149 Facts About Friedrich Nietzsche


Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher, prose poet, cultural critic, philologist, and composer whose work has exerted a profound influence on contemporary philosophy.


Friedrich Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy.


Friedrich Nietzsche became the youngest person ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24.


Friedrich Nietzsche lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Forster-Nietzsche.


Friedrich Nietzsche died in 1900, after experiencing pneumonia and multiple strokes.


Friedrich Nietzsche's writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony.


Friedrich Nietzsche developed influential concepts such as the and his doctrine of eternal return.


Friedrich Nietzsche edited his unpublished writings to fit her German ultranationalist ideology, often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism.


Friedrich Nietzsche was named after King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth.


Friedrich Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; Ludwig Joseph died six months later at age two.


Friedrich Nietzsche attended a boys' school and then a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug and Wilhelm Pinder, all three of whom came from highly respected families.


Academic records from one of the schools attended by Friedrich Nietzsche noted that he excelled in Christian theology.


Friedrich Nietzsche studied there from 1858 to 1864, becoming friends with Paul Deussen and Carl von Gersdorff.


Friedrich Nietzsche found time to work on poems and musical compositions.


Friedrich Nietzsche led "Germania", a music and literature club, during his summers in Naumburg.


Friedrich Nietzsche composed several works for voice, piano, and violin beginning in 1858 at the Schulpforta in Naumburg when he started to work on musical compositions.


Friedrich Nietzsche became acquainted with the work of the then almost-unknown poet Friedrich Holderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and writing an essay in which he said that the poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality".


In June 1865, at the age of 20, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote to his sister Elisabeth, who was deeply religious, a letter regarding his loss of faith.


In 1865, Friedrich Nietzsche thoroughly studied the works of Arthur Schopenhauer.


Friedrich Nietzsche owed the awakening of his philosophical interest to reading Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation and later admitted that Schopenhauer was one of the few thinkers whom he respected, dedicating the essay "Schopenhauer as Educator" in the Untimely Meditations to him.


In 1867, Friedrich Nietzsche signed up for one year of voluntary service with the Prussian artillery division in Naumburg.


Friedrich Nietzsche was regarded as one of the finest riders among his fellow recruits, and his officers predicted that he would soon reach the rank of captain.


However, in March 1868, while jumping into the saddle of his horse, Friedrich Nietzsche struck his chest against the pommel and tore two muscles in his left side, leaving him exhausted and unable to walk for months.


Friedrich Nietzsche met Richard Wagner for the first time later that year.


In 1869, with Ritschl's support, Friedrich Nietzsche received an offer to become a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland.


Friedrich Nietzsche was only 24 years old and had neither completed his doctorate nor received a teaching certificate.


Friedrich Nietzsche was awarded an honorary doctorate by Leipzig University in March 1869, again with Ritschl's support.


Friedrich Nietzsche's 1870 projected doctoral thesis, "Contribution toward the Study and the Critique of the Sources of Diogenes Laertius", examined the origins of the ideas of Diogenes Laertius.


Nevertheless, Friedrich Nietzsche served in the Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War as a medical orderly.


On returning to Basel in 1870, Friedrich Nietzsche observed the establishment of the German Empire and Otto von Bismarck's subsequent policies as an outsider and with a degree of scepticism regarding their genuineness.


Friedrich Nietzsche met Franz Overbeck, a professor of theology who remained his friend throughout his life.


Friedrich Nietzsche had already met Richard Wagner in Leipzig in 1868 and later Wagner's wife, Cosima.


Friedrich Nietzsche admired both greatly and during his time at Basel frequently visited Wagner's house in Tribschen in Lucerne.


In 1872, Friedrich Nietzsche published his first book, The Birth of Tragedy.


However, his colleagues within his field, including Ritschl, expressed little enthusiasm for the work in which Friedrich Nietzsche eschewed the classical philologic method in favour of a more speculative approach.


Friedrich Nietzsche remarked freely about the isolation he felt within the philological community and attempted unsuccessfully to transfer to a position in philosophy at Basel.


