۱۱۹]

در باب حقیقت و دروغ در مفهومی غیراخلاقی[ویرایش]

در باب حقیقت و دروغ در مفهومی غیراخلاقی که با عنوان در باب حقیقت و دروغ در مفهومی فرا اخلاقی[۱۲۰] نیز شناخته می‌شود، نوشتاری است فلسفی اثر فریدریش نیچه. این اثر در سال ۱۸۷۳، یک سال پس از نوشتن زایش تراژدی به نگارش درآمد، اما در دوران حیات نیچه هرگز به انتشار نرسید. در بخش اعظمی از این اثر به پرسش‌هایی معرفت‌شناسانه در باب ماهیت حقیقت و زبان، و چگونگی ارتباط آن‌ها با شکل‌گیری مفاهیم پرداخته می‌شود.

واپسین شطحیات[ویرایش]

واپسین شطحیات کتابی است شامل یادداشت‌های دوران بیماری فریدریش نیچه، که توسط یوهان خوک[۱۲۱] زبانشناس دانشگاه لیدن هلند جمع‌آوری شده و در سال ۱۹۹۸ زیر عنوان «من مرده‌ام چون احمقم» به چاپ رسیده‌است. نویسندهٔ اصلی عنوان «یادداشت‌های بیماری»[۱۲۲] را بر اثر خود گذارده که مترجم فارسی بنا بر ذوق خود عنوان «واپسین شطحیات» را برای آن برگزیده است. در واقع این نوشته تنها اثری از نیچه است که توسط او بین سال‌های ۱۸۸۹ تا ۱۸۹۷، یعنی دوران کسوف معنوی‌اش، به تحریر درآمده و می‌توان آن را به نوعی واپسین نوشته‌های او دانست.[۱۲۳]

اراده قدرت[ویرایش]

سال دقیق نگارشِ این اثر مشخص نیست و در واقع هیچ وقت توسط خود نیچه به صورت یک کتاب در نیامد و دست کم صورتی از یک طرح بوده که نیچه در پی تکمیل آن برآمده بود. سرانجام نخستین بار به همت «پیتر گاست» و «ارنست و آگوست هورنه فِر» در سال ۱۹۰۱ (یک سال پس از مرگ نیچه) جمع‌آوری، تنظیم، تدوین و منتشر شد.

آرمانِ زُهد[ویرایش]

پیش‌انگارهٔ نیچه در رسالهٔ «آرمانِ زهد» چنین است: گناهکاریِ انسان نه یک واقعیت، که تفسیرِ یک واقعیت است.[۱۲۴]

کتاب‌های ترجمه شده به فارسی[ویرایش]

جستارهای وابسته[ویرایش]

منابع[ویرایش]

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  60. chloral
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پانویس[ویرایش]

پیوند به بیرون[ویرایش]

Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche187a.jpg
Nietzsche in Basel, c. 1875
Born
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

(1844-10-15)15 October 1844
Died25 August 1900(1900-08-25) (aged 55)
NationalityGerman
Alma mater
Era19th-century philosophy
RegionWestern philosophy
School
InstitutionsUniversity of Basel
Main interests
Notable ideas
Signature
Friedrich Nietzsche Signature.svg

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (/ˈnə, ˈni/,[11][12] German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːtʃə] (About this soundlisten) or [- ˈniːtsʃə];[13][14][15] 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history.[16][17][18][19][20] He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24.[21] Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade.[22] In 1889, at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward a complete loss of his mental faculties.[23] He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.[24]

Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture, and science. His writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony.[25] His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer,[6] Richard Wagner,[6] and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[6] Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and his related theory of master–slave morality;[17][26] his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism;[17] his notion of the Apollonian and Dionysian; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power.[27] He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return.[28][29] In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health.[20]

After his death, his sister Elisabeth became the curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts, reworking his unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with fascism and Nazism;[30] 20th century scholars contested this interpretation of his work and corrected editions of his writings were soon made available. Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics and popular culture.[18][19][20][31][32]

Life

Youth (1844–1868)

Born on 15 October 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Röcken (now part of Lützen), near Leipzig, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. He was named after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth (Nietzsche later dropped his middle name Wilhelm).[33] Nietzsche's parents, Carl Ludwig Nietzsche (1813–1849), a Lutheran pastor and former teacher; and Franziska Nietzsche [de] (née Oehler) (1826–1897), married in 1843, the year before their son's birth. They had two other children: a daughter, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, born in 1846; and a second son, Ludwig Joseph, born in 1848. Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; Ludwig Joseph died six months later at age two.[34] The family then moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Nietzsche's maternal grandmother and his father's two unmarried sisters. After the death of Nietzsche's grandmother in 1856, the family moved into their own house, now Nietzsche-Haus, a museum and Nietzsche study centre.

Nietzsche, 1861

Nietzsche attended a boys' school and then a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug, Rudolf Wagner and Wilhelm Pinder, all three of whom came from highly respected families. Academic records from one of the schools attended by Nietzsche noted that he excelled in Christian theology.[35][better source needed]

In 1854, he began to attend Domgymnasium in Naumburg. Because his father had worked for the state (as a pastor) the now-fatherless Nietzsche was offered a scholarship to study at the internationally recognized Schulpforta (the claim that Nietzsche was admitted on the strength of his academic competence has been debunked: his grades were nowhere near the top of the class).[36] He transferred and studied there from 1858 to 1864, becoming friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff. He also found time to work on poems and musical compositions. Nietzsche led "Germania", a music and literature club, during his summers in Naumburg.[34] At Schulpforta, Nietzsche received an important grounding in languages—Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and French—so as to be able to read important primary sources;[37] he also experienced for the first time being away from his family life in a small-town conservative environment. His end-of-semester exams in March 1864 showed a 1 in Religion and German; a 2a in Greek and Latin; a 2b in French, History, and Physics; and a "lackluster" 3 in Hebrew and Mathematics.[38]

While at Pforta, Nietzsche had a penchant for pursuing subjects that were considered unbecoming. He became acquainted with the work of the then almost-unknown poet Friedrich Hölderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and composing an essay in which he said that the mad poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality."[39] The teacher who corrected the essay gave it a good mark but commented that Nietzsche should concern himself in the future with healthier, more lucid, and more "German" writers. Additionally, he became acquainted with Ernst Ortlepp, an eccentric, blasphemous, and often drunken poet who was found dead in a ditch weeks after meeting the young Nietzsche but who may have introduced Nietzsche to the music and writing of Richard Wagner.[40] Perhaps under Ortlepp's influence, he and a student named Richter returned to school drunk and encountered a teacher, resulting in Nietzsche's demotion from first in his class and the end of his status as a prefect.[41]

Young Nietzsche

After graduation in September 1864,[42] Nietzsche commenced studies in theology and classical philology at the University of Bonn with hope of becoming a minister. For a short time he and Deussen became members of the Burschenschaft Frankonia. After one semester (and to the anger of his mother), he stopped his theological studies and lost his faith.[43] As early as his 1862 essay "Fate and History", Nietzsche had argued that historical research had discredited the central teachings of Christianity,[44] but David Strauss's Life of Jesus also seems to have had a profound effect on the young man.[43] In addition, Ludwig Feuerbach's The Essence of Christianity influenced young Nietzsche with its argument that people created God, and not the other way around.[45] In June 1865, at the age of 20, Nietzsche wrote to his sister Elisabeth, who was deeply religious, a letter regarding his loss of faith. This letter contains the following statement:

Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire ...[46]

Arthur Schopenhauer strongly influenced Nietzsche's philosophical thought.

Nietzsche subsequently concentrated on studying philology under Professor Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl, whom he followed to the University of Leipzig in 1865.[23] There, he became close friends with his fellow student Erwin Rohde. Nietzsche's first philological publications appeared soon after.

In 1865, Nietzsche thoroughly studied the works of Arthur Schopenhauer. He owed the awakening of his philosophical interest to reading Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation and later admitted that Schopenhauer was one of the few thinkers whom he respected, dedicating the essay "Schopenhauer as Educator" in the Untimely Meditations to him.

