The Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche

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The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche


Friedrich Nietzsche’s life coincides with great social, cultural and political transformations in Europe. The history of the old continent during the nineteenth century develops as a strategy of alliances and confrontations between workers and bourgeois, which sometimes unite forces against the monarchy to remove it from power and foster economic liberalism, but on other occasions they face when classesworkers claim democratic changes that involve greater political and economic balance. 

At the end of the nineteenth century many states of Europe had applied constitutions that strengthened democratic political changes. By 1870 deep transformations occur in industrial development that give way to the so -called Second Industrial Revolution. The progress of industrialization were the result of the close relationship between scientific and technological development.


The economic and social changes that are promoted in the second half of the 19th century induces intellectuals to react to speculative visions and get closer to reality. Dominant thought will be positivism and social evolutionism and Darwinism, although an individualistic sense of human destiny will also open its way. The different mentalities will influence different artistic expressions such as realism, avant -garde and impressionism.

We cannot understand Nietzsche without the knowledge of Germany’s unification in 1871. The strong German state had achieved an effective class of honest and tolerant officials and workers with the laws. But as a counterpart, German philosophy of the second half of the nineteenth century saw that to achieve this the free and individual spirit had been eliminated and went out to fight scientific positivism and Hegelian idealism. Nietzsche’s thinking will face the idealistic and positivist reason.

History of an error

This chapter is within the twilight of the gods, written in 1887 by Friedrich Nietzsche and published in 1889, a year before the author died by stroke in the company of his sister Elisabeth who managed and published the works of his brother. This work can be summarized, to general features and in relation to the selected fragment, in a criticism of all Western thought from Socrates and Plato to the present of the German philosopher.

 It will begin in the twilight of the gods referring to the duality of the Apollonian (God of beauty, which represents the values of reason, measure, balance and individuality) and the dionysiac (God of excesses, represents the valuesof life, excess, mystical drunkenness and the cancellation of personal consciousness). The confrontation between them projects the meaning of the world: life and death, birth and decline, aspects that form the same reality.

In the selected fragment, history of an error, in a nutshell Nietzsche explains what for him are the determining moments of western thought, questionable this brief review of the history of the philosophy that the thinker performs. For him, the "true world", throughout Western history and culture, has become a "fable": it will be with the figure of Socrates and Plato the beginning of the decline of the Greek spirit, already present in the philosophersPresocratics;Christian morality is a decadent moral, the result of resentment: Kant’s approaches and illustration are insufficient to awaken from the "fable";With positivism the road would begin to glimpse, “Tomorrow gray. First yawn of reason. Song of the Gallo of Positivism ”;The fifth and sixth points would refer to Nietzsche’s own philosophy.


Western culture is based on values (moral, religion, philosophy, science) of perfect, rational and divine nature, invented by man. In this way the world has been manipulated, the real world, and has penetrated a path of decline. You have to find a new path for the human being that makes the morale of lords prevail against slave morals.

The death of God, or rather the murder of God by the human being, would be equivalent to the destruction of Western culture and therefore the immersion in nihilism that facilitates the beginning of a new phase of less conditioned and freer history. Human misfortune is such because the human being has made the world miserable. But the human being is a link to the future and is not an end in itself. The superman recognizes life as happening, as continuous repetition, without creating a transcendental type subject. 

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