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Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

Friedrich Nietzsche has placed himself among the greatest intellectuals the world has ever seen. Being an elaborate thinker that was ahead of his time, he established his credentials as an academic. Nietzsche’s underlying goal was […]

Friedrich Nietzsche has placed himself among the greatest intellectuals the world has ever seen. Being an elaborate thinker that was ahead of his time, he established his credentials as an academic. Nietzsche’s underlying goal was to understand and interpret the meaning behind culture and how society works. Bettering the human race as a whole was Nietzsche’s desire through the eyes of his theories. There was nothing more intriguing then getting to the root cause of what drives man as a being for him. This was Nietzsche main goal as a philosopher as he looked to link actions and justifications with each other.

Nietzsche: The Person

A lot of focus is given to the German philosopher’s theories and less on his life. It is often said, one’s life is often a good indicator of how certain theories came to rise from their mind. Nietzsche is no different as he lived a life that was far from gentle and optimistic. Ever since he was a young boy, he had illnesses push him back as he tried to fight them off. He was nearly blind as he became an adult and this reality led him to taking lengthy leaves from work. Despite having progressed along with his theories and becoming respected around the world, he could not cope with his mental illness. He suffered from dementia and was seen breaking down as the condition deteriorated. It was a series of strokes that finally claimed his life as his body was unable to cope with the pressures placed on it.

Main Ideas/Theories

Friedrich Nietzsche was a man who pondered about various aspects of society. He had a viewpoint on generally all parts of society and what makes it tick. One of his major theories revolved around the idea of ‘God is dead’, a claim he emphatically made in his theories. He felt society had emerged and progressed past the need of a higher authority that guided humanity’s actions. He promoted the concept of moving forward and looking to better oneself without looking to God for rewards (heaven).

This theory was seen to irk numerous religious scholars and intellectuals. It was a theory that was still ahead of it’s time, despite the emergence of atheism among society. Nietzsche wished for the average human being to dig deep and find moral goodness, despite God being dead. It was not a literal attempt at stating ‘God is dead’, instead it was a more implicit and spiritual statement. He believed human beings were capable of moral goodness without being tempted and wooed by religion.

Nietzsche was also constant with his concept of ‘perspectivism’. This idea of the world being interpreted in the manner the beholder wishes to interpret it. He pointed to the constant changing of rules in all scientific discussions and how nothing was ever truly fixed. There was always some sort of realignment going on in terms of how the world is looked upon by the academic eye.

He felt it was important to find common ground among a world where things were constantly being altered. This common thread was found in the heart of human values. The thought of society needing a set of values (whatever they may be) to lead a prosperous life with some sort of boundary to live within. It was not the actual set of values that were of importance, but that act of putting them together. This was what would look beyond the continuously ongoing idea of perspectivism.

Concluding Thoughts

Nietzsche has become a renowned name in the world of intellectuals. His ideas are often referenced back to as the world looks to judge the ways of society. His views on God being dead hold more value today as the world begins to shift more and more towards atheism. With the rise in atheistic values, his theories are being focused upon to judge whether his words hold deeper meaning. His claims have been called outrageous by critics and remarkable by followers, but his evocative nature is agreed upon by all. Friedrich Nietzsche was always found looking to present his ideas in a manner that was outside the norm. He would use poetry as a means to communicate his ideas. This altered his means of communication from the other intellectuals of his time. Nietzsche’s idea will forever be debated as society grows and develops from year to year.

Friedrich Nietzsche biography and work