In 1866, he read Friedrich Albert Lange's History of Materialism. Lange's descriptions of Kant's anti-materialistic philosophy, the rise of European Materialism, Europe's increased concern with science, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, and the general rebellion against tradition and authority intrigued Nietzsche greatly. Nietzsche would ultimately argue the impossibility of an evolutionary explanation of the human aesthetic sense.[47]

In 1867, Nietzsche signed up for one year of voluntary service with the Prussian artillery division in Naumburg. He was regarded as one of the finest riders among his fellow recruits, and his officers predicted that he would soon reach the rank of captain. However, in March 1868, while jumping into the saddle of his horse, Nietzsche struck his chest against the pommel and tore two muscles in his left side, leaving him exhausted and unable to walk for months.[48][49] Consequently, Nietzsche turned his attention to his studies again, completing them in 1868 and meeting with Richard Wagner for the first time later that year.[50]

Professor at Basel (1869–1878)

Left to right: Erwin Rohde, Karl von Gersdorff and Nietzsche, October 1871

In part because of Ritschl's support, Nietzsche received a remarkable offer in 1869 to become professor of classical philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. He was only 24 years old and had neither completed his doctorate nor received a teaching certificate ("habilitation"). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Leipzig, again with Ritschl's support.[51]

Despite the fact that the offer came at a time when he was considering giving up philology for science, he accepted.[52] To this day, Nietzsche is still among the youngest of the tenured Classics professors on record.[53]

Nietzsche's 1870 projected doctoral thesis, Contribution toward the Study and the Critique of the Sources of Diogenes Laertius (Beiträge zur Quellenkunde und Kritik des Laertius Diogenes), examined the origins of the ideas of Diogenes Laërtius.[54] Though never submitted, it was later published as a Gratulationsschrift (congratulatory publication) at Basel.[55][56]

Before moving to Basel, Nietzsche renounced his Prussian citizenship: for the rest of his life he remained officially stateless.[57][58]

Nevertheless, Nietzsche served in the Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871) as a medical orderly. In his short time in the military, he experienced much and witnessed the traumatic effects of battle. He also contracted diphtheria and dysentery.[citation needed] Walter Kaufmann speculates that he might also have contracted syphilis at a brothel along with his other infections at this time.[59][60] On returning to Basel in 1870, Nietzsche observed the establishment of the German Empire and Otto von Bismarck's subsequent policies as an outsider and with a degree of skepticism regarding their genuineness. His inaugural lecture at the university was "Homer and Classical Philology". Nietzsche also met Franz Overbeck, a professor of theology who remained his friend throughout his life. Afrikan Spir, a little-known Russian philosopher responsible for the 1873 Thought and Reality, and Nietzsche's colleague the famed historian Jacob Burckhardt, whose lectures Nietzsche frequently attended, began to exercise significant influence on him during this time.[61]

Nietzsche had already met Richard Wagner in Leipzig in 1868 and later Wagner's wife, Cosima. Nietzsche admired both greatly and during his time at Basel frequently visited Wagner's house in Tribschen in Lucerne. The Wagners brought Nietzsche into their most intimate circle—including Franz Liszt, of whom Nietzsche colloquially described: "Liszt or the art of running after women!".[62] Nietzsche enjoyed the attention he gave to the beginning of the Bayreuth Festival. In 1870, he gave Cosima Wagner the manuscript of "The Genesis of the Tragic Idea" as a birthday gift. In 1872, Nietzsche published his first book, The Birth of Tragedy. However, his colleagues within his field, including Ritschl, expressed little enthusiasm for the work in which Nietzsche eschewed the classical philologic method in favor of a more speculative approach. In his polemic Philology of the Future, Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff damped the book's reception and increased its notoriety. In response, Rohde (then a professor in Kiel) and Wagner came to Nietzsche's defense. Nietzsche remarked freely about the isolation he felt within the philological community and attempted unsuccessfully to transfer to a position in philosophy at Basel instead.

Nietzsche, c. 1872

In 1873, Nietzsche began to accumulate notes that would be posthumously published as Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks. Between 1873 and 1876, he published four separate long essays: "David Strauss: the Confessor and the Writer", "On the Use and Abuse of History for Life", "Schopenhauer as Educator" and "Richard Wagner in Bayreuth". These four later appeared in a collected edition under the title Untimely Meditations. The essays shared the orientation of a cultural critique, challenging the developing German culture along lines suggested by Schopenhauer and Wagner. During this time in the circle of the Wagners, he met Malwida von Meysenbug and Hans von Bülow. He also began a friendship with Paul Rée, who in 1876 influenced him into dismissing the pessimism in his early writings. However, he was deeply disappointed by the Bayreuth Festival of 1876, where the banality of the shows and baseness of the public repelled him. He was also alienated by Wagner's championing of "German culture", which Nietzsche felt a contradiction in terms as well as by Wagner's celebration of his fame among the German public. All this contributed to his subsequent decision to distance himself from Wagner.

With the publication in 1878 of Human, All Too Human (a book of aphorisms ranging from metaphysics to morality to religion), a new style of Nietzsche's work became clear, highly influenced by Afrikan Spir's Thought and Reality[63] and reacting against the pessimistic philosophy of Wagner and Schopenhauer. Nietzsche's friendship with Deussen and Rohde cooled as well. In 1879, after a significant decline in health, Nietzsche had to resign his position at Basel. Since his childhood, various disruptive illnesses had plagued him, including moments of shortsightedness that left him nearly blind, migraine headaches, and violent indigestion. The 1868 riding accident and diseases in 1870 may have aggravated these persistent conditions, which continued to affect him through his years at Basel, forcing him to take longer and longer holidays until regular work became impractical.

Independent philosopher (1879–1888)

Lou Salomé, Paul Rée and Nietzsche traveled through Italy in 1882, planning to establish an educational commune together, but the friendship disintegrated in late 1882 due to complications from Rée's and Nietzsche's mutual romantic interest in Salomé.

Living off his pension from Basel and aid from friends, Nietzsche travelled frequently to find climates more conducive to his health and lived until 1889 as an independent author in different cities. He spent many summers in Sils Maria near St. Moritz in Switzerland. He spent his winters in the Italian cities of Genoa, Rapallo, and Turin and the French city of Nice. In 1881, when France occupied Tunisia, he planned to travel to Tunis to view Europe from the outside but later abandoned that idea, probably for health reasons.[64] Nietzsche occasionally returned to Naumburg to visit his family, and, especially during this time, he and his sister had repeated periods of conflict and reconciliation.

While in Genoa, Nietzsche's failing eyesight prompted him to explore the use of typewriters as a means of continuing to write. He is known to have tried using the Hansen Writing Ball, a contemporary typewriter device. In the end, a past student of his, Heinrich Köselitz or Peter Gast, became a sort of private secretary to Nietzsche. In 1876, Gast transcribed the crabbed, nearly illegible handwriting of Nietzsche for the first time with Richard Wagner in Bayreuth.[65] He subsequently transcribed and proofread the galleys for almost all of Nietzsche's work from then on. On at least one occasion on 23 February 1880, the usually poor Gast received 200 marks from their mutual friend, Paul Rée.[66] Gast was one of the very few friends Nietzsche allowed to criticize him. In responding most enthusiastically to Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), Gast did feel it necessary to point out that what were described as "superfluous" people were in fact quite necessary. He went on to list the number of people Epicurus, for example, had to rely on even to supply his simple diet of goat cheese.[67]

To the end of his life, Gast and Overbeck remained consistently faithful friends. Malwida von Meysenbug remained like a motherly patron even outside the Wagner circle. Soon Nietzsche made contact with the music-critic Carl Fuchs. Nietzsche stood at the beginning of his most productive period. Beginning with Human, All Too Human in 1878, Nietzsche published one book or major section of a book each year until 1888, his last year of writing; that year, he completed five.

In 1882, Nietzsche published the first part of The Gay Science. That year he also met Lou Andreas-Salomé,[68] through Malwida von Meysenbug and Paul Rée.

Salomé's mother took her to Rome when Salomé was 21. At a literary salon in the city, Salomé became acquainted with Paul Rée. Rée proposed marriage to her, but she instead proposed that they should live and study together as "brother and sister", along with another man for company, where they would establish an academic commune.[69] Rée accepted the idea, and suggested that they be joined by his friend Nietzsche. The two met Nietzsche in Rome in April 1882, and Nietzsche is believed to have instantly fallen in love with Salome, as Rée had done. Nietzsche asked Rée to propose marriage to Salome, which she rejected. She had been interested in Nietzsche as a friend, but not as a husband.[69] Nietzsche nonetheless was content to join together with Rée and Salome touring through Switzerland and Italy together, planning their commune. The three traveled with Salomé's mother through Italy and considered where they would set up their "Winterplan" commune. This commune was intended to be set up in an abandoned monastery, but no suitable location was found. On 13 May, in Lucerne, when Nietzsche was alone with Salome, he earnestly proposed marriage to her again, which she rejected. He nonetheless was happy to continue with the plans for an academic commune.[69] After discovering the situation, Nietzsche's sister Elizabeth became determined to get Nietzsche away from the "immoral woman".[70] Nietzsche and Salomé spent the summer together in Tautenburg in Thuringia, often with Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth as a chaperone. Salomé reports that he asked her to marry him on three separate occasions and that she refused, though the reliability of her reports of events has come into question.[71] Arriving in Leipzig, (Germany) in October, Salomé and Rée separated from Nietzsche after a falling-out between Nietzsche and Salomé, in which Salomé believed that Nietzsche was desperately in love with her.

While the three spent a number of weeks together in Leipzig in October 1882, the following month Rée and Salome ditched Nietzsche, leaving for Stibbe (today Zdbowo[72] in Poland) without any plans to meet again. Nietzsche soon fell into a period of mental anguish, although he continued to write to Rée, stating "We shall see one another from time to time, won't we?"[73] In later recriminations, Nietzsche would blame on separate occasions the failure in his attempts to woo Salome both on Salome, Rée, and on the intrigues of his sister (who had written letters to the family of Salome and Rée to disrupt the plans for the commune). Nietzsche wrote of the affair in 1883, that he now felt "genuine hatred for my sister."[73]

Amidst renewed bouts of illness, living in near-isolation after a falling out with his mother and sister regarding Salomé, Nietzsche fled to Rapallo, where he wrote the first part of Also sprach Zarathustra in only ten days.