In 1873, Friedrich Nietzsche began to accumulate notes that would be posthumously published as Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks.


Friedrich Nietzsche began a friendship with Paul Ree who, in 1876, influenced him into dismissing the pessimism in his early writings.


Friedrich Nietzsche was alienated by Wagner's championing of "German culture", which Nietzsche felt a contradiction in terms, as well as by Wagner's celebration of his fame among the German public.


In 1879, after a significant decline in health, Friedrich Nietzsche had to resign his position at Basel and was pensioned.


Friedrich Nietzsche spent many summers in Sils Maria near St Moritz in Switzerland.


Friedrich Nietzsche spent his winters in the Italian cities of Genoa, Rapallo, and Turin and the French city of Nice.


Friedrich Nietzsche occasionally returned to Naumburg to visit his family, and, especially during this time, he and his sister Elisabeth had repeated periods of conflict and reconciliation.


Friedrich Nietzsche is known to have tried using the Hansen Writing Ball, a contemporary typewriter device.


Friedrich Nietzsche subsequently transcribed and proofread the galleys for almost all of Nietzsche's work.


Gast was one of the very few friends Friedrich Nietzsche allowed to criticise him.


Friedrich Nietzsche went on to list the number of people Epicurus, for example, had to rely on to supply his simple diet of goat cheese.


Friedrich Nietzsche stood at the beginning of his most productive period.


In 1882, Friedrich Nietzsche published the first part of The Gay Science.


Friedrich Nietzsche asked Ree to propose marriage to Salome, which she rejected.


Friedrich Nietzsche had been interested in Nietzsche as a friend, but not as a husband.


Friedrich Nietzsche nonetheless was content to join with Ree and Salome touring through Switzerland and Italy together, planning their commune.


Friedrich Nietzsche nonetheless was happy to continue with the plans for an academic commune.


Friedrich Nietzsche wrote of the affair in 1883, that he now felt "genuine hatred for my sister".


Amidst renewed bouts of illness, living in near-isolation after a falling out with his mother and sister regarding Salome, Friedrich Nietzsche fled to Rapallo, where he wrote the first part of Also Sprach Zarathustra in only ten days.


Friedrich Nietzsche turned away from the influence of Schopenhauer, and after he severed his social ties with Wagner, Nietzsche had few remaining friends.


Friedrich Nietzsche recognised this and maintained his solitude, though he often complained.


In 1886, Friedrich Nietzsche broke with his publisher Ernst Schmeitzner, disgusted by his antisemitic opinions.


Friedrich Nietzsche then printed Beyond Good and Evil at his own expense.


Friedrich Nietzsche acquired the publication rights for his earlier works and over the next year issued second editions of The Birth of Tragedy, Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, and of The Gay Science with new prefaces placing the body of his work in a more coherent perspective.


Friedrich Nietzsche continued to have frequent and painful attacks of illness, which made prolonged work impossible.


In 1887, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote the polemic On the Genealogy of Morality.


Friedrich Nietzsche exchanged letters with Hippolyte Taine and Georg Brandes.


However, before fulfilling this promise, Friedrich Nietzsche slipped too far into illness.


Friedrich Nietzsche's health improved and he spent the summer in high spirits.


Friedrich Nietzsche overestimated the increasing response to his writings especially to the recent polemic, The Case of Wagner.


Additionally, he commanded the German emperor to go to Rome to be shot and summoned the European powers to take military action against Germany, writing that the pope should be put in jail and that he, Friedrich Nietzsche, created the world and was in the process of having all anti-Semites shot dead.


From November 1889 to February 1890, the art historian Julius Langbehn attempted to cure Friedrich Nietzsche, claiming that the methods of the medical doctors were ineffective in treating Friedrich Nietzsche's condition.


Friedrich Nietzsche studied Nietzsche's works and, piece by piece, took control of their publication.


