nietzsche philosophy through the centuries

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Nietzsche Philosophy Through the Centuries. BRENT SILBY Unlimited (UPT). Nietzsche (1844 – 1900). “ God is Dead ” – Nietzsche (1882). Nietzsche (1844 – 1900). Most famous for writings on Existentialism and Postmodernism. Existentialism? What is Existentialism?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • NietzschePhilosophy Through the CenturiesBRENT SILBYUnlimited (UPT)

  • Nietzsche (1844 1900)God is Dead Nietzsche (1882)

  • Nietzsche (1844 1900)Most famous for writings on Existentialism and Postmodernism

  • Existentialism? What is Existentialism?Suggestion that Philosophical thought should deal with existence of the individual personThe alternative style of Philosophy focuses on objective truths of Mathematics and ScienceBut Existentialists think these dont get to the heart of human experience. Existentialists focus on subjective experience of the individualThey focus on the individuals emotions, actions, and thoughts

  • Postmodern Philosophy

    What is Postmodern Philosophy?Critical of the traditional structure and foundation of PhilosophyPostmodernists are skeptical and nihilistic towards many assumptions Philosophers make, for example:That one form of government can be shown to be better than anotherPostmodern Philosophers believe there is no absolute truth

  • NietzscheNietzsche was a postmodern existentialist philosopherReading his work, you will not find standard arguments that have a logical form.He contradicts himself all through his work

    - Though, this contradiction could be appropriate to the type of work he is doing.

  • NietzscheHe seems to tell us that there is no absolute truth- Truth is subjectiveThis is to say that truth depends on your point of viewProblem: How can it be true that there is no truth?

    - This problem is a reflexive paradox

  • NietzschePerhaps he was saying that there is no rationally discoverable structure to the world.

    But if so, is it rational to believe this statement?Problem with subjectivism is that it all comes down to personal point of view.

    Its all interpretation.But an interpretation cant really be true, its just a way to represent something to understand

  • NietzscheSometimes we hear people saying things like:Its true for me that God exists

    But we dont want to live in a world where truth just becomes a matter of opinion. Imagine saying Its not true for me that Jupiter existsDoesnt make sense !

  • NietzscheWheres all this come from?Nietzsche thinks it comes from the death of God and the resulting nihilism

  • Nietzsche and the Death of GodWhere has God gone? I shall tell you. We have killed him - you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God's decomposition?

    Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives.

    Who will wipe this blood off us?With what water could we purify ourselves?

  • NietzscheSo what was that all about?

    Nietzsche is worried that God is dead in our modern world view. He thinks rationalism and science killed him.Its as if we have learned so much about the world that we dont need God anymore.Nietzsche thought that the idea of God provided a moral, which gave us an approach to living life.

  • NietzscheHe worries that if we remove God from our world, we also lose morality and purpose to life.

    This leads to a nihilistic situation- our lives are not constrained by morality or guided by a faith based sense of purpose

  • NihilismNihilism is the view that life has no objective meaning- There is no purpose to life- There is no comprehensible truth- Nothing has any real value

    With no God there is no objective moral standard and no real meaning to life- Life is meaningless- Everything is permitted

  • NihilismNihilism is the view that our existence is insignificant and has no meaning. We pass through the universe in a blink of an eye for no real reason. It just happens.

  • Eternal RecurrenceNietzsche argued that the universe will continue to recur an infinite number of times.

    This means we live our lives over and over again forever

    Why? If space and matter are finite, but time is infinite, then everything that can possibly happen will happen, again and again and again.

  • Eternal RecurrenceGiven what we know about physics, is eternal recurrence a possibility?First law of thermodynamics:Heat and work are forms of energy transfer. Total energy in a closed system remains constantSecond law of thermodynamicsA closed system evolves towards maximum entropy (i.e. uniform temperature). A system in equilibrium (maximum entropy) has no energy available to do work. [draw bucket of cold water with hot stone steam drive engine for work, but stone and water reach equilibrium, no energy left for work in this closed system]

  • NihilismHistory and future of Universe

    - Big Bang 13 billion years ago (13x 109)- Age of the stars and planets- Degenerate Age 1014 to 1040 years in futureGalaxy formation ceases. Planets and stars orbits decayBy end of epoch, all protons decayed- Black Hole Age 1040 to 10100 years in futureMost black holes disintegrate by end of this epoch- Dark Age 10100 to 10150 years in futureRemaining black holes disintegrate- Photon Age 10150 to ??? in futureUniverse reaches a low energy state, i.e. maximum entropyIncreasingentropy

  • NihilismEasy to slip into a nihilistic world view when see how insignificant we are!

  • So, what does Nietzsche propose to get over this?

    Nietzsche is sounding a warning. He is warning us against slipping into nihilism.

  • Nietzsche proposes a new set of values- values that do not rely on God

    UbermenschHe suggests that we humans can transcend our current state and become Ubermensche- Uberman - some have translated to Superman- some have translated to overman- most likely meaning is beyond man

  • Christians look to other worlds, non earthly existence for hope and value

    UbermenschNietzsche suggests that Ubermensch is the meaning of earth

    Ubermensche is the creator of new valuesHere, Nietzsche has overcome the problem of Gods death and nihilismHow?The Ubermensche creates new values which fill the void of nihilsm.

  • We dont need God! We can create our own set of values and purpose!


  • Humanitys first goal is the movement towards becoming ubermensch

    UbermenschNietzsche seems to be saying that we should build a new society of ubermensch (or supermen) to take the place of the old style human

  • Does he mean that we should embark on a program of eugenics? - selective breeding of humans such as in Nazi Germany

    UbermenschJury may be out on that, but I dont think this is what he meantHe was probably referring to cultural rather than genetic traits- with a change in culture we could encourage humans to become ubermensch and transcend humanitys earlier religious or valueless existence

  • Despite this, Nietzsche was considered the official Philosopher of the Third Reich

    - This was long after his death. - His works were misinterpreted by the Nazis as in support of their ideals


  • UbermenschWhy?After his death, Nietzsches sister re-edited his writings to support the Aryan ideal of racial purity and superiority

  • UbermenschHitler in Nietzsche museum, viewing bust of Nietzsche

  • Nietzsche died in 1900 after ten years of insanity. He was in a vegetative state for most of that time.

    UbermenschHis sister cared for him, and allowed tourists to come in to view the great PhilosopherThats how it ended for Nietzsche

  • God is Dead Nietzsche (1882)Nietzsche is Dead God (1900)

  • Powerpoint by BRENT SILBY Produced at Unlimited (UPT) Christchurch, New Zealand