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Beyond Good and Evil (Penguin Classics) [Paperback]

Friedrich Nietzsche , Michael Tanner , R. J. Hollingdale
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Feb 2003 Penguin Classics

Friedrich Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil is translated from the German by R.J. Hollingdale with an introduction by Michael Tanner in Penguin Classics.

Beyond Good and Evil confirmed Nietzsche's position as the towering European philosopher of his age. The work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a 'slave morality'. With wit and energy, he turns from this critique to a philosophy that celebrates the present and demands that the individual imposes their own 'will to power' upon the world.

This edition includes a commentary on the text by the translator and Michael Tanner's introduction, which explains some of the more abstract passages in Beyond Good and Evil.

Frederich Nietzsche (1844-1900) became the chair of classical philology at Basel University at the age of 24 until his bad health forced him to retire in 1879. He divorced himself from society until his final collapse in 1899 when he became insane. A powerfully original thinker, Nietzsche's influence on subsequent writers, such as George Bernard Shaw, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann and Jean-Paul Sartre, was considerable.

If you enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil you might like Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, also available in Penguin Classics.

'One of the greatest books of a very great thinker'

Michael Tanner

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (27 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014044923X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140449235
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Prussia in 1844. After the death of his father, a Lutheran minister, Nietzsche was raised from the age of five by his mother in a household of women. In 1869 he was appointed Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, where he taught until 1879 when poor health forced him to retire. He never recovered from a nervous breakdown in 1889 and died eleven years later.

Known for saying that "god is dead," Nietzsche propounded his metaphysical construct of the superiority of the disciplined individual (superman) living in the present over traditional values derived from Christianity and its emphasis on heavenly rewards. His ideas were appropriated by the Fascists, who turned his theories into social realities that he had never intended.

Product Description

About the Author

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) published, among other titles, Human, All Too Human and The Dawn. He divorced himself from public life and, in 1889, became insane, remaining in a condition of mental and physical paralysis until his death. R J Hollingdale translated eleven of Nietzsche's books and published two books about him. Michael Tanner is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The will to truth, which is still going to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise; that celebrated veracity of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with reverence: what questions this will to truth has already set before us! Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best place to start with Nietzsche 12 Mar 2007
Many start with the better-known "Thus spoke Zarathoustra" but this book is a clearer and more accessible exposition of Nietzsche's mature philosophy. The book is organized under chapter headings dealing with the main areas Nietzsche was concerned with : philosophy and philosophers, religion, art, the genealogy of morals etc. as well as various brilliant aphorisms. Above all, do not believe the bitter reviews of those who were probably looking for a manual of traditional or religious morality - Nietzsche's aim was precisely to attack these and replace them with something better. But beyond his polemical aspect, Nietzsche is an ESSENTIAL philosopher for our self-understanding because he reintroduced the body into the western philosophical tradition, thus reversing the idealistic tradition which started with Plato. Thus he is of the highest importance whether or not one agrees with all of his conclusions. This is the best and clearest introduction to his thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future 12 Mar 2013
By Eggy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality. Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that find more direct expression in the evil man.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read but difficult to understand 19 Feb 2013
Like all books by Nietzsche, this one contains brilliant thoughts, brilliantly written down. Here is my favourite fragment, much abbreviated: "Everything profound loves the mask; the profoundest things of all hate even image and parable. Should not nothing less than the opposite be the proper disguise under which the shame of god goes abroad?...Every profound spirit needs a mask: more, around every profound spirit a mask is continually growing, thanks to the constantly false, that is to say shallow interpretation of every word he speaks, every step he takes, every sign of life he gives" (BGE: 40).

But as Kaufmann has warned us, Nietzsche is easy to read but difficult to understand. This self-riddling style goes back to Heraclitus, Nietzsche's most revered pre-Socratic. And Pythia of Delphi was not lacking ambiguity in her pronouncements either.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bran Flakes for the Soul 4 Feb 2011
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nietzsche divorced society surrendering social contact but meanwhle carefully plotted its downfall. Not with the nihilistic fevour of Gabril Princeps. Nietzsche did not want to destroy the Austrian monarchy. He wanted to do something much more grandiose, much more extreme than simple assassination. He wanted to change the thoughts inside the head.

Just as Christianity had programmed the world for two thousand years with its doctrines of sin and salvation, capturing the dreamworlds of a populace born into submission, Nietzche wanted to find the key to liberation. Merely throwing Molotov Cocktails or firing pistols or detonating bombs was never enough. He knew that words and thoughts had a far greater impact than any form of incendary detonation.

