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Paperback Beyond Good and Evil : Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future Book

ISBN: 0679724656

ISBN13: 9780679724650

Beyond Good and Evil : Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

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Book Overview

Represents Nietzsche's attempt to sum up his philosophy. In nine parts the book is designed to give the reader a comprehensive idea of Nietzsche's thought and style: they span "The Prejudices of Philsophers," "The Free Spirit," religion, morals, scholarship, "Our Virtues," "Peoples and Fatherlands," and "What Is Noble," as well as epigrams and a concluding poem. Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most remarkable and influential books of the nineteenth...

Customer Reviews

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Nietzsche Against the Grain

Beyond Good And Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future represented a shift in Nietzsche's basic goals as an author. "After the Yes-saying part of my task had been solved, the turn had come for the No-saying, No-doing part: the revaluation of our values so far, the great war..."Nietzsche goes on to describe Beyond Good and Evil as a "critique of modernity." The modernity attacked includes culture broadly construed; but Nietzsche appears to be especially concerned with the direction of philosophy and its role in future history. Indeed, the subtitle is "Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future." The book opens with a Preface and first section that are often witty in criticizing traditional philosophy and its presuppositions. After the famous opening line about truth being a woman, Nietzsche asks, "Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women?"Nietzsche attacks particularly the dogmatism of philosophers. Philosophers have typically regarded themselves as seekers of truth--but from the book's beginning, Nietzsche casts suspicion on their motives. Philosophers, he argues, have simply assumed that truth is valuable, without inquiring as to whether this is so. They have posed their conclusions as objective, while in fact "every great philosophy so far has been...the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir." Unwittingly, philosophers have sought to impose their own moral outlook on nature itself, and read into it what they have wanted to find.Nietzsche proposes a reassessment of the way philosophy has been practiced in physiological and psychological terms, recognizing how much against the grain his approach will seem.Nietzsche proposes a new direction for philosophy, and a different kind of person as philosopher. Philosophers, according to this view, should be free spirits and great experimentalists, as opposed to the mere "philosophical laborers" that are often thought to be the true philosophers. The philosopher has "the most comprehensive responsibility" and "the conscience for the over-all development of man," and should utilize religion, education and political suggestions, although it is more concerned to propose a type of political arrangement (like Plato advocating philosopher-kings) than to argue for specific policies.Central to the agenda of Nietzsche's future philosophers is a reconsideration of the value of conventional morality from a physio-psychological perspective. For the first time, in Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche proposes to develop "a natural history of morals." He implies with this formulation that morality can be naturalistically described, that it is not a revelation from another, divine level of reality.Nietzsche goes so far in employing naturalistic terms in his analysis that he describes the morality of his tradition as a "herd morality." In other words, people follow the same dir

A better look at this...

Nietzsche never advocated any sort of morality as "good morality", nor did he encourage the creation of a "best possible society" by use of a certain morality. Nor is that what this book is about. (Nor did he propose the creation of a new moral standard: his good/evil versus good/bad antithesis is an analysis; Nietzsche was a philosopher, not an ideologue, moralist, or politician). Moreover, he did not find moral complacency to be the greatest fault of his time: rather, the mental complacency and lack of intellectual integrity displayed by many academics and "philosophers." Nietzsche here tries to analyze a range of issues and exposes in the most surprising ways numerous relationships, psychological insights, and types of morality, personality, and so forth. The aphoristic style is not a reflection of discontinuity: it is an embodiment of Nietzsche's ideal of constant questioning. These are thought experiments which develop ideas in unexpected ways, ideas which are retraced through the entire work. It has structure and continuity for those who know how to find it. The book has some faults and a few remarks which strike the reader as unnecessary drivel: but what great work doesn't? Whether we agree with it or not, like it or dislike it, until we are great critics or philosophers, we have no excuse for giving less than 5 stars to one of the greatest books of all time.

Beyond Good and Evil is a force-analysis of self.

Nietzsche's ability to devalue and show the societal degredation caused by the current moral standard is skillful and convincing. Beyond Good and Evil is a force-analysis of self and personal values, attacking modern religious belief and the "herd mentality" with a vigor and insight made possible only by the most cynical philosophy. This is one of the most spiritually influential books I have read in my life, with applications spanning across all aspects of the human experience. A piece of advice, however, despite his profound writings, the eighteenth century thought, a culmination of pompousness and sexism, may be offensive to some. If you posess the strength to forget the period of the book's publishing, read it.
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