Notes on Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future

Roy L. Smith

I here offer notes on Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil. My intention is to carefully follow the main line of argumentation Nietzsche employs throughout the text in order to assist readers in the difficult task of interpreting this work. In order to avoid tangential rabbit trails I have skipped some sections, such as Epigrams and Interludes which consists of brilliant aphorisms, and the poetic Aftersong with which Nietzsche closes the book. These notes are choppy and often include lengthy quotations, so as to offer more of the author than of myself. Nietzsche integrates multiple trajectories that address varying philosophers. Thus he is often arguing against many positions in a given passage. As an explosion sends shards in every direction, so Nietzsche writes. I have not traced each of these trajectories and their targets. That would necessitate book length commentary. Because I firmly believe that one should first hear and understand an author before making determinations about the author’s claims, I have endeavored to follow the text as closely as I am able, without adding anything of myself (though this is not entirely possible). On occasions where I do insert my thought or quote Kaufmann, I do so in brackets.

In his last work, Ecce Homo, Nietzsche tells his reader what he intended to convey in Beyond Good and Evil. He says that a “revaluation of values” constituted the need for “destroying” problematic values he felt had dominated Europe far too long (766). This necessitated a “critique of modernity, not excluding the modern sciences, modern arts, and even modern politics, along with pointers to a contrary type that is as little modern as possible” (766). Thus the book is “a school for the gentilhomme” [translated by Kaufmann as “nobleman, gentleman”]. For “one has to have guts merely to endure it … one must never have learned how to be afraid” (766). In this way he wants to demolish the “famous ‘objectivity,’” the “‘pity for all that suffers,’” the “‘historical sense’ with its submission to foreign tastes, groveling on its belly before [small facts] and ‘being scientific’” with the hammer Nietzsche says he philosophizes with (766). Thus “psychology is practiced with admitted hardness and cruelty—the book is devoid of any good-natured word” (767). This is the case because Nietzsche aims at “recuperation” in these fields (767). What does this mean? Nietzsche answers as a theologian: “Theologically speaking—listen closely, for I rarely speak as a theologian—it was God himself who at the end of his days’ work lay down as a serpent under the tree of knowledge: thus he recuperated from being God.—He had made everything too beautiful.—The devil is merely the leisure of God on that seventh day” (767).


In the preface Nietzsche says he is setting out to correct the error made by philosophical dogmatism. [Its error is the ground upon which its truth claims rests.]

Supposing that truth is a woman—what then? Are there not grounds for the suspicion that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, have been very inexpert about women? That the gruesome seriousness, the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they have usually approached truth so far have been awkward and very improper methods for winning a woman’s heart? What is certain is that she has not allowed herself to be won—and today every kind of dogmatism is left standing dispirited and discouraged. (192)

Philosophical dogmatism is considered “childishness and tyronism” by Nietzsche. He notes that ancient superstitions like belief in a “soul” have been re-expressed as the “subject and ego superstition,” which “has not even yet ceased to do mischief.” This is “seduction by grammar, or an audacious generalization of very narrow, very personal, very human, all too human facts” (192). Similar to ancient tenets of astrology, dogmatic philosophical superstitions wielded as apodictically certain presuppositions, like “all great things,” “first have to bestride the earth in monstrous and frightening masks in order to inscribe themselves in the hearts of humanity with eternal demands: dogmatic philosophy was such a mask; for example, the Vedanta doctrine in Asia and Platonism in Europe” (192-93). Thus “the worst, most durable, and most dangerous of all errors so far was a dogmatist’s error—namely, Plato’s invention of the pure spirit and the good as such.” “But now that is overcome, now that Europe is breathing freely again after this nightmare … we, whose task is wakefulness itself, are the heirs of all that strength which has been fostered by the fight against this error” (193). One of the problems resulting from this error—and one of Nietzsche’s greatest complaints in relation to it—is a denial of perspective. But perspective, he says, is “the basic condition of all life” (193). In this context Nietzsche equates Plato and Christianity, “for Christianity is Platonism for ‘the people’” (193). Last, philosophical dogmatism has resulted in an enormous “tension” leading to “need and distress.” But the “free spirits” (i.e. Philosophers of the Future) Nietzsche wants to address will either unbend or break the metaphorical “bow” causing this tension and its repercussions yielding the European morality and politics of his day.

Part I: On the Prejudices of Philosophers

Nietzsche begins by asking questions he will address: What is the “will to truth” really about? Further, what is the “value” of the will to truth? Why do we claim that we want truth? Is truth objectively apprehended by us or subjectively created by us? The problem of the value of truth is “a rendezvous, it seems, of questions and question marks” (199). Further, what in fact is the origin of the things to which we ascribe the highest value? Driving home the emphasis Nietzsche wants his readers to have on this world, on the reality of real existence, he argues that the origin of value is not “the intransitory, the hidden god, the ‘thing-in-itself’” (200). The origin of value is just the opposite, and the prejudices of philosophers blinds them to real life existence. Philosophers posit metaphysical or other worldly realms. Even worse, they encourage faith in these illusions, which in turn destroys our ability to embrace this life in this world. They posit oppositions (i.e. the Hegelian dialectical method) as the origin of truth and value.