Friedrich Nietzsche's insanity was originally diagnosed as tertiary syphilis, in accordance with a prevailing medical paradigm of the time.


Poisoning by mercury, a treatment for syphilis at the time of Friedrich Nietzsche's death, has been suggested.


In 1898 and 1899, Friedrich Nietzsche suffered at least two strokes.


Elisabeth Forster-Friedrich Nietzsche compiled The Will to Power from Friedrich Nietzsche's unpublished notebooks and published it posthumously in 1901.


When he accepted his post at Basel, Friedrich Nietzsche applied for annulment of his Prussian citizenship.


At least toward the end of his life, Friedrich Nietzsche believed his ancestors were Polish.


Friedrich Nietzsche wore a signet ring bearing the Radwan coat of arms, traceable back to Polish nobility of medieval times and the surname "Nicki" of the Polish noble family bearing that coat of arms.


Oehler claims that Friedrich Nietzsche came from a long line of German Lutheran clergymen on both sides of his family, and modern scholars regard the claim of Friedrich Nietzsche's Polish ancestry as "pure invention".


Friedrich Nietzsche proposed to Lou Salome three times and each time was rejected.


Some maintain that Friedrich Nietzsche contracted it in a male brothel in Genoa.


Nigel Rodgers and Mel Thompson have argued that continuous sickness and headaches hindered Friedrich Nietzsche from engaging much with women.


Yet they offer other examples in which Friedrich Nietzsche expressed his affections to women, including Wagner's wife Cosima Wagner.


Friedrich Nietzsche's works remain controversial, due to varying interpretations and misinterpretations.


In Western philosophy, Friedrich Nietzsche's writings have been described as a case of free revolutionary thought, that is, revolutionary in its structure and problems, although not tied to any revolutionary project.


Friedrich Nietzsche's writings have been described as a revolutionary project in which his philosophy serves as the foundation of a European cultural rebirth.


Friedrich Nietzsche found in classical Athenian tragedy an art form that transcended the pessimism found in the so-called wisdom of Silenus.


Friedrich Nietzsche argued that this fusion has not been achieved since the ancient Greek tragedians.


Friedrich Nietzsche used these two forces because, for him, the world of mind and order on one side, and passion and chaos on the other, formed principles that were fundamental to the Greek culture: the Apollonian a dreaming state, full of illusions; and Dionysian a state of intoxication, representing the liberations of instinct and dissolution of boundaries.


Friedrich Nietzsche is the horror of the annihilation of the principle of individuality and at the same time someone who delights in its destruction.


Elaborating on the conception of Hamlet as an intellectual who cannot make up his mind, and is a living antithesis to the man of action, Friedrich Nietzsche argues that a Dionysian figure possesses the knowledge that his actions cannot change the eternal balance of things, and it disgusts him enough not to act at all.


Friedrich Nietzsche describes primordial unity as the increase of strength, the experience of fullness and plenitude bestowed by frenzy.


Friedrich Nietzsche claimed the death of God would eventually lead to the realization that there can never be a universal perspective on things and that the traditional idea of objective truth is incoherent.


Friedrich Nietzsche rejected the idea of objective reality, arguing that knowledge is contingent and conditional, relative to various fluid perspectives or interests.


In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche proclaimed that a table of values hangs above every great person.


Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out that what is common among different peoples is the act of esteeming, of creating values, even if the values are different from one person to the next.


Friedrich Nietzsche asserted that what made people great was not the content of their beliefs, but the act of valuing.


Friedrich Nietzsche saw slave morality as pessimistic and fearful, its values emerging to improve the self-perception of slaves.


Friedrich Nietzsche associated slave morality with the Jewish and Christian traditions, as it is born out of the ressentiment of slaves.


Friedrich Nietzsche argued that the idea of equality allowed slaves to overcome their own conditions without despising themselves.


Friedrich Nietzsche saw slave morality as a source of the nihilism that has overtaken Europe.


Friedrich Nietzsche called for exceptional people not to be ashamed in the face of a supposed morality-for-all, which he deems to be harmful to the flourishing of exceptional people.


