On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo
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On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  8,497 ratings  ·  135 reviews
The great philosopher's major work on ethics, along with ECCE HOMO, Nietzche's remarkable review of his life and works. Translated by Walter Kaufmann.
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published (first published 1908)
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Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Here Nietzsche returns to the form of the essay after several complete works largely composed aphoristically. The second essay in the polemic On the Geneology of Morals is excellent and my personal favorite of the three essays that comprise this work. He discusses the historical tossings and turnings that have led to weird inversions of moral standards throughout the ages. The ways in which many eggs are often broken to make various omelettes and how the omelettes often turn out much differently...more
Kirstian
One of the few books that absolutely changed my life, and filled in as something not unlike a spiritual guide (between a time-gap following my denouncing formal religion, then not knowing how to proceed with philosophy as a "spiritual endeavor," which is how many "Eastern" philosophers define spirituality, by the way...)...

Although any of Nietzsche's works might fit this bill (most would recommend Zarathustra), for some reason--probably due to my innate interest in the etymological significance...more
T.J. Beitelman
Make no mistake: Nietzsche was a nut. Bertrand Russell famously dismissed him as a megalomaniac, and maybe that’s true. People blame the Nazis on him, they say he was a misogynist, and on and on. I don’t really know about all that, one way or another (though the Nazi thing is demonstrably false — Nietzsche consistently rails against all things German, especially what he considered the Germanic tendency toward mindless group-think. He was also vehemently opposed to anti-Semitism. Maybe a Nazi or...more
Bruce
Let me comment exclusively on The Genealogy of Morals, this being the work of most interest to me in this volume. This pivotal work in Nietzsche’s output is polemical in nature and perhaps the least aphoristic of his writings. It is considered by many to come the closest of all his works to being a systematic exposition of his ideas. Comprised of a preface and three essays, the book argues against a fixed set of moral values and specifically against Christian morality by tracing the development...more
Jacob
This book made me sputtering mad when I read it in college. In retrospect, I'm just grateful that it was easy to read.

Also, did you know that there's a brand of bread called Ecce Panis? Thus Baked Zarathustra! Try it with Hummus, All Too Hummus and The Dill to Power. The latter tends to rankle purists, though.
Taylor
Far more mature than his furious work in 'Beyond Good and Evil', and really something to behold if you are willing to looking past the book's primary misgivings that arrive in the form of archaic thought. He rambles off the deep end in his meditations on the dangers of mixing not only race, but class in the next inevitably more mingled generations. These sentiments, however dated and faintly racist they may be, shouldn't take away from his general interest, that of the mechanisms of constraint i...more
Erin
Amazing! This guy really knows what he is talking about.
Nick
Genealogy of morals: After reading "Beyond Good and Evil" this was shockingly clear and lucid. The idea of a pre-christian morality glorifying accomplishment, conflict, strength, etc. being "revolted" against and replaced with a morality of subservience/asceticism is compelling. However, I'd really like to know if his verifiable claims have stove up to the test of time. He makes a lot of linguistic/historical implications about aryans and hebrews which lack citations. Of all the Nietzsche books...more
Jill
Interesting. While I don't agree with most of what Nietzsche posits, I appreciate the read to hear his perspective. Marx speaks with a greater darkness than Nietzsche, so the crazy hammering of the soul when evil is taught wasn't present for me here. I completely disagree with his ideas about the "ascetic priest," they sound closer to Korihor's philosophy (and what a sad end he came to - hmmm, very similar to Nietzsche's), because they're all recycled stories from the same author, the devil. Oh...more
Todd
This is a really deep read for anyone. While a lot of people are critical of Nietzsche's works, he still is a unique writer who has delved into the darkness of mankind's soul and found that there is a lot of evil in there.

The second part of this book deals with Nietzsche own life and self-interpretations on what he's wrote as a sort of overall view at the end of his life/career. Nietzsche while he's listed as a philosopher had rather unique insight into the world of psychology. He will always b...more
Yuen
Well, what can I say? God is dead, according to Nietzsche!

