Try find the Kaufmann translation. It's the most rigorous and philosophical treatment of Nietzsche on this list, but rewards the reader with deep excavations and interpretations of his thinking. If somebody has not had much exposure to philosophy, then it might be best to start with the Safranski biography before going to the primary texts. I had actually become interested in philosophy from reading Sartre as a high school student in French classes. Published shortly after Beyond Good & Evil in 1887, On the Genealogy of Morals is arguably Nietzsche's masterpiece. It was a very precise moment. John Kaag's beautifully written 2018 book Hiking with Nietzsche combines Kaag's personal philosophical journey with Nietzsche's. Considered by Nietzsche himself to be his magnum opus, Thus Spoke Zarathustra lightheartedly imitates the New Testament in style, and chronicles the fictitious travels of a prophet named Zarathustra, who descends from solitude in the mountains (the parallels here to Nietzsche's own life are not, some scholars suspect, accidental) to tell the world that God is dead, but that we shouldn't worry: humanity can become the divine successor, if only we let go of piety and restraint and embrace passion, chaos, and freedom. In it, Nietzsche develops and explains ideas only cryptically explored in earlier works, laying out his thoughts in an accessible, highly readable tripartite essay form. Silk and Stern's 1981 book "Nietzsche on Tragedy" is (as far as I can tell) still the best book on the subject. So how did you first become interested in him? In his 1886 work Beyond Good & Evil, Nietzsche attempts to sum up his own philosophy — making it an ideal starting point for those looking to delve into Nietzsche's actual writings. Writing with his trademark flair, sharpness, and sheer profundity, Nietzsche explores themes recurrent throughout his work: the origins and nature of morality, the failures and dangers of objective thinking, as well as how we can overcome mediocrity and suffering and become who we truly are. As an undergraduate I was taking a course called “Kant to 1900” with Richard Rorty at Princeton University, and the course included a couple of weeks on Nietzsche. Kaag retreads the very same steps Nietzsche took through the Swiss peaks above Sils Maria where he thought up many of his ideas, intimately reflecting on how Nietzsche's philosophy relates to us in the twenty-first century, and exploring the key drivers and consequences of his thinking. So on that Sunday I began reading the Nietzsche assignment – it was actually a very early essay that Nietzsche never published, called “On Truth and Lies in an Extra Moral Sense”. I Am Dynamite! All have been said of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, some with more reason than others. So what were Nietzsche’s views, exactly? Bite-size philosophy articles designed to spark your curiosity. Elisabeth warped Nietzsche’s unfinished works into a bloodthirsty call to arms for nationalist Germany, which ultimately became the blueprint for Hitler and his 'superior' Aryan race. It contains a mix of both primary and secondary literature, for although Nietzsche’s words always make for a brilliantly entertaining read themselves, they are most powerful when contextualized by scholars whose life's work has been dedicated to understanding him. Curated reading lists on philosophy's best and most important works. In 2011, we asked Nietzsche expert Brian Leiter to explain the appeal of the controversial philosopher and to recommend books by and about him. This is the culmination of Nietzsche's thinking as prose, exploring goodness, 'evil', guilt, bad conscience, as well as ascetic ideals and the purpose of life. But if you wanted someone to patiently introduce you then Safranski is good on that score. This is the biography on Nietzsche we've been waiting for. Learn more about us here. Relativist, atheist, existentialist, Nazi. Focusing on morality but touching on related topics too, Nietzsche on Morality is a fantastic overview and critique for anyone interested in Nietzsche's philosophy. First you need to read Plato, and only after that study his student, Aristotle. This means if you purchase a book on Amazon from a link on here, we may earn a small percentage of its price, at no extra cost to you. What did you particularly like about him? He doesn’t teach us ‘what’ to think so much as ‘how’ — for, as he puts it in one of many famous aphorisms, “There are no facts, only interpretations.”. Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography – Rüdiger Safranski. This helps support Philosophy Break, and is very much appreciated. Unsubscribe any time. Nietzsche is one of your philosophical specialities. For a long time, therefore, Nietzsche’s ideas were synonymous with those of Nazism. I'd suggest Beyond Good and Evil first, especially since there's a mastery of styles in that book that might represent the best of Nietzsche's abilities. Try … The primary texts are certainly more fun and if you were to start with one of them, then Beyond Good and Evil would be a great choice, because it covers all the distinctive and important Nietzschean themes and as it’s broken into bite-size pieces you don’t get overwhelmed. Rather, he confronts a number of our assumptions about the world, particularly about morality and religion, in ferocious and sometimes hilarious fashion. I was very taken by it and from that moment on I became very interested in Nietzsche. The primary texts are certainly more fun and if you were to start with one of them, then Beyond Good and Evil would be a great choice, because it covers all the distinctive and important Nietzschean themes and as it’s broken into bite-size pieces you don’t get overwhelmed. Both an introduction to and a sustained commentary on Nietzsche's moral philosophy, Brian Leiter's 2002 book Nietzsche on Morality has become one of the most widely used and debated secondary sources on Nietzsche over the past two decades. Easter Sunday 1982. 1111 East 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois 60637 If On the Genealogy of Morals is the culmination of Nietzsche's thought as prose, then his 1885 philosophical novel Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the culmination of his thought as poetry. He’s considered among the most significant German philosophers and philologists. 12 Oct. Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Roecker, near Leipzig, in 1844, and died in Weimar in 1900. Even enjoying a resurgence in popularity, however, Nietzsche’s philosophy remains commonly misunderstood, misread, and misappropriated by those seeking to vindicate a worldview not unlike that of Nazism. Known and regularly quoted for his dazzling and often controversial turns of phrase, Nietzsche’s reputation in the English-speaking world is now arguably the highest it’s ever been, and his place in philosophy’s canon looks assured. Top 9 Best Friedrich Nietzsche Books of All Time Review 2020. Philosophy Break is a social enterprise dedicated to getting more people engaged with philosophy. It's very good intellectual history and gives a balanced assessment of Nietzsche's importance for classical scholarship. However, it wasn’t always this way: after suffering a mental breakdown in 1889, Nietzsche and his works came under the care of his sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, who was a bigoted anti-Semite. And that sense never left me – I still always enjoying reading and re-reading Nietzsche. 773.702.9494, Consumer Information (ABA Required Disclosures), Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence, Director of the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values, Brian Leiter Recommends the Best Books on Nietzsche. Winner … Maudemarie Clark's 1990 book Nietzsche on Truth and Philosophy treats Nietzsche like an actual philosopher — difficult to do with a thinker who resisted categorization so vehemently — engaging dialectically, argumentatively, and systematically with Nietzsche's views on truth, knowledge, and morality. The first of these can be summed up in the question: “Which book or books should I read first?” What is often lurking behind this question is a concern about “getting it right” when it comes to studying philosophy. At this point I was reading it in English but Walter Kaufman’s strength as a translator is that he captures the flavour of Nietzsche in English.

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