Part 1: On the Prejudices of Philosophers
A. Truth: 1. Nietzsche asks what within us wants “truth,” and why not rather untruth. He says that exploring this problem involves the greatest possible risk. 2. “True” and “false” apply to sentences and propositions, not to things, wills or people. 3. Statements claiming truth are merely expressing a point of view. 4. No point of view can comprehend absolute truth. Instead, there only exist different perspectives. 5. Our interpretation of experience is based on the perspective which we choose, which is based on our moral assumptions and prejudices. Philosophers are attempting to justify their perspective of the world. B. Opposite values: 1. The fundamental faith of the metaphysicians is the faith of opposite values. 2. However, it is possible to doubt whether opposites actually exist. 3. The belief of opposite values is the belief that the world is divided into opposites, beginning with the opposition of truth and falsehood. He suggests that the relationship between so-called “opposites” is far more complex, in fact, that often our “truths” are born from our falsehoods. C. Instinct: 1. He asserts that most conscious thinking, including philosophy, is an instinctive activity. 2. While philosophers claim their objectivity, their instincts and prejudices generally guide their thoughts. 3. As the basis of the whole system of philosophy are these “truths” (“assumptions/inspirations”) and everything else is built upon them in an attempt to justify them. 4. He argues that very great philosophy has merely been “the personal confession of its author… a kind of unconscious memoir.” 5. He writes that for the philosopher there is nothing that is not personal, as his morality directly reflects who he is and “in what order of rank the innermost drives of his nature stand in relation to each other.” D. On the Stoics: 1. Nietzsche asserts that the Stoics, who urged man to live “according to nature,” were in fact attempting to re-create nature in the image they desired, as they wanted to impose their own morality and ideals on nature. 2. He claims that philosophy is a “tyrannical drive itself, the most spiritual will to power.” This will to power is an instinct of selfpreservation. E. On Kant: 1. He argues that Kant never gives anything more than circular reasons for believing that there is a faculty of synthetic a priori judgments. F. Physics: 1. He asserts that physics is only an interpretation and exegesis of the world based in the senses. What does it explain? Only what one can see and feel. G. Immediate certainties: 1. Nietzsche attacks Descartes’ assertion: “I think.” 2. Descartes is asserting that he cannot possibly doubt that he is thinking, which only reflects a lack of reflection on what is meant by “I think.” 3. He writes that the philosopher must ask himself if it is “I” that thinks, as well as questioning the origin of thought. Why is it “thinking” and not “willing” or “feeling”? Does not the thought come to the philosopher and thus is it not the thought that thinks? How can I, without further assumptions or certainties, know that I am thinking? 4. Nietzsche asserts that the thought comes when “it” (the thought) wishes, and not when “I” wish. H. Free will: 1. He argues that the will is far more complex than we assert, as the word “I” obscures and mixes together a whole complex of commanding and obeying wills. 2. This “freedom” of the will is a result of identifying this “I” as the source both of the commanding and the obeying. 3. It also is fundamentally based in the notion of cause and effect, with our will = cause. I. Will to power: 1. Nietzsche asserts that it is a significant fact that the universe is continually changing. As such, a philosophy of facts only reinforces the misconception that the universe is fixed. 2. Nietzsche identifies will as the agent of all change in the universe. All wills struggle for domination, independence and power over one another, which is the source of all change in the universe. This is what Nietzsche calls the “will to power.” 3. Nietzsche views people not as “things” or “selves,” but instead as a complex of wills, all struggling for domination. 4. He refers to philosophy as the “most spiritual will to power” as it is an attempt, on the part of the philosopher, to impose his prejudices and assumption – his “spirit” – on the world. The philosopher wants his will to be the “truth.” NIETZSCHE – BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL: PARTS 2-3 Part 2:24 – 25 “The Free Spirit” - Our society rests on simplification. - Our knowledge is based on ignorance and this ridiculous - Language is awkward, it is not specific enough to cover all the subtleties; instead it speaks of opposites - No philosopher can be proved right. - One shouldn’t martyr oneself to truth because it can’t be proved.

