Friedrich Nietzsche1844-1900 “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.”
Existentialism • The individual experience of the individual in a hostile or indifferent universe is unique and isolated. • Human existence is unexplainable. • There must be freedom of choice.
Life • Born October 15, 1844 in a rural area of Germany near Leipzig • Went to first-rate boarding school • Attended University of Bonn – studied philology – interpretation of classical a biblical texts • !* Discovered Schopenhauer’s book, TheWorld as Will and Representation, in a local bookstore when he was 21.
Cont. • Taught at university level in Switzerland for 10 years • Gave up his German citizenship • Mental breakdown in 1889 left him an invalid for the rest of his life • Died August 25, 1900 of pneumonia and stroke.
Writings • The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music • On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense • Unfashionable Observations • Human, all Too Human • The Wanderer and his Shadow • *Thus Spoke Zarathustra, A Book for all and None
Philosophy • Truth is only a mobile army of metaphors • Truth is nothing more than the invention of fixed conventions for practical purposes • After humanity dies out, nothing significant will have changed in the great scheme of things. • The idea of eternal recurrence (like reincarnation) – only healthy people can love life in its entirety.
Influence on 20th Century Thought • The development of psychoanalysis • 1930s rise of the Nazis - philosophy interpreted to justify war, aggression, and domination for the sake of nationalistic and racial self-glorification.