Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) argued that "God is dead" and therefore people were free to create their own values.
His ideal was the Ubermensch, or "Superman", who would impose his will on the weak and worthless. Nietzsche claimed that knowledge is never objective, but always serves some interest or unconscious purpose.
His insights into the relation between thought and language had an important influence on philosophy. Although claimed as a precursor by Nazism, many of his views are incompatible with totalitarian ideology. He is a profoundly ambivalent thinker whose philosophy can be appropriated for many purposes.
Born in Rocken, Saxony, he attended Bonn and Leipzig universities and was professor of Greek at Basel (1869-1880). He had abandoned the
ology for philology, and was influenced by the writings of Schopenhauer and the music of Wagner, of whom he became both friend and advocate. Both these attractions passed, however, and ill-health caused his resignation from the university.
He spent his later years in North Italy, in the Engadine, and in South France. He published Morgenrote (1880-1881), Diefrohliche Wissenschaft (1881-1882), also sprach Zarathustra (1883-1885), Jenseits von Gut und Bbse (1885-1886), Genealogie der Moral in 1887, and Ecce Homo in 1888. He suffered a permanent breakdown in 1889 from overwork and loneliness.
Why is Friedrich Nietzsche famous?
Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher who rejected the accepted absolute moral values and the "slave morality" of Christianity.
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