Beyond Good and Evil - According to Nietzsche

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Ought we to go beyond good and evil, as Nietzsche proposes? Friedrich Nietzsche (15.10.1884 – 25.8.1900) began his career as a classical philologist, (studying the literary and philosophical texts of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds) who later turned to philosophy. He was also a keen poet and composer. Considered a ‘prophet for the 21st century’, Nietzsche was undoubtedly a genius, who adopted a radically different approach to moral theory from that of those who came before him. Part of what set Nietzsche apart from his predecessors, was his style of writing. He uses an aphoristic style with short sentences to express a ‘truth’. Philosophy is commonly regarded as ‘the attempt to clarify and justify of ones beliefs’, however Nietzsche does not follow these rules, and generally makes observations without providing any justification. His meaning is not always implicit. One could assume that the purpose of this was to challenge the reader, as Nietzsche was known for being deliberately demanding in his writings. His aim was to jolt people out of complacency and to make the reader think for themself. Nietzsche rejected his egalitarian contemporaries and those before him, and the way they philosophised. He particularly detested the likes of Kant, Mill and Bentham who followed Egalitarian thinking, purporting one should “forget the nonsense of the greatest number” making reference to the belief that one should act in accordance with the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Where their target for consideration was humanity as a whole, Nietzsche was more concerned with the individual. Nietzsche described himself as “the immoralist”, in this sense to distance himself from conventional morality, though he was a very moralistic individual. Nietzsche was highly influenced by the work of Aristotle, and held in high regard the virtue ethics of the ancient
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