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Ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, by Text

[German, 1844 - 1900, Born at Röcken. Son of Lutheran pastor. Young professor of philology at University of Basel. Insane for the last ten years of his life.]

1871 The Birth of Tragedy
p.10 Philosophy begins in the horror and absurdity of existence [Ansell Pearson]
1872 On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense
p.88 Leaves are unequal, but we form the concept 'leaf' by discarding their individual differences
1873 Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks
p.7 p.40 It is absurd to think you can change your own essence, like a garment
1873 Unpublished Notebooks 1872-74
19 [024] p.9 If philosophy controls science, then it has to determine its scope, and its value
19 [028] p.10 Kant has undermined our belief in metaphysics
19 [052] p.21 Philosophy ennobles the world, by producing an artistic conception of our knowledge
19 [076] p.28 Philosophy is more valuable than much of science, because of its beauty
19 [086] p.32 Unlike science, true wisdom involves good taste
19 [110] p.38 The Greeks lack a normative theology: each person has their own poetic view of things
19 [121] p.41 We do not know the nature of one single causality
19 [125] p.42 It always remains possible that the world just is the way it appears
19 [127] p.42 It is just madness to think that the mind is supernatural (or even divine!)
19 [153] p.49 Our primary faculty is perception of structure, as when looking in a mirror
19 [161] p.52 If some sort of experience is at the root of matter, then human knowledge is close to its essence
19 [209] p.64 We experience causation between willing and acting, and thereby explain conjunctions of changes
19 [235] p.73 Laws of nature are merely complex networks of relations
19 [236] p.74 Our knowledge is illogical, because it rests on false identities between things
19 [238] p.75 If we find a hypothesis that explains many things, we conclude that it explains everything
21 [13] p.104 Belief matters more than knowledge, and only begins when knowledge ceases
23 [14] p.119 Philosophy is always secondary, because it cannot support a popular culture
29 [004] p.189 It would better if there was no thought
29 [008] p.191 The most extreme scepticism is when you even give up logic
29 [008] p.192 Logic is just slavery to language
29 [019] p.199 Why do people want philosophers?
29 [027] p.202 Protest against vivisection - living things should not become objects of scientific investigation
29 [096] p.238 We should evaluate the past morally
29 [143] p.257 The shortest path to happiness is forgetfulness, the path of animals (but of little value)
29 [205] p.274 The first aim of a philosopher is a life, not some works
30 [06] p.292 Education is contrary to human nature
30 [17] p.299 You should only develop a philosophy if you are willing to live by it
30 [25] p.301 Wisdom prevents us from being ruled by the moment
31 [10] p.311 Philosophy is pointless if it does not advocate, and live, a new way of life
32 [67] p.336 Suffering is the meaning of existence
1878 Human, All Too Human
006 p.9 You are mastered by your own virtues, but you must master them, and turn them into tools
034 p.37 We could live more naturally, relishing the spectacle, and not thinking we are special
039 p.43 The history of morality rests on an error called 'responsibility', which rests on an error called 'free will'
041 p.45 Over huge periods of time human character would change endlessly
044 p.46 All societies of good men give a priority to gratitude
045 p.47 In Homer it is the contemptible person, not the harmful person, who is bad
045 p.47 Originally it was the rulers who requited good for good and evil for evil who were called 'good'
050 p.50 Pity consoles those who suffer, because they see that they still have the power to hurt
059 p.54 Intellect is tied to morality, because it requires good memory and powerful imagination
068 p.57 Science rejecting the teaching of Christianity in favour of Epicurus shows the superiority of the latter
070 p.58 Execution is worse than murder, because we are using the victim, and really we are the guilty
082 p.62 Just as skin hides the horrors of the body, vanity conceals the passions of the soul
091 p.63 We get enormous pleasure from tales of noble actions
092 p.64 Justice (fairness) originates among roughly equal powers (as the Melian dialogues show)
096 p.66 The 'good' man does the moral thing as if by nature, easily and gladly, after a long inheritance
099 p.69 First morality is force, then custom, then acceptance, then instinct, then a pleasure - and finally 'virtue'
101 p.70 Slavery cannot be judged by our standards, because the sense of justice was then less developed
102 p.71 People always do what they think is right, according to the degree of their intellect
103 p.72 Apart from philosophers, most people rightly have a low estimate of pity
104 p.72 If self-defence is moral, then so are most expressions of 'immoral' egoism
107 p.74 Ceasing to believe in human responsibility is bitter, if you had based the nobility of humanity on it
107 p.74 It is absurd to blame nature and necessity; we should no more praise actions than we praise plants or artworks
107 p.153 Nietzsche said the will doesn't exist, so it can't ground moral responsibility [Foot]
111 p.81 In religious thought nature is a complex of arbitrary acts by conscious beings
111 p.84 Modern man wants laws of nature in order to submit to them
114 p.85 The Greeks saw the gods not as their masters, but as idealised versions of themselves
115 p.86 Religion is tempting if your life is boring, but you can't therefore impose it on the busy people
131 p.90 Intuition only recognises what is possible, not what exists or is certain
133 p.92 No one has ever done anything that was entirely for other people
137 p.95 The Sermon on the Mount is vanity - praying to one part of oneself, and demonising the rest
169 p.115 Comedy is a transition from fear to exuberance
200 p.123 Teachers only gather knowledge for their pupils, and can't be serious about themselves
211 p.126 Artists are not especially passionate, but they pretend to be
229 p.142 People will enthusiastically pursue an unwanted war, once sacrifices have been made
235 p.145 Christ seems warm hearted, and suppressed intellect in favour of the intellectually weak
235 p.145 The state aims to protect individuals from one another
242 p.149 Interest in education gains strength when we lose interest in God
368 p.189 Many people are better at having good friends than being a good friend
371 p.190 Why are the strong tastes of other people so contagious?
390 p.196 Women can be friends with men, but only some physical antipathy will maintain it
391 p.197 People do not experience boredom if they have never learned to work properly
409 p.199 Don't crush girls with dull Gymnasium education, the way we have crushed boys!
