Reading Questions


  1. (Pref., §5) In what respect does Nietzsche disagree with Schopenhauer?


Nietzsche disagrees with his great teacher on a notion of morality. He reads Schopenhauer as having dealt too drastically with the “unegoistic”: instincts of compassion, self-sacrifice, and denial. In Nietzsche’s eyes this moody German as having took these things to a place where they became the values with which made him then reject life. For the unholy Nietzsche values that would affirm life for the individual are of the utmost importance.


  1. (1stessay, §2) Who, in Nietzsche’s view, first defined ‘the good’?  What were their motivations?


At first glance Nietzsche would seem to hold English psychologists accountable for their idiosyncrasies, yet this hides who he really sees as the true originators of the concept of “the good” that  is under  consideration. The nobility and the mighty or high placed who generated “the good” in this autonomous sense that they are the ones that had the power to judge what was good in and by itself for them. They had the power to be self reflective because one easily follows Nietzsche’s logic in that its a class distinction which could be easily enraging to those with Marxist tendencies but it should be noted that Nietzsche’s Master-Slave dialectic contains a deep dark truth. Just consider an initial notion: it is often the case that roles are reversed and the slave wishes to enslave (master), and the Master through its mastering becomes a slave to that which it masters – a rather complex topic for further thinking.


  1. (1stessay, §13) How do ‘the oppressed’ contribute to the notion of ‘the good’?


The oppressed contribute to the notion of “the good” because they are oppressed in the sense that it is only due to something being oppressed that any good may be seen as separate from that which is bad. Yet, this is not so clear so when we read Nietzsche as saying, ‘Whereas all noble morality grows out of a triumphant saying ‘yes’ to itself, slave morality says ‘no’ on principle to everything that is ‘outside’, ‘other’, ‘non-self’: and this ‘no’ is its creative deed.’ It is possible to understand this relation that Nietzsche brilliantly revealed to the world the trope of resentment ressentiment a revolt within morality itself providing the creation of values.


  1. (1stessay, §13) What does Nietzsche say here about choice and personality and how does it relate to Kierkegaard’s view?


This is an interesting question and it shows both of our existentialist forefathers to be extremely relevant to life today. When numinous Nietzsche suggests the battle in judging the relation between birds of prey and the tender lamb one may also translate that into Kierkegaard’s discussion in Either/Or which is a pseudonymous play on authentic identity and a reaction to the Hegelianism of his time. One would see the two positions developed individually to really share a great deal in that through their writings the modern individual and secular experience of either choice or free will?


  1. (2ndessay, §16) Do you think that in Nietzsche’s opinion we should return to being ‘half animals’?


Again, a good question and difficult to answer there are two parts to it the notion of half animals and the return. Developing Nietzsche’s thought one of the greatest readers of Nietzsche… Gilles Deleuze invites us to become animal – are we then to answer by repenting our repressed animality? One does not think this would be agreeable to Nietzsche I imagine he would urge you to understand the animal which you could become[…]

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