Photo of Nietzsche by Gustav Adolf Schultze [de], 1882

By 1882, Nietzsche was taking huge doses of opium, but he was still having trouble sleeping.[74] In 1883, while staying in Nice, he was writing out his own prescriptions for the sedative chloral hydrate, signing them "Dr. Nietzsche".[75]

After severing his philosophical ties with Schopenhauer (who was long dead and never met Nietzsche) and his social ties with Wagner, Nietzsche had few remaining friends. Now, with the new style of Zarathustra, his work became even more alienating, and the market received it only to the degree required by politeness. Nietzsche recognized this and maintained his solitude, though he often complained about it. His books remained largely unsold. In 1885, he printed only 40 copies of the fourth part of Zarathustra and distributed only a fraction of these among close friends, including Helene von Druskowitz.

In 1883, he tried and failed to obtain a lecturing post at the University of Leipzig. It was made clear to him that, in view of his attitude towards Christianity and his concept of God, he had become effectively unemployable by any German university. The subsequent "feelings of revenge and resentment" embittered him: "And hence my rage since I have grasped in the broadest possible sense what wretched means (the depreciation of my good name, my character, and my aims) suffice to take from me the trust of, and therewith the possibility of obtaining, pupils."[76]

In 1886, Nietzsche broke with his publisher Ernst Schmeitzner, disgusted by his antisemitic opinions. Nietzsche saw his own writings as "completely buried and unexhumeable in this anti-Semitic dump" of Schmeitzner—associating the publisher with a movement that should be "utterly rejected with cold contempt by every sensible mind".[77] He then printed Beyond Good and Evil at his own expense. He also acquired the publication rights for his earlier works and over the next year issued second editions of The Birth of Tragedy, Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, and The Gay Science with new prefaces placing the body of his work in a more coherent perspective. Thereafter, he saw his work as completed for a time and hoped that soon a readership would develop. In fact, interest in Nietzsche's thought did increase at this time, if rather slowly and hardly perceptibly to him. During these years Nietzsche met Meta von Salis, Carl Spitteler, and Gottfried Keller.

In 1886, his sister Elisabeth married the antisemite Bernhard Förster and travelled to Paraguay to found Nueva Germania, a "Germanic" colony—a plan Nietzsche responded to with mocking laughter.[78][failed verification][79] Through correspondence, Nietzsche's relationship with Elisabeth continued through cycles of conflict and reconciliation, but they met again only after his collapse. He continued to have frequent and painful attacks of illness, which made prolonged work impossible.

In 1887, Nietzsche wrote the polemic On the Genealogy of Morality. During the same year, he encountered the work of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, to whom he felt an immediate kinship.[80] He also exchanged letters with Hippolyte Taine and Georg Brandes. Brandes, who had started to teach the philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard in the 1870s, wrote to Nietzsche asking him to read Kierkegaard, to which Nietzsche replied that he would come to Copenhagen and read Kierkegaard with him. However, before fulfilling this promise, he slipped too far into illness. In the beginning of 1888, Brandes delivered in Copenhagen one of the first lectures on Nietzsche's philosophy.

Although Nietzsche had previously announced at the end of On the Genealogy of Morality a new work with the title The Will to Power: Attempt at a Revaluation of All Values, he eventually seems to have abandoned this idea and instead used some of the draft passages to compose Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist in 1888.[81]

His health seemed to improve and he spent the summer in high spirits. In the fall of 1888, his writings and letters began to reveal a higher estimation of his own status and "fate". He overestimated the increasing response to his writings, however, especially to the recent polemic, The Case of Wagner. On his 44th birthday, after completing Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist, he decided to write the autobiography Ecce Homo. In its preface—which suggests Nietzsche was well aware of the interpretive difficulties his work would generate—he declares, "Hear me! For I am such and such a person. Above all, do not mistake me for someone else."[82] In December, Nietzsche began a correspondence with August Strindberg and thought that, short of an international breakthrough, he would attempt to buy back his older writings from the publisher and have them translated into other European languages. Moreover, he planned the publication of the compilation Nietzsche contra Wagner and of the poems that made up his collection Dionysian-Dithyrambs.

Mental illness and death (1889–1900)

Drawing by Hans Olde from the photographic series, The Ill Nietzsche, late 1899
Turin house where Nietzsche stayed (background) seen from Piazza Carlo Alberto, where he is said to have had his breakdown (at left: rear façade of Palazzo Carignano)

On 3 January 1889, Nietzsche suffered a mental breakdown.[83] Two policemen approached him after he caused a public disturbance in the streets of Turin. What happened remains unknown, but an often-repeated tale from shortly after his death states that Nietzsche witnessed the flogging of a horse at the other end of the Piazza Carlo Alberto, ran to the horse, threw his arms up around its neck to protect it, and then collapsed to the ground.[84][85]

In the following few days, Nietzsche sent short writings—known as the Wahnzettel ("Madness Letters")—to a number of friends including Cosima Wagner and Jacob Burckhardt. Most of them were signed "Dionysus", though some were also signed "der Gekreuzigte" meaning "the crucified one". To his former colleague Burckhardt, Nietzsche wrote: "I have had Caiaphas put in fetters. Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner. Wilhelm, Bismarck, and all anti-Semites abolished."[86] Additionally, he commanded the German emperor to go to Rome to be shot and summoned the European powers to take military action against Germany,[87] that the pope should be put in jail and that he, Nietzsche, created the world and was in the process of having all anti-Semites shot dead.[88]

On 6 January 1889, Burckhardt showed the letter he had received from Nietzsche to Overbeck. The following day, Overbeck received a similar letter and decided that Nietzsche's friends had to bring him back to Basel. Overbeck traveled to Turin and brought Nietzsche to a psychiatric clinic in Basel. By that time Nietzsche appeared fully in the grip of a serious mental illness,[89] and his mother Franziska decided to transfer him to a clinic in Jena under the direction of Otto Binswanger.[90] In January 1889, they proceeded with the planned release of Twilight of the Idols, by that time already printed and bound. From November 1889 to February 1890, the art historian Julius Langbehn attempted to cure Nietzsche, claiming that the methods of the medical doctors were ineffective in treating Nietzsche's condition.[91] Langbehn assumed progressively greater control of Nietzsche until his secretiveness discredited him. In March 1890, Franziska removed Nietzsche from the clinic and, in May 1890, brought him to her home in Naumburg.[89] During this process Overbeck and Gast contemplated what to do with Nietzsche's unpublished works. In February, they ordered a fifty-copy private edition of Nietzsche contra Wagner, but the publisher C.G. Naumann secretly printed one hundred. Overbeck and Gast decided to withhold publishing The Antichrist and Ecce Homo because of their more radical content.[89] Nietzsche's reception and recognition enjoyed their first surge.[92]

In 1893, Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth returned from Nueva Germania in Paraguay following the suicide of her husband. She read and studied Nietzsche's works and, piece by piece, took control of them and their publication. Overbeck eventually suffered dismissal and Gast finally co-operated. After the death of Franziska in 1897, Nietzsche lived in Weimar, where Elisabeth cared for him and allowed visitors, including Rudolf Steiner (who in 1895 had written Friedrich Nietzsche: a Fighter Against His Time, one of the first books praising Nietzsche),[93] to meet her uncommunicative brother. Elisabeth at one point went so far as to employ Steiner as a tutor to help her to understand her brother's philosophy. Steiner abandoned the attempt after only a few months, declaring that it was impossible to teach her anything about philosophy.[94]

Peter Gast "corrected" Nietzsche's writings after the breakdown without his approval

Nietzsche's mental illness was originally diagnosed as tertiary syphilis, in accordance with a prevailing medical paradigm of the time. Although most commentators regard his breakdown as unrelated to his philosophy, Georges Bataille dropped dark hints ("'Man incarnate' must also go mad")[95] and René Girard's postmortem psychoanalysis posits a worshipful rivalry with Richard Wagner.[96] Nietzsche had previously written, "All superior men who were irresistibly drawn to throw off the yoke of any kind of morality and to frame new laws had, if they were not actually mad, no alternative but to make themselves or pretend to be mad." (Daybreak, 14) The diagnosis of syphilis has since been challenged and a diagnosis of "manic-depressive illness with periodic psychosis followed by vascular dementia" was put forward by Cybulska prior to Schain's study.[97][98] Leonard Sax suggested the slow growth of a right-sided retro-orbital meningioma as an explanation of Nietzsche's dementia;[99] Orth and Trimble postulated frontotemporal dementia[100] while other researchers have proposed a hereditary stroke disorder called CADASIL.[101] Poisoning by mercury, a treatment for syphilis at the time of Nietzsche's death,[102] has also been suggested.[103]

In 1898 and 1899, Nietzsche suffered at least two strokes. This partially paralyzed him, leaving him unable to speak or walk. He likely suffered from clinical hemiparesis/hemiplegia on the left side of his body by 1899. After contracting pneumonia in mid-August 1900, he had another stroke during the night of 24–25 August and died at about noon on 25 August.[104] Elisabeth had him buried beside his father at the church in Röcken bei Lützen. His friend and secretary Gast gave his funeral oration, proclaiming: "Holy be your name to all future generations!"[105]

