friedrich Nietzschequotes

1844 - 1900

Photograph of Friedrich NietzscheIt is difficult to name a philosopher, artist, or writer of the 20th century who was not influenced by German philosopher and classical scholar, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), who famously wrote, “God is dead.” While his works tend to evoke either passionate love or furious disgust, Nietzsche was called in his day a “man of limitless talent and profound imaginative insight.”

Though his name has been linked to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Regime, largely due to his sister’s misrepresentation of him and his works as caretaker of his legacy after his death (The Will to Power), Nietzsche was always opposed to nationalism and antisemitism.

Known for his anti-Christian writing (The Antichrist), which foresaw the decline of traditional religion in modern society, he argued for self-awareness and identity as crafted by the individual, beyond the limitations of transcendental beliefs like God or the soul, in order to become one’s best self.

His works do not isolate one particular theme of thought, for he wrote extensively on many subjects such as history, truth, morality, language and consciousness, which greatly influenced Western philosophy with recurring concepts on nihilism, the “will to power,” eternal recurrence, and the Übermensch (Thus Spoke Zarathustra).

After suffering chronic pain his entire life due to migraines, half blindness, and the lingering effects of dysentery and diphtheria, Nietzsche collapsed from a mental breakdown on the streets of Turin, Italy, in 1889, and never recovered his mental lucidity. He lived for another ten years in the care of either family or asylums before he died of a stroke in 1900.