Ironically, though they echo Descartes in saying that ‘all must be doubted,’ they do not doubt their erroneous metaphysical presuppositions. Thus “the fundamental faith of the metaphysicians is the faith in opposite values.” Though “it has not even occurred to the most cautious among them that one might have a doubt right here at the threshold where it was surely most necessary.” But are “there are any opposites at all?” he asks (200). Encouraging a new approach to philosophy, Nietzsche builds his case against the traditional presuppositions and prejudices of philosophers. I will now summarize his argument.

Philosophical thinking, like all conscious thinking, is driven by “instinctive” psychological forces (201). Underneath all philosophical enterprises lie “valuations or, more clearly, physiological demands for the preservation of a certain type of life” (201). Claims such as: “mere appearance is worth less than truth” are fallacious. But because we are not really after truth, we do not object to false claims. What we really value is survival. Thus we call that which facilitates our survival ‘truth’ and we object to that which does not, calling it false. The ‘will to truth’ is really a will to survival.

The falseness of a judgment is for us not necessarily an objection to a judgment; in this respect our new language may sound strangest. The question is to what extent it is life-promoting, life-preserving, species-preserving, perhaps even species-cultivating. And we are fundamentally inclined to claim that the falsest judgments (which include synthetic judgments a priori) are the most indispensible for us; that without accepting the fictions of logic, without measuring reality against the purely invented world of the unconditional and self-identical, without a constant falsification of the world by means of numbers, man could not live—that renouncing false judgments would mean renouncing life and a denial of life. To recognize truth as a condition of life—that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil. (202)  

Nietzsche says that philosophers have been childish and dishonest by pretending to have accessed truth in an objective or unbiased way. They fail to recognize that their truth claims are based on assumptions or hunches or “desire[s] of the heart” that have “been filtered and made abstract,” which they then “defend with reasons they have sought after the fact” (202). Thus the bases for their claims are their “prejudices which they baptize as ‘truths.’” Kant’s categorical imperative, for example, is really just one of the “subtle tricks of old moralists and preachers of morals.” Also Spinoza, with the “hocus-pocus of mathematical form” he instantiated, was really motivated by “‘the love of his wisdom.’” In like manner “every great philosophy so far has been” merely “the personal confession of its author and a kind of involuntary and unconscious memoir” rooted in the “moral (or immoral) intentions in every philosophy” (203). The real “drive” of philosophers has not directed towards knowledge, but a “drive” to represent themselves and their truth claims “as the ultimate purpose of existence and the legitimate master of all the other drives.” “For every drive wants to be master—and it attempts to philosophize in that spirit” (203-04).

Scholars have become mere scientists, and like philosophers their true drive is not towards knowledge, but rather their “real ‘interests’” are “family, or in making money or in politics” (204). Likewise the philosophers’ “morality bears decided and decisive witness to who he is—that is, in what order of rank the innermost drives of his nature stand in relation to each other” (204). Nietzsche directly addresses the philosopher who would appeal to nature instead of himself as the basis for his truth claims: “Your pride wants to impose your morality, your ideal, on nature—even on nature—and incorporate them in her … you would like all existence to exist only after your own image” (205-06). Indeed, “as soon as any philosophy begins to believe in itself,” “it always creates the world in its own image; it cannot do otherwise. Philosophy is this tyrannical drive itself, the most spiritual will to power, to the ‘creation of the world,’ to the causa prima [first cause]” (206).

[Nietzsche wants to destroy the dividing line philosophy has erected between the real and ideal. With this in mind he exposes the prejudices of those endorsing this divide.] Kant, for example, in valuing his work as the “‘most difficult thing that could ever be undertaken in metaphysics,’” claimed to have “discovered a new faculty in man.” This claim has had an enormous impact on German philosophy (207-08). But is Kant’s claim true? Is there a new faculty in man? Nietzsche asks these questions in rhetorical form and then answers them himself. [This is the most brilliant and convincing argument against Kant I have encountered. It is further impressive to me because it is so succinct.] Nietzsche argues:

But let us reflect; it is high time to do so. ‘How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?’ Kant asked himself—and what really is his answer? ‘By virtue of a faculty’ [Also translatable “by virtue of some virtue, or by means of a means,” notes Kaufmann]. … People were actually beside themselves with delight over this new faculty, and the jubilation reached its climax when Kant further discovered a moral faculty in man—for at that time the Germans were still moral and not yet addicted to Realpolitik.