438 p.210 If we want the good life for the greatest number, we must let them decide on the good life
459 p.219 Laws that are well thought out, or laws that are easy to understand?
467 p.222 Education in large states is mediocre, like cooking in large kitchens
471 p.222 We can only achieve happy moments, not happy eras
475 p.228 Christ was the noblest human being
477 p.230 Culture cannot do without passions and vices
483 p.234 Convictions, more than lies, are the great enemy of truth
506 p.237 Truth finds fewest champions not when it is dangerous, but when it is boring
518 p.238 Deep thinkers know that they are always wrong
603 p.252 Simultaneous love and respect are impossible; love has no separation or rank, but respect admits power
608 p.253 Our judgment seems to cause our nature, but actually judgment arises from our nature
609 p.253 The highest wisdom has the guise of simplicity
630 p.261 Being certain presumes that there are absolute truths, and means of arriving at them
1880 The Wanderer and his Shadow
§204 p.183 The end need not be the goal, as in the playing of a melody (and yet it must be completed)
1881 Dawn (Daybreak)
Pref 3 p.3 The very idea of a critique of morality is regarded as immoral!
Pref 3 p.3 No authority ever willingly accepts criticism
§507 p.251 Why should truth be omnipotent? It is enough that it is very powerful
012 p.14 People used to think that outcomes were from God, rather than consequences of acts
013 p.14 Punishment has distorted the pure innocence of the contingency of outcomes
013 p.14 Get rid of the idea of punishment! It is a noxious weed!
019 p.20 Morality prevents us from developing better customs
026 p.24 Like animals, we seek truth because we want safety
027 p.24 Marriage upholds the idea that love, though a passion, can endure
034 p.29 Moral feelings are entirely different from the moral concepts used to judge actions
035 p.30 Treating morality as feelings is just obeying your ancestors
038 p.32 The Jews treated great anger as holy, and were in awe of those who expressed it
044 p.36 Enquirers think finding our origin is salvation, but it turns out to be dull
048 p.38 Things are the boundaries of humanity, so all things must be known, for self-knowledge
049 p.38 Human beings are not majestic, either through divine origins, or through grand aims
058 p.43 Christianity replaces rational philosophical virtues with great passions focused on God
059 p.43 Christianity hoped for a short cut to perfection, that skipped the hard labour of morality
063 p.46 If you feel to others as they feel to themselves, you must hate a self-hater
070 p.51 Christianity was successful because of its heathen rituals
105 p.72 People do nothing for their real ego, but only for a phantom ego created by other people
119 p.88 Our knowledge of the many drives that constitute us is hopelessly incomplete
126 p.93 We may be unable to remember, but we may never actually forget
127 p.94 Actions done for a purpose are least understood, because we complacently think it's obvious
151 p.116 Marriage is too serious to be permitted for people in love!
180 p.130 Modern wars arise from the study of history
181 p.130 People govern for the pleasure of it, or just to avoid being governed
197 p.142 Early 19th century German philosophers enjoyed concepts, rather than scientific explanations
257 p.176 What we think is totally dictated by the language available to express it
277 p.182 Cool courage and feverish bravery have one name, but are two very different virtues
285 p.184 Most people treat knowledge as a private possession
297 p.187 Teach youth to respect people who differ with them, not people who agree with them
298 p.188 Carlyle spent his life vainly trying to make reason appear romantic
307 p.190 History does not concern what really happened, but supposed events, which have all the influence
308 p.191 Don't use wisdom in order to become clever!
309 p.191 Fear reveals the natures of other people much more clearly than love does
311 p.191 The easy and graceful aspects of a person are called 'soul', and inner awkwardness is called 'soulless'
318 p.193 The desire for a complete system requires making the weak parts look equal to the rest
330 p.198 It is essential that wise people learn to express their wisdom, possibly even as foolishness
339 p.200 Seeing duty as a burden makes it a bit cruel, and it can thus never become a habit
349 p.202 Most dying people have probably lost more important things than what they are about to lose
417 p.217 'I believe because it is absurd' - but how about 'I believe because I am absurd'
432 p.224 There is no one scientific method; we must try many approaches, and many emotions
433 p.225 Beauty in art is the imitation of happiness
456 p.233 Honesty is a new young virtue, and we can promote it, or not
534 p.259 The French Revolution gave trusting Europe the false delusion of instant recovery
556 p.276 The cardinal virtues want us to be honest, brave, magnanimous and polite
560 p.277 Most people think they are already complete, but we can cultivate ourselves
560 p.561 We can cultivate our drives, of anger, pity, curiosity, vanity, like a gardener, with good or bad taste
1882 Unpublished Notebooks 1881-82
1[003] p.3 Unlike time, space is subjective. Empty space was assumed, but it doesn't exist
11[013] p.309 Seeing with other eyes is more egoism, but exploring other perspectives leads to objectivity
11[037] p.317 For absolute morality a goal for mankind is needed
11[044] p.320 The goal is to settle human beings, like other animals, but humans are still changeable
11[049] p.321 People who miss beauty seek the sublime, where even the ugly shows its 'beauty'
11[159] p.358 See our present lives as eternal! Religions see it as fleeting, and aim at some different life
11[329] p.415 Essences are fictions needed for beings who represent things
12[1]123 p.352 There is no proof that we forget things - only that we can't recall
12[35] p.428 Our inclinations would not conflict if we were a unity; we imagine unity for our multiplicity
12[38] p.428 The sublimity of nature which dwarfs us was a human creation
12[43] p.367 Justice says people are not equal, and should become increasingly unequal
12[86] p.436 I tell the truth, even if it is repulsive
13[19] p.463 We can aspire to greatness by creating new functions for ourselves
14[03] p.429 We need lower and higher drives, but they must be under firm control
