Nietzsche Third Essay Summary

This over-rationalization has blinded us to the true essential nature of ourselves and our world—the essential truth is that there is no truth and we continually commit a Cartesian “material falsity,” mistaking the false rationality for reality.

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The most agreed upon characterization of God is that He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipresent (everywhere, always). However, God is also absolutely good (partially justified because evil is a lack, God’s perfection prohibits him lacking anything).

So, if he created everything, than he must have created evil—but if he is all-good, then he cannot have created evil.

it requires the radical pause and shift of focus of the phenomenological attitude, wherein we suspend all of our biases (for example, our value judgments, beliefs that the world is governed by necessary laws, religious, spiritual, or biological ideas of predetermination or destiny, etc.) … Our thoughts should grow out of our values with the same necessity as the fruit out of the tree… What concern is that of the trees—or of us, the philosophers? III) Nietzsche admits that he has always been obsessed with good and evil (question of evil as his a priori)—in that space between childhood and god.

His first solution to how there is evil in the world was to say God was the father of evil.

For Nietzsche, the Genealogy’s trajectory begins with the birth of morality through its development to its peak, and calls out for its downfall.

1) What is the origin of the ethical categories “good,” “bad,” “evil?

During his time there he met and became very close with Richard Wagner (and Cosima) who inspired his first book (radically different than classic philology and a start to his great cultural critique) and he served (1870-1) as a medical orderly in the Franco-Prussian war and contracted several serious diseases including diphtheria, dysentery, and syphilis.

After resigning from Basel, Nietzsche traveled a great deal for about ten years (until 1889) before suffering his severe breakdown—reportedly, on the streets of Turin, he ran to stop a man from whipping a horse, threw his arms about the horse’s neck and collapsed—he was transferred to various psychiatric clinics before his sister returned from (the eugenic racist colony in Paraguay started by her and her husband, he committed suicide) took control of him and his estate and writings, moving him to Weimar for the last several years of his life.

These questions expose the origins of moral determinants, their development in the social sphere and how they develop this sphere, and the common means of an attempt to deny this history.

For Nietzsche, this progression of morality is not the progression of the greatness of humankind, but rather, like Lao Tzu and Confucius, the degeneration of humanity and history. Nietzsche’s investigation promotes no project: there is no task to be undertake to “cure” the “sickness” of modernity; yet, if such was possible, then his project would command that conventional ethics must be overcome, that some future individuals can find their way beyond good and evil.


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