Philosophy 120 Ethics
Friedrich Nietzsche and Existentialism:
Section I. Biography:
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844 to Ludwig and Franziska Nietzsche in Röcken, in the Prussian Province of Saxony. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was named after King Wilhelm IV as the 15th of October was also his birthday, he turned 49. In the summer of 1849 Ludwig Nietzsche suffered nervous seizures which ended Ludwig’s life 10 months later on July 29th, 1849. The death of his father was followed by the death of Friedrich’s brother, Josephchen Nietzsche, who had died of convulsive cramps. After the death of his father and brother his mother was compensated a widow’s pension and an additional pension for the child. It was not enough to continue living in Röcken and the Nietzsche’s were forced to move to Naumburg, where Nietzsche’s grandmother had many contacts for the Nietzsche’s to find suitable lodging.
In Naumburg, Friedrich Nietzsche enrolled in an elementary school called Knaben-Bügerschule which left much to be desired. Friedrich was then put into care of a candidate priest named weber where he was given tutoring in Latin, Greek, and religious subjects. In October of 1854 Friedrich was admitted to the fifth form of the Domgymnasium after passing an oral exam in Latin. Friedrich finished at the Domgymnasium with high honors and was offered a scholarship to a boarding school called Pforta. While there he gained much knowledge of Latin, the arts, and how to keep a rigorous routine. In his final years at Pforta he discovered that there was no evidence to prove god as real and there will always remain problems. The first of his extremely strong statements was, “We have been influenced without having had the strength in us to oppose a counter-force, without even realizing that we have been influenced.” (Friedrich Nietzsche: A Biography, Chapter 5/Pg. 31). This was to later become Nietzsche’s concept of self-overcoming, the battle that all make to fight against one’s unconscious prejudices. Friedrich graduated from the Pforta on September 4th, 1864. In October of the same year Friedrich joined the Burschenschaften, a fraternity in Bonn. He thought it would allow him to join like-minded individuals to debate the great issues of the day.
It was Burschenschaften where studying theology helped shape Nietzsche’s anti-Christian beliefs. He quickly disbanded from the Burschenschaften fraternity and claimed to be dissatisfied with what work he had accomplished there, calling it “abominable!” Nietzsche decided upon studying philology at Leipzig University, following a fellow professor from the Burschenschaften, who he thought as a great teacher, named Friedrich Ritschl. Nietzsche eventually joined the military cutting off from his academic endeavors. He ended back at Leipzig, however, on his 24th birthday. He was appointed as a professor of classical philology before his exams or even writing a doctoral thesis at Basel.
In Nietzsche’s latter years he started to quickly loose his mind. Throughout all of his life Nietzsche suffered from major headaches which also produced major side effects and put a damper in his life. In 1889 Nietzsche was gone, at least his mind was, and he had lost all sense and was on the verge of being admitted to an insane asylum. If it were not for a few good friends, Nietzsche would have been quickly admitted to the insane asylum as his behavior had become that eradicate. His family, including mother Franziska, placed him in an asylum that was better suited for Nietzsche. He remained institutionalized most of the rest of his life. Nietzsche suffered a heart attack on August 24, 1900. He later died that day. Nietzsche’s life contributed much to the field of philosophy and of most importance would be his influence on the subject of existentialism. Section II Existentialism, A Brief Summary:
Existentialism is, in essence, about the existence of self and is...
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