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On the Genealogy of Morality Paperback – October 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0872202832 ISBN-10: 0872202836

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 177 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872202836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872202832
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Hackett's On the Genealogy of Morality (we now have even the correct title!) may very well change the entire climate for reading Nietzsche in English--especially if read in conjunction with their equally splendid Twilight of the Idols. . . . Competing translations of Nietzsche’s late, utterly influential masterpieces have often made them a chore, rather than a delight, to read; and their introductions generally obscure, rather than illuminate, the texts’ situations. Clark and Swensen (and Polt and Strong) have made the Genealogy and Twilight accessible and exhilarating--while leaving them, as they are, enigmatic and problematic. Finally, readers of Nietzsche in English can--begin!--William Arctander O'Brien, University of California, San Diego



This unique collaboration of an internationally renowned Nietzsche commentator and a scholar of German language and literature has yielded the finest existing edition of Nietzsche’s book in English. The translation itself strikes an intelligent balance between fidelity to the German and readability in English. It is especially welcome for bringing an historically and philosophically sensitive appreciation of Nietzsche to bear on translation issues. (The decision to translate Mitleid consistently as 'compassion,’ instead of 'pity'--thus emphasizing for the English-language reader Nietzsche’s opposition to Schopenhauer’s moral philosophy--is but one of many examples.) The Introduction is the most philosophically substantial guide to the Genealogy in any edition, and will be of value to both student and specialist. Most remarkable of all are the notes on the text: the wealth of biographical, historical, philosophical, and literary detail makes the volume the most informative and reader-friendly edition of Nietzsche's work to date. The notes will also prove fascinating for the scholar, as the editors have tracked down the numerous contemporary scholarly sources on which Nietzsche relied in writing the Genealogy.--Brian Leiter, University of Texas at Austin



This is an excellent translation. The copious and detailed endnotes will make it easy for a beginner to grasp Nietzsche's thought--Fred Clark, Colorado State University

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tammy22 on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Nietzsche, as always, challenges ideas and concepts that were once thought to be at the core of human identity. This work is the most systematic of all of his writings and, in my opinion, is also the the best. The Genealogy of Morals builds on Nietzsche's earlier works, predominately the Gay Science and Beyond Good and Evil, and this piece culminates as his later thoughts and thus becomes truly his own original thesis by breaking with Schopenhauer and Wagner. The translation is excellent and remains true to Nietzsche's byzantine writings. The Genealogy of Morals is highly rewarding, but is tedious and, as always, incredibly difficult to grasp his true meaning. If you have had a previous exposure to Nietzsche and enjoy ideas that challenge our conventional dogmatism, Genealogy will open your mind and provide endless intellectual stimulation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ornello on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Citizen Kane of bad translation! It is nothing less than abomination. It is inexcusable and intolerable. Those responsible should be removed from teaching positions and never allowed to return to the academic world. This is another in a seemingly unending series of 'literalist' translations of philosophical prose works. The translation is of course hopeless. This technique never works and cannot work. Each occurrence of a German word is treated the same, regardless of context. It doesn't work for Plato, it doesn't work for Kant, and it certainly doesn't work for Nietzsche. See my review of Guyer-Wood's translation of Kant's first critique, and my review of Thomas G. West's 'translations' of Greek texts. The same criticisms apply here. It is fascinating that the editors mention Guyer and Wood approvingly in their preface. How telling!

The editorial reviewer, who stated "The translation itself strikes an intelligent balance between fidelity to the German and readability in English" inadvertently points out the absurdity of this approach. No translation needs to be 'balanced', ever. There is no excuse for rigid, invariant translation of individual words, because every instance of usage is unique. Its usage in the specific context is what matters.

In this translation the word "diseasedness" is found. I'm not joking. I hope that's sufficient cause for you, Gentle Reader of this review, to regard this translation with utter contempt, as I do.

Useless, inexcusably bad, farcical.

Only a madman could possibly call this travesty "the finest existing edition of Nietzsche's book in English".
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Don Berry on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
'On the Genealogy of Morality' marks the culmination of Friedrich Nietzsche's critique of the Judeo-Christian moral framework shared by his late nineteenth century contemporaries, and extends many of the themes of his earlier works such as the history of this conventional moral schema and of moral feeling itself, the roots of our belief in God, the scientific drive towards truth at all costs, and what he takes to be the ultimately perspectival nature of all truth. Written in 1887, when Nietzsche was at the height of his intellectual powers, he sets aside his characteristically eclectic and aphoristic style in order to systematically pursue a variety of topics related to morality by constructing an historical narrative across three polemical essays.

The first essay locates the origins of contemporary moral values - which centre on humility, chastity, compassion and piety - as the outcome of an historical struggle between two groups: a weaker slave class who identify with this ideology, and a stronger ruling class who are associated with Rome and with the heroes of Ancient Greece, and whose values are dominated by a respect for strong, dominant, ambitious individuals who are successful in battle. Dissatisfied with their situation, the weaker subjugated class inculcate their own ideals under the influence of a third group - which Nietzsche refers to as the 'priestly caste' - in order to exact a kind of spiritual revenge upon their natural rulers.

In the second essay Nietzsche gives another historical narrative, this time following the development of our moral consciousness and feelings of bad conscience, which can ultimately be traced back to primitive creditor-debtor relationships in prehistory, before they are transformed and internalised by a series of contingent developments.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Mease on May 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great translation with a very helpful introduction and some footnotes. The work would benefit from a bit more notation (most footnotes translate non-German passages). However, overall I find this is a respectable edition of the Genealogy.
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