15[11] p.478 Humans are vividly aware of short-term effects, and almost ignorant of the long-term ones
15[41] p.488 Our growth is too subtle to perceive, and long events are too slow for us to grasp
16[17] p.455 Do away with punishment. Counter-retribution is as bad as the crime
20[02] p.532 The eternal return of wastefulness is a terrible thought
22[01] p.547 Great orators lead their arguments, rather than following them
24[14] p.590 Life is forces conjoined by nutrition, to produce resistance, arrangement and value
24[28] p.599 My eternal recurrence is opposed to feeling fragmented and imperfect
3[296] p.75 The pragmatics of language is more comprehensible than the meaning
3[312] p.77 Reasons that justify punishment can also justify the crime
34[01] p.583 Greeks might see modern analysis of what is human as impious
4[207] p.148 We contain many minds, which fight for the 'I' of the mind
5[1]145 p.180 If you don't want war, remove your borders; but you set up borders because you want war
5[1]186 p.185 We always assign values, but we may not value those values
5[1]272 p.196 Thoughts are signs (just as words are)
5[18] p.199 You should not want too many virtues; one is enough
7[023] p.222 We don't create logic, time and space! The mind obeys laws because they are true
7[025] p.224 Drives make us feel non-feelings; Will is the effect of those feelings
7[030] p.225 Talk of 'utility' presupposes that what is useful to people has been defined
7[057] p.233 Once a drive controls the intellect, it rules, and sets the goals
7[077] p.240 Actions are just a release of force. They seize on something, which becomes the purpose
7[202] p.273 Actual morality is more complicated and subtle than theory (which gets paralysed)
7[241] p.283 Some things we would never do, even for the highest ideals
7[260] p.286 Happiness is the active equilibrium of our drives
9[41] p.318 To think about being we must have an opinion about what it is
9[43] p.319 Our motives don't explain our actions
9[48] p.322 The pain in truth is when it destroys a belief
1882 The Gay (Joyful) Science
p.35 You cannot advocate joyful wisdom while rejecting pity, because the two are complementary [Scruton]
p.73 Nietzsche's perspectivism says our worldview depends on our personality [Fogelin]
§001 p.75 The ethical teacher exists to give purpose to what happens necessarily and without purpose
§021 p.92 Many virtues are harmful traps, but that is why other people praise them
§042 p.108 To ward off boredom at any cost is vulgar
§110 p.169 The strength of knowledge is not its truth, but its entrenchment in our culture
§116 p.123 A morality ranks human drives and actions, for the sake of the herd, and subordinating individuals
§121 p.177 We assume causes, geometry, motion, bodies etc to live, but they haven't been proved
§125 p.181 God is dead, and we have killed him
§205 p.151 Necessity is thought to require an event, but is only an after-effect of the event
§244 p.157 Thoughts cannot be fully reproduced in words
§283 p.167 The best life is the dangerous life
§290 p.170 We should give style to our character - by applying an artistic plan to its strengths and weaknesses
§301 p.241 Higher human beings see and hear far more than others, and do it more thoughtfully
§333 p.195 Most of our intellectual activity is unconscious
§335 p.263 'Know thyself' is impossible and ridiculous
§335 p.263 Why do you listen to the voice of your conscience?
§335 p.265 To see one's own judgement as a universal law is selfish
§335 p.265 No two actions are the same
§341 p.273 Imagine if before each of your actions you had to accept repeating the action over and over again
§342 p.192 Nietzsche says facing up to the eternal return of meaninglessness is the response to nihilism [Critchley]
§344 p.208 Is the will to truth the desire to avoid deception?
§345 p.146 Nietzsche thought it 'childish' to say morality isn't binding because it varies between cultures [Foot]
§354 p.297 All of our normal mental life could be conducted without consciousness
§354 p.297 Most of our lives, even the important parts, take place outside of consciousness
§354 p.298 Only the need for communication has led to consciousness developing
§354 p.299 Only our conscious thought is verbal, and this shows the origin of consciousness
§354 p.299 We became increasingly conscious of our sense impressions in order to communicate them
§354 p.299 Whatever moves into consciousness becomes thereby much more superficial
§354 p.300 We have no organ for knowledge or truth; we only 'know' what is useful to the human herd
§354 p.300 Grammar only reveals popular metaphysics
§357 p.306 We Germans value becoming and development more highly than mere being of what 'is'
§374 p.252 It would be absurd to say we are only permitted our own single perspective
1884 Unpublished Notebooks 1884-85
25[013] p.8 We now have innumerable perspectives to draw on
25[017] p.10 Aristotle enjoyed the sham generalities of a system, as the peak of happiness!
25[021] p.11 We contain multitudes of characters, which can brought into the open
25[119] p.36 Judging actions by intentions - like judging painters by their thoughts!
25[127] p.38 After history following God, or a people, or an idea, we now see it in terms of animals
25[168] p.49 We start with images, then words, and then concepts, to which emotions attach
25[168] p.49 An affirmative belief is present in every basic sense impression
25[185] p.54 There is no 'being'; it is just the opposition to nothingness
25[208] p.58 After Socrates virtue is misunderstood, as good for all, not for individuals
25[214] p.60 I have perfected fatalism, as recurrence and denial of the will
25[225] p.62 There is always slavery, whether we like it or not
25[287] p.74 Egoism should not assume that all egos are equal
25[290] p.74 Who can endure the thought of eternal recurrence?
25[307] p.78 Strongly believed a priori is not certain; it may just be a feature of our existence
25[307] p.78 Mathematics is just accurate inferences from definitions, and doesn't involve objects
25[363] p.95 A 'person' is just one possible abstraction from a bundle of qualities
25[371] p.96 Cause and effect is a hypothesis, based on our supposed willing of actions
25[406] p.105 Having a sense of time presupposes absolute time
25[435] p.113 What matters is how humans can be developed
25[449] p.118 Thinkers might agree some provisional truths, as methodological assumptions
26[018] p.139 A cognitive mechanism wanting to know itself is absurd!
