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On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life: Thoughts Out of Season Pt. 2 Paperback – 1 Jan 1980

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Product details

  • Paperback: 70 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc; New Ed edition (1 Jan. 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915144948
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915144945
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,009,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 was, arguably, the most important philosopher of the 19th century. His works include Beyond Good and Evil, Ecce Homo, Human, All Too Human, and Thus Spake Zarathustra."

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Amazon.com: 10 reviews
89 of 91 people found the following review helpful
Unique and startling 2 Jan. 2001
By Robert Lawrence - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is different than Nietzsche's well-known major works. It does not explicitly examine the nature of morality, the master/slave relationship, or related questions. Instead, it questions the relationship of historical knowledge to life in the present. By "present", Nietzsche does not mean some specific century or decade, but rather the present we perpetually find ourselves in as human beings.
Nietzsche asks: given that we always live in such a present, why do we want or need historical knowledge? Animals live without a historical sense: they do not reflect on the past or contemplate their future -- they simply live from moment to moment in the eternal present that humans perpetually avoid. And generally, Nietzsche notes, animals seem happier than human beings: more spontaneous, more cheerful, less given to morbid and resentful states of mind.
Given these differences, should humans abandon the study of history and try to live in the present like animals? No, says Nietzsche, this relation to history is the true source of human uniqueness and achievement. The question is not "Should we study history?" but rather, "What history should we study, and in what amount?" The answer, says Nietzsche, is history that gives us a proper appreciation of life's difficulties and the struggles that have preceded us, but which nonetheless spurs us to creative action in the present. We should never study history for history's sake; rather, we should study it with a view to understanding and surpassing our present.
This is a short, powerful volume, dense with ideas but astoundingly clear.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Philosophy with exclamation points! 14 Mar. 2012
By jafrank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Oh god this was fun. Nietzsche's confrontational writing style is such a breath of fresh air compared to so much of pre-20th century German philosophical writing. There are a lot of really good observations crammed into this small piece. The recognition that people often fetishize the past as a way of condemning the skills and talents of their own time, the ways that Christian millenarian beliefs stifle personal creativity and expression. But my favorite thing about this text is how he shows that a hyper-awareness of history more often then not leads to malaise and inaction rather then to some overly contrived idea of wisdom and fulfillment, (Dostoevsky's Underground Man, anyone?) If nothing else, its got more exclamation marks than any other philosophic text I've ever read. Highly recommended.
Good Edition 24 July 2014
By Jace L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An important consideration of the impact of Historicism. Nietzsche makes a clear case for the positive and negative aspects of the rise of historical consciousness and how men should behave in light of Post-Hegelian ideas.

I cannot speak to the quality of the translation, but the prose is accessible and the small size of the book makes it easy to carry around.
Nietzsche is so refreshing 21 April 2015
By Noor A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
He writes with personality and emotion. He's biting and can even be humorous in a certain light. There is room for criticism, but overall I love this text. It's a great criticism of the people around me (probably of me as well)
Nietzsche's writing has a certain emotional quality that draws me ... 9 Dec. 2014
By Bilal Ansar Khan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nietzsche's writing has a certain emotional quality that draws me in and makes me consider his viewpoint emotionally. He may be a little difficult to understand initially but trust me, he's worth spending your time on.
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