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  • The challenge begins with how to pronounce his name.

  • The first bit should sound likeKnee’, the second likecha

  • Kneecha.

  • Then we need to get past some of his extraordinary and provocative statements:

  • What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger

  • God is dead! And we have killed him.'

  • And his large moustache.

  • But when we do, well discover a thinker who is intermittently enchanting, wise and

  • very helpful.

  • Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844 in a quiet village in the eastern part of Germany

  • where his father was the priest.

  • He did exceptionally well at school and university and so excelled at

  • ancient Greek that he was made a professor

  • at the University of Basel

  • when still only in his mid-twenties.

  • But his official career didn’t work out. He got fed up with his fellow academics, gave

  • up his job and moved to Sils Maria in the Swiss alps

  • where he lived quietly, working on his masterpieces,

  • among them:

  • The Birth of Tragedy, Human, All Too Human,

  • The Gay Science, Thus Spoke Zarathustra,

  • Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals,

  • He had lots of problems: - he didn’t get on with his family:

  • 'I don’t like my mother and it’s painful even for me to hear my sister’s voice.’

  • - women kept rejecting him. - his books didn’t sell

  • - And when he was only forty-four, he had a mental breakdown, precipitated when he saw

  • a horse in a Turin street being beaten by its driver

  • and ran over to embrace him shouting 'I understand you'. He never recovered and

  • died eleven sad years later.

  • But his philosophy was full of heroism and grandeur.

  • He was a prophet of what he called: SELBSTÜBERWINDUNG

  • or SELF-OVERCOMING, the process by which a great-souled

  • person - what he called an ÜBERMENSCH

  • rises above their circumstances and difficulties to embrace

  • whatever life throws at them.

  • He wanted his work to teach us, as he put it, ‘how to become who we really are’.

  • His thought centers around 4 main recommendations:

  • Own up to envy

  • Envy isNietzsche recognised – a big part of life. Yet the lingering effects of

  • Christianity generally teaches to be feel ashamed

  • of our envious feelings. They seem an

  • indication of evil. So we hide them from ourselves and others

  • Yet there is nothing wrong with envy, maintained Nietzsche, so long as we use it as a guide

  • to what we really want. Every person who makes us envious should be seen as an indication

  • of what we could one day become. The envy-inducing writer, tycoon

  • or chef is hinting at who you are capable of one day being.

  • It's not that Nietzsche believed we always end up getting what we want. His own life

  • had taught him this well enough). He simply insisted that we must face up to our true

  • desires, put up a heroic fight to honour them, and only then mourn failure with solemn dignity.

  • That is what it means to be an ÜBERMENSCH

  • 2. Don’t be a Christian

  • Nietzsche had some extreme things to say about Christianity

  • In the entire New Testament, there

  • is only person worth respecting: Pilate, the Roman governor.’

  • It was knockabout stuff, but his true target was more subtle and more interesting: he resented

  • Christianity for protecting people from their envy.

  • Christianity had in Nietzsche’s account emerged in the late Roman Empire

  • in the minds of timid slaves, who had lacked the stomach

  • to get hold of what they really wanted

  • and so had clung to a philosophy that made a virtue of their cowardice.

  • He called this SKLAVENMORAL

  • Christians - whom he rather rudely termed DIE HEERDE, the herd - had wished to

  • enjoy the real ingredients of fulfilment (a position in the world, sex,

  • intellectual mastery, creativity)

  • but had been too inept to get them.

  • They had therefore fashioned a hypocritical creed denouncing what

  • they wanted but were too weak to fight for

  • while praising what they did not want but happened

  • to have. So, in the Christian value system, sexlessness

  • turned into purity [show text changing] weakness became goodness, submission-to-people-one-hates

  • became obedience and, in Nietzsche’s phrase, “not-being-able-to-take-revengeturned

  • intoforgiveness.”

  • Christianity amounted to a giant machine for bitter denial.

  • 3. Never drink alcohol

  • Nietzsche himself drank only waterand as a special treat, milk. And he thought we

  • should do likewise. He wasn’t making a small,

  • eccentric dietary point. The idea went to the heart of his philosophy, as contained

  • in his declaration: ‘There have been two great narcotics in European civilisation:

  • Christianity and alcohol.’

  • He hated alcohol for the very same reasons that he scorned Christianity: because both

  • numb pain, and both reassure us that things are just fine as they are, sapping us of the

  • will to change our lives for the better. A few drinks usher in a transient feeling of

  • satisfaction that can get fatally in the way of taking the steps necessary to improve our

  • lives.

  • Nietzsche was obsessed with the awkward truth that getting really valuable things done hurts.

  • How little you know of human happiness - you comfortable peoplehe wrote

  • The secret of a fulfilled life is: live

  • dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius!”

  • 4. “God is Dead

  • Nietzsche’s dramatic assertion that God is dead is not, as it’s often taken to be,

  • some kind of a celebratory statement.

  • Despite his reservations about Christianity, Nietzsche did not think that the end of belief

  • was anything to cheer about.

  • Religious beliefs were false, he knew; but he observed that they were very beneficial

  • in the sense of helping us cope with the problems of life.

  • Nietzsche felt that the gap left by religion should ideally be filled by Culture (he meant:

  • philosophy, art, music, literature): Culture should replace Scripture.

  • However, Nietzsche was deeply suspicious of the way his own era was handling culture.

  • He believed the universities were killing the humanities,

  • turning them into dry academic exercises,

  • rather than using them for what they were always meant to be:

  • guides to life. He admired

  • the way the Greeks had used tragic drama in a practical, therapeutic way,

  • as an occasion for catharsis and moral educationand wished his own age to be comparably

  • ambitious.

  • He called for a reformation, in which peoplenewly conscious of the crisis brought

  • on by the end of faithwould fill the gaps created by the disappearance of religion

  • with philosophy and art.

  • Every era faces particular psychological challenges, thought Nietzsche, and it is the task of the

  • philosopher to identify, and help solve, these.

  • For Nietzsche, the 19th century was reeling under the impact

  • of two developments: Mass Democracy

  • and Atheism. The first

  • threatened to unleash torrents of undigested envy; the second to

  • leave humans without guidance or morality.

  • In relation to both challenges, Nietzsche remains our endearing, fascinating often loveable

  • and mustachioed guide.

The challenge begins with how to pronounce his name.

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B1 中級 英國腔

哲學 - 尼采 (PHILOSOPHY - Nietzsche)

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    Kat 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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