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The irrationalism of F. Nietzsche

If the philosophy of Schopenhauer was irrational by its context but not by the means of expounding (they were quite rational and argumentative), the philosophy of another German philosopher-irrationalist F. Nietzsche was irrational in both attitudes: by context and by means of expounding. Any system is absent in it. Nietzsche himself said of it that the will to systematizing means the absence of honesty. His books (the main of them are “Thus spoke Zarathustra”, “The Evil Wisdom”, “The Gay Science”, “Antichrist”, “Beyond Good and Evil”, “Ecce homo”, “Will to Power” etc.) are sets of particular aphorisms, passages and so on. Some myths and stereotypes concerning Nietzsche’s philosophy should be refuted; they are his Pan-Germanism, anti-Semitism, slavophobia. They may be refuted by following quotations from his works: “The origin of the German spirit is sick intestines”, “Where Germany would spread to, it spoils culture everywhere”, “To meet a Jew is happiness if you live among the Germans”. In his philosophic autobiography “Ecce homo”, in the chapters “Why I’m so clever”, “Why I’m so wise”, “Why I write such good books” Nietzsche explains all these points by his slavish roots (that his ancestors on father line were the Poles) [8, p. 167 – 260]. Nietzsche’s philosophy is somewhere on the edge between the proper philosophy and a poetry. It concerns especially his main book “Thus spoke Zarathustra”, which he himself called a novel [7].

The main idea of all Nietzsche’s philosophizing may be determined as the overestimation of all values. Nietzsche wrote in “Thus spoke Zarathustra” that three stages of human development are: those of camel, lion and child. On the stage of camel man like a camel carries the luggage of strange values on his back; on that of lion he like a lion fights them and on the stage of child he like a child is quite innocent towards any values [7, p. 21 – 23]. Nietzsche rejected any ontology denying the existence of the world independent on human will. The world as itself according to him doesn’t exist. No opposition material-consciousness or reality-illusiveness is permissible for the world; it may be taken only as wholeness, which is a torrent and an eternal becoming. Nietzsche called it life. It isn’t the life in the proper, direct meaning of the word but something including the dead matter also. Its value consists not in its eternity but in its fleetingness and transience. The latter are also its chief property. Another property or manifestation of it is the will to power. The will to power means aspiration to spreading and widening of its sphere. Cognition, beauty, truth, science, religion, moral are the only means and artificial implements of the will to power realization [8]. Therewith the dead world is even higher than the living one, for its self-sufficient. The human, said Nietzsche, is a mistake of nature, for it cannot survive without these implements. No common truth exists; the world can be interpreted in many modes and has no one single meaning but an infinite lot of meanings. “Truth is that sort of error without which some species of living creatures couldn’t survive”, wrote Nietzsche. A truth can exist only in joining with the will to do, power and faith together. Moral is the further error after the truth. It’s a bridle put on a man by other men who are weaker than he. Moral according to Nietzsche is begotten by the envy and vindictiveness of the weak men towards the strong ones (towards the higher, the aristocrats). Especially it concerns the Christian moral which kills any vitality and living health [8]. The free souls must be innocent towards moral and its prescriptions.



Human according to Nietzsche is something temporary and of no value. It must be overcome and its place must be occupied by Superman who alone is of value. Here we come to the most contradictory and enigmatic of Nietzsche’s ideas. What is the superman of Nietzsche? He’ll come in place of God and usual man. “God has died”, declared Nietzsche [7]. The superman who will come in place of God is quite free, first of all he is free of mankind’s prejudices. ‘Our aim is to create a being higher than we are. We must create something beyond ourselves’, wrote Nietzsche. In “Thus spoke Zarathustra” it’s told how Zarathustra the Persian prophet (who in general has no thing in common with the historic Zarathustra) goes among people, preaching them the idea of superman, but almost nobody wants to listen to him. In the end he confined himself in a cave where some guests come to him. Among them an ugly man who thinks himself be the ugliest man in the Universe, that’s why he has killed God with an axe, for he couldn’t bear that God saw his ugliness; two kings who refused their thrones to follow Zarathustra and other picturesque personages are. All they were accepted by Zarathustra and recognized the great men by him. Later in a moment when Zarathustra had got out it happened the following. The ‘great men’ watered the donkey brought by the kings with wine and started worshiping him, making bows, kneeling before him, singing him chants such as ‘Oh, saint’, ‘Oh, you are the hope of us’, ‘Oh, you are so modest’ (the donkey was crying out ‘Ia’[21] on it). Zarathustra having come back and seen this disgrace cursed out his guests and said that he saw that even a great man is nothing in comparison with Superman. After it Zarathustra went out of the cave. This is the end of the novel [7, p. 229 – 317].

Nietzsche’s philosophy made an effect of an exploding bomb. So the overestimation of the values amazed his contemporaries. In his biography Nietzsche put the next motto “Dionysius against the Crucified”[22] [8, p. 260]. He wrote also: “You, believers in me! But what use is of all believers? You had not sought yourselves when you found me. So do all believers. Therefore faith means so little. Now I say you to lose me and to find yourselves; only then maybe I’ll return to you”.


Date: 2014-12-21; view: 1060


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