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History 1401E Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Social Darwinism, Whistle Rymes, Helen Zimmern

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Brock Millman
Study Guide

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Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, trans. By Helen Zimmern (New York: Boni and
Liveright, 1917), aphorisms 201, 203, 259, 260. [first published in German in 1886]
- German philosopher that rebelled against his own family’s Christianity
He describes the idea of morality and ethics
Morality as used to keep a safe and tamed environment and anything attempting to
disrupt that environment is seen as a threat (ex. Going against Christianity)
He mentions how people are supposed to be meek by Christianity, but he opposes
this idea. He doesn’t want restrictions on what people want to do. If someone has an
urge to do something to further themselves in society, they should do everything by
all means necessary to ensure they get what they want.
He worries that the minority of people who do have the potential to be great, will
never fully reach that potential due to the pressure of following the system and the
rest of the population who mindlessly go along with the rules set in place
These rules solely exist to discourage anyone from exerting their free will, thereby
keeping bold and ambitious free spirits in check
By limiting yourself to Christianity or democracy, people are lowering their sights, you
can’t limit yourself to the low goals of common life- need to think bigger in order to
achieve something greater
Herd morality results in the assumption that everyone is the same and that we should
all follow the same rules
He accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting
dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality; he disagrees with the modern
scholars of the time period
He believes that religion restricts Germans and Europeans
Emphasizes Darwinistic ideas- survival of fittest- not everyone should have right
To Whom?
This is directed to all of modern Europe and for other members of the elite
Who Cares?
This influenced fascism, and other groups
This also reflects our current society; people are still out for themselves
We should not give power to everyone (Social Darwinism // Survival of the fittest)
Encourages the population and philosophers to not confine themselves to mediocrity;
he hopes to bring about a new group of philosophers and scholars who will be more
free-spirited and willing to create their own meaning and values rather than follow
already defined/supported morals and ethics
Contrast with other views of the time- compare with Mills
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