Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Synopsis

This is a major work by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings have been deeply influential on subsequent generations of philosophers. It is offered here in a new translation by Judith Norman, with an introduction by Rolf Peter Horstmann that places the work in its historical and philosophical context.

Excerpt

Suppose that truth is a woman – and why not? Aren't there reasons for suspecting that all philosophers, to the extent that they have been dogmatists, have not really understood women? That the grotesque seriousness of their approach towards the truth and the clumsy advances they have made so far are unsuitable ways of pressing their suit with a woman? What is certain is that she has spurned them – leaving dogmatism of all types standing sad and discouraged. If it is even left standing! Because there are those who make fun of dogmatism, claiming that it has fallen over, that it is lying flat on its face, or more, that dogmatism is in its last gasps. But seriously, there are good reasons for hoping that all dogmatizing in philosophy was just noble (though childish) ambling and preambling, however solemn, settled and decisive it might have seemed. And perhaps the time is very near when we will realize again and again just what actually served as the cornerstone of those sublime and unconditional philosophical edifices that the dogmatists used to build – some piece of folk superstition from time immemorial (like the soul-superstition that still causes trouble as the superstition of the subject or I), some word-play perhaps, a seduction of grammar or an over-eager generalization from facts that are really very local, very personal, very human-all-too-human. Let us hope that the dogmatists' philosophy was only a promise over the millennia, as was the case even earlier with astrology, in whose service perhaps more labor, money, ingenuity, and patience was expended than for any real science so far. We owe the great style of architecture in Asia and Egypt to astrology and its “supernatural” claims. It seems that all great things, in order to inscribe eternal demands in the heart of humanity, must first wander the earth under monstrous and terrifying masks; dogmatic philosophy . . .

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