18 Rare Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes to Make You Question …

Posted: November 25, 2017 at 5:41 pm


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Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most misinterpreted philosophers the world has ever seen.

His incomparable, fierce literary style and tenacious will to question allorthodox beliefs and institutionshave captivated and perplexed readers for over a century.

I hesitate to share a list of quotations from his work, knowing full well that without the proper context, it is easy to misapprehend the full meaning and significance of his words. However, Nietzsche is also one of the most quotable writers who ever lived, and I think it is worth providing a sampling of some of his less commonly cited quotations here for a couple of reasons.

For one, those familiar with Nietzsche will probably find something illuminatingin this collection that they would be unlikely to come across elsewhere online. And, for those unfamiliar, this collection will hopefully provide a fine appetizer of Nietzsches inimitable personality and paradigm-incineratingideas.

In either case, the hope is that this collection will inspire readers to seek out thebooksfrom which these quotes were taken, in order to gain a fuller understanding of Nietzsches profound view of the world. Most all of these quotes were found in my copy ofThe Portable Nietzsche(the Walter Kaufmann translation), which I cannot recommend enough.

Now, contemplateand enjoy these quotes, but be warned: Nietzsches work can be dense and challenging!Let your mental muscle exert itself and resist the temptation to hastily form final opinions of the meanings of these sentiments. Keep in mind that this is but a glimpse into the beautiful and complex philosophy of a man who cannot be pinned down in a single blog post.

These first two quotes showcase Nietzsches zeal for life, for cheer, for the ecstasy of artistic intoxication. This is a fitting place to begin, as it gives us a sense ofthe life-affirming essence of Nietzsches worldview: hissupreme distaste for things which he saw asdenyinglife, ordiminishingones ability to affirm life. You will note the recurrence of this theme ofopposition to all things life-denying in the remainder of this collection.

These two sentiments of Nietzsches were unpublished in his lifetime and are particularly interesting, as they suggest just how far Nietzsche was willing to go in terms of rejecting what he saw as life-denying structures. The first quote suggests that he came to see the individual ego as something to be overcome along the path to the realization and affirmation of oneself as inseparable from the transpersonal force of the entire cosmos. The latter seems to suggest that he viewed excessive nationalism as a fallacious and limiting attitude that was not in harmony with deeper spiritual or ethical compulsions.

The previous six quotes challenge our common conceptions of self-interest versus altruism. Nietzsche was obsessed with the idea that the people of his time unquestioningly assumed that pity and altruism arealwaysgood, when in fact the truth is much more complex.

Nietzsche thought excessive pity could cripple the subject who felt it, and that an altruistic attitude could actually be quite destructive, if one had the hubris to assume that one actuallyknewwhat was best for another person. Self-interest was often decried as sinful in his time, but Nietzsche felt that for the truly life-affirming individual, being self-interested in the sense of being true to ones deepest compulsions and truest values was precisely the best way to honor the spirit of life. Intriguingly, Nietzsche seems to have seen self-interest as a necessary phase on the path to eventual self-overcoming.

The above two quotes are indicative of Nietzsches sense that mankind was far too arrogant in assuming it was possible to gain any final knowledge or to make any ultimate value judgments about life. For Nietzsche, value and truth were always relative to the individual doing the supposing. He even went further still, questioning whether truth was valuable in the first place why not untruth?

The above two passages, which occur in close succession inThe Gay Science,reflect the fact that Nietzsche went as far as to question the value of truth-seeking as an activity. Man manages to live only because of immense self-deception, Nietzsche thought, so the act of seeking the capital-T truth might ultimately be another covert form of life-denial.

The final four quotes in this collection are miscellaneous, not connected by any apparent theme, except perhaps the theme of how to live in such a way so as to affirm life. I hope you will enjoy soaking in these final sentiments, and I thank you for taking the time to read this collection and to gain insight into the illustrious mind of Friedrich Nietzsche.

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18 Rare Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes to Make You Question ...

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November 25th, 2017 at 5:41 pm

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