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Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844–1900)

PETER J. SEDGWICK


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405168908.2010.x


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Born in Röcken, Germany, Nietzsche studied classical philology at the Universities of Bonn and Leipzig (1864–5). He became professor of classical philology at the University of Basel, Switzerland in 1869 at the age of 24, but resigned from this post ten years later owing to ill health, having been granted a pension. Nietzsche's creative life spanned from the publication of The Birth of Tragedy in 1872 to the production of Twilight of the Idols and The Antichrist (a vehemently polemical attack on Christian belief) in late 1888. In January 1889 Nietzsche suffered a mental collapse from which he never recovered. He was cared for by his mother, and subsequently by his sister, until his death in 1900. The apparent ease with which it is possible to read Nietzsche's books is deceptive. Stylistically, he is one of the most approachable of philosophers, but the complexity of his ideas and their development defies simple exegesis. What follows merely selects some of the more influential aspects of his thought and places them in the context of their effect upon recent philosophy and C ritical theory . Nietzsche's writings have had a significant impact on philosophy, literature, critical theory, and even theology. Figures as diverse as Sigmund F reud , Martin H eidegger (who views Nietzsche primarily in the context of his own critique of western metaphysical thought), Jean-Paul S artre ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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