Beyond Good and Evil

Jenseits von Gut und Böse

Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (German: Jenseits von Gut und Böse: Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft) is a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that expands the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, with a more critical and polemical approach. It was first published in 1886. (Wikipedia)

Text from this book:

59 Whoever has looked deeply into the world will surely divine what wisdom there is in human superficiality. It is the instinct of preservation that teaches us to be fleet, light, and false. Now and then, in philosophers or artists, one finds a passionate and exaggerated worship of ‘pure forms’: no one should doubt that a person who so needs the surface must once have made an unfortunate grab underneath it. Perhaps these burnt children, the born artists who find their only joy in trying to falsify life’s image (as if taking protracted revenge against it—), perhaps they may even belong to a hierarchy: we could tell the degree to which they are sick of life by how much they wish to see its image adulterated, diluted, transcendentalized, apotheosized—we could count the homines religiosi among the artists, as their highest class. For thousands of years, a deep, suspicious fear of an incurable pessimism has forced people to cling to a religious interpretation of existence: this instinctual fear senses that they might gain possession of the truth too soon, before they have become strong enough for it, tough enough, artist enough …
When viewed thus, piety, a ‘life with God’, would appear to be the most exquisite end product of the fear of truth; the worshipful artist’s intoxication at the most persistent of all falsifications; the will to truth-reversal, to untruth at any price. Perhaps there has never yet been a more powerful device for beautifying even mankind than piety itself: it can turn humans so completely into art, surface, opalescence, kindness, that we no longer suffer when we look at them.


Synopsis

Beyond Good and Evil back covberBeyond Good and Evil confirmed Nietzsche’s position as the towering European philosopher of his age. The work dramatically rejects the tradition of Western thought with its notions of truth and God, good and evil. Nietzsche demonstrates that the Christian world is steeped in a false piety and infected with a ‘slave morality’. With wit and energy, he turns from this critique to a philosophy that celebrates the present and demands that the individual imposes their own ‘will to power’ upon the world. This edition includes a commentary on the text by the translator and Michael Tanner’s introduction, which explains some of the more abstract passages in Beyond Good and Evil. Frederich Nietzsche (1844-1900) became the chair of classical philology at Basel University at the age of 24 until his bad health forced him to retire in 1879. He divorced himself from society until his final collapse in 1899 when he became insane. A powerfully original thinker, Nietzsche’s influence on subsequent writers, such as George Bernard Shaw, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann and Jean-Paul Sartre, was considerable. If you enjoyed Beyond Good and Evil you might like Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, also available in Penguin Classics. ‘One of the greatest books of a very great thinker’ Michael Tanner

Beyond Good and Evil back cover 2A caustic criticism of nearly every philosophic predecessor and a challenge of traditionally held views on right and wrong, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil paved the way for modern philosophical thought. Through nearly three hundred transformative aphorisms, Nietzsche presents a worldview in which neither truth nor morality are absolutes, and where good and evil are not opposites but counterparts that stem from the same desires. Beyond Good and Evil was a foundational text for early twentieth-century thinkers, including philosophers, psychologists, novelists, and playwrights. Today’s readers will delight in Nietzsche’s pithy wit and irony while gaining a deeper understanding of his core ideology.

Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future is a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1886. It draws on and expands the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, but with a more critical and polemical approach. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality. Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that find more direct expression in the evil man. The work moves into the realm “beyond good and evil” in the sense of leaving behind the traditional morality which Nietzsche subjects to a destructive critique in favor of what he regards as an affirmative approach that fearlessly confronts the perspectival nature of knowledge and the perilous condition of the modern individual.

Beyond Good and Evil back cover 3Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future (German: Jenseits von Gut und Böse: Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft) is a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche that expands the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, with a more critical and polemical approach. It was first published in 1886. In Beyond Good and Evil, Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality. Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that find more direct expression in the evil man. The work moves into the realm “beyond good and evil” in the sense of leaving behind the traditional morality which Nietzsche subjects to a destructive critique in favour of what he regards as an affirmative approach that fearlessly confronts the perspectival nature of knowledge and the perilous condition of the modern individual. Of the four “late-period” writings of Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil most closely resembles the aphoristic style of his middle period. In it he exposes the deficiencies of those usually called “philosophers” and identifies the qualities of the “new philosophers”: imagination, self-assertion, danger, originality, and the “creation of values.” He then contests some of the key presuppositions of the old philosophic tradition like “self-consciousness,” “knowledge,” “truth,” and “free will,” explaining them as inventions of the moral consciousness. In their place, he offers the “will to power” as an explanation of all behavior; this ties into his “perspective of life,” which he regards as “beyond good and evil,” denying a universal morality for all human beings. Religion and the master and slave moralities feature prominently as Nietzsche re-evaluates deeply held humanistic beliefs, portraying even domination, appropriation and injury to the weak as not universally objectionable.


Reading Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Reading it here at archive.org or download the PDF here Beyond good and evil 1909

Beyond Good and Evil 2