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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 - Nietzsche

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University of Ottawa
Sonia Sikka

Sept. 11, 2013 NIETZSCHE  Born in 1844; Lutheran upbringing; very strong religious sensibility, yet still a critic of Christianity; observe the significance of the Death of God (huge impact on knowledge, morality, etc.)  To be atheist would mean to be unshaken by the Death of God. The believers are those who would be largely impacted by this event.  Very solitary character; paranoid about succumbing to illness; became mad; catatonic for the last several years of his life  1864 – Accepted at the University of Bonn. Studying philology (the study of the Greek language, culture, and texts)  These studies would later affected his critique of modern systems of morality  Transferred in Leipzig where he studied classical philology; outstanding student  1868 – offered a professorship at the University of Basel (at the age of 24)  1872 – Published ‘The Birth of Tragedy’ – thesis that Greek tragedy is derived from the comparison between Apollonian and Dionysian themes.  Germans saw themselves as the inheritors of Greek logic, clarity, the beauty of well ordered forms  Succumbed to a variety of illnesses and retired in 1879  Writes in aphorisms (short works) due to his illnesses  Suffered a mental breakdown in 1889  Died in 1900  Adopted as a philosopher of the Nazi regime (anti-Semite); Nazi interpretations and Nazification of many of his works  His sister was to blame for the perversion of Nietzsche’s late works (Master-Slave Morality)  He rejected all involvement in politics; considered himself the only apolitical German  Will to Power – Thesis: every being seeks to enhance its own being  Critique of Christian morality  Rhetoric – heroism, hardness  Race – cultural, social, and political determinants of people’s psychologies and morality  Nihilism – the loss of belief in a God, the loss of certain values and what gives meaning to human life  He is often described as a nihilist, but certainly did
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