First Essay: “Good and evil,” “Good and Bad”

Quickly turning back to the ascetic priest, we now find Nietzsche telling us that the ascetic's contradiction of Life against Life is only an apparent contradiction; that psychologically asceticism represents a motivation for the preservation of life, the wish for another life; and yet, all the wounds he inflicts upon himself (and others) spurs the ascetic priest to live. Considering how prevalent are the sick among us, we should be all the more grateful for the rare cases, the "windfalls of humanity," who, despite the debilitating presence of the weak, manage to strengthen themselves. For the "sick are the greatest danger for the healthy" (III, 14) [29] and "the weak strive for union, as the strong strive for isolation" (III, 18).

There is much disagreement in Nietzsche scholarship.

Nietzsche sharply criticized the Greek tradition's over-emphasis on reason in his () (1889).

by Georgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari (de Gruyter, 1967- )

But in "The Eternal Return" Nietzsche discovers that all gods die, even the Superman. He believed that all history necessarily moved in a cycle, endlessly repeating all past events-"There is nothing new under the Sun." Nietzsche deduced this disappearing conclusion from the two premises of (1) a finite amount of matter and (2) an infinite amount of time (since there is no creator and no creation); thus every possible combination of elementary particles, every possible world, occur an infinite number of times, given infinite time. All, even the Superman, will return again to dust, and evolve worms, apes, man and Superman again and again.

by Peter Gay (Modern Library, 2000)

His attack here on Herbert Spencer (aphilosopher who tried to apply evolutionary theory very broadly,leading him to endorse for example eugenics) shows his impatience atleast with the most simplistic kind of philosophical use ofevolutionary theory.

In these notes, I read Nietzsche "straight"--I do notinterpret him as being ironic.

by Kelly Oliver and Marilyn Pearsall (Penn.

Evil-skeptics give three main reasons to abandon the concept ofevil: (1) the concept of evil involves unwarranted metaphysicalcommitments to dark spirits, the supernatural, or the devil; (2) theconcept of evil is useless because it lacks explanatory power; and (3)the concept of evil can be harmful or dangerous when used in moral,political, and legal contexts, and so, it should not be used in thosecontexts, if at all.

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One way out of this problem for N might be to argue that the features that were recognized as noble are only contingently features of nobility, and rather arise from being independent, self-willed, autonomous, etc.

A Note on Some of Nietzsche's Common ThemesNietzsche is not a systems-building philosopher.

Hollingdale and Walter Kauffmann (Penguin, 1978)

So Solomon presents a dumbed-down and whitewashed, if not neutered, picture of Nietzsche, with positive distortions and deletions of Nietzsche's philosophy.

There are however somethemes which unite his work and are common to much of it.

by Bernard Williams (Cambridge, 2001)Secondary sources:

Nietzsche denies this, but he sometimes does so by saying that herejects "truth." Second, Nietzsche sometimes uses the term "morality"in a similar way.

(Hollingdale translation; 1997: 158)

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If N's concept of nobility is essentially comparative, and the noble are those who are better than others, then the nobles are just as externally oriented as the resentful.