26[061] p.148 Mind is a mechanism of abstraction and simplification, aimed at control
26[064] p.149 All the major problems were formulated before Socrates
26[092] p.157 Thoughts are uncertain, and are just occasions for interpretation
26[117] p.164 If you love something, it is connected with everything, so all must be affirmed as good
26[119] p.165 Values need a perspective, of preserving some aspect of life
26[156] p.173 We can only understand through concepts, which subsume particulars in generalities
26[352] p.223 I only want thinking that is anchored in body, senses and earth
26[442] p.248 Fate is inspiring, if you understand you are part of it
27[030] p.263 Humans are determined by community, so its preservation is their most valued drive
29[054] p.322 If you want one experience repeated, you must want all of them
1884 Thus Spake Zarathustra
1.01 p.42 The greatest experience possible is contempt for your own happiness, reason and virtue
1.01 p.46 People now find both wealth and poverty too much of a burden
1.04 p.60 Heaven was invented by the sick and the dying
1.05 p.62 Forget the word 'I'; 'I' is performed by the intelligence of your body
1.05 p.62 But what is the reasoning of the body, that it requires the wisdom you seek?
1.07 p.64 Virtues can destroy one another, through jealousy
1.08 p.68 I can only believe in a God who can dance
1.09 p.71 The noble man wants new virtues; the good man preserves what is old
1.12 p.75 The state coldly claims that it is the people, but that is a lie
1.15 p.82 If you want friends, you must be a fighter
1.16 p.84 An enduring people needs its own individual values
1.16 p.85 We created meanings, to maintain ourselves
2.02 p.110 Not being a god is insupportable, so there are no gods!
2.20 p.161 The will is constantly frustrated by the past
2.20 p.162 Whenever we have seen suffering, we have wanted the revenge of punishment
3.03 p.181 We only really love children and work
3.10.2 p.207 Man and woman are deeply strange to one another!
3.12.23 p.228 Reject wisdom that lacks laughter
4.09 p.285 Saints want to live as they desire, or not to live at all
4.13.9 p.301 To love truth, you must know how to lie
4.18.2 p.325 We don't want heaven; now that we are men, we want the kingdom of earth
4.20 p.336 I want my work, not happiness!
I.4 p.76 The powerful self behind your thoughts and feelings is your body
1885 Works (refs to 8 vol Colli and Montinari)
p.6 Nietzsche thinks philosophy makes us more profound, but not better [Ansell Pearson]
p.6 Each person has a fixed constitution, which makes them a particular type of person [Leiter]
p.9 Initially nihilism was cosmic, but later Nietzsche saw it as a cultural matter [Ansell Pearson]
p.11 Nietzsche has a metaphysics, as well as perspectives - the ontology is the perspectives [Richardson]
p.21 The superman is a monstrous oddity, not a serious idea [MacIntyre]
p.49 Nietzsche was fascinated by a will that can turn against itself [Safranski]
p.52 How many mediocre thinkers are occupied with influential problems!
p.93 Nietzsche's higher type of man is much more important than the idealised 'superman' [Leiter]
p.104 Nietzsche urges that nihilism be active, and will nothing itself [Zizek]
p.115 Nietzsche could only revalue human values for a different species [Foot]
p.155 Moral generalisation is wrong, because we should evaluate individual acts [Foot]
p.157 Nietzsche thought our psychology means there can't be universal human virtues [Foot]
p.163 Nietzsche thinks we should join a society, in order to criticise, heal and renew it [Richardson]
01 p.27 Nietzsche tried to lead a thought-provoking life [Safranski]
1 p.20 The 'will to power' is basically applied to drives and forces, not to people [Richardson]
1.145 p.86 Every culture loses its identity and power if it lacks a major myth
10/7[98] p.122 Individual development is more important than the state, but a community is necessary
2.122 p.46 Storms are wonderful expressions of free powers!
6.37 p.204 Friendly chats undermine my philosophy; wanting to be right at the expense of love is folly
7 p.104 Nietzsche failed to see that moral actions can be voluntary without free will [Foot]
7 p.110 Nietzsche classified actions by the nature of the agent, not the nature of the act [Foot]
8.432 p.23 Flight from boredom leads to art
9.496,503 p.231 Reliving life countless times - this gives the value back to life which religion took away
9.525 p.227 First see nature as non-human, then fit ourselves into this view of nature
9/11[243] p.243 Reason is just another organic drive, developing late, and fighting for equality
p.51 p.231 We begin with concepts of kinds, from individuals; but that is not the essence of individuals
1886 Beyond Good and Evil
p.37 Nietzsche's judgement of actions by psychology instead of outcome was poisonous [Foot]
p.78 The freedom of the subject means the collapse of moral certainty [Critchley]
p.84 Nietzsche resists nihilism through new values, for a world of becoming, without worship [Critchley]
p.92 Metaphysics divided the old unified Greek world into two [Critchley]
p.261 Nietzsche thinks the human condition is to overcome and remake itself [Ansell Pearson]
Pref p.-7 Nietzsche felt that Plato's views downgraded the human body and its brevity of life [Roochnik]
Pref p.14 Christianity is Platonism for the people
Pref p.14 The most boring and dangerous of all errors is Plato's invention of pure spirit and goodness
§001 p.15 Why do we want truth, rather than falsehood or ignorance? The value of truth is a problem
§004 p.17 We shouldn't object to a false judgement, if it enhances and preserves life
§006 p.19 Great philosophies are confessions by the author, growing out of moral intentions
§006 p.20 The ranking of a person's innermost drives reveals their true nature
§009 p.20 Nature is totally indifferent, so you should try to be different from it, not live by it
§017 p.28 A thought comes when 'it' wants, not when 'I' want
§021 p.32 Wanting 'freedom of will' is wanting to pull oneself into existence out of the swamp of nothingness by one's own hair
§023 p.36 It is psychology which reveals the basic problems
§032 p.44 In the earliest phase of human history only consequences mattered
§056 p.64 The great person engages wholly with life, and is happy to endlessly relive the life they created
§062 p.69 Man is the animal whose nature has not yet been fixed
§153 p.85 That which is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil
§157 p.85 The thought of suicide is a great reassurance on bad nights
§186 p.91 Morality becomes a problem when we compare many moralities
§187 p.92 The idea of the categorical imperative is just that we should all be very obedient
§192 p.97 We see an approximation of a tree, not the full detail
§198 p.101 Moralities extravagantly address themselves to 'all', by falsely generalising
§201 p.104 In ancient Rome pity was considered neither good nor bad
§203 p.88 Democracy diminishes mankind, making them mediocre and lowering their value
§203 p.109 The greatest possibilities in man are still unexhausted
§228 p.138 Virtue has been greatly harmed by the boringness of its advocates
§257 p.173 Only aristocratic societies can elevate the human species
§258 p.174 A healthy aristocracy has no qualms about using multitudes of men as instruments
§260 p.176 Morality originally judged people, and actions only later on
§260 p.176 Noble people see themselves as the determiners of values
§261 p.178 The morality of slaves is the morality of utility
§284 p.195 The four virtues are courage, insight, sympathy, solitude
§287 p.196 The noble soul has reverence for itself
1886 Unpublished Notebooks 1885-86
1[056] p.274 Caesar and Napoleon point to the future, when they pursue their task regardless of human sacrifice
1[058] p.275 Each of our personal drives has its own perspective
1[114] p.286 That all events are necessary does not mean they are compelled
1[115] p.287 Events are just interpretations of groups of appearances
1[120] p.287 A text has many interpretations, but no 'correct' one
2[063] p.332 The greatest drive of life is to discharge strength, rather than preservation
2[101] p.352 For the strongest people, nihilism gives you wings!
