[Philosophers]


Picture of NietzscheFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


German Philosopher

1844-1900


An individualistic moralist rather than a systematic philosopher, influenced by Schopenhauer and by his early friendship with Richard Wagner, he passionately rejected the "slave morality" of Christianity for a new, heroic morality that would affirm life. Leading this new society would be a breed of supermen whose "will to power" would set them off from the "herd" of inferior humanity. His writings, e.g., Thus Spake Zarathustra (1883-91) and Beyond Good and Evil (1886), were later used as a philosophical justification for nazi doctrines of racial and national superiority; most scholars, however, regard this as a perversion of Nietzsche's thought.

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