The profound man’s friends cannot understand his mode of thinking. . . Part 2:39 .Why should philosophers resist being deceived? . . . also explain the workings of the mechanistic. . “Books for all the world are always foul-smelling books: the smell of small people clings to them.Immoralists (N. . .It is not good to take things lightly or to be conciliatory. unless they’re an idealist. and conscience as danger. . . . the value or disvalue of an action was determined from examining its consequences. There doesn’t have to be an author.The virtues of the common man are vice in the philosopher.It is ok if the world is a fiction.The only person that judges the test is the individual. .cynic = recognizes the commonplace in himself . This task is reserved for the most honest (I suspect he means the philosophers).The independent is lonely and no one can see how he struggles. . but one shouldn’t confuse recklessness with the strength. This implies that our human characteristics prevent us from moving beyond our own perceptions and prejudices.The philosopher must study the average man.the indignant many may stand higher morally than someone who is self-satisfied but more often he is more ordinary Part 2:29-31 .The mask is like a guard.The world we look at is false as there is more underneath.N.It is naïve to think that consciousness will give honest answers. there is more underneath. or his choices. Part 2:36 . but he can avoid some strife by examining the cynic.appearances are important as well .Traditional morality is a prejudice that must be overcome.The evil and unhappy are more likely to discover certain parts of truth. even though this is a miserable task. along with feelings of devotion.Youth see things through the lens of Yes and No.it is a “moral prejudice” that truth is worth more than appearances .” Part 2:40-41 . suggests that we admit nothing as "real" except our drives. . .Independence is for the very few who are strong enough. Thought. .His highest insights should sound ridiculous.The profound love masks. . .Later this stage is also seen as Youth. thinks this is good because it signals that morality is considered. . Can we.Later. needs “to see clearly into what is.One has to test oneself to see if one can be a free spirit. or his crises of consciousness.The conscious is part of the surface. for instance. . .In prehistoric times. is ultimately just the relation of our different drives to one another. he is likely to find nothing.” he has a duty to favor suspicion. .Hardness is a better foundation for an independent spirit/philosopher . Once he becomes a true independent thinker. and this does not lead to happiness.The morality of self-denial must be questioned.” .Part 2:26 . The punishments include: mistrust against one’s feelings. . They will misjudge.The sparknotes summary is best: N.The soul later punishes itself for self-delusion. the origin of the action decides its value.The philosopher must be free of illusion. calls this the right to “bad character.cynicism = the only form in which base souls approach honesty .Nobody is likely to consider a doctrine because it makes people happy.Every man wants to be special and unique.the lover of knowledge (philosopher) should want to listen to indignation . he can never go back because normal men will not understand the grief his path has caused. . . includes himself in this group) suspect that the value of an action is determined by what is unintentional in it. he suggests.N. Part 2:32-35 . desires. material world using just our drives as data? If just one agent of causation--will--explains all change.If a human being is too “human” in his search for truth.Philosophers should not be “merely moral men. and passions.” meaning that he should be impudent etc. . we needn't look for additional causes. he asks. . The test must be done at the right time. . enthusiasm racked by doubt.

and this was a sacrifice of an aspect of human nature. we have a greater.How is the denial of the will possible? . . what would become of humans if history had attained a rational goal and this is the peak (nothing else to attain)? o No. He has learned something that we have not been able to know. this does not apply to everyone: some of us were born to be mindless slaves. He sees all drives as ultimately resting on the will to power.The free spirit must sever himself from people. pity. he actually believes that the future is limitless and is attempting to make this real to his readers. .V. Sees democracy as just one more attempt to force us all to be equal. o Thus. Nietzsche Outline: Beyond Good and Evil: Parts 5-6 Nietzsche: A shocking author. Worries that the potentially great are kept down by the preaching of the herd and having to follow the same rules as everyone. and more sublime feeling of power and have successfully sublimated our will to power.They will embrace spiritual hardship. He is submitting to the ultimate in self-denial.For the ruling class = it unites this class with its subjects. Part 5: Natural History of Morals: • Begins with evocation.Rationalize foundation for morality.The philosopher will use religion for his cultivation. science. . fatherland. and force in his writing because they are all crucial elements to greatness in his opinion. It requires contemplation and prayer.People admire the strength of will in the saint. o Basic def of this: suppressing one’s immediate instincts for domination in order to achieve a more sublime and satisfying feeling of power. • EX: We can beat up our neighbor (simple and instant gratification) or give our neighbor a gift.” Religion gives them contentment. o Nietzsche’s view: must explore all of the types and range of different moralities. Both are expressions of our will to power. He touts that the abolishment of cruelty and suffering will hinder human greatness. art): In creating a work of art. which is solely important to Nietzsche (he remains in historical state of mind throughout text). Part 3:61 . It is bad taste to want to agree with the many. • EX: Creative Instinct (i. They are impressed that he has gained “power” over human nature.They will not be dogmatists.Early religion demanded sacrifice of human beings.Religion today requires a leisure class.are these people the peak of humanity? If humanity has constituted itself throughout history. domination. These attachments will not be helpful in the free spirit’s work. self-mockery. but modern society values industriousness – Usually the values of modern society.There has been a reversal. .For the subjects = These people exist for “service and the general advantage.O. ennobling their obedience. Nevertheless.) . There are always elements of cruelty.The religious neurosis is tied to dangerous “dietary” demands: solitude. • Sees Germans of his time. constraint. helps them manipulate the people to rule (for those that are contemplative and withdrawn. all they are really doing is trying to justify their own mortality.For the rising class = teaches them the discipline necessary for ruling . a formula is established for what Nietzsche considers to be good: sublimated will to power. . it can allow them to form an order of like-minded people. It helps make them feel that their struggles are justified. • Moral philosophers today lack the historical perspective. .The new species of philosopher: attempters – this group wants to remain “riddled” .The saint illustrates this in the extreme. and they realize that the evils of men are also enhancements of the species as much as the goods. and persuading others to share that interpretation. and those people are not his concern. and self-mutilation. and sexual abstinence. . In searching for a “rational foundation”. . fasting. one is interpreting the world in a certain way. Part 3: 46-60 “What is Religious” . .N. his own detachment. He suggests that we learn to sublimate our will to power.Christian faith is a sacrifice of all freedom. o Thus one is not only exerting power over others by making them see the world in a certain way but also expressing one’s power over the world by submitting it one’s own P. These people can get intellectualrelief from some of the pressures of government. . all self-confidence in the spirit. By resisting our urge to beat the neighbor up and instead give a gift.What does religion mean to the different groups . It is also enslavement. his own virtue. likes the religion of ancient Greece because it was more about gratitude than fear. win over religion. . longer-lasting.e.. where denial of natural things becomes a high virtue. pride. just as he uses the political and economic state.

we only really take in a few words and then fit those into what we already know. The morality of the “herd” claims in the name of “happiness”. • According to Nietzsche. that we should avoid our darker instincts. these skeptics pursue science and objectivity. preferring the safety of a tamed. love. o Calls this herd “first servants of their people” or “instruments of the common weal” o Part 6: We Scholars: • Main contrast of chapter is between real philosophers (in Nietzsche’s view) and “philosophical laborers” and scholars. It assumes that we are all the same and should all follow the same rules. our morality condemns all that is lively. • Dislikes the spirit of objectivity that reigns in scientific research because there is a total absence of will. they lack self-knowledge and strong passions. There is a definite need for this. and liars. This type of skepticism is strong-willed and intrepid. 2. • Discusses two types of skepticism: 1. Thus. They do not just describe the world. any aggressive members are seen as a threat. growing out of Christianity). Possession: We all differ in what we think is worth pursing. and even in the “simplest” processes of sensation the affects dominate. The man that wants the woman to give up everything for him seeks a more refined feeling of power over the woman. hostile and reluctant. In a community safe from external threats. as well as in what way we take possession of what we pursue. • pp 118: Kind of egalitarian morality is producing last men-overall degeneration of man (“perfect hard men”) o Suggests that our moral valuations are based on fear. 2nd Section (2nd Half): Face up to the problem of morality. difference. teacher possesses another soul. especially their objective spirit. o EX: Charity and education: Teachers make the child see the world according to the child’s perspective. never resting content with easy answers but always questioning. seeking. Thus.) Cruelty and suffering are major aspects o 2. First kind is associated with mediocrity and is plagued by doubts that inhibit all kinds of action. such as fear. Suggests that our so-called “knowledge” is our own make-believe. there is no such thing as an objective standpoint: an interpretation of any fact is a sign that some will is taking possession of that fact. but also give meaning to it. which considered the rich. and dare to so only in the name of God. o pp 99 (Sec 187): Helps us to explore and see different types of moralities. We are all inventors. Such a creative act is the sign of a strong and sublimated will to power. he is sublimating his will to power and consequently encouraging self-knowledge. there is a fear of the new and different: “What is new finds our senses. o Nowadays. Nietzsche suggests that we register far less than we actually think we do. hatred. Wants the woman to know him deeply. . • Nietzschean Philosophers in general are legislators and creators.” • This is the real basic of ethics for which “one has been looking for thousands of years as for the philosopher’s stone. while another may only fell he does if she will give up everything for her. Overall lay of the land: “Hurt no one. those who command are almost ashamed of it. In contrast. o Believes that a real philosopher must be able to rise above all of the science. though this is difficult as body of knowledge becomes larger. Worries that democratic sentiments may tame us and render us all equal in mediocrity with no way out. • Emphasizes features of religion: o 1. and they strive on a mediocrity that seeks to eliminate everything that is unusual or irregular. mediocre mass.” (pp 99) He views modern ideas as rebellion of distinction. o Additionally. Thus.• • • Anything great that we have achieved has been a result of a strict obedience in one particular direction over a long period of time. o EX: One man may feel that he “possesses” a woman if he has sex with her. order of rank (Essentially.”(pp 105) Calls for a species of “new philosophers” to arise and lead the way out of this longing for peace and mediocrity.” (p 99) Common good-what we aspire to: • “There are moralities which are meant to justify their creator before others. the other kind is associated with Frederick the Great’s influence. Considers the Christian ethic to be “herd” morality because it speaks tour herd instincts. artists. o Believes that these scholars are not self-sufficient or creative. and sensual to be evil. Other moralities are meant to calm him and lead him to be satisfied with himself. too. By reassuring themselves with doubt. Only through a kind of enslavement and hardship can we redefine ourselves. o EX: When we read a book. rather help all as much as you can. the law. and discovering. violent. which is above all. • Critical of modern scholars.) Morality. including the passive affects of laziness. o He bemoans the “slave revolt in morality”. • Just because the majority is suited to submissiveness does not mean that all should obey. compulsion (constraint). not some false conception of him. while considering the poor to be holy. or the people.