34[025] p.6 Different abilities are needed for living in an incomplete and undogmatic system
34[046] p.11 The mind is a simplifying apparatus
34[058] p.15 Numbers enable us to manage the world - to the limits of counting
34[063] p.15 Whatever their origin, concepts survive by being useful
34[083] p.21 Bad writers use shapeless floating splotches of concepts
34[086] p.23 Concepts are rough groups of simultaneous sensations
34[087] p.24 Consciousness is our awareness of our own mental life
34[131] p.37 Concepts don’t match one thing, but many things a little bit
34[131] p.37 Minds have an excluding drive to scare things off, and a selecting one to filter facts
34[131] p.38 Napoleon was very focused, and rightly ignored compassion
34[203] p.60 People feel united as a nation by one language, but then want a common ancestry and history
34[247] p.73 Laws of nature are actually formulas of power relations
34[249] p.73 Logic is a fiction, which invents the view that one thought causes another
34[249] p.74 Memory is essential, and is only possible by means of abbreviation signs
34[51] p.2 In chemistry every substance pushes, and thus creates new substances
35[02] p.80 Aesthetics can be more basic than morality, in our pleasure in certain patterns of experience
35[05] p.81 What is the search for truth if it isn't moral?
35[22] p.87 The controlling morality of aristocracy is the desire to resemble their ancestors
35[35] p.94 The 'I' does not think; it is a construction of thinking, like other useful abstractions
37[02] p.139 Like all philosophers, I love truth
37[08] p.143 The great question is approaching, of how to govern the earth as a whole
37[11] p.148 To be someone you need property, and wanting more is healthy
38[01] p.155 Thought starts as ambiguity, in need of interpretation and narrowing
40[09] p.187 Schematic minds think thoughts are truer if they slot into a scheme
40[53] p.208 Appearance is the sole reality of things, to which all predicates refer
1887 On the Genealogy of Morals
Pre f§3 p.46 We must question the very value of moral values
Pref §5 p.19 Plato, Spinoza and Kant are very different, but united in their low estimation of pity
I p.194 Nietzsche rejects impersonal morality, and asserts the idea of living well [Nagel]
I.§01 p.11 Psychologists should be brave and proud, and prefer truth to desires, even when it is ugly
I.§02 p.25 The concept of 'good' was created by aristocrats to describe their own actions
I.§02 p.26 Only the decline of aristocratic morality led to concerns about "egoism"
I.§07 p.33 The truly great haters in world history have always been priests
I.§10 p.22 A strong rounded person soon forgets enemies, misfortunes, and even misdeeds
I.§12 p.25 Modern nihilism is now feeling tired of mankind
I.§13 p.26 If we say birds of prey could become lambs, that makes them responsible for being birds of prey
I.§13 p.45 It is a delusion to separate the man from the deed, like the flash from the lightning
I.§17 note p.56 The main aim of philosophy must be to determine the order of rank among values
II.§01 p.35 Forgetfulness is a strong positive ability, not mental laziness
II.§07 p.69 Philosophers invented "free will" so that our virtues would be permanently interesting to the gods
II.§08 p.70 Guilt and obligation originated in the relationship of buying and selling, credit and debt
II.§08 p.70 Basic justice is the negotiation of agreement among equals, and the imposition of agreement
II.§13 p.80 Only that which has no history is definable
II.§14 p.54 Punishment makes people harder, more alienated, and hostile
II.§17 p.86 The state begins with brutal conquest of a disorganised people, not with a 'contract'
II.§17 p.86 A masterful and violent person need have nothing to do with contracts
II.§19 p.60 Old tribes always felt an obligation to the earlier generations, and the founders
III.§07 p.107 All animals strive for the ideal conditions to express their power, and hate any hindrances
III.§08 p.110 People who think in words are orators rather than thinkers, and think about facts instead of thinking facts
III.§12 p.87 Objectivity is not disinterestedness (impossible), but the ability to switch perspectives
III.§12 p.119 There is only 'perspective' seeing and knowing, and so the best objectivity is multiple points of view
III.§24 p.151 Scientific knowledge is nothing without a prior philosophical 'faith'
III.§24 p.152 Philosophers have never asked why there is a will to truth in the first place
1887 Writings from Late Notebooks
01[114] p.62 Comprehending everything is impossible, because it abolishes perspectives
01[21] p.55 Values are innate and inherited
01[87] p.61 The 'I' is a conceptual synthesis, not the governor of our being
02[103] p.78 We think each thought causes the next, unaware of the hidden struggle beneath
02[107] p.79 Morality kills religion, because a Christian-moral God is unbelievable
02[110] p.82 The only happiness is happiness with illusion
02[13] p.68 By developing herd virtues man fixes what has up to now been the 'unfixed animal'
02[13] p.69 Courage, compassion, insight, solitude are the virtues, with courtesy a necessary vice
02[144] p.89 Christian belief is kept alive because it is soothing - the proof based on pleasure
02[150] p.90 The essence of a thing is only an opinion about the 'thing'
02[165] p.93 Morality can only be upheld by belief in God and a 'hereafter'
02[165] p.94 Morality is merely interpretations, which are extra-moral in origin
02[206] p.99 Not feeling harnessed to a system of 'ends' is a wonderful feeling of freedom
02[68] p.71 With protoplasm ½+½=2, so the soul is not an indivisible monad
02[87] p.76 We can't use our own self to criticise our own capacity for knowledge!
