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On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,836 Ratings  ·  150 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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Aug 04, 2011 Kirstian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
T.J. Beitelman
Dec 07, 2011 T.J. Beitelman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2008 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 12, 2008 Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 29, 2010 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 22, 2007 Clint rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A dude thinking harder than any dude before him ever thought, this book will make you break your head open on the floor.
Amazing! This guy really knows what he is talking about.
Kevin K
Sep 16, 2015 Kevin K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review only applies to On the Genealogy of Morals in this volume. Echoing Nick's review, I must say this book is far superior to Beyond Good and Evil. Here we have a tightly-focused Nietzsche in peak form, planting seeds that have grown into whole bodies of thought. Most obvious is Nietzsche's foreshadowing of Freud. Apparently Freud attributed to Nietzsche "more penetrating knowledge of himself than any man who ever lived or was likely to live"; Freud's biographer and acquaintance, Ernest ...more
Oct 07, 2008 Mr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 15, 2010 Todd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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
Fred Kohn
Dec 18, 2015 Fred Kohn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Let me just say it: Walter Kaufmann is an a$$! That doesn't excuse those of us (like me) who are serious about studying Nietzsche from the necessity of reading everything Kaufmann has to say about Nietzsche. To be sure, the notes and prefaces are for the most part wonderful, but his Schumannian attitude as the head of the Davidsbündler of Nietzche criticism is annoying, to say the least. Not only does Kaufmann never fail in an opportunity to use his critical slingshot against lesser scholars, he ...more
Marcelle Warren
Oct 28, 2015 Marcelle Warren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though I now think that my initial perception of Beyond Good & Evil may have been a wasteful one, I warned up significantly to Nietzsche with this work, and found myself somewhat astonished at the depth of gratitude he pays to his experiences and his wealth of knowledge. Make note: he does not fuck around. Most everything he says is calculated and connected. I was most amused by his philological classification of words describing the quality of life and their relation to status.

And I do find
Alexandre Couto de Andrade
NIetzsche does not know what he is talking about.
In order to understand what's happening here it's imperative that you know or have some glimpse at what the pre-Christian world was. The religion and beliefs of the Jews and of the aristocratic type societies. It is also worth noting that only one of the major Abrahamic religions views sexuality as such a separate entity to life and one that is defiled or against proper conduct, not Islam nor Judaism.

In The Dawn Nietzsche says the following "rationality ex post facto - whatever lives long is gra
Jan 11, 2016 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Невероятен труд, който непременно трябва да прочета и в оригинал.
Безспорен факт е, че Nietzsche е изключителна личност, която ми е безкрайно интересна, въпреки че на моменти разсъжденията му ме дразнят искрено.
Минус една звезда за огромното му его и прекалено самоизтъкване.
... и плюс четири звезди, защото самочувствието му определено е с покритие.

"Мога да посоча една последна черта от природата си, която ми създава безкрайни затруднения в общуването с хората. Свойствена ми е една съвършено но
Oct 08, 2014 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-school
This is actually my second time reading this book for philosophy class and I have to say, it does get better with repetition. Full discloser, I only read the first essay in this collection so this isn't a complete review, but I'm never going to read the entirety of this novel. I realize philosophical musings are not everyone's cup of tea, they're not even mine, but I did read this book in March so I will include a short review of it. In On the Genealogy of Morals, Nietzsche attempts to discover ...more
Jun 02, 2014 Yuen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
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
Jan 28, 2013 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, essays
"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
Dan Geddes
Oct 31, 2013 Dan Geddes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Althea Lazzaro
Jan 14, 2009 Althea Lazzaro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mitchell Croom
Oct 07, 2014 Mitchell Croom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
At times, it seems that Nietzsche is purposefully confusing the reader by using unapproachable language and contrived sentence structure. But underneath the labyrinthine text is one of the most compelling philosophical arguments ever written. Nietzsche is often misconstrued as a social Darwinist or even a proto-Nazi; close readers of Ecce Homo and Genealogy will see this is not the case. Well worth the read, if only because Nietzsche is so often misunderstood.
Shea Mastison
Jan 01, 2014 Shea Mastison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Case Bell
Jun 18, 2007 Case Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Morgan Blayney
I don't quite know what to think about Nietzsche...he certainly has strong opinions. Some of the main takeaways I got from this is that the ascetic priest redirects ressentiment and that our system of morality can be traced back to a debtor/creditor relationship. Hopefully this still makes sense to me when I invariably look back on this review to remember what I read...
"How I understand the philosopher -- as a terrible explosive, endangering everthing... my concept of the philosopher is worlds removed from any concept that would include even a Kant, not to speak of academic "ruminants" and other professors of philosophy..."
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  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • Fear and Trembling/Repetition (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 6)
  • The Marx-Engels Reader
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • Essays and Aphorisms
  • The Philosophy of History
  • The History of Sexuality 2: The Use of Pleasure
  • Existentialism and Human Emotions
  • Of Grammatology
  • Will to Power: The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The Ethics/Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect/Selected Letters
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) is 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 ide ...more
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“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” 45 likes
“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.” 42 likes
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