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Nietzsche: 'On the Genealogy of Morality' and Other Writings: Revised Student Edition (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought) [Paperback]

Friedrich Nietzsche , Keith Ansell-Pearson , Carol Diethe
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 30, 2006 052169163X 978-0521691635 2
Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most influential thinkers of the past 150 years and On the Genealogy of Morality (1887) is his most important work on ethics and politics. A polemical contribution to moral and political theory, it offers a critique of moral values and traces the historical evolution of concepts such as guilt, conscience, responsibility, law and justice. This is a revised and updated 2006 edition of one of the most successful volumes to appear in Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. Keith Ansell-Pearson modified his introduction to Nietzsche's classic text, and Carol Diethe incorporated a number of changes to the translation itself, reflecting the considerable advances in our understanding of Nietzsche. In this guise the Cambridge Texts edition of Nietzsche's Genealogy should continue to enjoy widespread adoption, at both undergraduate and graduate level.

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Editorial Reviews


'The clarity of the ... translation and the supporting apparatus (chronology, further reading, biographical synopses, and index) make this an excellent edition for student use, as indeed it is intended. ... what makes [it] particularly useful is the inclusion of material from other works by Nietzsche to which the Genealogy refers, such as Human, All Too Human, Daybreak, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Gay Science, as well as ... the early texts, 'The Greek State' and 'Homer's Contest'.' British Journal for the History of Philosophy

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 052169163X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521691635
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars About This Edition January 9, 2009
I wish Cambridge UP would reissue this excellent work of Nietzsche in "Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy" series. All other major works of Nietzsche (nine books in all) were issued in this series. This edition of "Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought" differs not only in color but also in size from "History of Philosophy" series, which makes the Cambridge edition of "The Complete Works of Nietzsche" (an exceptional achievement) a bit incomplete.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An edition of dubious quality August 26, 2012
This review concerns the Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought Revised Student Edition (2007), edited by Ansell-Pearson and translated by Diethe. I have not systematically compared the English with the German but several things make me uneasy.

The quotations from Greek and Latin are a chaos of misprints (see, for example, pages 14, 21, 68). Clearly no one familiar with these languages looked over this "revised" edition. Nietzsche the philologist would have wept.

I also was confused by the German words occasionally included in brackets in the English text, as these often seemed to be neither key philosophical terms nor at all difficult to translate. For instance, why do we need to know that "such paradoxical and paralogical concepts" translates "solcher paradoxer und paralogischer Begriffe" (p. 94, cf. pp. 90 and 99)?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good translation May 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For my thesis I am reading this book in the original german as well and I must say this translation just capture a lot of the sentiment, I'd still recommend reading the original as well because some things to get lost in translation but I admire how little is lost here. It is a very careful and solid translation of the text.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Before Good and Evil November 11, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"We are unknown to ourselves" (3) writes Friedrich Nietzsche, beginning his work On the Genealogy of Morality with a sweeping statement not just about the human condition, but about the state of Europe at the end of the 19th century. "We have never looked for ourselves" he continues, "so how are we ever supposed to find ourselves?" (ibid.) Nietzsche's famous - or, infamous - belief that Judaism, through Christianity, has bequeathed to the world a "slave morality" that has held the West captive is what this book is about.

"[A]ll religions are, at their most fundamental, systems of cruelty" (41) - and they are ultimately perpetuated by priests whose own state of inferiority once upon a time led to a great revolt in the world such that the priests came out on top and the powerful were castigated. One can, in many ways, see the old Protestant polemic against Catholicism now turned against not just Protestantisms, but against all religion in general. In many ways Nietzsche's attack on asceticism is like Martin Luther's, only without any positing of salvation from Christ. Instead, salvation comes from the anti-Christ, who is also an anti-nihilist, that frees people to enact their own "will to power" - an aesthetic creating that pays no attention to distictions between good and evil.

Nietzsche seeks what he terms "the revaluation of all values", particularly in the realm of moral judgment; the aesthetic will to power exists to return us "to the innocent conscience of the wild beast" (25) for "no cruelty, no feast" (46). By claiming that our current conceptions of "good" are ultimately due to the ressentiment of religious persons thousands of years ago, he is able to claim that our current understanding of "good" is really actually the opposite of what it purports to be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Nietzche October 27, 2013
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I found the introduction to Nietzche work fundamental to embar into Nietzche’s reading. The informed explanation of the whole view as well as specifies nuances of Nietzche’s philosophy paved the way for a better understanding and to be critical within a reasonable context. I highly recommend this book for people who, like me, are beginners reading in philosophy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Book December 10, 2012
By R.G.P.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read this for my philosophy class. At first I was a bit put off by how philosophy books are worded, but once you get used to it, these kind of books are rather interesting to read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Inept, literalistic translation November 17, 2008
By Ornello
There are passages in this text that are easy to translate. When someone does an adequate job with such passages, it is hardly an accomplishment. Diethe fails miserably, however, when the passages are difficult and an extra effort is required. Her talent and understanding of English are simply not adequate to the task. It requires something more than academic knowledge, diplomas, degrees, and study. It requires talent and instinct. Not just an academic knowledge of English, but a native command of English. A man's English!

And just what is a kindly middle-aged woman (and a feminist!) who has spent her entire career in academia doing translating a polemical treatise by a man? She has no capacity to empathize with a male brain to begin with, especially a 19th century one. The very notion is absurd! How do such people get publishing contracts? They have no business doing such work!

Look at this passage:

The German text:
Unter ihnen giebt es in Fülle die zu Richtern verkleideten Rachsüchtigen, welche beständig das Wort "Gerechtigkeit" wie einen giftigen Speichel im Munde tragen, immer gespitzten Mundes, immer bereit, Alles anzuspeien, was nicht unzufrieden blickt und guten Muths seine Strasse zieht. Unter ihnen fehlt auch jene ekelhafteste Species der Eitlen nicht, die verlognen Missgeburten, die darauf aus sind, "schöne Seelen" darzustellen und etwa ihre verhunzte Sinnlichkeit, in Verse und andere Windeln gewickelt, als "Reinheit des Herzens" auf den Markt bringen: die Species der moralischen Onanisten und "Selbstbefriediger".
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