02[87] p.76 We can't be realists, because we don't know what being is
02[95] p.78 Consciousness exists to the extent that consciousness is useful
02[95] p.78 Sense perceptions contain values (useful, so pleasant)
04[7] p.103 Virtue is wasteful, as it reduces us all to being one another's nurse
04[8] p.104 Man is above all a judging animal
05[12] p.107 Is the perspectival part of the essence, or just a relation between beings?
05[14] p.108 'Wisdom' attempts to get beyond perspectives, making it hostile to life
05[22] p.110 Rationality is a scheme we cannot cast away
05[3] p.106 Words such as 'I' and 'do' and 'done to' are placed at the point where our ignorance begins
05[7] p.106 Modest people express happiness as 'Not bad'
05[71].6 p.118 Existence without meaning or goal or end, eternally recurring, is a terrible thought
05[82] p.121 Rights arise out of contracts, which need a balance of power
06[11] p.124 Categories are not metaphysical truths, but inventions in the service of needs
06[13] p.124 Philosophers find it particularly hard to shake off belief in necessary categories
07[1] p.128 'Purpose' is like the sun, where most heat is wasted, and a tiny part has 'purpose'
07[25] p.134 Survival might undermine an individual's value, or prevent its evolution
07[25] p.134 The utility of an organ does not explain its origin, on the contrary!
07[25] p.135 Darwin overestimates the influence of 'external circumstances'
07[48] p.137 Pain shows the value of the damage, not what has been damaged
07[6] p.132 Virtues from outside are dangerous, and they should come from within
07[60] p.139 'Perspectivism': the world has no meaning, but various interpretations give it countless meanings
07[60] p.139 'Subjectivity' is an interpretation, since subjects (and interpreters) are fictions
09[106] p.161 Maybe there are only subjects, and 'objects' result from relations between subjects
09[27] p.146 Replace the categorical imperative by the natural imperative
09[38] p.148 There are no necessary truths, but something must be held to be true
09[97] p.158 Logic tries to understand the world according to a man-made scheme
10[109] p.193 Virtue for everyone removes its charm of being exceptional and aristocratic
10[167] p.203 Experiencing a thing as beautiful is to experience it wrongly
10[23] p.181 Our values express an earlier era's conditions for survival and growth
10[87] p.188 What does not kill us makes us stronger
10[90] p.189 Remove goodness and wisdom from our concept of God. Being the highest power is enough!
11[122] p.224 It is dishonest to invent a being containing our greatest values, thus ignoring why they exist and are valuable
11[122] p.225 A combination of great power and goodness would mean the disastrous abolition of evil
11[122] p.225 Knowledge, wisdom and goodness only have value relative to a goal
11[153] p.231 In heaven all the interesting men are missing
11[407] p.239 The upholding of the military state is needed to maintain the strong human type
11[72] p.211 If the world aimed at an end, it would have reached it by now
11[72] p.212 Pessimism is laughable, because the world cannot be evaluated
11[75] p.213 Pleasure needs dissatisfaction, boundaries and resistances
11[99] p.219 Nihilism results from measuring the world by our categories which are purely invented
14[219] p.266 There is no will; weakness of will is splitting of impulses, strong will is coordination under one impulse
14[5] p.241 Altruism is praised by the egoism of the weak, who want everyone to be looked after
14[79] p.245 Things are strong or weak, and do not behave regularly or according to rules or compulsions
14[79] p.246 Counting needs unities, but that doesn't mean they exist; we borrowed it from the concept of 'I'
14[89] p.249 Paganism is a form of thanking and affirming life?
34[195] p.12 Philosophers should create and fight for their concepts, not just clean and clarify them
34[230] p.14 There are different eyes, so different 'truths', so there is no truth
34[247] p.14 Something can be irrefutable; that doesn't make it true
34[250] p.16 'Freedom of will' is the feeling of having a dominating force
34[30] p.1 Perception is unconscious, and we are only conscious of processed perceptions
34[46] p.2 Unity is not in the conscious 'I', but in the organism, which uses the self as a tool
34[46] p.2 The intellect and senses are a simplifying apparatus
35[24] p.19 Is a 'philosopher' now impossible, because knowledge is too vast for an overview?