The honeymoon of German philosophy arrived. All the young theologians of the Tubingen seminary went into the bushes—all looking for ‘faculties.’ And what did they not find [?] … one had been dreaming, and first and foremost—old Kant. (208)

Nietzsche continues to argue that truth claims are based on drives and on created values. Addressing philosophical movements and their proponents, he shows that Kant, Spinoza, Schelling et al, are driven by a desire to create values—not a drive for truth. The emphasis here is on destroying every philosophy that encourages belief in an afterlife, because Nietzsche wants his readers to embrace this life. Thus “atomistic need,” “metaphysical need,” and “soul atomism” all must be refuted (209-10). These are convincingly argued against and followed with Nietzsche’s continual emphasis on the truth of this life and this world. He says that we all, just as every “living thing,” desire to “discharge” our strength. For “life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results” (211). This is the basis for all philosophical constructs. We make truth claims not on the basis of truth, but on the basis of our psychological and physiological drives.

Take physics and German Idealism. Physics is “only an interpretation and exegesis of the world (to suit us, if I may say so!) and not a world-explanation” (212). And Idealism holds that the world (as cognized by our “sense organs”) is the “work of our organs.” But this cannot be, because that would mean that “our body, as part of the external world, would be the work of our organs! But then our organs themselves would be—the work of our organs!” This for Nietzsche is a “reduction ad absurdum.” The world is not the work of our organs and this notion, just like all idealistic notions (including the ‘thing-in-itself’ and ‘immediate certainties’) and all superficial logical divisions, should be discarded by a philosophy of the future (212-14).

The next attack is launched against philosophical dogmatisms notion of the “free will” and the “unfree will.” Schopenhauer et al have failed to recognize that their use of cause and effect as an actuality has led to these kinds of illusory conclusions. Cause and effect are merely “pure concepts” or “conventional fictions for the purpose of designation and communication—not for explanation.” There is no objective cause and effect as philosophical dogmatists hold. Rather “it is we alone who have devised cause, sequence, for-each-other, relativity, constraint, number, law, freedom, motive, and purpose; and when we project and mix this symbol world into things as if it existed ‘in itself,’ we act once more as we have always acted—mythologically. The ‘unfree will’ is mythology; in real life it is only a matter of strong and weak wills” (219). Applying his argument to physics and psychology, Nietzsche notes that physics posits “‘nature’s conformity to law.’” But this is mere “interpretation and bad ‘philology.’” Psychology also has not yet recognized that it is “stuck in moral prejudices and fears” and “has not dared to descend into the depths” (220-22).

Part of Nietzsche’s project to stand truth on its head and to offer a revaluation of values for a philosophy of the future involves showing that some of the characteristics we consider immoral are in truth not immoral. Rather, natural physiological and psychological drives are necessary to and fully operative in, human survival. “If…a person should regard even the affects of hatred, envy, covetousness, and the lust to rule as conditions of life, as factors which, fundamentally and essentially, must be present in the general economy of life (and must, therefore, be further enhanced if life is to be further enhanced)—he will suffer from such a view of things as from seasickness” (221). Nietzsche hopes his readers will realize this truth. He encourages those who will come to this realization (ostensibly the free spirits and philosophers of the future). Along with Nietzsche, they will “sail right over morality, we crush, we destroy perhaps the remains of our own morality by daring to make our voyage there.” Nietzsche then promises to show just how significant psychological drives are in relation to our truth claims. In this way he hopes to restore psychology to its proper domain as the “queen of the sciences … for psychology is now again the path to the fundamental problems” (221-22).  

Part II: The Free Spirit

[In this section Nietzsche addresses elites (like himself) who can stomach the truths that the “herd” is terrified of. He opens by lamenting just how superficial the masses (the herd) are. He critiques the stupidity of the masses and advises his protégé “free-spirit” (or philosophers of the future) friends in this way.]

Nietzsche opens with a bit of lamentation. He laments that humanity doesn’t seem to want or to apprehend, truth. Humanity lives in such “strange simplification and falsification,” he says. We [we meaning humanity] want to make “everything around us free and easy and simple,” giving “our senses a passport to everything superficial, our thoughts a divine desire for wanton leaps and wrong inferences,” and “from the beginning” we have “contrived to retain our ignorance in order to enjoy almost inconceivable freedom, lack of scruple and caution,” and “heartiness and gaiety of life.” Humanity does not want truth. Rather, we show a “will to ignorance, to the uncertain, to the untrue.” In light of this Nietzsche wants to warn his free spirited friends: “Take care, philosophers and friends, of knowledge, and beware of martyrdom! Of suffering for the truth’s sake! Even of defending yourselves!” He advises the free spirits to “go away, flee into concealment. And have your masks of subtlety, that you may be mistaken for what you are not, or feared a little … choose the good solitude, the free, playful, light solitude that gives you, too, the right to remain good in some sense (225-26).