This book is verbal dynamite sparking off reams of emotional powerful light beams of right and left but never the centre. Nietzsche was all about extremes. The old gentlemanly strolls across the lawn reciting Homer, reading Aristophanes, Euripedes, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates and the New Testament is torn asunder by a verbal shoulder charge.

The New Testament and its adherents are shredded one by one in a police line up where each are denounded as the greatest hypocritical monsters since the last saviour of souls. Interestingly he is kind to Jesus but severe on the prophets. God of course is dead and so is the morality play built up his hallucinated appearance. Once disposed of then morality collapses as there can be no appeal to a higher authority if he no longer exists. This leads to the existential crisis bridged by the over man who transcends disbelief through application of the will.

Good and Evil are the twin polarities of the morality show.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Need it for college 3 Oct 2013
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It's great book, I was glad to find it as I needed it for college in my a2 philosophy class
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4.0 out of 5 stars Freeing and empowering. 31 Oct 2012
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This book is so challenging and full of firm, intelligent opinions about the nature of morality, its history and its future. Here, Nietzsche pushes the boundaries of human thought and succeeds in attacking simple-minded dichotomies. His work is freeing and empowering in a way that traditional religious theology just isn't!

Some of his prose is a little hard to read, particularly if you are new to philosophy like me, but I would strongly recommend buying this book and dipping into it when you feel ready to partake of some of this man's considerable wisdom.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is will to and lust for power 14 May 2010
Friedrich Nietzsche shouts in a relentless torrent of raging prose and a sometimes obscene vocabulary his anger about the concepts of Christian morality, God, sin, democracy and socialism. For him, all `eternal' values must be inverted or revalued.

Plato, Christianity, democracy, socialism
For Nietzsche, the decline of mankind began with the Greek `dogmatist', Plato, who invented the pure spirit and the good as such.
His ideas were adopted by Christianity, `Platonism for the people'. But, Christian faith constitutes a sacrifice of all freedom, enslavement and self-mutilation. Its morality of pity, humility and utility worsens the human race. By preserving all that is sick, mankind breeds `a mediocre herd animal', `ugly plebeians'.
The democratic movement is the heir of Christianity. Democracy, `the nonsense of the greatest numbers', with its `equality of rights', is a form of political decay and, more importantly, a decay of `man' through the creation of a `dwarf animal'.
The `socialist dolts and flatheads are the scribbling slaves of the democratic taste striving for the universal green-pasture happiness of the herd.'

Nietzsche's evangel (master and slave morality)
The cardinal instinct of man is not self-preservation, but the discharge of strength. The essence of life is will to power. Everything evil, terrible, tyrannical in man, everything that is kin to beasts of prey and serpents serves the enhancement of the species `man'.
Good is the distinction, the determination of rank. Every enhancement of the type `man' has so far been the work of an aristocratic society. The noble soul lives as a leader who feels the compulsion to exploit his strength. Egoism is the nature of the noble soul. Exploitation belongs to the essence of what lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars V DATED
Published 2 months ago by CENTRAL LONDON MAN
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Difficult, Unhinged and Bigotted
This is philosophy from an era when Napoleon Bonapart could be considered the example of the perfect man - because he had the free will to rise above petty societal norms and forge... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brownbear101
1.0 out of 5 stars Alright.
The book looks alright, but a friend of mine told me the game was FAR better. Play it on the original xbox.
Published 10 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars s
all good 28 words or more x v b b n h g f d s a r ew qo p l
Published 14 months ago by Toni Taylor-Munn
5.0 out of 5 stars great service, must recommend
Item arrived promptly, neatly folded in package. A few mishandling slides but not visible unless looked out for and has fresh scent of a new book.

Very happy customer.
Published 19 months ago by raphaelo
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Tanner, you have overcome yourself!
What I want to draw attention to in my brief review is to this particular edition of Beyond Good and Evil (BGE). Read more
Published on 13 April 2012 by Allen Baird
2.0 out of 5 stars Different
Not what I was expecting. Maybe the book will grow on me. The authors notes at the beginning were extensive and a little off putting. Read more
Published on 6 Jan 2012 by B.Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars You need a Reason?
This is Nietzsche, are you here to read me or him? So go ahead buy it, read it and make you mind. After go find you friends and talk about it if you feel like it, but don't come in... Read more
Published on 25 April 2011 by Roberto Nike
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