Prof. Dr. Friedrich Nietzsche

Is your surname Nietzsche?

Research the Nietzsche family

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Nietzsche's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Share

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Nicknames: "Fritz"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Röcken, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Death: Died in Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
Cause of death: Syphillis
Place of Burial: Röcken, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Immediate Family:

Son of Carl Ludwig Nietzsche and Franziska Ernestine Rosaura Nietzsche
Brother of Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche and Josef Karl Ludwig* Nietzsche

Occupation: Philologe, Philosoph, Dichter, Musiker
Managed by: Thomas Föhl
Last Updated:

About Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philologist, philosopher, cultural critic, poet and composer. He wrote several critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Nietzsche's key ideas include the Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomy, perspectivism, the Will to Power, the "death of God", the Übermensch and eternal recurrence. One of the key tenets of his philosophy is the concept of "life-affirmation," which embraces the realities of the world we live now in over the idea of a world beyond. It further champions the creative powers of the individual to strive beyond social, cultural, and moral contexts. His radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth has been the focus of extensive commentary, and his influence remains substantial, particularly in the continental philosophical schools of existentialism, postmodernism, and post-structuralism. His ideas of individual overcoming and transcendence beyond structure and context have had a profound impact on late-twentieth and early-twenty-first century thinkers, who have used these concepts as points of departure in the development of their philosophies, as seen in the social and political thought of Roberto Mangabeira Unger.

Nietzsche began his career as a classical philologist — a scholar of Greek and Roman textual criticism — before turning to philosophy. In 1869, at age twenty-four, he was appointed to the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, the youngest individual to have held this position. He resigned in the summer of 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life.

In 1889, at age forty-four, he suffered a collapse and a complete loss of his mental faculties. The breakdown was later ascribed to atypical general paresis due to tertiary syphilis, but this diagnosis has come into question. Re-examination of Nietzsche's medical evaluation papers show that he almost certainly died of brain cancer. Nietzsche lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897, after which he fell under the care of his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche until his death in 1900.

As his caretaker, his sister assumed the roles of curator and editor of Nietzsche's manuscripts. Förster-Nietzsche was married to a prominent German nationalist and antisemite, Bernhard Förster, and reworked Nietzsche's unpublished writings to fit her own ideology, often in ways contrary to Nietzsche's stated opinions, which were strongly and explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism (see Nietzsche's criticism of antisemitism and nationalism). Through Förster-Nietzsche's editions, Nietzsche's name became associated with German militarism and Nazism, although later twentieth-century scholars have counteracted this conception of his ideas. More

view all

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Nietzsche's Timeline

1844
October 15, 1844
Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
1900
August 25, 1900
Age 55
Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
August 28, 1900
Age 55
Saxony-Anhalt, Germany