When confronted with the superficiality of the masses [the terms ‘masses,’ the ‘herd,’ the ‘world,’ seem to be used interchangeably by Nietzsche], the person who truly seeks knowledge (the free spirit) will at some point long for solitude. The free spirit will look for “a citadel” to be “saved from the crowd, the many, the great majority—where he may forget ‘men who are the rule,’ being their exception” (227). After a time, however, the free spirit will go back to the crowd in order to study real life or to learn about reality. “The long and serious study of the average man, and consequently much disguise, self-overcoming, familiarity, and bad contact … this constitutes a necessary part of the life-history of every philosopher” (228). [Just as in his Zarathustra] Nietzsche offers advice to his kindred free spirited friends throughout Part II. They should be daring, nuanced, unafraid of “free-spirited thought,” unafraid of solitude and loneliness. They should breath the “pure air” that is found high up in altitude where it is cold. They should be “suspicious” of “all thinking,” even their own thinking. They should “rise above faith in grammar”, and they will ultimately conclude that perhaps nothing in the world is really real aside from “our world of desires and passions.” Thus perhaps “we could not get down, or up, to any other ‘reality’ besides the reality of our drives—for thinking is merely a relation of these drives to each other;” and last perhaps it is true that “our entire instinctive life” is in fact a “will to power.” In conclusion, Nietzsche reiterates his emphasis on the will to power. He says that “all organic functions could be traced back to this will to power and one could also find in it the solution of the problem of procreation and nourishment.” This would open one’s eyes to “the world viewed from inside,” wherein the subjective slant on our objective claims would be revealed as “‘will to power’ and nothing else” (230-38). This section closes with an application of Nietzsche’s observations to the political climate of his time and further advice to the free spirits he hopes to cultivate towards a philosophy of the future.  

Part III: What Is Religious

Nietzsche begins this section by identifying himself as a “born psychologist” who will probe into the “history of the human soul” (249). He asks what the problem of knowledge and conscience for religious writers is all about. What is religious? He defines and critiques what religions have deemed as religious, which will amount to several religious neuroses and reveal the herd instinct as the driving force for that which is religions.

Critiquing historical Christianity, Nietzsche notes that the “faith” demanded by “original Christianity” is not the “ingenuous and bearlike subalterns’ faith” of a “Luther” or “Cromwell.” It is “much closer to the faith of Pascal,” which “resembles … a continual suicide of reason.” Original Christian faith is rather “a sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of the spirit; at the same time, enslavement and self-mockery, self-mutilation.” Modernity fails to see the “gruesome superlative that struck a classical taste in the paradoxical formula ‘god on the cross.’” Further, Nietzsche notes the uniqueness of this formula: “Never yet and nowhere has there been an equal boldness and inversion, anything as horrible, questioning, and questionable as this formula: it promised a revaluation of all the values of antiquity” (249-50).

What is religious involves several neuroses, one of which encourages “solitude, fasting, and sexual abstinence.” This amounts to “a penitential spasm and denial of the world and will—both perhaps to be interpreted as masked epilepsy?” coupled with “a growth of nonsense and superstition” (251). He proclaims that “the time has come for becoming a bit cold … to learn caution … to look away, to go away” from this Christian moralistic negation of life (251).

One of the religious neuroses is found in the archetypal “saint.” What the saint actually represents is “the riddle of self-conquest and deliberate final renunciation…of denial, of anti-nature.” The veneration Christianity gives to its saints is really, for Nietzsche, all about reverence for a semblance of “power” partially personified in the saint, a “‘will to power’” (255).

Inserting an aside on atheism, Nietzsche asks: “Why atheism today?” The answer he gives is grounded in religious names that have been ascribed to God and affected by the political-cultural condition of nineteenth century Europe.

‘The father’ in God has been thoroughly refuted; ditto, ‘the judge,’ ‘the rewarder.’ Also his ‘free will’: he does not hear—and if he heard he still would not know how to help. Worst of all: he seems incapable of clear communication: is he unclear? This is what I found to be causes for the decline of European theism, on the basis of a great many conversations, asking and listening. It seems to me that the religious instinct is indeed in the process of growing powerfully—but the theistic satisfaction it refuses with deep suspicion. (256)

In relation to atheism, Nietzsche discusses the rise of “modern philosophy,” which has largely become “modern skepticism” and is “covertly or overtly, anti-Christian” though not “anti-religious” (256). The “great ladder of religious cruelty” has many rungs, but three of primary importance. First “one sacrificed human beings to one’s god.” Then “one sacrificed to one’s god one’s own strongest instincts, ones ‘nature.’” And last, “didn’t one have to sacrifice God himself and, from cruelty against oneself, worship the stone, stupidity, gravity, fate, the nothing? To sacrifice God for the nothing—this paradoxical mystery of the final cruelty was reserved for the generation that is now coming up: all of us already know something of this” (257).

