The life and philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
Created | Updated Aug 4, 2002
Nietzsche was a notorious 19th century philosopher who's work is still being criticised and discussed today. There is much that is misunderstood about he man and his work, and both are too important to let the misconceptions alone.
Nietzsche was born in Rochen, Prussia on October 15, 1844 to a Protestant (Lutheran) pastor. He was made a professor of classical philosophy at the University of Basel before he recieved his doctorate, and he taught until his health failed in 1879. Nietzsche never married, but was close friends with the legendary german composer Wagner.
In 1889 Nietzsche's mental health began to fail him. On August 25, 1890 he died.
Nietzsche was the first great philosopher after Darwin published "his" theories of natural selection and evolution. Nietzsche took Darwin very seriously. He reasoned that, if humans evolved from apes and were not created in the image of God, then we are alone in the universe, and have no real purpose. He then set about trying to find the correct way to live without a God to tell him.
Nietzsche dsecribed the Christian morality as a "slave morality" that goes against human nature and tames man's spirit. When he wrote in Thus Spoke Zarathustra the infamous and often-quoted line "God is dead," he meant that the slave mentality would pass away, and so would ethics provided by God.
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