twilight of the idols summary

When one posits values–that is, pronounce a judgement on life, proclaim a truth, or distinguish between good/evil/bad–one is neither making objective declarations nor stating subjective feelings; rather, when one posit values, it is the expression of a particular kind of life in and through that person. It is decadent, because it is opposed to instinct, even though instinct is an important part of the self. By decadence, Nietzsche is referring to a fading of life, vitality and an embrace of weakness. 49. Nietzschean ontology emphasizes transformation and the eternal recurrence of life. Reality consists of plurality and change, rather than duration and unity. Also includes sites with a short overview, synopsis, book report, or summary of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols. In Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical work, Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche has strong opinions on the belief of virtue and instinct. Freedom is measured by the resistance that has to be overcome, and by the effort it takes, to make choices and be responsible for them. Nietzsche makes a distinction between lives in ascendency and lives in decline. What I find interesting is that in both instances, in the life in ascendency and in the life in decline, life still asserts itself. The difference between the ascending life and the declining life, again, is not an ontological one, rather is it a matter of degree, of representation and art. In it, Nietzsche manages to combine his raw wit and keen observation in way that is not entirely overbearing, as it can often be in his other works of this peri… Some general questions for the chapter, “Morality as Anti-Nature”: What does Nietzsche mean by calling morality "anti-nature"? Life itself cannot be subject to judgements, neither good nor bad, since the one who judges is “a party to the dispute”: one cannot judge life because s/he is part of life and does not have access to a perspective in which the entirety of “life” can be grasped, (13). After all, doesn’t Nietzsche mock those who declare that “Human beings should be such and such!” (28) and then later confesses that “[His] demand of philosophers is that they place themselves beyond good and evil–that they put the illusion of moral judgement beneath them?” (38). Nietzsche is not a nihilist; nihilism asserts that there are no moral values, and that there is no such thing as morality. He rejects any attempt to create a philosophical system. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Do we become “the art”–the representation and the mirrors–of the particular life asserting itself through us; are we life’s works of art? elaborates a critique of our current president that he first formulated when Barack Obama … 4: Even a rapid estimate shows that it is not only obvious that German culture is declining but that there is sufficient reason for that. Twilight of the Idols. Nietzsche disagrees with Heraclitus that our senses may falsify reality. The book includes a “Foreword,” followed by eleven chapters, entitled “Maxims and Arrows,” “The Problem of Socrates,” “’Reason’ in Philosophy,” “How the ‘Real World’ at last Became a Myth,” “Morality as Anti-Nature,” “The Four Great Errors,” “The ‘Improvers’ of Mankind,” “What the Germans Lack,” “Expeditions of an Untimely Man,” “What I Owe to the Ancients,” and “The Hammer Speaks.”. Create a free website or blog at He shows that the morality of self-negation and self-denial may become an instrument of subjugation and oppression. Sites with a short overview, synopsis, book report, or summary of Twilight of the Idols by Friedrich Nietzsche. FreeBookNotes has 6 more books by Friedrich Nietzsche, with a total of 18 study guides. Is his characterization of Christian morality fair? If man refuses to step onto the rope, he is being intellectually dishonest. Man must take responsibility for his decisions. Nietzsche's central concern is that he wants to affirm life, rather than deny it. Nietzsche instead says that there must be a ‘revaluation of values.’ He does not argue that moral value does not exist, but that it has been misinterpreted and misunderstood. The superman is beyond good and evil, because he affirms his ‘will to life.’ He creates his own affirmative values, which affirm the ‘will to power,’ because the value of a belief or idea is in whether it is life-affirming. The means by which morality is enforced are actually immoral. But in both cases, life does assert itself. Those of the ascending line follow instinct, they do not judge according to good or evil, but seeks to maximize their innate capacity and even faces tragedy and suffering with no remorse or resentment (or ressentiment). If there are any additional insights or comments on Nietzsche, I’d love to hear them. Freedom does not mean the denial of one’s impulses and instincts, but neither does it mean having to rely on them. The former asserts itself in a joyous affirmation of life–it’s carnality, flux, possibilities–and the latter asserts itself in positing values which seek to overcome its own weakness and distaste for life–that is, by imposing rationality, by professing the existence of a higher reality (Socrates), by resentment and guilt, or by attempting to cut out of oneself the desirous, life-asserting element. The Dionysian condition, on the other hand, is characterized by a dissolution of form, and by a release of energy. Study Questions for Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, pp. ( Log Out /  -Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, 28. It’s been almost 5 years since I first encountered Friedrich Nietzsche‘s thought in the books On the Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil. According to Nietzsche, Socratic rationalism was a response to the anarchy of instinct. Twilight of the Idols was written in just over a week, between 26 August and 3 September 1888, while Nietzsche was on holiday in Sils Maria. However, the life in decline is a sickly, decaying life which infect others with its weakness. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. For Nietzsche, life has meaning insofar as it reflects the ‘will to power.’ The meaning of an individual's actions reflects the will that is placed in them. "If there were a party of those who aren't sure they're right, I'd belong to it." Copyright © 2014-2020. “When we speak of values, we speak under the inspiration, under the optics of life: life itself is forcing us to posit values, life itself is valuing by means of us, when we posit values…”. The true philosopher does not separate himself from life, but places himself within it. If one can suppose that Nietzsche himself is a life in ascendency, then, like all life (ascending or descending), life is asserting itself through Nietzsche and seeks to make the world its art, that is, to transform things (in this case other philosophers) until they are mirrors of [his] own power. The book’s title is a satirical reference to the title of Wagner’s opera, Twilight of the Gods (Götterdammerung). Please see the supplementary resources provided below for other helpful content related to this book. Decisive action affirms the ‘will to life.’ Indecisiveness or moral questioning denies it. The real world is in a state of becoming. The Apollonian impulse is toward order, form, rationality, and control. 1888 was a prolific year for Nietzsche. Freedom is also gained by mastery of the instinct for ‘happiness.’. [Additionally, as an aside, both the ascending life and the declining life, are inseparable from the function of representation through which life has any presence in the world of things. Reading Nietzsche again 5 years later has given me the opportunity to rediscover why I adore Nietzsche, however this time reading his text raised more questions than it answered.

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