The Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer

The Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer


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The Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer by Friedrich Nietzsche

'One must be superior to mankind in force, in loftiness of soul—in contempt’

In these two devastating works, Nietzsche offers a sustained and often vitriolic attack on the morality and the beliefs of his time, in particular those of Hegel, Kant and Schopenhaur. Twilight of the Idols is a ‘grand declaration of war’ on reason, psychology and theology that combines highly charged personal attacks on his contemporaries with a lightning tour of his own philosophy. It also paves the way for The Anti-Christ, Nietzche’s final assault on institutional Christianity, in which he identifies himself with the ‘Dionysian’ artist and confronts Christ; the only opponent he feels worthy of him.

In his introduction Michael Tanner discussed the themes of Nietzche’s argument and places the works in their historical and philosophical context.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140445145
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1990
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 277,252
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.77(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Prussia in 1844. After the death of his father, a Lutheran minister, Nietzsche was raised from the age of five by his mother in a household of women. In 1869 he was appointed Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, where he taught until 1879 when poor health forced him to retire. He never recovered from a nervous breakdown in 1889 and died eleven years later. Known for saying that “god is dead,” Nietzsche propounded his metaphysical construct of the superiority of the disciplined individual (superman) living in the present over traditional values derived from Christianity and its emphasis on heavenly rewards. His ideas were appropriated by the Fascists, who turned his theories into social realities that he had never intended.
R. J. Hollingdale has translated eleven of Nietzsche’s books and published two books about him. He has also translated works by, among others, Schopenhauer, Goethe, E. T. A. Hoffmann, Lichtenberg and Theodor Fontane, many of these for the Penguin Classics. He is Honorary President of the British Nietzsche Society, and was for the Australian academic year 1991 Visiting Fellow at Trinity College, Melbourne.

Table of Contents

Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ Introduction
Translator's Note
Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize with a Hammer
Maxims and Arrows
The Problems of Socrates
"Reason" in Philosophy
How the "Real World" at last Became a Myth
Morality as Anti-Nature
The Four Great Errors
The "Improvers" of Mankind
What the Germans Lack
Expeditions of an Untimely Man
What I Owe to the Ancients
The Hammer Speaks
The Anti-Christ
The Anti-Christ
Glossary of Names

