hi all, this is my first thread, and i shall keep it concise by asking a very broad and simple question: what do you think of nietzsche? his philosophies?

I think he’s the most elusive “philosopher” I’ve read, but the most interesting at the same time.

i agree that he is very elusive. i’ve only read zarathustra in full and a few exerpts from other works, and sometimes it makes me say “huh?” not because you i grasp it, but because it doesn’t seem to make sense.

when reading Nietzsche, you really have to read all of him… everything… and not a quick reading either, but serious study of him… reading and re-reading… including his letters and notes… even will to power just remember that he did not compile his notes for it… he is one of the most often “taken out of context” philosophers that there is… but very much worth reading… and like Nietzsche himself writes in the preface of Antichrist:

"This book belongs to the very few. Perhaps not one of them is even living yet. Maybe they will be the readers who understand my Zarathustra: how could I mistake myself for one of those for whom there are ears even now?— Only the day after tomorrow belongs to me. Some are born posthumously.

The conditions under which I am understood, and then of necessity—I know them only too well. One must be honest in matters of the spirit to the point of hardness before one can even endure my seriousness and my passion. One must be skilled in living on mountains—seeing the wretched ephemeral babble of politics and national self-seeking beneath oneself. One must have become indifferent; one must never ask if the truth is useful or if it may prove our undoing … The predilection of strength for questions for which no one today has the courage; the courage for the forbidden; the predestination to the labyrinth. An experience of seven solitudes. New ears for new music. New eyes for what is most distant. A new conscience for truths that have so far remained mute. And the will to the economy of the great style: keeping our strength, our enthusiasm in harness … Reverence for oneself; love of oneself; unconditional freedom before oneself…

Well then! Such men alone are my readers, my right readers, my predestined readers: what matter the rest? The rest—that is merely mankind. One must be above mankind in strength, in loftiness of soul—in contempt …"


He was as much a poet as a philosopher, and he rarely just comes out and says what he means. Some of his writing was as much about the words as their meaning. He was a very gifted craftsman of words, much like Nabokov.

See the topic “Nietzsche” on this forum page, last post Jan. 18.

See also the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s article at

There are difficulties in understanding Nietzsche. But I agree with Old Europe, who said in this forum that Nietzsche meant every word he wrote. He did not fill in with chatter.

Some of the diffculties are: (1) He wrote in German, and translations are always imperfect. (2) He was a masterful language stylist. (3) He changed his views over time. (4) He sometimes communicated by ellipsis/omission.

I agree with his idea of self-overcoming. If you discipline yourself to accomplish something, you like yourself better and feel that you have ‘power’ (over yourself, not other people).

I disagree with his idea of eternal recurrance. Scientifically it’s not very likely.

I disagree with his categorical low opinion of women.

So I range from complete agreement to complete disagreement with Nietzsche’s ideas. But I always wake up when I read him.

Reading Nietzsche almost forces one to become a philologist, for only then can one truly grasp ‘everything’ he wrote.

Not one writer since his death has come close to reaching the same level of penmanship as he, and chances are, no one ever will. In a sense, Nietzsche was like the Jimi Hendrix of his day.

Yep, Nietzshe was a victim of his own over-romantisism. He wrote so prosely, that made him sounding impressive, but gave him many weakness as well. Can’t blame any Libra for being romantic (He embraced the bloody horse!). But as a philosopher, over-romantisism definetely effected him negatively.

I have a very strong emotional attachment to Nietzsche- he was the very first philosopher I really read many years back, and it literally blew my mind. I’d say the three most influencial books (on my developement) of philosophy are probably Beyond Good and Evil, Thus Spake Zarathustra and RM Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence. (The latter because I read it while still in High School).

And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good…
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

That lead my to read Plato’s Repubic and Phaedrus, which lead to the next thing (guess why I picked the nic? :laughing: ).