Nietzsche then contrasts the religious ideal with his own. The religious ideal consists of a “half-Christian, half-German narrowness and simplicity” that culminated in “Schopenhauer’s philosophy.” This is the “most world-denying of all possible ways of thinking,” this ideal of Christianity and “the Buddha and Schopenhauer.” The religious ideal is held “under the spell and delusion of morality.” In response Nietzsche encourages the ideal he is arguing for: the ideal that goes “beyond good and evil” and is “the ideal of the most high-spirited, alive, and world-affirming human” ideal. This ideal encourages a human being to “get along with whatever was and is,” and to embrace the real world and real life of concrete existence (258). The modern industrialization and noise of the world is not the genuine religious life. Pietistic religion is really the “fear of truth,” a “will to the inversion of truth, to untruth at any price” (261). The false religion of the masses, in contrast to the true religion of the free spirit, is essentially a negation of life.

[The religious ideal gives the masses] inestimable contentment with their situation and type, manifold peace of the heart, an ennobling of obedience, one further happiness and sorrow with their peers and something transfiguring and beautifying, something of a justification for the whole everyday character, the whole lowliness, the whole half-brutish poverty of their souls. Religion and religious significance spread the splendor of the sun over such ever-toiling human beings and make their own sight tolerable to them … perhaps nothing in Christianity or Buddhism is as venerable as their art of teaching even the lowliest how to place themselves through piety in an illusory higher order of things and thus to maintain their contentment with the real order, in which their life is hard enough. (263-64)   

Continuing his critique of the religious ideal, Nietzsche argues that Buddhism and Christianity must be called out for what they really teach: “they have preserved too much of what ought to perish.” Consequentially, this religious blunder has “worsen[ed] the European race” by attempting to “break the strong, sickly o’er great hopes, cast suspicion on the joy in beauty, bend everything haughty, manly, conquering, domineering, all the instincts characteristic of the highest and best-turned-out type of ‘man,’ into unsureness, agony of conscience, self-destruction.” Further, this religious ideology wants to “invert all love of the earthly and dominion over the earth into hatred of the earth and the earthly—that is the task the church posed for itself and had to pose, until in its estimation ‘becoming unworldly,’ ‘unsensual,’ and ‘higher men’ were fused into a single feeling” (265). For these reasons Nietzsche scourges the damage done by Christianity and its life-negating tendency.

Christianity has been the most calamitous kind of arrogance yet. Men, not high and hard enough to have any right to try to form man as artists; men, not strong and far-sighted enough to let the foreground law of thousandfold failure and ruin prevail, though it cost them sublime self-conquest; men, not noble enough to see the abysmally different order of rank, chasm of rank, between man and man—such men have so far held sway over the fate of Europe, with their ‘equal before God,’ until finally a smaller, almost ridiculous type, a herd animal, something eager to please, sickly, and mediocre has been bred, the European of today. (265-66) 

Part V: Natural History of Morals

In this section, Nietzsche focuses on the “herd instinct.” He discusses the psychologists of morality, the herd instinct of obedience, the herd instinct of preservation of community, his finding that fear is the mother of all morals, that the herd morality is the morality of timidity, and that the herd timidity is essentially summarized as the desire to escape all fear. Ultimately the desire of the herd will be argued as the hope “that some day there should be nothing any more to be afraid of” (304). [The metaphor of the herd seems evident enough. Think of how animals keep together in herds; following one another, staying together, and feeling safety in numbers. I think this is what Nietzsche is getting at with the metaphor of the herd instinct. The point here is that humanity uses morality as a binding power for the human herd, so to speak.]

Advancing his claim that morality is a tool for the herd, Nietzsche says that because Christian morality is “‘Morality as Timidity’” it is driven by the “herd instinct.” He argues this point in this way. Morality functions to keep members of society in line. By moral demands the “herd instinct of obedience” is fostered. This seems good to the herd, but is devastating for the free spirits, because the “art of commanding” that the will to power would lead the free spirit towards is in opposition to the conformity of the herd. Moral tenets are “herd maxims” that surface “from the herd’s way of thinking.” Examples include phrases that encourage individuals to be “‘servants of their people’” or ‘instruments of the common weal.’” These kinds of moral maxims are designed to make men timid, “tame, easy to get along with, and useful to the herd” (301). Common “moral value judgments” are thus designed for the “utility of the herd.” Therefore “as long as one considers only the preservation of the community, and immorality is sought exactly and exclusively in what seems dangerous to the survival of the community—there can be no morality of ‘neighbor love.’” (302) The notion of “‘love of the neighbor’ is always something secondary, partly conventional and arbitrary-illusory in relation to the fear of the neighbor.” Again and again, Nietzsche argues that “fear” is “the mother of morals” (303).

