'The Will to Power'
By Friedrich Nietzsche (Author), Walter Kaufmann (Editor, Translator), R. J. Hollingdale (Translator)
Represents a selection from Nietzche's notebooks to find out what he wrote on nihilism, art, morality, religion, and the theory of knowledge, among others.
One of the German philosophers of the thirteenth/nineteenth century who has exercised great influence upon the thought of the fourteenth/twentieth century, Nietzsche began his career with the study of philology at Basel. In 1872 he wrote The Birth of Tragedy about the dichotomy between what he called Apollonian and Dionysian modes of thought. This work has had many followers among fourteenth/twentieth century writers. In 1879, he retired from the university and began a period in which he wrote his most famous works including Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Beyond Good and Evil, and On the Genealogy ofMorals. Nietzsche was a very strong critic of contemporary culture and the Christianity of his time as he saw it practiced. He recognized the spiritual poverty around him and spoke of the "death of God." He believed that the only solution would be the coming of men who were beyond morality and the ordinary criteria of good and evil, who were what he called supermen.
Nietzsche wrote in a highly poetical style especially in Thus Spoke Zarathustra and has exerted much influence in this century in both literary and philosophical circles. He had powerful intuitions while being at the same time possessed by an abnormal psychological condition so that he has been called by one contemporary traditional authority "an illuminated psychopath." Nevertheless, many consider him in fact to be one of the "prophets" of the thought patterns and the condition of human beings in the fourteenth/twentieth century, a singular thinker whose intuition allowed him to see the poverty of modem civilization and the spiritual degradation which modem man has suffered as a result of it. As far as the Islamic world is concerned, Nietzsche's influence can be seen in certain quarters especially in Muhammad Iqbal who refers to him often in his works as his main interlocutor from the West.
(Seyyed Hossein Nasr)