Friedrich Nietzsche, born in 1844, was descended from a long line of clergymen. He was called the “little minister” by the children in his school because it was assumed that he would follow the family tradition and become a minister one day. Nietzsche lost his father at the age of five to a fall that caused a brain ailment; he was raised by his mother, paternal grandmother, and several maiden aunts. Nietzsche was a loner as a child and spent much of his time studying the Bible. He attended elite boarding schools and universities where he began to reject religious teachings in favor of philosophy and science. The philosopher Schopenhauer's World as Will and Idea was influential in the development of Nietzsche’s ideas and personal philosophy.
Nietzsche became a professor of classical philology at the University of Basle when he was only 25 years old. Philology is the study of the linguistics and literature of classical languages. His first book, The Birth of Tragedy, was written in 1872 and discussed the distinction between the rational and passionate sides of human nature as illustrated by the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus. Nietzsche later went on to become one of the most influential of modern philosophers, laying the foundation for existentialist philosophy. He taught that people should live their lives and take risks as if there is nothing beyond this life instead of basing decisions on the hope of an afterlife. Nietzsche was a prolific writer, with some of his most well-known works being The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and Untimely Meditations.
Students all over the world, whether they attend online colleges, elite, universities, or local community colleges, have enjoyed studying the philosophy of this influential man.
Writings on Nietzsche
Nietzsche Web Pages