35[35] p.20 The 'I' is a fiction used to make the world of becoming 'knowable'
35[52] p.21 Explanation is just showing the succession of things ever more clearly
36[18] p.24 Chemical 'laws' are merely the establishment of power relations between weaker and stronger
36[20] p.25 A living being is totally 'egoistic'
36[264] p.16 Morality is a system of values which accompanies a being's life
36[31] p.26 All motions and 'laws' are symptoms of inner events, traceable to the will to power
37[4] p.29 Consciousness is a 'tool' - just as the stomach is a tool
40[13] p.42 Logic is not driven by truth, but desire for a simple single viewpoint
40[13] p.42 Logic must falsely assume that identical cases exist
40[15] p.43 Belief in the body is better established than belief in the mind
1888 The Will to Power (notebooks)
p.193 True beliefs are those which augment one's power [Scruton]
§015 p.14 Every belief is a considering-something-true
§015 p.14 The extreme view is there are only perspectives, no true beliefs, because there is no true world
§017 p.15 A note for asses: What convinces is not necessarily true - it is merely convincing
§018 p.16 Those who have abandoned God cling that much more firmly to the faith in morality
§020 p.16 If faith is lost, people seek other authorities, in order to avoid the risk of willing personal goals
§053 p.33 In modern society virtue is 'equal rights', but only because everyone is zero, so it is a sum of zeroes
§066 p.43 Be natural! But how, if one happens to be "unnatural"?
§015 p.10 Truth was given value by morality, but eventually turned against its own source
§120 p.73 Not "return to nature", for there has never yet been a natural humanity
§121 p.75 The high points of culture and civilization do not coincide
§12B p.13 Nihilism results from valuing the world by the 'categories of reason', because that is fiction
§141 p.90 'Conscience' is invented to value actions by intention and conformity to 'law', rather than consequences
§141 p.91 The concept of 'God' represents a turning away from life, and a critique of life
§204 p.120 'Love your enemy' is unnatural, for the natural law says 'love your neighbour and hate your enemy'
§207 p.123 Primitive Christianity is abolition of the state; it is opposed to defence, justice, patriotism and class
§222 p.129 It is a sign of degeneration when eudaimonistic values begin to prevail
§238 p.291 The nature of being, of things, is much easier to understand than is becoming
§253 p.147 Morality cannot survive when the God who sanctions it is missing
§253 p.147 Utilitarianism criticises the origins of morality, but still believes in it as much as Christians
§259 p.149 All evaluation is from some perspective, and aims at survival
§259 p.150 The wisest man is full of contradictions, and attuned to other people, with occasional harmony
§260 p.150 Morality used to be for preservation, but now we can only experiment, giving ourselves moral goals
§269 p.153 How can it be that I should prefer my neighbour to myself, but he should prefer me to himself?
§274 p.156 There is a conspiracy (a will to power) to make morality dominate other values, like knowledge and art
§275 p.157 The categorical imperative needs either God behind it, or a metaphysic of the unity of reason
§279 p.158 The truth is what gives us the minimum of spiritual effort, and avoids the exhaustion of lying
§280 p.159 The instinct of the herd, the majority, aims for the mean, in the middle
§291 p.164 Utilitarians prefer consequences because intentions are unknowable - but so are consequences!
§310 p.172 A path to power: to introduce a new virtue under the name of an old one
§313 p.173 We would avoid a person who always needed reasons for remaining decent
§318 p.176 Virtue is pursued from self-interest and prudence, and reduces people to non-entities
§319 p.176 Virtuous people are inferior because they are not 'persons', but conform to a fixed pattern
§345 p.189 The basic tendency of the weak has always been to pull down the strong, using morality
§356 p.195 Modesty, industriousness, benevolence and temperance are the virtues of a good slave
§358 p.196 Many virtues are merely restraints on the most creative qualities of a human being
§362 p.197 Egoism is inescapable, and when it grows weak, the power of love also grows weak
§364 p.198 The question about egoism is: what kind of ego? since not all egos are equal
§370 p.199 The ego is only a fiction, and doesn't exist at all
§387 p.208 Passions are ranked, as if they are non-rational and animal pleasure seeking
§387 p.208 We fail to see that reason is a network of passions, and every passion contains some reason
§420 p.226 I don't want to persuade anyone to be a philosopher; they should be rare plants
§428 p.232 None of the ancients had the courage to deny morality by denying free will
§431 p.235 What can be 'demonstrated' is of little worth
§478 p.265 Consciousness is a terminal phenomenon, and causes nothing
§481 p.267 There are no facts in themselves, only interpretations
§490 p.270 Perhaps we are not single subjects, but a multiplicity of 'cells', interacting to create thought
§497 p.273 For me, a priori 'truths' are just provisional assumptions
§505 p.275 All sense perceptions are permeated with value judgements (useful or harmful)
§515 p.278 Reason is a mere idiosyncrasy of a certain species of animal
§516 p.279 Our inability to both affirm and deny a single thing is merely an inability, not a 'necessity'
§516 p.280 Logic and maths refer to fictitious entities which we have created
§516 p.280 We can have two opposite sensations, like hard and soft, at the same time
§517 p.280 'Truth' is the will to be master over the multiplicity of sensations
§521 p.282 A 'species' is a stable phase of evolution, implying the false notion that evolution has a goal
§529 p.286 It is a major blunder to think of consciousness as a unity, and hence as an entity, a thing
§530 p.286 We can't know whether there is knowledge if we don't know what it is
§530 p.287 Judgements can't be true and known in isolation; the only surety is in connections and relations
§530 p.288 The forms of 'knowledge' about logic which precede experience are actually regulations of belief
§536 p.291 Everything simple is merely imaginary
§551 p.296 Science has taken the meaning out of causation; cause and effect are two equal sides of an equation
§556 p.301 There are no 'facts-in-themselves', since a sense must be projected into them to make them 'facts'
§557 p.302 A thing has no properties if it has no effect on other 'things'
§560 p.303 Could not the objective character of things be merely a difference of degree within the subjective?
§562 p.303 We realise that properties are sensations of the feeling subject, not part of the thing
§574 p.309 Only because there is thought is there untruth
§575 p.316 Great self-examination is to become conscious of oneself not as an individual, but as mankind
§579 p.311 Pleasure and pain are mere epiphenomena, and achievement requires that one desire both
§635 p.338 We need 'unities' for reckoning, but that does not mean they exist
§635 p.338 We saw unity in things because our ego seemed unified (but now we doubt the ego!)
