An example of an individual’s life may serve as a judge of the whole group of people one is originated from. Centuries of humankind history are full of various stories that depict people based on descriptions of certain famous persons. We refer to the notion that we can always name few people from every culture that form a basis of common stereotypes, no matter whether it is right or wrong. There are also cases when an individual stays detached from a crowd and proclaims his own thoughts that compound a story of another kind. This is how, for example, the notion of right or wrong is developed and transformed. The paper aims at analyzing the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, who went beyond acceptable boundaries in order to ask “…a question for thee alone … cast I this question into thy soul, that I may know its depth” (Nietzsche, 2005, p. 72).
It is important to emphasize that Nietzsche used the unorthodox philosophical approaches for establishing controversial views, which broadened the experience of accepted ideas. It is hard to say which Nietzsche’s work has influenced philosophy more than others – Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols, The Antichrist, or Ecce Homo. We are going to analyze the book Thus Spoke Zarathustra in order to discuss Nietzsche’s central ideas, as well as demonstrate his methods and peculiarities he judged.
Nietzsche was greatly influenced by the works of the nineteenth-century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (for example, the book The World as Will and Representation). Nietzsche embraced Schopenhauer’s ideas, developing and presenting them later with criticism and unprecedented subtle commentaries. This unique philosopher stated, argued and persuaded at the same time. While some people may not agree with his works, others are sure to find rational thoughts within them. This is how Nietzsche’s ideas have influenced readers. It still makes them rethink their knowledge about the world, people, and religion, which was definitely his purpose.
The most crucial hypotheses rely upon theories that “Nietzsche was against the separation of mind and body, and aimed to confound traditional philosophical ways of thinking through a critique of religion, reason, nature, God, time, space and morality” (Cowley, n.d., n.p.). The key concepts that are revealed in Thus Spoke Zarathustra are re-evaluation of a human being, important notions of good and evil, and the question of God and religion (nihilism).
The first philosophic approach found its particularization through pure critique of a human being by means of merciless description of the whole kind as weak, egoistic and plane creatures that are not worth of life on this planet. In his opinion, people were no more than a link to another stage of evolution that Nietzsche defined as super being (superman) that would populate the Earth. Meantime, “The earth, said he, hath a skin; and this skin hath diseases. One of these diseases, for example, is called “man” (Nietzsche, 2005, p. 143). There was no praise of people in the works of the philosopher. He showed no fascination towards usual things, actions and thoughts of people, such as perception of good and evil.
Nietzsche often addressed the basic bipolar opposition of good and evil. He used metaphors to express his idea, where, for example, the opposition of up/down corresponded to good/evil (right/wrong). Nietzsche thought that a person aimed at rising, but “the more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark – into the evil.” (Nietzsche, 2005, p. 42).
He created his own definitions of these notions and claimed that a person can only be free from false judgments when he or she knows what is right and wrong from a biased point of view. As a matter of fact, Nietzsche redefined the concepts, going beyond and finding roots deep in the consciousness of people. German philosopher controversially argued about the figure of the higher power that is known to human beings as God. He claimed God to be dead.
To draw a conclusion, Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical views can be attributed to the influence of Arthur Schopenhauer’s works. The paper discussed some of the ideas that concerned Nietzsche. Apart from external stimuli that appeared to be general beliefs about morality, religion, reason, mind and body, Nietzsche concentrated on internal views. It resulted in creation of books with rather controversial ideas if to compare them to what was accepted (especially the claim that God is dead). His objective was to challenge people on the rational level in order to change their views, such as perception of good and evil. He wanted to confound traditional theories and to shape them into progressive points. His main instrument was critique. It is difficult to relate his central ideas to one work, but the chosen book Thus Spoke Zarathustra distinctively demonstrates Nietzsche’s philosophy. The thinker called the value of basic ideas into question and revealed his own theories. Thus, the above-mentioned views were transformed in the nineteenth century into ultimately nihilistic theory. Nietzsche had a question and he found his answers, appealing to readers to do the same.