Nietzsche's grave at Röcken with the sculpture Das Röckener Bacchanal by Klaus Friedrich Messerschmidt (2000)

Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche compiled The Will to Power from Nietzsche's unpublished notebooks and published it posthumously. Because his sister arranged the book based on her own conflation of several of Nietzsche's early outlines and took great liberties with the material, the scholarly consensus has been that it does not reflect Nietzsche's intent. (For example, Elisabeth removed aphorism 35 of The Antichrist, where Nietzsche rewrote a passage of the Bible.) Indeed, Mazzino Montinari, the editor of Nietzsche's Nachlass, called it a forgery.[106]

Citizenship, nationality and ethnicity

General commentators and Nietzsche scholars, whether emphasizing his cultural background or his language, overwhelmingly label Nietzsche as a "German philosopher".[107][108][23][109] Others do not assign him a national category.[110][111][112] Germany had not yet been unified into a nation-state, but Nietzsche was born a citizen of Prussia, which was then part of the German Confederation.[113] His birthplace, Röcken, is in the modern German state of Saxony-Anhalt. When he accepted his post at Basel, Nietzsche applied for the annulment of his Prussian citizenship.[114] The official response confirming the revocation of his citizenship came in a document dated 17 April 1869,[115] and for the rest of his life he remained officially stateless.

Nietzsche believed his ancestors were Polish,[116] at least toward the end of his life. He wore a signet ring bearing the Radwan coat of arms, traceable back to Polish nobility of medieval times[117] and the surname "Nicki" of the Polish noble (szlachta) family bearing that coat of arms.[118][119] Gotard Nietzsche, a member of the Nicki family, left Poland for Prussia. His descendants later settled in the Electorate of Saxony circa the year 1700.[120] Nietzsche wrote in 1888, "My ancestors were Polish noblemen (Nietzky); the type seems to have been well preserved despite three generations of German mothers."[121] At one point, Nietzsche becomes even more adamant about his Polish identity. "I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood."[122] On yet another occasion, Nietzsche stated, "Germany is a great nation only because its people have so much Polish blood in their veins ... I am proud of my Polish descent."[123] Nietzsche believed his name might have been Germanized, in one letter claiming, "I was taught to ascribe the origin of my blood and name to Polish noblemen who were called Niëtzky and left their home and nobleness about a hundred years ago, finally yielding to unbearable suppression: they were Protestants."[124]

Most scholars dispute Nietzsche's account of his family's origins. Hans von Müller debunked the genealogy put forward by Nietzsche's sister in favor of a Polish noble heritage.[125] Max Oehler, the curator of the Nietzsche Archive at Weimar, argued that all of Nietzsche's ancestors bore German names, including the wives' families.[121] Oehler claims that Nietzsche came from a long line of German Lutheran clergymen on both sides of his family, and modern scholars regard the claim of Nietzsche's Polish ancestry as a "pure invention".[126] Colli and Montinari, the editors of Nietzsche's assembled letters, gloss Nietzsche's claims as a "mistaken belief" and "without foundation."[127][128] The name Nietzsche itself is not a Polish name, but an exceptionally common one throughout central Germany, in this and cognate forms (such as Nitsche and Nitzke). The name derives from the forename Nikolaus, abbreviated to Nick; assimilated with the Slavic Nitz, it first became Nitsche and then Nietzsche.[121]

It is not known why Nietzsche wanted to be thought of as Polish nobility. According to biographer R. J. Hollingdale, Nietzsche's propagation of the Polish ancestry myth may have been part of his "campaign against Germany".[121]

Relationships and sexuality

Nietzsche never married. He proposed to Lou Salomé three times, but his proposal was rejected each time.[129] There is a theory that blamed Salomé's view on sexuality as one of the reasons for her alienation from Nietzsche. As articulated in the 1898 novella Fenitschka, she viewed the idea of sexual intercourse as prohibitive and marriage as a violation, with some suggesting that they indicated sexual repression and neurosis.[130]

Nietzsche scholar Joachim Köhler [de] has attempted to explain Nietzsche's life history and philosophy by claiming that Nietzsche was homosexual. Köhler argues that Nietzsche's syphilis, which is "... usually considered to be the product of his encounter with a prostitute in a brothel in Cologne or Leipzig, is equally likely, it is now held, to have been contracted in a male brothel in Genoa."[131] The acquisition of the infection from a homosexual brothel was confirmed by Sigmund Freud, who cited Otto Binswanger as his source.[132] Köhler also suggests Nietzsche may have had a romantic relationship as well as a friendship with Paul Rée.[133] There is the claim that Nietzsche's homosexuality is widely known in the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, with Nietzsche's friend Paul Deussen claiming that the philosopher never "touched a woman".[134][135]

Köhler's views have not found wide acceptance among Nietzsche scholars and commentators. Allan Megill argues that, while Köhler's claim that Nietzsche was in a confrontation with his homosexual desire cannot simply be dismissed, "the evidence is very weak," and Köhler may be projecting twentieth-century understandings of sexuality on nineteenth-century notions of friendship.[133] It is also known that Nietzsche frequented heterosexual brothels.[132] Some like Nigel Rodgers and Mel Thompson have argued that continuous sickness and headaches hindered Nietzsche from engaging much with women. Yet, they bring other examples in which Nietzsche expressed his affections to other women, including Wagner's wife Cosima Wagner.[136]

Other scholars have argued that Köhler's sexuality-based interpretation is not helpful in understanding Nietzsche's philosophy.[137][138] However, there are also those who stressed that, if Nietzsche preferred men—with this preference constituting his psycho-sexual make-up—but could not admit his desires to himself, it meant he acted in conflict with his philosophy.[139]

Composer

Nietzsche composed several works for voice, piano and violin, with his involvement beginning in 1858 at the Schulpforta in Naumburg, when he started to work on musical compositions. Richard Wagner was dismissive of Nietzsche's music, allegedly mocking a birthday gift of a piano composition sent by Nietzsche in 1871 to his wife Cosima. German conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow also described another of Nietzsche's pieces as "the most undelightful and the most antimusical draft on musical paper that I have faced in a long time."[140]

In a letter of 1887, written three years before his death, Nietzsche claimed: "There has never been a philosopher who has been in essence a musician to such an extent as I am," although he also admitted that he "might be a thoroughly unsuccessful musician."[141]

Philosophy

Nietzsche, 1869

Because of Nietzsche's evocative style and provocative ideas, his philosophy generates passionate reactions. His works remain controversial, due to their varying interpretations and misinterpretations. In the Western philosophy tradition, Nietzsche's writings have been described as the unique case of free revolutionary thought, that is, revolutionary in its structure and problems, although not tied to any revolutionary project.[142] His writings have also been described as a revolutionary project in which his philosophy serves as the foundation of a European cultural rebirth.[143][144]

Apollonian and Dionysian

The Apollonian and Dionysian is a two-fold philosophical concept, based on certain features of ancient Greek mythology: Apollo and Dionysus. Even though the concept is famously related to The Birth of Tragedy, the poet Hölderlin had already spoken of it, and Winckelmann had talked of Bacchus. One year before the publication of The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche wrote a fragment titled "On Music and Words".[145] In it, he asserted the Schopenhauerian judgment that music is a primary expression of the essence of everything. Secondarily derivative are lyrical poetry and drama, which represent mere phenomenal appearances of objects. In this way, tragedy is born from music.

Nietzsche found in classical Athenian tragedy an art form that transcended the pessimism found in the so-called wisdom of Silenus. The Greek spectators, by looking into the abyss of human suffering depicted by characters on stage, passionately and joyously affirmed life, finding it worth living. A main theme in The Birth of Tragedy was that the fusion of Dionysian and Apollonian Kunsttrieben ("artistic impulses") forms dramatic arts, or tragedies. He goes on to argue that this fusion has not been achieved since the ancient Greek tragedians. Apollo represents harmony, progress, clarity and logic, whereas Dionysus represents disorder, intoxication, emotion and ecstasy. Nietzsche used these two forces because, for him, the world of mind and order on one side, and passion and chaos on the other formed principles that were fundamental to the Greek culture:[146][147] the Apollonian side being a dreaming state, full of illusions; and Dionysian being the state of intoxication, representing the liberations of instinct and dissolution of boundaries. In this mold, man appears as the satyr. He is the horror of the annihilation of the principle of individuality and at the same time someone who delights in its destruction.[148] Both of these principles are meant to represent cognitive states that appear through art as the power of nature in man.[149]

The relationship between the Apollonian and Dionysian juxtapositions is apparent, in the interplay of tragedy: the tragic hero of the drama, the main protagonist, struggles to make order (in the Apollonian sense) of his unjust and chaotic (Dionysian) fate, though he dies unfulfilled in the end. Elaborating on the conception of Hamlet as an intellectual who cannot make up his mind, and therefore is a living antithesis to the man of action, Nietzsche argues that a Dionysian figure possesses knowledge to realize that his actions cannot change the eternal balance of things, and it disgusts him enough not to be able to make any act at all. Hamlet falls under this category—he has glimpsed the supernatural reality through the Ghost, he has gained true knowledge and knows that no action of his has the power to change this.[150][151] For the audience of such drama, this tragedy allows them to sense an underlying essence, what Nietzsche called the Primordial Unity, which revives Dionysian nature. He describes this primordial unity as the increase of strength, experience of fullness and plenitude bestowed by frenzy. Frenzy acts as an intoxication, and is crucial for the physiological condition that enables making of any art.[152] Stimulated by this state, a person's artistic will is enhanced:

In this state one enriches everything out of one's own fullness: whatever one sees, whatever wills is seen swelled, taut, strong, overloaded with strength. A man in this state transforms things until they mirror his power—until they are reflections of his perfection. This having to transform into perfection is—art.