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The Twilight of the Idols and The Anti-Christ: or How to Philosophize with a Hammer 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
All of my atheist friends love Nietzsche, and i love to have my beleifs challenged so i decided to read him, however from now on when i want a provocative challenge to my beleifs, i'll go with John-Paul Sartre. Nietzsche talked quite a bit without realy saying things. He seemed to prefer to provide alternative explinations to the intrepretation of Christainity rather than logically disproving it. 'Thus Spoke Zarathutra' was ok, in that it presented Nietzschian thought, in an intertaining form, and allowed the reader to see Nietzschies amazing talent as a writter and poet, however These books were terriable the only way someone could consider these books profound and brilliant is if they had a need to feel an intelectual superiority, and had inate inclinations towards romantic paradoxs', but mostly the need to feel intelectually superior towards 'the masses'. If you want brilliance, read Dostoevsky. 'Dostoevsky [is] the only psychologist, incidently, from whome i had something to learn he ranks among the most beautifull strokes of fortune in my life' -Fredrick Nietzsche, 'Twilight of Idols' Perhaps Nietzsche should have paid attention and learned more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nietzsche is famous for his maxims and his aphorisms. This is often criticized as simply diatribe. But to say that Nietzsche does not argue but simply rant is to not understand Nietzsche. He was not concerned with logical arguments, though he did employ them, often enthememetically (if that a word). He does not simply argue against logic, he looks at the rhetoric of the person and uses that to argue against the person's beliefs and why we would ever idolize them. This book is a very important book in the history of philosophy and rhetoric for being revolutionary in its construction and argumentative basis.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If titles were indications of quality, this first offering would be my favorite by far. In contrast to 'Zarathustra' and more so than 'Beyond Good and Evil', this short work is a crash-course in Nietzschean thought: consequently, for the uninitiated, this is definitely not the place to start (neither are the two aforementioned books)¿this is advanced, senior level! What the effort tackles: the summation of the character and importance of such individuals as Socrates, such civilizations as ancient Greece, Nietzsche¿s immediate predecessors, and all old-world, outlived ways of thinking in general¿ideas and ideals he renders as idols! Here he attempts to put into practice a methodology mentioned in his earlier works, one which I feel is often overlooked: the abbreviation of the past, of history. Such idols are sounded out, and if need be, shattered! His effort is noteworthy, but I think the scope is too much for any man as yet, however. This initial example, the fact that it should be attempted at all, is set forth and understood to be a beginning to new beginnings--the overcoming of, the coming-to-terms with, the reconciliation of the past is not only necessary philosophically¿but also from a cultural-psychological hygienic point of view. Without this cleaning-house as it were, culture becomes mired down: peoples simply, passively, inherit what came before-- strength and integrity wane, and laziness, or ¿convenience,¿ steps into the foreground: within a generation bad habits turn instinctive, origins are marginalized or forgotten all together. Essentially, 'Twilight¿' is an exercise in integrity. This second offering is undoubtedly the most vitriolic, powerful verbal-attack I have ever encountered! No song, no other prose or poetry, no other type of denouncement has struck me so firmly, none has screamed so loudly. In my relatively short time of literary-acculturation few things have been so passionate. The title certainly does the content justice: the object of ridicule (the institution of Christianity) is utterly lambasted--personified, it is horribly mauled¿externally (the truth of its influence), and internally (¿psychologically,¿ or rather ecclesiastically). Qua Nietzsche, this treatise epitomizes his characteristic approach to many a topic: no lightheartedness, no pussyfooting, no pity! Here, the quintessential ¿immoralist¿ speaks mercilessly against matters of intellectual laziness, against that ever-lacking historical-perspective (as it pertains to Christianity), against unconditional and unquestioning acceptance. He separates Christ from Christianity¿something unprecedented¿positing the former as a worthy adversary (an honor, however semi-blasphemous it sounds), while the latter as an extremely successful misinterpretation, an abused weapon, a usurpation and intentional falsification of a very important, world-historical epoch in human history. Yet in the end, I fail to find his ranting and raving totally or completely unjustified, it does not sound unsound--and considering the immense popularity of the institution (also its notoriety), I applaud the author for braving these waters!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nietzsche¿s statements are often bold, startling and thought provoking to the reader. Against `moralists¿ and `religions¿ (esp. Christianity) such statements might invoke hostility on Nietzsche himself by the reader. Who does understand Nietzsche, except Nietzsche himself? The reader must go beyond this degradation ¿ for to see the world of Nietzsche one must see Nietzsche from within. Nietzsche¿s philosophy of a ¿philosophy of life¿ (Paul Tillich) is the only one that is. Much can be learned from reading Nietzsche. Nietzsche valued life and perhaps understood it more so than the `moralists¿ of yesterday and today - First purchase and reading. Nietzsche¿s philosophy, I believe, rests on his assertion: ¿Whether we have grown more moral¿ (TI, 37). Nietzsche was a man who had no need of pity or `convictions¿ of any certainty, that be called `truth¿ (the former, i.e., certainty, which only limits perspective). Nietzsche, firstly, was a philologist (the study of ancient literature), followed by that of a psychologist (how certain `concepts¿ in literature `seduce¿ man), and lastly, that of a physician (how these `seductions¿ harm man¿s health to the point of man becoming `morbid¿). Asserting himself to be all three, Nietzsche¿s philosophy and Nietzsche as philosopher sprang forth with the statement: ¿Revaluation of All Values¿ (AC, 62). Going back to the assertion above, ¿whether we have grown more moral,¿ Nietzsche is concerned with the `first order of rank,¿ and that first order is the creation of a `higher type¿ of `morality,¿ that which man has been depraved of and denied, especially from `Christian morals.¿ He is concerned with freeing man from this `enslaved morbid morality¿ and placing him on a ladder that ascends to a `higher type¿ of man: the Overman or Superman. It is the `Will to Power¿ for More Life that says ¿Yes¿ to Life. But then again, this is Nietzsche¿s interpretation of the history of morals¿ But what better interpretation is there than `experience¿ - Second purchase and reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nietzsche is without a doubt one of the greatest philosophers of all time. The man wrote the truth and didn't care what others thought, especially the Christians. These two books are smooth, well-written and meaningful attacks on Christianity. Although Twilight of the Idols was a little overindulgent, The Antichrist was nearly perfect. These are books for all time
Guest More than 1 year ago
Proves how Jesus and the whole concept of christianity is a complete waste of time. Live your own life, don't follow someone else's path. Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to mankind besides mankind.
Clicquet More than 1 year ago
You hide behind Your Belief System and consider Christianity as useless. You can print this 'dreck' because of The First Amemendment. Be gratefull This Country Allows You to Say,Print,Publish Anything You want. Everyone Including You Are allowed This by Birth~Right. Yet to hide behind even the username{s} on B&N are more telling. You have a Soul and You feel Pain.You Cry.If as, C.S. Lewis once believed we have no Souls, I wonder why you hide. Are You a coward or just stupid? As Joy Davidman~Lewis asked in film, "Shadowlands'.