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On the Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  11,731 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) is Nietzche's major work on ethics. It shows him using philosophy, psychology, and classical philology in an effort to give new directions to an ancient discipline. The work consists of three essays. The first contrasts master morality with slave morality and indicates how the term "good" has widely different meanings in each. The second i ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published December 17th 1989 by Random House USA (first published November 1st 1966)
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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
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
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
Aug 12, 2007 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.
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
Apr 10, 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
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.
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
Althea Lazzaro
Nov 22, 2008 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
Jan 04, 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
Kevin K
Sep 04, 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
Feb 08, 2017 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both the Genealogy and Ecce Homo can be read in one way as Nietzsche's considered assessments of his fellow human beings, largely as cast in relief against his aristocratically alienated conception of himself. Whether or not readers will find his anthropological argument convincing likely hinges upon what conclusions they have managed to draw from their own honest self-analysis.

In reference to this particular volume of the two works presented here, the editorial introductions and footnotes provi
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
Jul 25, 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
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
Agostinho Paulo
May 14, 2016 Agostinho Paulo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this stylistic polemical masterpiece, propelled from states of highly gifted normality, rupture and genius, swiftly ascending evermore upwards into icy and grotesque spheres of fatal rarified insight and isolation, this work can be dizzying for the labyrinthine nature of its undertaking.
Laura Varón
Mar 30, 2010 Laura Varón rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Alexandre Couto de Andrade
NIetzsche does not know what he is talking about.
Dec 11, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: powys-100
Ecce Homo (the only one of the two books included in this volume that I read, as it was the only one included on the Powys list), is sort of an autobiographical summary of Nietzsche's work by Nietzsche himself. After a few chapters which talk about his work generally, he then deals with the works specifically. It was the last thing Nietzsche wrote before he went insane at age 44.

I've always liked and admired Nietzsche, even though I fundamentally disagree with almost everything he says. I view h
Mar 03, 2017 Khaled rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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.”
Rationality ex post facto. - Whatever lives long is gradually so saturated with reason that its irrational origins become improbable. Does not almost every accurate history of the origin of something sound paradoxical and sacrilegious to our feelings? Doesn't the good historian constantly contradict?

The Dawn, p1A1

In the Genealogy Nietzsche makes true on the above statement and really exemplifies the importance of a genealogical method. When I read more recent books and take note on what modern t
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
Marcelle Warren
Oct 05, 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
Dan Geddes
Feb 22, 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
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
Feb 18, 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
Fred Kohn
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
Shea Mastison
Dec 18, 2013 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
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  • Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
  • Nietzsche: Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist
  • Basic Writings: Ten Key Essays, plus the Introduction to Being and Time
  • Fear and Trembling/Repetition (Kierkegaard's Writings, Volume 6)
  • Nietzsche and Philosophy (European Perspectives)
  • The Foucault Reader: An Introduction to Foucault's Thought
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 1
  • Marx-Engels Reader 2e
  • Phenomenology of Spirit
  • The Ethics/Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect/Selected Letters
  • Theory of Religion
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
  • The Cambridge Companion to Nietzsche
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” 54 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.” 49 likes
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