Friedrich Nietzsche cautioned that morality, per se, is not bad; it is good for the masses and should be left to them.


Friedrich Nietzsche waged a philosophic war against the slave morality of Christianity in his "revaluation of all values" to bring about the victory of a new master morality that he called the "philosophy of the future".


Friedrich Nietzsche called himself an "immoralist" and harshly criticised the prominent moral philosophies of his day: Christianity, Kantianism, and utilitarianism.


Friedrich Nietzsche's concept "God is dead" applies to the doctrines of Christendom, though not to all other faiths: he claimed that Buddhism is a successful religion that he complimented for fostering critical thought.


Still, Friedrich Nietzsche saw his philosophy as a counter-movement to nihilism through appreciation of art:.


Friedrich Nietzsche claimed that the Christian faith as practised was not a proper representation of Jesus' teachings, as it forced people merely to believe in the way of Jesus but not to act as Jesus did; in particular, his example of refusing to judge people, something that Christians constantly did.


Friedrich Nietzsche condemned institutionalised Christianity for emphasising a morality of pity, which assumes an inherent illness in society:.


In Ecce Homo Friedrich Nietzsche called the establishment of moral systems based on a dichotomy of good and evil a "calamitous error", and wished to initiate a re-evaluation of the values of the Christian world.


Friedrich Nietzsche indicated his desire to bring about a new, more naturalistic source of value in the vital impulses of life itself.


Friedrich Nietzsche felt that modern antisemitism was "despicable" and contrary to European ideals.


Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that Jews should be thanked for helping uphold a respect for the philosophies of ancient Greece, and for giving rise to "the noblest human being, the purest philosopher, the mightiest book, and the most effective moral code in the world".


The statement "God is dead," occurring in several of Friedrich Nietzsche's works, has become one of his best-known remarks.


Friedrich Nietzsche believed that Christian moral doctrine was originally constructed to counteract nihilism.


One such reaction to the loss of meaning is what Friedrich Nietzsche called passive nihilism, which he recognised in the pessimistic philosophy of Schopenhauer.


Friedrich Nietzsche characterised this ascetic attitude as a "will to nothingness".


Friedrich Nietzsche approached the problem of nihilism as a deeply personal one, stating that this problem of the modern world had "become conscious" in him.


Friedrich Nietzsche wished to hasten its coming only so that he could hasten its ultimate departure.


Scholars such as Nishitani and Parkes have aligned Friedrich Nietzsche's religious thought with Buddhist thinkers, particularly those of the Mahayana tradition.


Occasionally, Friedrich Nietzsche has been considered in relation to Catholic mystics such as Meister Eckhart.


Milne has argued against such interpretations on the grounds that such thinkers from Western and Eastern religious traditions strongly emphasise the divestment of will and the loss of ego, while Friedrich Nietzsche offers a robust defence of egoism.


In presenting his theory of human behaviour, Friedrich Nietzsche addressed and attacked concepts from philosophies then popularly embraced, such as Schopenhauer's notion of an aimless will or that of utilitarianism.


One study of Friedrich Nietzsche defines his fully developed concept of the will to power as "the element from which derive both the quantitative difference of related forces and the quality that devolves into each force in this relation" revealing the will to power as "the principle of the synthesis of forces".


However, a recent study shows that although it is true that in 1888 Friedrich Nietzsche wanted some of his notes burned, this indicates little about his project on the will to power, not only because only 11 "aphorisms" saved from the flames were ultimately incorporated into The Will to Power, but because these abandoned notes mainly focus on topics such as the critique of morality while touching upon the "feeling of power" only once.


Friedrich Nietzsche first proposed the idea of eternal return in a parable in Section 341 of The Gay Science, and in the chapter "Of the Vision and the Riddle" in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, among other places.


Friedrich Nietzsche considered it as potentially "horrifying and paralyzing", and said that its burden is the "heaviest weight" imaginable.


Friedrich Nietzsche's thought is the negation of the idea of a history of salvation.


