~| Behold, I Have Discovered....NIETZSCHE! |~

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The Dictator
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I've gone through a somewhat turbulent year and a half and recently I began reading Nietzsche (about a few months ago, perhaps around June). I discovered Nietzsche around March and found him a most interesting man with very intriguing ideas. I had heard about him before and about how he supposedly influenced Nazi or Fascist thinking, but I have come to learn that this is not a bit true and his ideas were almost opposite to anything Hitler or Mussolini would have believed. I can see why it would be easy to twist his ideas to mean something else, though.

Anyway, I would come home from school and read up on Nietzsche on my Kindle Fire and watch videos about him and his ideas, and decided, why not read his books? I found a website called Wikisource where books in the public domain find themselves published, and read his two books Human All Too Human and Beyond Good and Evil, both of which I completed around yesterday. Unfortunately, the Birth of Tragedy, The Dawn and The Gay Science aren't on there, but Thus Spake Zarathustra, probably his most famous work, On The Genealogy of Morals, and Untimely Meditations are all uploaded on there to my knowledge.

Nietzsche's philosophy has left me astounded. Just when I was about to deliver myself to the icy lair of pessimism, he has given me a new belief to cling to, to give my life new meaning. In reading him, I sped up the process of my collapse of religious faith and I no longer consider myself a Christian. He was able to accurately discern WHY people cling to faith and why specifically they cling to Christianity. I now see that it all results from a feeling of inferiority or low status, namely, the mentality of a slave, which gives rise to the morals of a slave, which has thus inverted the traditional meaning of morality. This is apt for no one more than my African family, who, having a background of poverty and hopelessness, found Christianity ready-made for them. All these fake "prophets" and wonder-workers I now see through. It is all deception. Watching documentaries on Benny Hinn and similar word-faith healers has cemented this belief. I do not dare tell my parents I no longer believe however, until I leave home.

Nietzsche's work is very esoteric, which means it is harder to understand him unless you already have previous experience in philosophy. His writings are dotted with references to Greek and Western philosophy, references to philosophers whose ideas he disapproves of, and, being a German prose writer, his work is full of long, winding sentences full of flowery language that can be hard to follow (thank goodness for Kaufmann's translation work) but if you stick to it, you should get through it without a problem. It has taken me about two months to finish both of his major works, and I feel a great sense of pride in having achieved it. My interest in philosophy as a whole has grown, and I am now looking to read Plato's Republic and perhaps Schopenhauer and Hegel too in order to get a better sense of what Nietzsche is talking about, Schopenhauer especially as Nietzsche reserves heavy criticism for him in particular. It helps to listen to Wagner as you read Nietzsche as Wagner was a good friend of his until a break some years later, and you get a sense of the kind of music Nietzsche might have enjoyed as a student (for he was a composer as well as a philologist, in other words, he studied classical texts).

Nietzsche's optimistic new theory has helped to lift me out of a relatively depressed mindset. I am now filled with a longing to be as great as he was. If any of you can give me help as to how I can further my studies on Nietzsche, please tell me.
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CurlyBlackHairs
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Sounds like you have a new ideology. You won't liberate yourself from the dogma of Western philosophy until you let go to personalities and experience ideas. For me there's nothing greater than traditional conservatism which stresses a love of nature as it is and skepticism to such arrant abstractions. Man is a social being not an abstraction.
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The Dictator
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(Original post by CurlyBlackHairs)
Sounds like you have a new ideology. You won't liberate yourself from the dogma of Western philosophy until you let go to personalities and experience ideas. For me there's nothing greater than traditional conservatism which stresses a love of nature as it is and skepticism to such arrant abstractions. Man is a social being not an abstraction.
I am also against abstractions. To an extent Nietzsche is too.
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PhilosophicalHat
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(Original post by The Dictator)
I've gone through a somewhat turbulent year and a half and recently I began reading Nietzsche (about a few months ago, perhaps around June). I discovered Nietzsche around March and found him a most interesting man with very intriguing ideas. I had heard about him before and about how he supposedly influenced Nazi or Fascist thinking, but I have come to learn that this is not a bit true and his ideas were almost opposite to anything Hitler or Mussolini would have believed. I can see why it would be easy to twist his ideas to mean something else, though.