Similarly very challenging, thought provoking and controversial essays on morality which I really admire. I studied the essays for an online course and compared Nietzsche's views on morality with that of Darwin's and I find them really different. To Nietzsche, there's no such thing as morality and the meaning of morality. It's in a fluid state that undergoes haphazard progression from one state to another. To Nietzsche, morality comprises...more
Alexandre Couto de Andrade
NIetzsche does not know what he is talking about.
Mr.
Nietzsche's complex sequel to Beyond Good and Evil is a remarkable achievement of philosophy, philology, and history. It laid the groundwork for such 20th century thinkers as Foucault and Deleuze, though they would never reach Nietzsche's complexity and moral sophistication. In the preface to the book, Nietzsche proposes the project of investigating the origins of morality on the grounds that human beings are unknown to themselves. He is ultimately concerned with the development of moral prejudi...more
Shawn
"I find it difficult to write a review of a philosophical work; difficult because it is initially put upon the reviewer to agree or disagree with an idea, but one must first summarize--and by doing that, one has already levied judgment." -me
I wrote that passage on the back page of my copy of this text. The page number I referenced before writing this thought is page 326, which contains the quote from Ecce Homo (1900): "I have a terrible fear that one day I will be pronounced holy: you will gues...more
Kenna Day
Nietzsche is like a long lost friend to me. I read Zarathustra in high school and I remember connecting so deeply to his dissatisfaction with religion. Granted, I grew out of my flaming violent antitheism. But Nietzsche takes me back.

My favorite part regards slave morality in essay 1 of On the Genealogy of Morals. He talks about the structure of noble morality, in which strength and power and wealth-all aspects of nobility-are "good." And all else is bad. Slave morality is simply a reaction to...more
Dan Geddes
See http://www.thesatirist.com/books/Gene...

The three essays comprising The Genealogy of Morals represent Nietzsche's most sustained, cohesive work. Many of his other works[3] suffer from atomization, as Nietzsche's superabundance of fresh insight spills into all crevices of human endeavor, emerging in frequent aphorisms, or short discursions on topics with little apparent transition between them. Nietzsche, as philosopher, indeed believed that truth was nearly impossible to convey intellectuall...more
Althea Lazzaro
From the section "Why I am so Wise":

"What is it, fundamentally, that allows us to recognize who has turned out well? That well-turned-out person pleases our senses, that he is carved from wood that is hard, delicate, and at the same time smells good. He has a taste only for what is good for him; his pleasure, his delight cease where the measure of what is good for him is transgressed. He guesses what remedies avail against what is harmful; he exploits bad accidents to his advantage; what does n...more
Jeffrey
The subject of my dissertation, yet I still recommend it to others. Can there be higher praise?

Incidentally, in terms of translations, I'd stick with Kaufmann (and Hollingdale, or, in this case, Kaufmann and Hollingdale). I haven't compared every line of Kaufmann's translations with the original German, but when I have, I have without fail been extremely impressed by his ability to render Nietzsche's German so literally into such splendid English, often ingeniously (his translation of Beyond Goo...more
Shea Mastison
This is really two books with an excellent appendix and commentary compiled and written by Walter Kaufmann.

Genealogy of Morals is Nietzsche's attempt to distinguish the concepts of "good vs. bad" and the contrary "good vs. evil." A very fascinating, literal genealogy on these two concepts. Further, Nietzsche tackles the the origins of the bad conscience and the relation of asceticism to the will. All very powerful in content; relatively difficult in ingestion.

Ecce Homo was an invaluable resour...more
Case Bell
Jun 18, 2007 Case Bell rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: educated humans
Nietzsche's best work as far as I'm concerned and much more English in style. He clearly fleshes out his concept of slave morality and the dichotomies of good/bad, good/evil, using some very compelling etymological evidence. Here, also, he cements his legacy as one of the very first existentialists (second, perhaps, only to Kierkegaard) notably with his example: It is said that lightning flashes, but there is no lightning without the flash; to our perception of the flash, we apply the term ligh...more
J. D.
What I learned was that morals ARE subjective and created by societies for their own control of human life. Freedom is only possible with understanding the 'geneology' of thought and their subsequent social manifestations. This is a great argument for the creative impulse and its validity in shaping society rather than using religion and/or politics to control people...Ecce Homo is an interesting critique of the 'Jesus Impulse' that Christianity created and subsequently utilized to control peopl...more
Kevin Wong
A landmark work; changed the way I think about morality, history, and perspective. A difficult, but brilliant introduction to Nietzsche for those looking to grapple with the widest range of his seminal ideas in a single work.
Colin
a) I think that the first two essays of Geneaology are required reading for anyone interested in a transformative, non-dichotomy-based politics. As far as the content goes, it gets like eight stars.