§667 p.352 We derive the popular belief in cause and effect from our belief that our free will causes things
§668 p.353 There is no such things a pure 'willing' on its own; the aim must always be part of it
§671 p.354 The concept of the 'will' is just a false simplification by our understanding
§677 p.359 The ruling drives of our culture all want to be the highest court of our values
§705 p.375 The great error is to think that happiness derives from virtue, which in turn derives from free will
§751 p.397 The supposed great lovers of honour (Alexander etc) were actually great despisers of honour
§759 p.399 We have no more right to 'happiness' than worms
§784 p.412 When powerless one desires freedom; if power is too weak, one desires equal power ('justice')
§925 p.488 The Golden Rule prohibits harmful actions, with the premise that actions will be requited
§962 (1885) p.505 There is an extended logic to a great man's life, achieved by a sustained will
§966 p.507 The highest man can endure and control the greatest combination of powerful drives
§999 p.519 The highest man directs the values of the highest natures over millenia
1889 The Anti-Christ
§11 p.121 Virtues must be highly personal; if not, it is merely respect for a concept
05 p.117 Christianity is at war with the higher type of man, and excommunicates his basic instincts
11 p.122 Each person should devise his own virtues and categorical imperative
43 p.155 The great lie of immortality destroys rationality and natural instinct
43 p.157 Christianity is a revolt of things crawling on the ground against elevated things
48 p.163 The story in Genesis is the story of God's fear of science
50 p.167 Truth has had to be fought for, and normal life must be sacrificed to achieve it
52 p.169 'Faith' means not wanting to know what is true
52 p.170 A God who cures us of a head cold at the right moment is a total absurdity
55 p.174 Philosophy grasps the limits of human reason, and values are beyond it
58 p.181 All intelligent Romans were Epicureans
Fore p.114 One must never ask whether truth is useful
1889 Ecce Homo
3.1 p.21 I am not an atheist because of reasoning or evidence, but because of instinct
4.5 p.45 The distinction between egoistic and non-egoistic acts is absurd
Clever §1 p.236 A bad result distorts one's judgement about the virtue of what one has done
Fore p.6 One repays a teacher badly if one remains only a pupil
II.9 p.68 To become what you are you must have no self-awareness
III.Z-1? p.119 Eternal recurrence is the highest attainable affirmation
Wise §4 p.228 The overcoming of pity I count among the noble virtues
Wise §7 p.232 A warlike philosopher challenges problems to single combat
1889 Twilight of the Idols
Maxim 08 p.23 Military idea: what does not kill me makes me stronger
Maxim 12 p.23 Only the English actually strive after happiness
Maxim 26 p.25 Wanting a system in philosophy is a lack of integrity
Maxim 33 p.26 Without music life would be a mistake
1.01 p.29 In every age the wisest people have judged life to be worthless
1.02 p.30 The value of life cannot be estimated
1.02 p.30 A philosopher fails in wisdom if he thinks the value of life is a problem
1.02 p.30 Value judgements about life can never be true
1.04 p.31 I want to understand the Socratic idea that 'reason equals virtue equals happiness'
1.05 p.31 With dialectics the rabble gets on top
1.05 p.31 Anything which must first be proved is of little value
1.10 p.33 The fanatical rationality of Greek philosophy shows that they were in a state of emergency
2.1 p.36 The evidence of the senses is falsified by reason
2.2 p.36 I revere Heraclitus
2.4 p.37 The supreme general but empty concepts must be compatible, and hence we get 'God'
2.4 p.37 The 'highest' concepts are the most general and empty concepts
2.4 p.37 Philosophers hate values having an origin, and want values to be self-sufficient
2.5 p.38 The big error is to think the will is a faculty producing effects; in fact, it is just a word
2.5 p.38 In language we treat 'ego' as a substance, and it is thus that we create the concept 'thing'
2.5 p.38 We get the concept of 'being' from the concept of the 'ego'
2.6 p.39 The 'real being' of things is a nothingness constructed from contradictions in the actual world
2.6 p.39 The grounds for an assertion that the world is only apparent actually establish its reality
2.6 p.39 People who disparage actual life avenge themselves by imagining a better one
4.1 p.42 How could the Church intelligently fight against passion if it preferred poorness of spirit to intelligence?
4.3 p.43 Love is the spiritualisation of sensuality
4.3 p.44 To renounce war is to renounce the grand life
4.4 p.45 Healthy morality is dominated by an instinct for life
4.5 p.45 When we establish values, that is life itself establishing them, through us
4.5 p.45 To evaluate life one must know it, but also be situated outside of it
5.2 p.48 A good human will be virtuous because they are happy
5.5 p.51 Any explanation will be accepted as true if it gives pleasure and a feeling of power
5.7 p.53 The doctrine of free will has been invented essentially in order to blame and punish people
5.8 p.54 By denying God we deny human accountability, and thus we redeem the world
5.8 p.54 'Purpose' is just a human fiction
6.1 p.55 There are no moral facts, and moralists believe in realities which do not exist
6.3 p.73 The 'motive' is superficial, and may even hide the antecedents of a deed
7.5 p.63 There is a need for educators who are themselves educated
7.7 p.65 Thinking has to be learned in the way dancing has to be learned
8.05 p.70 Christians believe that only God can know what is good for man
8.19 p.78 The beautiful never stands alone; it derives from man's pleasure in man
8.33 p.86 There are no 'individual' persons; we are each the sum of humanity up to this moment
8.35 p.87 A wholly altruistic morality, with no egoism, is a thoroughly bad thing
8.36 p.88 Invalids are parasites
8.36 p.88 Sometimes it is an error to have been born - but we can rectify it
8.37 p.91 Judging by the positive forces, the Renaissance was the last great age
8.39 p.93 The creation of institutions needs a determination which is necessarily anti-liberal
8.39 p.93 Democracy is organisational power in decline
8.48 p.102 True justice is equality for equals and inequality for unequals
9.2 p.106 Thucydides was the perfect anti-platonist sophist