Friedrich Nietzsche wants a kind of spiritual evolution of self-awareness and overcoming of traditional views on morality and justice that stem from the superstitious beliefs still deeply rooted or related to the notion of God and Christianity.


Friedrich Nietzsche reworked Nietzsche's unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism.


Friedrich Nietzsche held a pessimistic view of modern society and culture.


Friedrich Nietzsche believed the press and mass culture led to conformity, brought about mediocrity, and the lack of intellectual progress was leading to the decline of the human species.


Friedrich Nietzsche read Kant, Plato, Mill, Schopenhauer and Spir, who became the main opponents in his philosophy, and later engaged, via the work of Kuno Fischer in particular, with the thought of Baruch Spinoza, whom he saw as his "precursor" in many respects but as a personification of the "ascetic ideal" in others.


The will to live would become the will to dominate; pessimism founded on reflection would become optimism founded on courage; the suspense of the will in contemplation would yield to a more biological account of intelligence and taste; finally in the place of pity and asceticism Friedrich Nietzsche would set up the duty of asserting the will at all costs and being cruelly but beautifully strong.


Ruth apRoberts has shown that Carlyle anticipated Friedrich Nietzsche in asserting the importance of metaphor, announcing the death of God, and recognising both Goethe's Entsagen and Novalis's Selbsttodtung as prerequisites for engaging in philosophy.


Friedrich Nietzsche expressed admiration for 17th-century French moralists such as La Rochefoucauld, La Bruyere and Vauvenargues, as well as for Stendhal.


The organicism of Paul Bourget influenced Friedrich Nietzsche, as did that of Rudolf Virchow and Alfred Espinas.


In 1867 Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in a letter that he was trying to improve his German style of writing with the help of Lessing, Lichtenberg and Schopenhauer.


Friedrich Nietzsche called Dostoyevsky "the only psychologist from whom I have anything to learn".


Friedrich Nietzsche expressed deep appreciation for Stifter's Indian Summer, Byron's Manfred and Twain's Tom Sawyer.


Friedrich Nietzsche's works did not reach a wide readership during his active writing career.


Friedrich Nietzsche is known today as a precursor to existentialism, post-structuralism and postmodernism.


Friedrich Nietzsche quoted Mahler himself, and adds that he was influenced by Nietzsche's conception and affirmative approach to nature, which Mahler presented in his Third Symphony using Zarathustra's roundelay.


Friedrich Nietzsche was an early influence on the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.


Thomas Mann's novel Death in Venice shows a use of Apollonian and Dionysian, and in Doctor Faustus Friedrich Nietzsche was a central source for the character of Adrian Leverkuhn.


Friedrich Nietzsche had a distinct appeal for many Zionist thinkers around the start of the 20th century, most notable being Ahad Ha'am, Hillel Zeitlin, Micha Josef Berdyczewski, AD Gordon and Martin Buber, who went so far as to extoll Friedrich Nietzsche as a "creator" and "emissary of life".


Friedrich Nietzsche's growing prominence suffered a severe setback when his works became closely associated with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.


Bertrand Russell wrote that Friedrich Nietzsche had exerted great influence on philosophers and on people of literary and artistic culture, but warned that the attempt to put Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy of aristocracy into practice could only be done by an organisation similar to the Fascist or the Nazi party.


Friedrich Nietzsche has influenced philosophers such as Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Oswald Spengler, George Grant, Emil Cioran, Albert Camus, Ayn Rand, Jacques Derrida, Sarah Kofman, Leo Strauss, Max Scheler, Michel Foucault, Bernard Williams, and Nick Land.


Friedrich Nietzsche's writings have been influential to some advancers of Accelerationist thought through his influence on Deleuze and Guattari.


Friedrich Nietzsche's deepening of the romantic-heroic tradition of the nineteenth century, for example, as expressed in the ideal of the "grand striver" appears in the work of thinkers from Cornelius Castoriadis to Roberto Mangabeira Unger.