Nietzsche is adamant that the works of Aeschylus and Sophocles represent the apex of artistic creation, the true realization of tragedy; it is with Euripides, he states, that tragedy begins its Untergang (literally "going under" or "downward-way," meaning decline, deterioration, downfall, death, etc.). Nietzsche objects to Euripides' use of Socratic rationalism and morality in his tragedies, claiming that the infusion of ethics and reason robs tragedy of its foundation, namely the fragile balance of the Dionysian and Apollonian. Socrates emphasized reason to such a degree that he diffused the value of myth and suffering to human knowledge. Plato continued with this path in his dialogues, and the modern world eventually inherited reason at the expense of artistic impulses that could be found only in the Apollonian and Dionysus dichotomy. This leads to his conclusion that European culture from the time of Socrates had always been only Apollonian and thus decadent and unhealthy.[153] He notes that whenever Apollonian culture dominates, the Dionysian lacks the structure to make a coherent art, and when Dionysian dominates, the Apollonian lacks the necessary passion. Only the beautiful middle, the interplay of these two forces, brought together as an art, represented real Greek tragedy.[154]

An example of the impact of this idea can be seen in the book Patterns of Culture, where anthropologist Ruth Benedict uses Nietzschean opposites of "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" as the stimulus for her thoughts about Native American cultures.[155] Carl Jung has written extensively on the dichotomy in Psychological Types.[156] Michel Foucault has commented that his own book Madness and Civilization should be read "under the sun of the great Nietzschean inquiry". Here Foucault references Nietzsche's description of the birth and death of tragedy and his explanation that the subsequent tragedy of the Western world was the refusal of the tragic and, with that, refusal of the sacred.[157] Painter Mark Rothko was influenced by Nietzsche's view of tragedy, which were presented in The Birth of Tragedy.

Perspectivism

Nietzsche claimed the death of God would eventually lead to the loss of any universal perspective on things, and along with it any coherent sense of objective truth.[158][159][page needed] Nietzsche himself rejected the idea of objective reality, arguing that knowledge is contingent and conditional, relative to various fluid perspectives or interests.[160] This leads to constant reassessment of rules (i.e., those of philosophy, the scientific method, etc.) according to the circumstances of individual perspectives.[161] This view has acquired the name perspectivism.

In Also sprach Zarathustra, Nietzsche proclaims that a table of values hangs above every great person. He points out that what is common among different peoples is the act of esteeming, of creating values, even if the values are different from one people to the next. Nietzsche asserts that what made people great was not the content of their beliefs, but the act of valuing. Thus the values a community strives to articulate are not as important as the collective will to see those values come to pass. The willing is more essential than the intrinsic worth of the goal itself, according to Nietzsche. "A thousand goals have there been so far," says Zarathustra, "for there are a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking: the one goal is lacking. Humanity still has no goal." Hence, the title of the aphorism, "On The Thousand And One Goals". The idea that one value-system is no more worthy than the next, although it may not be directly ascribed to Nietzsche, has become a common premise in modern social science. Max Weber and Martin Heidegger absorbed it and made it their own. It shaped their philosophical and cultural endeavor, as well as their political understanding. Weber, for example, relies on Nietzsche's perspectivism by maintaining that objectivity is still possible—but only after a particular perspective, value, or end has been established.[162][163]

Among his critique of traditional philosophy of Kant, Descartes and Plato in Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche attacked thing in itself and cogito ergo sum ("I think, therefore I am") as unfalsifiable beliefs based on naive acceptance of previous notions and fallacies.[164] Philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre puts Nietzsche in a high place in the history of philosophy. While criticizing nihilism and Nietzsche together as a sign of general decay,[165] he still commends him for recognizing psychological motives behind Kant and Hume's moral philosophy:[166]

For it was Nietzsche's historic achievement to understand more clearly than any other philosopher ... not only that what purported to be appeals of objectivity were in fact expressions of subjective will, but also the nature of the problems that this posed for philosophy.[167]

The "slave revolt" in morals

In Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche's genealogical account of the development of modern moral systems occupies a central place. For Nietzsche, a fundamental shift took place during human history from thinking in terms of good and bad toward good and evil.

The initial form of morality was set by a warrior aristocracy and other ruling castes of ancient civilizations. Aristocratic values of good and bad coincided with and reflected their relationship to lower castes such as slaves. Nietzsche presents this "master morality" as the original system of morality—perhaps best associated with Homeric Greece.[168] To be "good" was to be happy and to have the things related to happiness: wealth, strength, health, power, etc. To be "bad" was to be like the slaves the aristocracy ruled over: poor, weak, sick, pathetic—an object of pity or disgust rather than hatred.[169]

"Slave morality" comes about as a reaction to master-morality. Here, value emerges from the contrast between good and evil: good being associated with other-worldliness, charity, piety, restraint, meekness, and submission; and evil seen as worldly, cruel, selfish, wealthy, and aggressive. Nietzsche sees slave morality as pessimistic and fearful, values for their serving only to ease the existence for those who suffer from the very same thing. He associates slave-morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, in a way that slave-morality is born out of the ressentiment of slaves. Nietzsche argued that the idea of equality allowed slaves to overcome their own condition without hating themselves. And by denying the inherent inequality of people (such as success, strength, beauty or intelligence), slaves acquired a method of escape, namely by generating new values on the basis of rejecting something that was seen as a perceived source of frustration. It was used to overcome the slave's own sense of inferiority before the (better-off) masters. It does so by making out slave weakness to be a matter of choice, by, e.g., relabeling it as "meekness". The "good man" of master morality is precisely the "evil man" of slave morality, while the "bad man" is recast as the "good man".[168]

Nietzsche sees the slave-morality as a source of the nihilism that has overtaken Europe. Modern Europe and Christianity exist in a hypocritical state due to a tension between master and slave morality, both contradictory values determining, to varying degrees, the values of most Europeans (who are "motley"). Nietzsche calls for exceptional people to no longer be ashamed of their uniqueness in the face of a supposed morality-for-all, which he deems to be harmful to the flourishing of exceptional people. He cautions, however, that morality, per se, is not bad; it is good for the masses, and should be left to them. Exceptional people, on the other hand, should follow their own "inner law".[168] A favorite motto of Nietzsche, taken from Pindar, reads: "Become what you are."[170]

A long standing assumption about Nietzsche is that he preferred master over slave morality. However, the Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann rejected this interpretation, writing that Nietzsche's analyses of these two types of morality were used only in a descriptive and historic sense, they were not meant for any kind of acceptance or glorification.[171] On the other hand, it is clear from his own writings that Nietzsche wanted the victory of master morality. He linked the "salvation and future of the human race with the unconditional dominance"[172] of master morality and called master morality "a higher order of values, the noble ones, those that say Yes to life, those that guarantee the future."[173] Just as "there is an order of rank between man and man," there is also an order of rank "between morality and morality."[174] Indeed, Nietzsche waged a philosophic war against the slave morality of Christianity in his "revaluation of all values" in order to bring about the victory of a new master morality that he called the "philosophy of the future" (Beyond Good and Evil is subtitled Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future).[175]

In Daybreak, Nietzsche begins his "Campaign against Morality".[176][177] He calls himself an "immoralist" and harshly criticizes the prominent moral philosophies of his day: Christianity, Kantianism, and utilitarianism. Nietzsche's concept "God is dead" applies to the doctrines of Christendom, though not to all other faiths: he claimed that Buddhism is a successful religion that he compliments for fostering critical thought.[178] Still, Nietzsche saw his philosophy as a counter-movement to nihilism through appreciation of art:

Art as the single superior counterforce against all will to negation of life, art as the anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Nihilist par excellence.[152]

Nietzsche claimed that the Christian faith as practiced was not a proper representation of Jesus' teachings, as it forced people merely to believe in the way of Jesus but not to act as Jesus did, in particular his example of refusing to judge people, something that Christians had constantly done the opposite of.[178] He condemned institutionalized Christianity for emphasizing a morality of pity (Mitleid), which assumes an inherent illness in society:[179]

Christianity is called the religion of pity. Pity stands opposed to the tonic emotions which heighten our vitality: it has a depressing effect. We are deprived of strength when we feel pity. That loss of strength which suffering as such inflicts on life is still further increased and multiplied by pity. Pity makes suffering contagious.[180]

In Ecce Homo Nietzsche called the establishment of moral systems based on a dichotomy of good and evil a "calamitous error",[181] and wished to initiate a re-evaluation of the values of the Judeo-Christian world.[182] He indicates his desire to bring about a new, more naturalistic source of value in the vital impulses of life itself.

