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Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844–1900)

Stacy Warner Maddern

Subject Philosophy
History » Intellectual History

Place Europe » Western Europe

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899

People Nietzsche, Friedrich

Key-Topics bibliography, God, individualism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01101.x


Born in 1844 in the small town of Ruecken, Prussia, Friedrich Nietzsche would challenge the normative forces of morality in the dawn of the twentieth century. Through his thesis on the death of God, Nietzsche sought to identify the complicity between morality and Christianity that perpetuated the denial of life. As a child, Nietzsche's life would be altered, at the age of 4, by the death of his father, who had been a Lutheran minister. The event seemed to spark what would later result in his questioning the existence of God, initiating an important philosophical anti-religious current in the nineteenth century that burnished the value of individual rights. At 15, Nietzsche entered Schulpforta, a Lutheran boarding school, where he prepared for university studies. After graduation he attended the University of Bonn in 1864 as a theology and philology student. At Bonn, Nietzsche indulged in a more hedonistic lifestyle and it is believed he contracted syphilis there. After growing tired of such endeavors he left Bonn for the University of Leipzig, fixing all his attention exclusively on philology – a discipline which then centered upon the interpretation of classical and biblical texts. As a student of philology, Nietzsche attended lectures by Otto Jahn (1813–69) and Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl (1806–76). In 1865, at the age of 21, Nietzsche discovered Arthur Schopenhauer's The World ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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