(18441900). Philos.; b. Röcken, near Lützen, Ger.; educ. Bonn and Leipzig; prof. classical philol. Basel 186979; resigned and devoted himself to writing; declared incurably insane 1889.
First followed Wilhelm Richard Wagner (181383; composer) and A. Schopenhauer,* then turned against the former as the musician of decadent emotionalism and rejected the latter's pessimism. Developed an individualistic, antidemocratic, and bitterly anti-Christian atheistic philos.; its fundamental idea is the will to power (Ger.: Wille zur Macht) that underlies Herrenmoral,* opposed to Sklavenmoral (slave morality; represented by Christianity, which makes a virtue of humility and tends to weakness); held that Christianity is a stain on the hist. of mankind and that Herrenmoral produces the highest type of humanity, the Übermensch (superman), in contrast, or antithesis, to God. Works include Also sprach Zarathustra; Jenseits von Gut und Böse; Zur Genealogie der Moral. See also Christian Faith and the Intellectual, 4.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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