Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)


Principium individuationis: the principle of individuation (so that we are individuals, not merely merged with our surroundings, natural and social). 

Maya, illusion (a Hindu concept of the transient and ultimately unreal character of the created multiplicity in which we seem to find ourselves).



Apollonian, ideal poise, order, and reason: "higher truth" as given in dreams (beautiful illusion)

(The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music, 1872)

Dionysian unification with nature.  Terror and blissful ecstasy, wild, potent.

"Art impulses of nature."

Tragedy reconciles Apollo and Dionysus.

Art, not morality, is the truly metaphysical activity of man.

The existence of the world is justified only as an aesthetic phenomenon.

Dionysian unification of humankind in joy:  Beethoven's 9th Symphony [based on Schiller's "Ode to Joy"]

The vital, strong ones exert themselves against their deepest opponents: the challenges to life.  (Attempt at Self-Criticism, 1886)

Dionysian craving for beauty.


What, seen in the perspective of life, is the significance of morality?

Morality is demoted to the realm of appearance (take that, Kant!).  Pessimism "beyond good and evil."


Science as a symptom of evasion of truth.

Socrates, cheerfulness (rather than deep pessimism) and theoretical philosophy as symptom of a decline.

Contemporary German music as romantic "poison for the nerves," "doubly dangerous for a people who love drink and who honor lack of clarity as a virtue": a  narcotic that both intoxi- cates and spreads a fog.

"The German spirit, which not long before had still had the will to dominate Europe and the strength to lead Europe" caves in to "a leveling mediocrity, democracy, and "modern ideas."


As laughers, you may some day dispatch all metaphysical comforts to the devil—metaphysics in front.

Anti-moral, anti-Christian.  Life is something essentially amoral.




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