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On the Genealogy of Morality

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0872202832
ISBN-10: 0872202836
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Editorial Reviews


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.

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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: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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Format: Paperback
This book challenged all my preconceived notions about the origins of the presently accepted set of beliefs such as christianity and islam. What Nietshze was trying to say is that to become the Ubermensch, and individual must treat himself as the best in all aspects of life!
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By james brown on July 8, 2015
Format: Paperback
If you try to understand this book thoroughly, this crazy philosopher is advocating for self-empowerment by simply detaching yourself from the established norms and system of religion and other coercive machinery. a good read.
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