While Nietzsche attacked the principles of Judaism, he was not antisemitic: in his work On the Genealogy of Morality, he explicitly condemns antisemitism, and points out that his attack on Judaism was not an attack on contemporary Jewish people but specifically an attack upon the ancient Jewish priesthood whom he claims antisemitic Christians paradoxically based their views upon.[183] An Israeli historian who performed a statistical analysis of everything Nietzsche wrote about Jews claims that cross references and context make clear that almost all (85%) negative comments are actually attacks on Christian doctrine or, sarcastically, on Richard Wagner.[184]

Nietzsche felt that modern antisemitism was "despicable" and against European ideals.[185] Its cause, in his opinion, was the growth in European nationalism and the endemic "jealousy and hatred" of Jewish success.[185] He wrote that Jews should be thanked for helping uphold a respect for the philosophies of ancient Greece,[185] and for giving rise to "the noblest human being (Christ), the purest philosopher (Baruch Spinoza), the mightiest book, and the most effective moral code in the world."[186]

Death of God and nihilism

The statement "God is dead", occurring in several of Nietzsche's works (notably in The Gay Science), has become one of his best-known remarks. On the basis of it, most commentators[187] regard Nietzsche as an atheist; others (such as Kaufmann) suggest that this statement reflects a more subtle understanding of divinity. Recent developments in modern science and the increasing secularization of European society had effectively 'killed' the Abrahamic God, who had served as the basis for meaning and value in the West for more than a thousand years. The death of God may lead beyond bare perspectivism to outright nihilism, the belief that nothing has any inherent importance and that life lacks purpose. Here he states that the Christian moral doctrine provides people with intrinsic value, belief in God (which justifies the evil in the world) and a basis for objective knowledge. In this sense, in constructing a world where objective knowledge is possible, Christianity is an antidote to a primal form of nihilism—the despair of meaninglessness. As Heidegger put the problem, "If God as the suprasensory ground and goal of all reality is dead, if the suprasensory world of the ideas has suffered the loss of its obligatory and above it its vitalizing and upbuilding power, then nothing more remains to which man can cling and by which he can orient himself."[188]

One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Nietzsche calls passive nihilism, which he recognizes in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer's doctrine—which Nietzsche also refers to as Western Buddhism—advocates separating oneself from will and desires in order to reduce suffering. Nietzsche characterizes this ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness", whereby life turns away from itself, as there is nothing of value to be found in the world. This moving away of all value in the world is characteristic of the nihilist, although in this, the nihilist appears to be inconsistent:[189]

A nihilist is a man who judges that the real world ought not to be, and that the world as it ought to be does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: this 'in vain' is the nihilists' pathos—an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.

— Friedrich Nietzsche, KSA 12:9 [60], taken from The Will to Power, section 585, translated by Walter Kaufmann

Nietzsche approaches the problem of nihilism as a deeply personal one, stating that this problem of the modern world is a problem that has "become conscious" in him.[190] Furthermore, he emphasizes both the danger of nihilism and the possibilities it offers, as seen in his statement that "I praise, I do not reproach, [nihilism's] arrival. I believe it is one of the greatest crises, a moment of the deepest self-reflection of humanity. Whether man recovers from it, whether he becomes master of this crisis, is a question of his strength!"[191] According to Nietzsche, it is only when nihilism is overcome that a culture can have a true foundation on which to thrive. He wished to hasten its coming only so that he could also hasten its ultimate departure. Heidegger interprets the death of God with what he explains as the death of metaphysics. He concludes that metaphysics has reached its potential and that the ultimate fate and downfall of metaphysics was proclaimed with the statement "God is dead".[192]

Will to power

A basic element in Nietzsche's philosophical outlook is the "will to power" (der Wille zur Macht), which he maintained provides a basis for understanding human behavior—more so than competing explanations, such as the ones based on pressure for adaptation or survival.[193][194][195] As such, according to Nietzsche, the drive for conservation appears as the major motivator of human or animal behavior only in exceptions, as the general condition of life is not one of emergency, of 'struggle for existence'.[196] More often than not, self-conservation is but a consequence of a creature's will to exert its strength on the outside world.

In presenting his theory of human behavior, Nietzsche also addressed, and attacked, concepts from philosophies popularly embraced in his days, such as Schopenhauer's notion of an aimless will or that of utilitarianism. Utilitarians claim that what moves people is mainly the desire to be happy, to accumulate pleasure in their lives. But such a conception of happiness Nietzsche rejected as something limited to, and characteristic of, the bourgeois lifestyle of the English society,[197] and instead put forth the idea that happiness is not an aim per se—it is instead a consequence of a successful pursuit of one's aims, of the overcoming of hurdles to one's actions—in other words, of the fulfillment of the will.[198]

Related to his theory of the will to power is his speculation, which he did not deem final,[199] regarding the reality of the physical world, including inorganic matter—that, like man's affections and impulses, the material world is also set by the dynamics of a form of the will to power. At the core of his theory is a rejection of atomism—the idea that matter is composed of stable, indivisible units (atoms). Instead, he seems to have accepted the conclusions of Ruđer Bošković, who explained the qualities of matter as a result of an interplay of forces.[200][201] One study of Nietzsche defines his fully developed concept of the will to power as "the element from which derive both the quantitative difference of related forces and the quality that devolves into each force in this relation" revealing the will to power as "the principle of the synthesis of forces."[202] Of such forces Nietzsche said they could perhaps be viewed as a primitive form of the will. Likewise he rejected as a mere interpretation the view that the movement of bodies is ruled by inexorable laws of nature, positing instead that movement was governed by the power relations between bodies and forces.[203] Other scholars disagree that Nietzsche considered the material world to be a form of the will to power: Nietzsche thoroughly criticized metaphysics, and by including the will to power in the material world, he would simply be setting up a new metaphysics. Other than aphorism 36 in Beyond Good and Evil, where he raised a question regarding will to power as being in the material world, they argue, it was only in his notes (unpublished by himself), where he wrote about a metaphysical will to power. And they also claim that Nietzsche directed his landlord to burn those notes in 1888 when he left Sils Maria for the last time.[204] According to these scholars, the 'burning' story supports their thesis that at the end of his lucid life, Nietzsche rejected his project on the will to power. However, a recent study (Huang 2019) shows that although it is true that in 1888 Nietzsche wanted some of his notes burned, the 'burning' story indicates little about his project on the will to power, not only because only 11 'aphorisms' saved from the flames were ultimately incorporated into The Will to Power (this book contains 1067 'aphorisms'), but also because these abandoned notes mainly focus on topics such as critique of morality while touching upon the 'feeling of power' only once.[205]

Eternal return

"Eternal return" (also known as "eternal recurrence") is a hypothetical concept that posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form for an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. It is a purely physical concept, involving no supernatural reincarnation, but the return of beings in the same bodies. Nietzsche first invokes the idea of eternal return in a parable in Section 341 of The Gay Science, and also in the chapter "Of the Vision and the Riddle" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, among other places.[206] Nietzsche contemplates the idea as potentially "horrifying and paralyzing," and says that its burden is the "heaviest weight" imaginable ("das schwerste Gewicht").[207] The wish for the eternal return of all events would mark the ultimate affirmation of life, a reaction to Schopenhauer's praise of denying the will‐to‐live. To comprehend eternal recurrence in his thought, and to not merely come to peace with it but to embrace it, requires amor fati, "love of fate".[208] As Heidegger points out in his lectures on Nietzsche, Nietzsche's first mention of eternal recurrence presents this concept as a hypothetical question rather than postulating it as a fact. According to Heidegger, it is the burden imposed by the question of eternal recurrence—whether or not such a thing could possibly be true—that is so significant in modern thought: "The way Nietzsche here patterns the first communication of the thought of the 'greatest burden' [of eternal recurrence] makes it clear that this 'thought of thoughts' is at the same time 'the most burdensome thought.'"[209]

Nietzsche posits not only that the universe is recurring over infinite time and space, but that the different versions of events that have occurred in the past may at one point or another take place again, hence "all configurations that have previously existed on this earth must yet meet ..."[210] And with each version of events is hoping that some knowledge or awareness is gained to better the individual, hence "And thus it will happen one day that a man will be born again, just like me and a woman will be born, just like Mary—only that it is hoped to be that the head of this man may contain a little less foolishness ..."[210]

Alexander Nehamas writes in Nietzsche: Life as Literature of three ways of seeing the eternal recurrence: "(A) My life will recur in exactly identical fashion." This expresses a totally fatalistic approach to the idea. "(B) My life may recur in exactly identical fashion." This second view conditionally asserts cosmology, but fails to capture what Nietzsche refers to in The Gay Science, 341. Finally, "(C) If my life were to recur, then it could recur only in identical fashion." Nehamas shows that this interpretation exists totally independently of physics and does not presuppose the truth of cosmology. Nehamas draws the conclusion that if individuals constitute themselves through their actions, then they can only maintain themselves in their current state by living in a recurrence of past actions (Nehamas, 153). Nietzsche's thought is the negation of the idea of a history of salvation.[211]

