November 13, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche

H. L. Mencken

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 1884365310

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The first book on Nietzsche ever to appear in English, this examination by legendary journalist H. L. Mencken is still one of the most enlightening. Mencken wrote this book while still in his 20s, but his penchant for thoroughness was evident even at that young age—in preparation for writing this book, he read Nietzsche's works in their entirety, mostly in the original German. A brief biographical sketch is followed by clear and thorough explanations of Nietzsche's basic concepts and attitudes. Analyzed are Nietzsche's much-misunderstood concept of the superman, his concept of eternal recurrence, his rejection of Christianity, and his basic rationalism and materialism. Included are two essays on Nietzsche that appeared in Mencken's magazine The Smart Set subsequent to the publishing of the original edition of this book. Nearly a century after its original publication, this remains one of the clearest, most concise, and entertaining introductions to Nietzsche to date.

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our risk of being robbed? Isn't it plain that, in the long run, it is wiser to shoot savages or poison them with whiskey than to educate them and thus make formidable rivals of them? Isn't it plain that if the unfit survivors of the American civil war had been permitted to perish in the struggle for existence instead of being preserved artificially at the expense of the whole population - isn't it plain that, in such an event, this whole population would have been fated to live under conditions

uncomplainingly, but an alert, proud and combative being who knew his rights and dared maintain them. In consequence we find that in many ancient languages, the words "good" and "aristocratic" were synonymous. Whatever served to make a man a nobleman - cunning, wealth, physical strength, eagerness to resent and punish injuries - was considered virtuous, praiseworthy and moral,((6)) and on the other hand, whatever tended to make a man sink to the level of the great masses - humility, lack of

brought their discontent and disquiet - as they do to all of us. There is a feeling of oppression and poignant pain in facing problems that defy solution and facts that refuse to fit into ordered chains. It is only when mastery follows that the fine stimulation of conscious efficiency drowns out all moody vapors. When Nietzsche went to the gymnasium his whole world was overturned. Here boys were no longer mute and hollow vessels, to be stuffed with predigested learning, but human beings whose

wherein Chauveau's theory of immunity was still maintained it would be hazardous for a professor of pathology to teach the theory of Ehrlich. In a Methodist college in Indiana it would be foolhardy to dally with the doctrine of apostolic succession. Everywhere the teacher must fashion his teachings according to the creed and regulations of his school and he must even submit to authority in such matters as text books and pedagogic methods. Again, his very work itself makes him an unconscious

indifferent to hardship, severity, privation and even to life. The will to sacrifice men to one's cause and to sacrifice one self, too.... The man who is truly free tramples under foot the contemptible species of well-being dreamt of by shop-keepers, Christians, cows, women, Englishmen and other democrats. How is freedom to be measured? By the resistance it has to overcome - by the effort required to maintain it. We must seek the highest type of freemen where the highest resistance must be

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