Anil Mitra PhD © July 2010, LATEST REVISION © July 20, 2010


1.      Promoted individual and cultural health—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 thought is the idea of “life-affirmation,” which involves an honest questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be (this sentence taken from

Aside—what is this world, what is beyond… our conception of these depends and has to depend on our metaphysical interpretation of our knowledge… ‘no world beyond science’ is as metaphysical as ‘heaven and hell’ … UM shows that there is an immensity of relevant worlds beyond the immediate world of our cosmos)

2.      Therefore especially critical of ordinary morals and ordinary man—the meanest and the best. Scholarly oxen. Also especially critical of Christian sentiment and morality, especially the praise of ordinariness and of pity and the longing for a world beyond. ‘God is dead’

3.      Critique of ordinary morals and ordinary man—the meanest and the best. Scholarly oxen. Social man

4.      Estimation of those who would overcome themselves. Over-man or over-human—übermensch (gender neutral.) Overcoming is also eternal and is self-overcoming with regard to knowing and fear… fear of the world as manifest in escape from realism. Going under

5.      Reveling in this world—art, nature…

6.      Eternal return: cosmological, personal—cosmological, personal in relation to suffering and overcoming, and the eternal return of the ordinary man

7.      Not supremacist, against racism—specifically against anti-Judaism, not militant. The over-man (not superman) is self rather than other overcoming

8.      For Nietzsche, philosophy is an instrument in understanding and being in the world, in understanding human being and the possibility of human being and real human being and overcoming self. What is the highest life? How to live it? This requires not mere knowledge of psyche but ever seeing, probing, valuating, revaluating

9.      Who are the great philosophers? The greatest? Thinkers sometimes write as though their mode of thought is the mode. Wittgenstein and Nietzsche clearly have different conceptions of the nature of philosophy. For Kant and Wittgenstein, philosophy is the analysis of the possibilities, the realizations, and limits of thought (W. emphasizes language.) For Nietzsche, philosophy is about life—what it is, what is important, cultivating what is important. Nietzsche is a prime example of a modern philosopher who thinks about the great issues, breathes passion into his thought, is immensely insightful, is inspiring, is critically rational, and lives his thought. He combines importance with reason (the modern schools tend to promote one at the expense of the other)

10.  An aside—therefore there is no particular notion of philosophy that is philosophy

11.  What insight and how expressed. Wrote beautifully in many styles—aphorism to Zarathustra…

12.  This is a high mode of philosophy. The essential problems approached from psyche and body, critiqued rationally

13.  Will to power

14.  High valuation of vision and courage. What is courage? In relation to the real? Relative critique of reason as a final value

15.  Against state power without the restraint of culture. Therefore, and for other reasons, critical of Germany and the even the concept of the German race. Appreciative of Paris as a center of great culture