Übermensch

Another concept important to an understanding of Nietzsche's thought is the Übermensch.[212][213][214][215] Developing the idea of nihilism, Nietzsche wrote Also sprach Zarathustra, therein introducing the concept of a value-creating Übermensch, not as a project, but as an anti-project, the absence of any project.[142] According to Laurence Lampert, "the death of God must be followed by a long twilight of piety and nihilism (II. 19; III. 8). Zarathustra's gift of the overman is given to a mankind not aware of the problem to which the overman is the solution."[216] Zarathustra presents the overman as the creator of new values, and he appears as a solution to the problem of the death of God and nihilism. The overman does not follow morality of common people since that favors mediocrity but instead rises above the notion of good and evil and above the "herd".[217] In this way Zarathustra proclaims his ultimate goal as the journey towards the state of overman. He wants a kind of spiritual evolution of self-awareness and overcoming of traditional views on morality and justice that stem from the superstition beliefs still deeply rooted or related to the notion of God and Christianity.[218][219][better source needed]

While interpretations of Nietzsche's overman vary wildly, here is one of his quotations from Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Prologue, §§3–4):[220]

I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? ... All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood, and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is ape to man? A laughing stock or painful embarrassment. And man shall be that to overman: a laughing stock or painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape ... The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth ... Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman—a rope over an abyss ... what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.

Zarathustra contrasts the overman with the last man of egalitarian modernity (most obvious example being democracy), an alternative goal humanity might set for itself. The last man is possible only by mankind's having bred an apathetic creature who has no great passion or commitment, who is unable to dream, who merely earns his living and keeps warm. This concept appears only in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and is presented as a condition that would render the creation of the overman impossible.[221]

Some have suggested that the notion of eternal return is related to the overman, since willing the eternal return of the same is a necessary step if the overman is to create new values, untainted by the spirit of gravity or asceticism. Values involve a rank-ordering of things, and so are inseparable from approval and disapproval; yet it was dissatisfaction that prompted men to seek refuge in other-worldliness and embrace other-worldly values. It could seem that the overman, in being devoted to any values at all, would necessarily fail to create values that did not share some bit of asceticism. Willing the eternal recurrence is presented as accepting the existence of the low while still recognizing it as the low, and thus as overcoming the spirit of gravity or asceticism. One must have the strength of the overman in order to will the eternal recurrence; that is, only the overman will have the strength to fully accept all of his past life, including his failures and misdeeds, and to truly will their eternal return. This action nearly kills Zarathustra, for example, and most human beings cannot avoid other-worldliness because they really are sick, not because of any choice they made.

The Nazis tried to incorporate the concept into their ideology. After his death, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche became the curator and editor of her brother's manuscripts. She reworked Nietzsche's unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche's work became associated with fascism and Nazism;[30] 20th century scholars contested this interpretation of his work, and corrected editions of his writings were soon made available.

Although Nietzsche has famously been misrepresented as a predecessor to Nazism, he criticized anti-Semitism, pan-Germanism and, to a lesser extent, nationalism.[222] Thus, he broke with his editor in 1886 because of his opposition to his editor's anti-Semitic stances, and his rupture with Richard Wagner, expressed in The Case of Wagner and Nietzsche contra Wagner, both of which he wrote in 1888, had much to do with Wagner's endorsement of pan-Germanism and anti-Semitism—and also of his rallying to Christianity. In a 29 March 1887 letter to Theodor Fritsch, Nietzsche mocked anti-Semites, Fritsch, Eugen Dühring, Wagner, Ebrard, Wahrmund, and the leading advocate of pan-Germanism, Paul de Lagarde, who would become, along with Wagner and Houston Chamberlain, the main official influences of Nazism.[95] This 1887 letter to Fritsch ended by: "And finally, how do you think I feel when the name Zarathustra is mouthed by anti-Semites?"[223]

Critique of mass culture

Friedrich Nietzsche held a pessimistic view on modern society and culture. His views stand against the concept of popular culture. He believed the press and mass culture led to conformity and brought about mediocrity. Nietzsche saw a lack of intellectual progress, leading to the decline of the human species. According to Nietzsche, individuals needed to overcome this form of mass culture. He believed some people were able to become superior individuals through the use of will power. By rising above mass culture, society would produce higher, brighter and healthier human beings.[224]

Reading and influence

The residence of Nietzsche's last three years along with archive in Weimar, Germany, which holds many of Nietzsche's papers

A trained philologist, Nietzsche had a thorough knowledge of Greek philosophy. He read Kant, Plato, Mill, Schopenhauer and Spir,[225] who became his main opponents in his philosophy, and later Baruch Spinoza, whom he saw as his "precursor" in many respects[226] but as a personification of the "ascetic ideal" in others. However, Nietzsche referred to Kant as a "moral fanatic", Plato as "boring", Mill as a "blockhead", and of Spinoza he said: "How much of personal timidity and vulnerability does this masquerade of a sickly recluse betray?"[227] He likewise expressed contempt for British author George Eliot.[228]

Nietzsche's philosophy, while innovative and revolutionary, was indebted to many predecessors. While at Basel, Nietzsche offered lecture courses on pre-Platonic philosophers for several years, and the text of this lecture series has been characterized as a "lost link" in the development of his thought. "In it concepts such as the will to power, the eternal return of the same, the overman, gay science, self-overcoming and so on receive rough, unnamed formulations and are linked to specific pre-Platonics, especially Heraclitus, who emerges as a pre-Platonic Nietzsche."[229] The pre-Socratic thinker Heraclitus was known for the rejection of the concept of being as a constant and eternal principle of universe, and his embrace of "flux" and incessant change. His symbolism of the world as "child play" marked by amoral spontaneity and lack of definite rules was appreciated by Nietzsche.[230] From his Heraclitean sympathy, Nietzsche was also a vociferous detractor of Parmenides, who opposed Heraclitus and believed all world is a single Being with no change at all.[231]

In his Egotism in German Philosophy, Santayana claimed that Nietzsche's whole philosophy was a reaction to Schopenhauer. Santayana wrote that Nietzsche's work was "an emendation of that of Schopenhauer. The will to live would become the will to dominate; pessimism founded on reflection would become optimism founded on courage; the suspense of the will in contemplation would yield to a more biological account of intelligence and taste; finally in the place of pity and asceticism (Schopenhauer's two principles of morals) Nietzsche would set up the duty of asserting the will at all costs and being cruelly but beautifully strong. These points of difference from Schopenhauer cover the whole philosophy of Nietzsche."[232]

Nietzsche expressed admiration for 17th-century French moralists such as La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyère and Vauvenargues,[233] as well as for Stendhal.[234] The organicism of Paul Bourget influenced Nietzsche,[235] as did that of Rudolf Virchow and Alfred Espinas.[236] Nietzsche wrote in a letter in 1867 that he was trying to improve his German style of writing with the help of Lessing, Lichtenberg and Schopenhauer. It was probably Lichtenberg (along with Paul Rée) whose aphoristic style of writing contributed to Nietzsche's own use of aphorism instead of an essay.[237] Nietzsche early learned of Darwinism through Friedrich Albert Lange.[238] The essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson had a profound influence on Nietzsche, who "loved Emerson from first to last",[239] wrote "Never have I felt so much at home in a book", and called him "[the] author who has been richest in ideas in this century so far."[240] Hippolyte Taine influenced Nietzsche's view on Rousseau and Napoleon.[241] Notably, he also read some of the posthumous works of Charles Baudelaire,[242] Tolstoy's My Religion, Ernest Renan's Life of Jesus and Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Demons.[242][243] Nietzsche called Dostoyevsky "the only psychologist from whom I have anything to learn."[244] While Nietzsche never mentions Max Stirner, the similarities in their ideas have prompted a minority of interpreters to suggest a relationship between the two.[245][246][247][248][249][250][251] In 1861 Nietzsche wrote an enthusiastic essay on his "favorite poet", Friedrich Hölderlin, mostly forgotten at that time.[252] He also expressed deep appreciation for Stifter's Indian Summer,[253] Byron's Manfred and Twain's Tom Sawyer.[254]

Reception and legacy

Portrait of Nietzsche by Edvard Munch, 1906
Statue of Nietzsche in Naumburg

Nietzsche's works did not reach a wide readership during his active writing career. However, in 1888 the influential Danish critic Georg Brandes aroused considerable excitement about Nietzsche through a series of lectures he gave at the University of Copenhagen. In the years after Nietzsche's death in 1900, his works became better known, and readers have responded to them in complex and sometimes controversial ways.[255] Many Germans eventually discovered his appeals for greater individualism and personality development in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but responded to them divergently. He had some following among left-wing Germans in the 1890s; in 1894–1895 German conservatives wanted to ban his work as subversive. During the late 19th century Nietzsche's ideas were commonly associated with anarchist movements and appear to have had influence within them, particularly in France and the United States.[256][257][258] H.L. Mencken produced the first book on Nietzsche in English in 1907, The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, and in 1910 a book of translated paragraphs from Nietzsche, increasing knowledge of his philosophy in the United States.[259] Nietzsche is known today as a precursor to existentialism, post-structuralism and postmodernism.[260]

W.B. Yeats and Arthur Symons described Nietzsche as the intellectual heir to William Blake.[261] Symons went on to compare the ideas of the two thinkers in The Symbolist Movement in Literature, while Yeats tried to raise awareness of Nietzsche in Ireland.[262][263][264] A similar notion was espoused by W.H. Auden who wrote of Nietzsche in his New Year Letter (released in 1941 in The Double Man): "O masterly debunker of our liberal fallacies [...] all your life you stormed, like your English forerunner Blake".[265][266][267] Nietzsche made an impact on composers during the 1890s. Writer on music Donald Mitchell notes that Gustav Mahler was "attracted to the poetic fire of Zarathustra, but repelled by the intellectual core of its writings." He also quotes Mahler himself, and adds that he was influenced by Nietzsche's conception and affirmative approach to nature, which Mahler presented in his Third Symphony using Zarathustra's roundelay. Frederick Delius produced a piece of choral music, A Mass of Life, based on a text of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, while Richard Strauss (who also based his Also sprach Zarathustra on the same book), was only interested in finishing "another chapter of symphonic autobiography".[268] Famous writers and poets influenced by Nietzsche include André Gide, August Strindberg, Robinson Jeffers, Pío Baroja, D.H. Lawrence, Edith Södergran and Yukio Mishima.

