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social sciences

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Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844-1900)  
 
page: 1  2  

In his work, Nietzsche takes the perspective that life is "beyond good and evil," and challenges the traditionally moral idea that exploitation and domination of others are universally objectionable. Rather, he argues that living things naturally aim to express a "will to power." Rejecting the idea that there is a universal morality to which all human beings are subject, he finds different moralities appropriate for different kinds of people, depending on whether they are strong and overflowing with life or whether they are weak and on the decline.

Nietzsche had just finished writing his intellectual autobiography Ecce Homo (published 1908) in late 1888, when he suffered a complete mental and physical breakdown, collapsing in a street in Turin, Italy.

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He was brought back to Germany for treatment and lived with his sister for the rest of his life. Though he lived for ten more years, neither his mind nor his body ever recovered. His sister gained control over his work and used it selectively to support her own anti-Jewish, Aryan supremacist views.

There is still dissent among students of philosophy about whether Nietzsche's ideas of the Übermensch, or "superior man," who rises above society's restrictive morality, were actually founded on prejudice and racism or were misrepresented and misunderstood by his sister and, later, by Adolph Hitler himself. This controversy gives special poignancy to the last line of his biographical work, Ecce Homo: "Have I been understood?"

Tina Gianoulis

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    Bibliography
   

Cate, Curtis. Friedrich Nietzsche. New York: Overlook Press, 2005.

Danto, Arthur Coleman. Nietzsche as Philosopher. New York: Columbia University Press, 1965.

Dudley, Will. Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Oliver, Kelly, and Marilyn Pearsall, eds. Feminist Interpretations of Friedrich Nietzsche. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1998.

Pilz, Gerald. "Nietzsche, Friedrich." Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History: From Antiquity to World War II. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London: Routledge, 2001. 327-28.

Rothstein, Edward. "Is There a Gay Basis to Nietzsche's Ideas?" New York Times (July 6, 2002): B7.

Wicks, Robert. "Friedrich Nietzsche. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edward N. Zalta, ed. plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Gianoulis, Tina  
    Entry Title: Nietzsche, Friedrich  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated December 12, 2006  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/nietzsche_f.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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