but are just trying to integrate into European culture and Europe can only benefit from it. Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil Part Seven – Our Virtues • There is an “order of rank” in which some have stronger and more refined spirits than others. He is a “man of tomorrow and the day after tomorrow” because he creates new values that will influence the future. • The noble man is distinguished by his unmatched degree of self-respect (commoners lack this). Philosophers who create their own morality will thus create a new world order. o Most of us do not have the strength of will to be philosophers. • Pity covers up self-contempt. Because people read silently. Part Eight – Peoples and Fatherlands • Deals with nationalism and nationalities. he argues that Europe wants to be united. • Higher spirits are always misunderstood and are made to endure suffering. He criticizes German literature and language for its odd rhythm and tempo. • To the higher spirits. • Those who are lower hate the higher ranks and condemn their higher spirit. and are always struggling against the spirit of the day. • The inter-breeding of Europeans will breed mediocrity but will also create very few. This goes against man’s natural inclination towards shallowness and superficiality. focuses on the race and language. the only thing worse than being misunderstood is being understood. They see themselves as good while they look down on the “slaves” as bad. • German spirit is mysterious and complex and the race is made up of so many other races that there is no such thing as “pure” German. • Despite nationalism. Because they speak for tomorrow. very exceptional spirits. the digging of truth will eventually hit bedrock. • Even in the freest of free spirits. • Man uncovers truths that he would have been happier not knowing. • There is a “spiritualization of cruelty. the • music of literature and language is being lost.• Qualities of Nietzsche philosopher: Suggests that they should be a creator of values. • Heavy spirits spend half their life wallowing in the narrow-mindedness of nationalism (even “good Europeans” will stoop down for a little bit) • Talks about what being German means. • Then he rips on women. Many Germans view their complexity as superior and see themselves as a profound race. However. Part Nine – What is Noble • An aristocratic caste is essential to the ennoblement of the human species. o Socrates is the only clear example that Nietzsche uses. • EX: Socrates rebelled against the aristocratic spirit of his day.” Man takes his animal instincts. we left pretty much in the dark.” o Today. o In contrast. • Society’s goal is to produce a few exceptional individuals who are society’s jewels and the rest of society sacrifices and endures hardships to produce them. They are not trying to take over. . seeking solitude and difference. • He commends Jews for being the strongest race with the strongest spirit in Europe. • Divine justice was invented so that everyone could claim that they were equal on a fundamental level. philosophers are out of place in the here and now. • Whatever is exceptional and uncommon is difficult to express in language and difficult for the majority to understand – the exceptional is always marginalized. • Our characters are largely determined by the character of our ancestors and their role in society. Beyond this one example and the vague notion that a philosopher must be creative and not caught up in present-day morality. Ha. • Nietzsche laments that he cannot fully express himself through language. a philosopher would rebel against the democratic spirit of the time. The ideal philosopher is free from the morality of his own day. the scholars and “philosophical laborers” seek to clear up the past. • Order of rank – from great humans to commoners • Life is will to power and will to power is exploitation. • Aristocratic “masters” created the contrast between good and bad. turns them against himself and makes them divine. People make themselves suffer to make themselves greater. not look to the future and say “thus it shall be. showing the nobles that they were just as stupid and weak as he or anybody else. they wear masks that hide their suffering from the commoners.this means that someone else is enduring their suffering. It was a construction . Such great minds need to be bred and cultivated.

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