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(Röcken, current Germany, 1844-Weimar, id., 1900) Swiss citizen, German philosopher. His grandfather and his father were Protestant pastors, so he was educated in a religious atmosphere. After studying classical Philology at the universities of Bonn and Leipzig, at the age of twenty-four he obtained extraordinary Professor at the University of Basel; a few years later, however, it gave up teaching, disappointed by the University academic. In his youth was a friend of Richard Wagner, who felt a deep admiration, even though he would later break their relationship with him.
The life of the philosopher was becoming increasingly withdrawn and bitter as he advanced in age and the symptoms of his disease, syphilis intensified. In 1882 they hoped to in marriage to the poet Lou Andreas Salomé, who was rejected, after which detained permanently in their work. While now acknowledging the value of their texts regardless of his tortured biography, for some time the criticism attributed corrosive tone of his writings to the disease that was suffering from a young age and that eventually cause insanity.
The last eleven years of his life were spent being held, first in a centre of Basel and later in another of Naumburg, although today it is clear that its closure was caused by the ignorance of the true nature of his medical condition. After his death, his sister manipulated his writings, approaching them to the ideology of the nazi movement, which did not hesitate to invoke them as a guarantee of their ideology; the whole of his work shows, however, the distance that separates it from them.
Among the divisions that have been proposed for the works of Nietzsche, the more syncretic perhaps which differentiates between a first period of criticism of culture and a second period of maturity in which his works acquired a more metaphysical tone, while become more aphoristic and airtight. If the first aspect was the more impact caused at the time, the subsequent interpretation, from Heidegger, set, especially in his later works.
As a critic of Western culture, Nietzsche considered that its meaning has been always suppress (the Dionysian) life on behalf of rationalism and morality (the Apollonian); philosophy, which has the image of an unchanging world of essences, transmitted from Plato and Christianity, advocating identical moral essentialism, eventually establishing a society of resentment, in which the present moment and the infinite variety of life are cancelled on behalf of otherworldly life and order, where the male relieves his anguish.
His hermeneutic work focuses in this period to show how behind the rationality and moral Westerners are always prejudice, error, or the mere sublimation of vital impulses. The "death of God" announces the philosopher leaves the man without petty security of an order transcendent, and therefore faced with the struggle of different wills as single engine and meaning of existence. The concept of will to power, which already belongs to their mature works, to be interpreted not so much a biological sense as hermeneutic: they are different versions of the world, or ways of living it, that face, and if Nietzsche attacked the decadent society of his time and announces the arrival of a Superman, it is not that the truth about the world this has greater , but that their way of life it contains greater value and risk capacity.
Another doctrine that has given rise to many interpretations is the eternal return, according to which the structure of the time would be circular, so that each time you should repeat forever. Although often Nietzsche seems to affirm this thesis in a literal sense, it would be contrary to the perspectivism that dominates his thought, and is in any case more suggestive to interpret it as the regulative idea that must be based Superman to live their existence in full form, without subterfuge, and installed in the present moment, as if every moment should be repeated forever an end is just in itself, and not in the future.