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Nietzsche, Friedrich

The German philosopher, Latin and Greek scholar, and cultural critic Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) is widely regarded as among the most influential thinkers of the past two centuries. Many people who have never formally studied philosophy are nevertheless familiar with ideas and themes Nietzsche introduced, such as the will to power, the death of God, the Übermensch (“overman” or “superhuman”), and the eternal recurrence of the same. Quotations from Nietzsche (e.g., “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”) pervade popular culture, often without attribution to the source. The very familiarity of these Nietzschean themes and aphorisms, however, tends to obscure the complexity and richness of Nietzsche’s philosophy, which engages a broad range of human concerns, including ethics.

Nietzsche never elaborated an ethical system such as ...

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