Nietzsche was an early influence on the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. Knut Hamsun counted Nietzsche, along with Strindberg and Dostoyevsky, as one of his primary influences.[269] Author Jack London wrote that he was more stimulated by Nietzsche than by any other writer.[270] Critics have suggested that the character of David Grief in A Son of the Sun was based on Nietzsche.[271] Nietzsche's influence on Muhammad Iqbal is most evidenced in Asrar-i-Khudi (The Secrets of the Self).[272] Wallace Stevens[273] was another reader of Nietzsche, and elements of Nietzsche's philosophy were found throughout Stevens's poetry collection Harmonium.[274][275] Olaf Stapledon was influenced by the idea of the Übermensch and it is a central theme in his books Odd John and Sirius.[276] In Russia, Nietzsche has influenced Russian symbolism[277] and figures such as Dmitry Merezhkovsky,[278] Andrei Bely,[279] Vyacheslav Ivanov and Alexander Scriabin have all incorporated or discussed parts of Nietzsche philosophy in their works. Thomas Mann's novel Death in Venice[280] shows a use of Apollonian and Dionysian, and in Doctor Faustus Nietzsche was a central source for the character of Adrian Leverkühn.[281][282] Hermann Hesse, similarly, in his Narcissus and Goldmund presents two main characters in the sense of Apollonian and Dionysian as the two opposite yet intertwined spirits. Painter Giovanni Segantini was fascinated by Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and he drew an illustration for the first Italian translation of the book. The Russian painter Lena Hades created the oil painting cycle Also Sprach Zarathustra dedicated to the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra.[283]

By World War I, Nietzsche had acquired a reputation as an inspiration for both right-wing German militarism and leftist politics. German soldiers received copies of Thus Spoke Zarathustra as gifts during World War I.[284][285] The Dreyfus affair provides a contrasting example of his reception: the French antisemitic Right labelled the Jewish and leftist intellectuals who defended Alfred Dreyfus as "Nietzscheans".[286] Nietzsche had a distinct appeal for many Zionist thinkers around the start of the 20th century, most notable being Ahad Ha'am,[287] Hillel Zeitlin,[288] Micha Josef Berdyczewski, A.D. Gordon[289] and Martin Buber, who went so far as to extoll Nietzsche as a "creator" and "emissary of life".[290] Chaim Weizmann was a great admirer of Nietzsche; the first president of Israel sent Nietzsche's books to his wife, adding a comment in a letter that "This was the best and finest thing I can send to you."[291] Israel Eldad, the ideological chief of the Stern Gang that fought the British in Palestine in the 1940s, wrote about Nietzsche in his underground newspaper and later translated most of Nietzsche's books into Hebrew.[292] Eugene O'Neill remarked that Zarathustra influenced him more than any other book he ever read. He also shared Nietzsche's view of tragedy.[293] Plays The Great God Brown and Lazarus Laughed are an example of Nietzsche's influence on O'Neill.[294][295][296] Nietzsche's influence on the works of Frankfurt School philosophers Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno[297] can be seen in the popular Dialectic of Enlightenment. Adorno summed up Nietzsche's philosophy as expressing the "humane in a world in which humanity has become a sham."[298]

Nietzsche's growing prominence suffered a severe setback when his works became closely associated with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Many political leaders of the twentieth century were at least superficially familiar with Nietzsche's ideas, although it is not always possible to determine whether they actually read his work. It is debated among scholars whether Hitler read Nietzsche, although if he did his reading of him may not have been extensive.[299][300][301][302] He was a frequent visitor to the Nietzsche museum in Weimar and used expressions of Nietzsche's, such as "lords of the earth" in Mein Kampf.[303] The Nazis made selective use of Nietzsche's philosophy. Mussolini,[304][305] Charles de Gaulle[306] and Huey P. Newton[307] read Nietzsche. Richard Nixon read Nietzsche with "curious interest," and his book Beyond Peace might have taken its title from Nietzsche's book Beyond Good and Evil which Nixon read beforehand.[308] Bertrand Russell wrote that Nietzsche had exerted great influence on philosophers and on people of literary and artistic culture, but warned that the attempt to put Nietzsche's philosophy of aristocracy into practice could only be done by an organization similar to the Fascist or the Nazi party.[19]

A decade after World War II, there was a revival of Nietzsche's philosophical writings thanks to exhaustive translations and analyses by Walter Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale. Others, well known philosophers in their own right, wrote commentaries on Nietzsche's philosophy, including Martin Heidegger, who produced a four-volume study, and Lev Shestov, who wrote a book called Dostoyevski, Tolstoy and Nietzsche where he portrays Nietzsche and Dostoyevski as the "thinkers of tragedy".[309] Georg Simmel compares Nietzsche's importance to ethics to that of Copernicus for cosmology.[310] Sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies read Nietzsche avidly from his early life, and later frequently discussed many of his concepts in his own works. Nietzsche has influenced philosophers such as Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre,[311] Oswald Spengler,[312] George Grant,[313] Emil Cioran,[314] Albert Camus, Ayn Rand,[315] Jacques Derrida, Leo Strauss,[316] Max Scheler, Michel Foucault and Bernard Williams. Camus described Nietzsche as "the only artist to have derived the extreme consequences of an aesthetics of the absurd".[317] Paul Ricœur called Nietzsche one of the masters of the "school of suspicion", alongside Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud.[318] Carl Jung was also influenced by Nietzsche.[319] In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, a biography transcribed by his secretary, he cites Nietzsche as a large influence.[320] Aspects of Nietzsche's philosophy, especially his ideas of the self and his relation to society, also run through much of late-twentieth and early twenty-first century thought.[321][322] His deepening of the romantic-heroic tradition of the nineteenth century, for example, as expressed in the ideal of the "grand striver" appears in the work of thinkers from Cornelius Castoriadis to Roberto Mangabeira Unger.[323] For Nietzsche this grand striver overcomes obstacles, engages in epic struggles, pursues new goals, embraces recurrent novelty, and transcends existing structures and contexts.[321]:195

Works

The Nietzsche Stone, near Surlej, the inspiration for Thus Spoke Zarathustra

See also

References

Citations

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  2. ^ Prat, Alan. "Nihilism § Friedrich Nietzsche and Nihilism". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  3. ^ Haar, Michel (April 1985). The New Nietzsche : contemporary styles of interpretation (PDF) (1st MIT Press paperback ed.). MIT Press. p. 6. ISBN 9780262510349. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  4. ^ Dr. Large. "Nietzsche and Moral Nihilism". www.arasite.org. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  5. ^ Michael N. Forster. After Herder: Philosophy of Language in the German Tradition. Oxford University Press. 2010. p. 9.
  6. ^ a b c d Dale Wilkerson. "Friedrich Nietzsche". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ISSN 2161-0002. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  7. ^ Brobjer, Thomas H. (2008). Nietzsche's Philosophical Context: An Intellectual Biography. University of Illinois Press. p. 149 n. 42. ISBN 978-0-252-03245-5.
  8. ^ "Der Philosoph Philipp Mainländer entdeckt das Nirwanaprinzip: Die Welt als Gottes Selbstmordprojekt". Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 15 March 2003. Immerhin hat kein Geringerer als Friedrich Nietzsche, solange er wie Mainländer Schopenhauer verehrte, den philosophischen Mitjünger gewürdigt (beider Lektüreerlebnis gleicht als Erweckung dem augustinischen "Nimm, lies" bis ins Detail).
  9. ^ Brobjer, Thomas. Nietzsche's Philosophical Context: An Intellectual Biography. University of Illinois Press, 2008. pp. 39, 48, 55, 140.
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Sources

Works cited

Further reading

  • Arena, Leonardo Vittorio (2012), Nietzsche in China in the XXth Century, ebook
  • Babich, Babette E. (1994), Nietzsche's Philosophy of Science, Albany: State University of New York Press.