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On the Genealogy of Morals / Ecce Homo

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  14,030 ratings  ·  234 reviews
The Genealogy of Morals consists of three essays exploring morality and its origins where Nietzsche makes ample use of his training as a philologist. These works contain Nietzsche's most thorough and clear expression of his psychological philosophy. This edition includes Ecce Homo, Nietzsche's review of his life and works, with the exception of The Antichrist. These two bo ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published April 28th 2010 by Vintage Bookx (first published 1887)
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T.J. Beitelman
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A dude thinking harder than any dude before him ever thought, this book will make you break your head open on the floor.
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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
May 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! This guy really knows what he is talking about.
Wiom biom
Second essay: Guilt, Bad Conscience, and Related Matters

I won't try to summarise a thesis for the essay because quite frankly there are quite a few ideas put across and I probably did not understand everything.

Some noteworthy points:

1. We should not venture to understand the origin of something (its causa fiendi) by its current purpose
"The 'purpose in law,' however, is the very last idea we should use in the history of the emergence of law. It is much rather the case that for all forms of histo
Aung Sett Kyaw Min
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nietzsche is truly a psychologist of the first rank. In this treatise, he ingeniously transforms the 'what' of morality into the 'who' of morality. Who are perpetrators of the value of value itself? And what can be said about their physiological condition? As always, Nietzsche's language of physiology
is a joy to read and digest...


'Good' was a self-descriptive valuation of warriors who were possessed of healthy, vigorous and physical constitution, and an active capacity to forgive and forget
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Of all Nietzsche's texts, the Genealogy is the most useful for students of theory and captures Nietzsche at his most systemic--interrogating the concepts of master and salve morality, ressentiment, asceticism, debt, schadenfreude, etc.,-- a contrast to the polemical aphorisms that contain only segments of a larger conceptual framework to be found in BGE and the Antichrist.

To fully appreciate Ecco Homo, as with TSZ, it should be read last, because it's essentially a commentary on his own oeuvre
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Althea Lazzaro
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Alexandre Couto de Andrade
NIetzsche does not know what he is talking about.
Med Redha
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
"The Genealogy of Morals" is articulated in three dissertations: "the good and the bad", "the resentment" and "the ascetic ideals". It seems that this essay is one of the most accessible Nietzsche...difficult for me to compare, since this is the first book of the author that I read, but I must admit that I had to hang on at times, I am not a philosopher by training (but are not we all a little by nature, finally?).

Nevertheless, this reading turns out to be very interesting and at first very rema
Sharad Pandian
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There isn't a proper defense of Nietzsche necessary or possible that isn't his work itself, but there are two reasons I love his work, aptly captured in two of his aphorisms included in this text (more applicable to the Genealogy admittedly):

Philosophers' error - The philosopher supposes that the value of his philosophy lies in the whole, in the structure; but posterity finds its value in the stone which he used for building, and which is used many more times after that for building-better. Thus
Greg Hickey
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This might be my favorite volume of Nietzsche’s work. The first part, On the Genealogy of Morals demonstrates some of his most straightforward writing, with a carefully developed study of the development of what we call morality. Nietzsche balances his attacks on the Judeo-Christian morality of “the meek shall inherit the earth” with a dispassionate assessment of the necessity and beneficial side effects of this development. All told, it is an original and provocative essay from a one-of-a-kind ...more
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Richard Lopez Salgado
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
On the Geneology of Morals is the most important work by Nietzsche you will ever read.
Tyler V.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are two major works included in this volume. I read both twice. The first read was for comprehension. The second for fluidity of ideation and memorization. I think I have a decent understanding of both works, or at least as good of an understanding as anyone can achieve with the enigma that is Friedrich Nietzsche. Because there are two works here, I will review them each separately. However, my final 4/5 star rating is an amalgamation of my overall experience and take away. Translator and ...more
Kevin K
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Brandon Sitch
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy, german
I’m not exactly sure how to categorize this book. It isn’t strictly a philosophical text, if you come to this after reading Kant, or Moore, or Hegel, you won’t recognize this as philosophy—and I tend to think that is more a criticism of modern philosophy than of Nietzsche—but the Genealogy is full of wisdom, originality, and beautiful writing. It also isn’t an ethical work, at least not in the usual sense, but rather a combination of a metaethical and historic approach. Nietzsche’s objective for ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, philosophy
Man f*ck those armchair philosophers
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a review of the Genealogy of Morals only.
In this book, Nietzsche debates the values of "good" and "bad", the value of morals as we know it and spins a theory about how these values originated.
Nietzsche claims that man was just like the other animals in the animal kingdom. Among men, there were lions and there were sheep. He calls the lion-types "nobles", "aristocrats", masters" and the sheep-types "commoners" and "slaves".
Of course the masters were happy and content and because they were
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
[Review only of On the Genealogy of Morals. Kaufmann translation is not listed on its own on Goodreads, so putting my review here. Actually read it as part of the Basic Writings of Nietzsche collection, which is highly recommended.]

My year of finally catching up to Nietzsche probably ends here, with this wonderful work. Honestly, why did I wait so long? It's almost as if Nietzsche has been saddled with a grim and (wildly unfair) Nazi aura just to keep people from reading his playful and funny an
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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 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 idea of “life- ...more

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