Anyway, I would come home from school and read up on Nietzsche on my Kindle Fire and watch videos about him and his ideas, and decided, why not read his books? I found a website called Wikisource where books in the public domain find themselves published, and read his two books Human All Too Human and Beyond Good and Evil, both of which I completed around yesterday. Unfortunately, the Birth of Tragedy, The Dawn and The Gay Science aren't on there, but Thus Spake Zarathustra, probably his most famous work, On The Genealogy of Morals, and Untimely Meditations are all uploaded on there to my knowledge.

Nietzsche's philosophy has left me astounded. Just when I was about to deliver myself to the icy lair of pessimism, he has given me a new belief to cling to, to give my life new meaning. In reading him, I sped up the process of my collapse of religious faith and I no longer consider myself a Christian. He was able to accurately discern WHY people cling to faith and why specifically they cling to Christianity. I now see that it all results from a feeling of inferiority or low status, namely, the mentality of a slave, which gives rise to the morals of a slave, which has thus inverted the traditional meaning of morality. This is apt for no one more than my African family, who, having a background of poverty and hopelessness, found Christianity ready-made for them. All these fake "prophets" and wonder-workers I now see through. It is all deception. Watching documentaries on Benny Hinn and similar word-faith healers has cemented this belief. I do not dare tell my parents I no longer believe however, until I leave home.

Nietzsche's work is very esoteric, which means it is harder to understand him unless you already have previous experience in philosophy. His writings are dotted with references to Greek and Western philosophy, references to philosophers whose ideas he disapproves of, and, being a German prose writer, his work is full of long, winding sentences full of flowery language that can be hard to follow (thank goodness for Kaufmann's translation work) but if you stick to it, you should get through it without a problem. It has taken me about two months to finish both of his major works, and I feel a great sense of pride in having achieved it. My interest in philosophy as a whole has grown, and I am now looking to read Plato's Republic and perhaps Schopenhauer and Hegel too in order to get a better sense of what Nietzsche is talking about, Schopenhauer especially as Nietzsche reserves heavy criticism for him in particular. It helps to listen to Wagner as you read Nietzsche as Wagner was a good friend of his until a break some years later, and you get a sense of the kind of music Nietzsche might have enjoyed as a student (for he was a composer as well as a philologist, in other words, he studied classical texts).

Nietzsche's optimistic new theory has helped to lift me out of a relatively depressed mindset. I am now filled with a longing to be as great as he was. If any of you can give me help as to how I can further my studies on Nietzsche, please tell me.
Eh he killed god, though he failed to replace it with anything. His works are enlightening to read, you know I always found it interesting that he never lost his touch. Some argue that during his latter life his work quality deteriorated, I disagree he had coherence and his grip on his work only ever tightened.
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Martyn*
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Nietzsche is such a towering figure in continental philosophy. I have only read Twighlight of the Idols all the way through, and read snippets or large sections from his other works. The first book I read on him was The Nietzsche Reader and then I read Safranski's biography of him. What struck me about Nietzche is his use of maxims, and his bewildering prose. He can also take a philosophical "truth" and smash it to pieces with panache. He writes with such authority and judgement that it becomes almost scary and as soon as you think you've understood the problem, Nietzsche comes along again and you start doubting yourself whether you've understood it or not.

He killed God, or Christianity killed God, but he did replace it with something: MAN.
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chicobebop
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You don't have to agree with everything Nietzsche wrote to appreciate that his work is life affirming and of great value to those of us who have the honesty to see through our own delusions, eg religion. His prose is wonderful to read, concise, witty, and has the effect that you are being addressed personally. I recommend reading The Genealogy of Morals aloud to whoever is sharing your bed.
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PTMalewski
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Never really wanted to read Nietzche. In my country of origin, he is considered a school-philosopher, and during philosophy studies, one of my professors, said he wouldn't talk about Nietzche, because, as he said 'Mówienie o Nietzchem jest mówieniem o niczym' (Talking about Nietzche is talking about nothing).
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chicobebop
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
Never really wanted to read Nietzche. In my country of origin, he is considered a school-philosopher, and during philosophy studies, one of my professors, said he wouldn't talk about Nietzche, because, as he said 'Mówienie o Nietzchem jest mówieniem o niczym' (Talking about Nietzche is talking about nothing).
P.T. What a strange nonsensical thing for anyone to say, let alone a professor of philosophy! Talking about Nietzsche would be talking about Nietzsche at the very least. Unless, in some deeply profound way, talking about Nietzsche might involve a discussion about the abyss or the void. I suspect the professor said this to hide his ignorance of the subject.
Ian
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by chicobebop)
P.T. What a strange nonsensical thing for anyone to say, let alone a professor of philosophy! Talking about Nietzsche would be talking about Nietzsche at the very least. Unless, in some deeply profound way, talking about Nietzsche might involve a discussion about the abyss or the void. I suspect the professor said this to hide his ignorance of the subject.
Ian
Well, I think it was rather that, there wasn't much time during the course, and he thought that Nietzche is a less valuable philosopher (in his opinion).

