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Beyond Good and Evil [Paperback]

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
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Book Description

9 Sep 2011
Beyond Good and Evil takes up and expands on the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but approached from a more critical, polemical direction. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche attacks past philosophers for their alleged lack of critical sense and their blind acceptance of Christian premises in their consideration of morality. The work moves into the realm "beyond good and evil" in the sense of leaving behind the traditional morality which Nietzsche subjects to a destructive critique in favour of what he regards as an affirmative approach that fearlessly confronts the perspectival nature of knowledge and the perilous condition of the modern individual.

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Beyond Good and Evil + Nietzsche: The Anti-Christ, Ecce Homo, Twilight of the Idols: And Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) + Human, All Too Human (Penguin Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Tribeca Books (9 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612930530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612930534
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,363,092 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

Book Description

Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most scathing and powerful critiques of philosophy, religion, science, politics and ethics ever written. This edition offers a new and readable translation by Judith Norman, together with an introduction by Rolf-Peter Horstmann that sets it in its historical and philosophical context. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a nineteenth-century German philosopher and classical philologist. He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, using a distinctive German language style and displaying a fondness for metaphor and aphorism. Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism and postmodernism. His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition, and to a lesser extent in analytic philosophy. His key ideas include the interpretation of tragedy as an affirmation of life, an eternal recurrence (which numerous commentators have re-interpreted), a rejection of Platonism, and a repudiation of both Christianity and egalitarianism (especially in the form of democracy and socialism).

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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much maligned and misunderstood 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Of all the philosophers you are ever likely to come across, Nietzsche is perhaps the easiest to read. His creative prose is graceful and poetic, whilst his aphoristic style delivers quick, witty and deeply profound insights.

However, whilst his writings are the easiest to read, they are also the hardest to truly understand - and most of the time this is completely intentional.

The result of this is that people dip into his works and come away believing that they fully understand Nietzsche's philosophy, when in reality they have allowed snippets of insight to snowball in entirely the wrong directions, resulting in gross misinterpretations. Look up the case of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb for the most extreme example of this.

Unfortunately, the only way to truly understand the development of Nietzsche's thought is to study all his works, beginning with the Birth of Tragedy and ending with Ecce Homo (and possibly The Will to Power, providing it is understood in context). It is also necessary to have a good background knowledge of antique philosophy and more recent 'influences' such as Spinoza, Kant, Hegel & Schopenhauer. Only in this way is it possible to ever come close to the true meaning behind these works.

However, Nietzsche's work is prolific - and most people will have neither the time nor the inclination to undertake this kind of project. Therefore, it is advisable to at least read a couple of introductory texts before diving into a book like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first encountered Beyond Good and Evil at the end of my Kantian phase. I was looking for convincing arguments from ethicists and moral philosophers and consistently coming up short when the title of this book grabbed my attention. I found much more than I expected - I found things I'd wondered about (and not seen in books elsewhere) but developed to a greater maturity, some deeply profound insights, some shocking assertions, and some things that at the time I found hard to decipher. I was ambivalent about Nietzsche at first, because, on the one hand, he was brilliant, on the other, there were plenty of assertions that I was deeply uncomfortable with.

Now that I have read most of Nietzsche's writings I must say my doubts have fallen away. He certainly does write in a way that can disturb, but this is an important part of his rhetorical strategy - the intent is to make you feel something. It is very important to read him very carefully. I have never found him to be rude or spiteful for the sake of it - there is almost always a philosophical point he is trying to make but, to identify what it is, usually requires 1) a good knowledge of his published works 2) comparing and contrasting what he says on a topic book to book, aphorism to aphorism. Even his remarks about women, though shocking and still the most controversial aspect of his thought, need to be read very carefully - Nietzsche felt that the feminist movement of his day (improvement and/or freedom of women through education, emancipation, work, rationality etc.) was still fundamentally conditioned by slave morality, and that, as with men, women's power is attained through 'strength of will', and not through 'culture' (s. 239).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful Introduction harms well produced book 3 Jan 2014
By Bubo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Nietzsche books in the Cambridge texts in the history of philosophy are handsome and well produced. They have durability. The translation by Judith Norman is excellent. But I have to deduct one star for the appalling introduction by series editor Rolf-Peter Horstmann whose petty-mindedness and complete lack of philosophical acumen is sad testimony to the truth of what Nietzsche said about both scholars and Germans. That a small, inconsequential, uncreative man use the space of an introduction to a book by Nietzsche which I've paid money for to denigrate the latter in a half-honest way is something that makes me angry. Also I can assess the strength of Nietzsche's thought on my own terms, I don't need the mediation of some German self-entitled boffin who is completely unaware of his own reactive nature, his own psychology not to mention his own will-to-power. I buy philosophy books to be free from petty-mindedness and reactive will-to-power, not to be reminded of it and having it shoved down my throat in an "introduction".

So, while Nietzsche's work is five stars, I have to deduct a star from Horstmann's offensively stupid and resentful introduction. P.S. I'm glad I'm not a scholar.

Four stars
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15 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nietzsche's best book 2 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Essential! Nietzsche at his best. His most focused work.
BGE is essentially a collection of notes from underground expounding how we should reassess ourselves & evolve to higher states (individuate?). Nietzsche, as a man, experiences & relays depths perhaps previously unplundered.
Like all of Nietzsche's writings BGE is unerringly enigmatic, intense, & mesmeric if, however, fraught with a certain paradox.
I have greatly enjoyed this book, although in retrospect I don't think Nietzsche ever quite became the Ubermench/Superman he sought to be. Just because everything mentioned is true (what isn't?) doesn't necessarily make it good for the soul!
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