In contrast to the herd instinct morality, Nietzsche encourages exactly the opposite, warning that herd morality is suicide for the free spirit. This motivates Nietzsche to offer his revaluation of the values held by the herd.

[According to the herd morality] everything that elevates an individual above the herd and intimidates the neighbor is henceforth called evil; and the fair, modest, submissive, conforming mentality, the mediocrity of desires attains moral designations and honors. Eventually, under very peaceful conditions, the opportunity and necessity for educating one’s feelings to severity and hardness is lacking more and more; and every severity, even justice, begins to disturb the conscience; any high and hard nobility and self-reliance is almost felt to be an insult and arouses mistrust; the ‘lamb,’ even more the ‘sheep,’ gains in respect. (304)

[Nietzsche believes that this demasculating herd mentality has ushered in the democratic ideal. He is most disturbed by this. This loaded quotation reveals the perspective Nietzsche has towards democracy. Whether or not one agrees with Nietzsche, it is important to locate his anti-democratic position in the context of his argument.]

The democratic movement is the heir of the Christian movement … [socialism and] ‘free society’ express instinctive hostility to every other form of society except that of the autonomous herd (even to the point of repudiating the very concepts of ‘master’ and ‘servant’—ni dieu ni maitre [neither god nor master] runs a socialist formula). They are at one in their tough resistance to every special claim, every special right and privilege (which means in the last analysis, every right: for once all are equal nobody needs ‘rights’ any more). They are at one in their mistrust of punitive justice…they are also at one in the religion of pity, in feeling with all who fell, live, and suffer (down to the animal, up to ‘God’—the excess of a ‘pity with God’ belongs in a democratic age). They are at one … in their deadly hatred of suffering generally, in their almost feminine inability to remain spectators, to let someone suffer. They are at one in their involuntary plunge into gloom and unmanly tenderness under whose spell Europe seems threatened by a new Buddhism. They are at one in their faith in the morality of shared pity, as if that were morality in itself…they are at one, the lot of them, in their faith in the community as the savior, in short, in the herd, in ‘themselves.’ (306-07)

[All of these factors have culminated in the] “over-all denigration of man down to what today appears to the socialist dolts and flatheads as their ‘man of the future’—as their ideal—this denigration of man into the perfect herd animal (or, as they say, to the man of the ‘free society’), this animalization of man into the dwarf animal of equal rights and claims, is possible, there is no doubt of it. Anyone who has once thought through this possibility to the end knows one kind of nausea that other men don’t know—but perhaps also a new task!” (308).

Part VI: We Scholars

In this section Nietzsche will “venture to speak out against an unseemly and harmful shift in the respective ranks of science [Here “science” can also be translated as “scholarship,” notes Kaufmann.] and philosophy, which is now threatening to become established, quite unnoticed and as if it were accompanied by a perfectly good conscience” (311). Focusing on the importance of experience, which the scholar has left trailing in the dust, Nietzsche unleashes his fury with regard to scholars: “the self-glorification and self-exaltation of scholars now stand in full bloom, in their finest spring, everywhere…. ‘Freedom from all masters!’ that is what the instinct of the rabble wants in this case, too; and after science has most happily rid itself of theology whose ‘handmaid’ it was too long, it now aims with an excess of high spirits and a lack of understanding to lay down laws for philosophy and to play the ‘master’ herself—what am I saying? The philosopher” (311). Schopenhauer especially, with his “unintelligent wrath against Hegel,” has “opened the gates to the instinct of the rabble.” No more can one find great philosophers, or the “type” found in antiquity, he laments: “Let us confess how utterly our modern world lacks the whole type of a Heraclitus, Plato, Empedocles, and whatever other names these royal and magnificent hermits of the spirit had” be found (312-13).

As far as logical positivism is concerned, Nietzsche has no patience for them either.

It is especially the sight of those hodgepodge philosophers who call themselves ‘philosophers of reality’ or ‘positivists’ that is capable of injecting a dangerous mistrust into the soul of an ambitious young scholar: these are at best scholars and specialists themselves—that is palpable—they are all losers who have been brought back under the hegemony of science, after having desired more of themselves at some time without having had the right to this ‘more’ and its responsibilities—and who now represent, in word and deed, honorable, resentfully, and vengefully, the unbelief in the masterly task and masterfulness of philosophy. …[Philosophy has been] reduced to ‘theory of knowledge’…that never gets beyond the threshold and takes pains to deny itself the right to enter—that is philosophy in its last throes, an end, an agony, something inspiring pity. How could such a philosophy—dominate! (313)

[Nietzsche warns his audience of the “dangers of a philosopher’s development,” one of which is becoming “detained somewhere to become a ‘specialist,’” or becoming intellectually immobilized, so to speak.] 