I agree that talking about philosophy is generally valuable, thus if anything to be said, I'd be keen to read about it and discuss, though read here on some points, as there are many philosphers, and because of that experience, If I'm not keen to spend time on reading whole books, I prefer to research on other philosphers.

It's not uncommon that philosphers dismiss each other. If you read Alfred Ayer commenting on Wittgenstein, he wrote that 'Either I don't understand Wittgenstein, either Wittgenstein didn't know what was he writing about'.
I personally don't like Wittgenstein, but that's because he's unclear, not because I dismiss him. I'm not in position to either dismiss or approve any of the great philosphers.
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chicobebop
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(Original post by PTMalewski)
Well, I think it was rather that, there wasn't much time during the course, and he thought that Nietzche is a less valuable philosopher (in his opinion).

I agree that talking about philosophy is generally valuable, thus if anything to be said, I'd be keen to read about it and discuss, though read here on some points, as there are many philosphers, and because of that experience, If I'm not keen to spend time on reading whole books, I prefer to research on other philosphers.

It's not uncommon that philosphers dismiss each other. If you read Alfred Ayer commenting on Wittgenstein, he wrote that 'Either I don't understand Wittgenstein, either Wittgenstein didn't know what was he writing about'.
I personally don't like Wittgenstein, but that's because he's unclear, not because I dismiss him. I'm not in position to either dismiss or approve any of the great philosphers.
From Ian/Chicobebop; I have spent much more time over many years reading the secondary literature on Nietzsche than on his actual texts. Coming to the actual works is like waking up - the quality of the prose is astonishing and can only be described by others with florid language and hyperbole - like comparing someone describing the taste of sugar with actually getting some on your tongue!
Nietzsche cautioned readers about philosophers and Wittgenstein made a similar observation; philosophical writng is largely autobiography. Some quotes;
Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human;
However far man may extend himself with his knowledge, however objective he may appear to himself ultimately he reaps nothing but his own biography.

Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. Walter Kaufmann, Vintage, 1966 (original 1886).
Gradually it has become clear to me what every great philosophy so far has been: namely, the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir; also that the moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy constituted the real germ of life from which the whole plant had grown.
Indeed, if one would explain how the abstrusest metaphysical claims of a philosopher really came about, it is always well (and wise) to ask first: at what morality does all this (does he) aim? Accordingly, I do not believe that a "drive to knowledge" is the father of philosophy; but rather that another drive has, here as elsewhere, employed understanding (and misunderstanding) as a mere instrument....

In the philosopher [by contrast with the scientist] there is nothing whatsoever that is impersonal....

..."My judgment is my judgment": no one else is easily entitled to it --that is what such a philosopher of the future may perhaps say of himself.
Even apart from the value of such claims as "there is a categorical imperative in us," one can still always ask: what does such a claim tell us about the man who makes it?
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gjd800
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(Original post by chicobebop)
P.T. What a strange nonsensical thing for anyone to say, let alone a professor of philosophy! Talking about Nietzsche would be talking about Nietzsche at the very least. Unless, in some deeply profound way, talking about Nietzsche might involve a discussion about the abyss or the void. I suspect the professor said this to hide his ignorance of the subject.
Ian
Nah, you'd be surprised at how common that notion is re Nietzsche.

I like reading him for style (at least in English), but his ideas never did too much for me.
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PTMalewski
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Well, I personally think that proper philosophy was always about stating things logically and learning how to perceive and think properly.
If a work doesn't show that clearly and doesn't deliver valid proofs, then it's rather literature or ideology than philosophy.
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