b) I'd never read Ecce Homo before. I didn't really get it, I don't think; it is a book really geared toward scholarship and not casual reading. Since I was reading it casually (and have only read Gay Science, Good and Evil, and Tragedy) it was kind of above and beyond me.

c) Kaufmann's footnotes in...more
Ясен
Този, който е писал обясненията по книгата си няма ни най-малка представа от Ницше! Не мога да разбера желанието на хората да пуснат в "Читанка" такава книга, но дори да не знаят кога е живял. Някакви огромни упреци към властта на Райх-а бил отправял, правописни грешки, мисклици... Все пак трябва да отбележа, че макар и едва ли успях да хвана повече от 50 % от идеите му, тази книга беше значително по-лека за четене от "Тъй рече Заратустра" и "Веселата наука".
Thandiwe
Nietzsche is insane... however, I rate this book as amazing because it definitely challenged the way that I thought about morality. Nietzsche's critique and obvious disdain of asceticism (i.e. as embodied in the priestly class) is quite interesting as well as his concept of ressentiment. SUPER interesting book, and while I think Nietzsche's position is extremely problematic for many (and obvious) reasons I respect him as a philosopher and this is definitely a staple. Interestingly enough, I read...more
Salvatore
Well you can't say he wasn't an original thinker, a funny man when not frightening, or completely full of himself (the Ecce Homo chapter titles are all sorts of brilliant). He leaves you on the border of existence, the precipice of how to lead life. There is a lot of danger surrounding him. Rejection of his contemporary, read Christian, mores, to discover within a morality that is based on instinct is something to be reckoned with. There is no reason to follow blindly, not after his Zarathustra,...more
Eric
Undisputed classic and must-read for anybody interested in MORALS...and how they developed, or regressed, thru the ages. Compelling arguments, deadpan humor, scathing commentary on the "herd" instinct brought out in full fruition with the sterotypical Christian. The values of this Christian are the total opposite of the values of the men who really lived and died to the fullest: usually the Greeks, Romans, anybody who was full of life, not afraid to die, not afraid to stand one's ground, did not...more
Lee
Still a largely maligned figure, and why? Simply because Hitler really fucking sucked at reading literature. His concept of genealogy is essentially Derrida's Deconstruction nearly a century before Postmodernism became a buzzword. And even though Nietzsche is often conveniently left out of philosophical discussions because of the deeply personal nature of his prose, I firmly believe that Derrida's philosophy can largely be read as a response to his call for a truly "free spirit." But I'm in no w...more
Jared Macdonald
Fantastic translation of a fantastic couple of books. One hardly needs an in-depth review, as one should really read Nietzsche's work for themselves. Both 'On the Genealogy of Morals' and 'Ecce Homo' are thought-provoking, and potentially life-changing if you understand its contents. Ecce Homo does get a bit nonsensical when the famed perspectivist apparently starts to ramble on the objective goodness or badness in how you drink you tea, but all in all, his self-accounts and his thoughts on his...more
Kmr1844
A devastating, ruthless critique of Christian (Western, Platonic) morality and the history of its unfolding, written by a man who abandoned his faith. As the descendant of several generations of Protestant ministers and intending to be a minister himself, Nietzsche takes a sledgehammer to the foundations of Christian and Western morality. This text is rigorous, Nietzsche fanboys and girls will do well to read slowly and carefully, keeping the preface to Daybreak in mind: "learn to read me well!"...more
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  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • Critique of Practical Reason (Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1
  • Philosophical Investigations
  • The Philosophy of History
  • Basic Writings
  • Fear and Trembling/Repetition (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 6)
  • A Treatise of Human Nature
  • The Ethics/Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect/Selected Letters
  • Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments
  • The Foucault Reader
  • Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit
  • The Marx-Engels Reader
1938
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the id...more
More about Friedrich Nietzsche...
Thus Spoke Zarathustra Beyond Good and Evil The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs The Anti-Christ The Portable Nietzsche

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“To see others suffer does one good, to make others suffer even more: this is a hard saying but an ancient, mighty, human, all-too-human principle [....] Without cruelty there is no festival.” 31 likes
“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendaciousness in the face of what is necessary—but love it” 29 likes
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