[A young philosopher’s may not attain his] proper level, the height for a comprehensive look, for looking around, for looking down. [Or he may reach this place] “too late, when his best time and strength are spent—or impaired, coarsened, degenerated, so his view, his over-all value judgment does not mean much any more. It may be precisely the sensitivity of his intellectual conscience that leads him to delay somewhere along the way and to be late: he is afraid of the seduction to become a dilettante, a millipede, an insect with a thousand antennae; he knows all too well that whoever has lost his self-respect cannot command or lead in the realm of knowledge. …Add to this, by way of once more doubling the difficulties for a philosopher, that he demands of himself a judgment, a Yes or No, not about the sciences but about life and the value of life—that he is reluctant to come to believe that he has a right, or even a duty, to such a judgment, and must seek his way to this right and faith only from the most comprehensive—perhaps most disturbing and destructive— experiences, and frequently hesitates, doubts, and lapses into silence. Indeed, the crowd has for a long time misjudged and mistaken the philosopher, whether for a scientific man and ideal scholar for a religiously elevated, desensualized, ‘desecularized’ enthusiast and sot of God [Sot of God: “An illusion to the conception of Spinoza as ‘God-intoxicated,” notes Kaufmann.”] (314-15).

A scholar, unlike a genius, “is not conversant with the two most valuable functions of man.” The genius is “one who either begets or gives birth” (315). The “scientific man” is neither “noble” nor “authoritative nor self-sufficient.” Instead:

[The scientific man] has industriousness, patient acceptance of his place in rank and file, evenness and moderation in his abilities and needs, an instinct for his equals and for what they need; for example, that bit of independence and green pasture without which there is no quiet work, that claim to honor and recognition…that sunshine of a good name, that constant attestation of his value and utility which is needed to overcome again and again and the internal mistrust which is the sediment in the hearts of all dependent men and herd animals. (315)

[Further, the scholar displays] the diseases and bad manners of a type that is not noble: he is rich in petty envy and has lynx eyes for what is base in natures to whose heights he cannot attain. … The worst and most dangerous thing of which scholars are capable comes from their sense of the mediocrity of their own type—from that Jesuitism of mediocrity which instinctively works at the annihilation of the uncommon man and tries to break every bent bow or, preferably, to unbend it…unbending with familiar pity, that is the characteristic art of Jesuitism which has always known how to introduce itself as a religion of pity. (316)

The objective ideal for scholarship—the skeptic—is critiqued by Nietzsche. [Two “types” of skepticism will be discussed. Here only the first type is under scrutiny.] Objectivity is a good thing, so long as it is only used as an “instrument” in the hands of a philosopher. The danger of being too objective involves a dehumanization in intellectual work, the result of which leads to an inability to “affirm or negate.” The overly objective scholar, one of which Nietzsche here identifies as Leibniz “does not command, neither does he destroy” (317-18). Further, the hyper-objective scholar is not noble. Here are his characteristics:

[The objective man or scholar or first type of “skeptic”] does not go before anyone, nor behind; altogether he places himself too far apart to have any reason to take sides for good or evil.” The scholar is not a philosopher, he is merely “an instrument, something of a slave though certainly the most subtle type of slave, but in himself nothing…. The objective man is an instrument, a precious, easily injured and clouded instrument for measuring…but he is no goal, no conclusion and sunrise [ “sunrise” here means “going out and going up,” notes Kaufmann] … and still less a beginning, a begetting and first cause, nothing tough, powerful, self-reliant that wants to be master—rather only a delicate, carefully dusted, fine, mobile pot for forms that still has to wait for some content and substance in order to ‘shape’ itself accordingly—for the most part, a man without substance and content, a ‘selfless’ man.” (318)

This objective scholar is identified as the first type of “skeptic” (318). On the other hand, the philosopher who does not function in this way causes people to fear him, because he exposes the fact that this type of skepticism is “a will to the actual, active denial of life.” This type of skepticism is a “gentle, fair, lulling poppy.” This type of skeptic “likes to treat his virtue to a feast of noble abstinence, say, by repeating Montaigne’s ‘What do I know?’ or Socrates’ ‘I know that I know nothing.’ Or: ‘Here I don’t trust myself, here no door is open to me.’ Or: ‘Even if one were open, why enter right away?’” (319). Nietzsche thinks the consequence of this type of skepticism has negatively affected European politics, because it has hindered “freedom of the will,” and facilitated a “paralysis of the will” (320). Nietzsche contrasts this with his notion of the “strength to will,” and “to will something for a long time,” as he notes is “strongest and most amazing” in the “Russia” of his day. [Nietzsche here offers fascinating political insights which proved to be highly accurate. It is important to note, however, that he clearly states that he does not approve of or endorse these inevitable consequences: “I do not say this because I want it to happen.” Here are his predictions]:

There [in Russia] the strength to will has long been accumulated and stored up, there the will—uncertain whether as a will to negate or a will to affirm—is waiting mendaciously to be discharged, to borrow a pet phrase of our physicists today. It may well take more than Indian wars and complications in Asia to rid Europe of its greatest danger: internal upheavals would be needed, too, the shattering of the empire into small units, and above all the introduction of the parliamentary nonsense, including the obligation for everybody to read his newspaper with his breakfast. I do not say this because I want it to happen: the opposite would be rather after my own heart—I mean such an increase in the menace of Russia that Europe would have to resolve to become menacing, too, namely, to acquire one will by means of a new caste that would rule Europe, a long, terrible will of its own that would be able to cast its goals millennia hence—so the long-drawn-out comedy of its many splinter states as well as its dynastic and democratic splinter wills would come to an end. The time for petty politics is over: the next century will bring the fight for the dominion of the earth— the compulsion to large-scale politics. (321)

Nietzsche next discusses a different “and stronger type of skepticism,” which he himself embodies (321). This type of skepticism “despises and nevertheless seizes; it undermines and takes possession; it does not believe but does not lose itself in the process; it gives the spirit dangerous freedom, but it is severe on the heart” (322). This type of skepticism characterized Frederick the Greats’ son, in which it was “that more dangerous and harder new type.” It had been “sublimated” after his reign, when Europe suffered from the “hegemony of the German spirit and its critical and historical mistrust.” Incidentally, as a result of the “great German philologists and critical historians,” “a new concept of the German spirit crystallized gradually in spite of all romanticism in music and philosophy, and the inclination to virile skepticism became a decisive trait” (322-23). 

Nietzsche applies his discussion of skepticism to his task of offering a prolegomena for the Philosopher of the Future. This means that, in order to go beyond good and evil, a healthy and proper type of skepticism must be encouraged. This type of skepticism would “designate only one feature” of philosophers of the future. Philosophers of the future are then described: They will be critics in a courageous way. Their “passion for knowledge” will “force them to go further with audacious and painful experiments than the softhearted and effeminate taste of a democratic century could approve” (324). They will have “certainty of value standards, the deliberate employment of a unity of method, a shrewd courage, the ability to stand alone and give an account of themselves.” They will stand above their emotions with a “levelheaded cruelty,” they will “be harder” and will “feel a genuine nausea over everything that is enthusiastic, idealistic, feminine, hermaphroditic in this vein” (324-25). Further, “whoever knew how to follow them into the most secret chambers of their hearts would scarcely find any intention there to reconcile ‘Christian feelings’ with ‘classical taste’ and possibly even with ‘modern parliamentarism.’” They will be critical in a disciplined way, but “they do not want to be called critics on that account.” Though the “positivists from France and Germany” may see philosophy only as criticism, or critique (this caricature of philosophy “might even have pleased the heart and taste of Kant—one should remember the titles of his major works”), the philosophers of the future will say that “critics are instruments of the philosopher and for that very reason, being instruments, a long ways from being philosophers themselves;” for “even the great Chinese of Konigsberg [Kant] was merely a great critic” (325)

Nietzsche next discusses the educational progression and characterization of these free spirited philosophers of the future: 

[The] education of a genuine philosopher [will include his having] also stood on all these steps on which his servants, the scientific laborers of philosophy, remain standing—have to remain standing. Perhaps he himself must have been critic and skeptic and dogmatist and historian and also poet and collector and traveler and solver of riddles and moralist and seer and ‘free spirit’ and almost everything in order to pass through the whole range of human values and value feelings and to be able to see with many different eyes and consciences, from a height and into every distance, from the depths into every height, from a nook into every expanse. But all these are merely preconditions of his task: this task itself demands something different—it demands that he create values. (325-26)

Genuine philosophers are “commanders and legislators: they say, ‘thus it shall be!’” [just as does Zarathustra in Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra]; their “‘knowing is creating, their creating is legislation, their will to truth is—will to power.” (326) They are always in tension with the larger culture of their time, or “in contradiction to [their] today: [their] enemy was ever the ideal of today” (327). This leads to further difficulties for genuine philosophers. They often feel like “disagreeable fools and dangerous question marks, having found their task, their hard, unwanted, inescapable task, but eventually also the greatness of their task, in being the bad conscience of their time” (327). How to define or to train others in becoming a genuine philosopher is impossible because it “cannot be taught: one must ‘know’ it, from experience—or one should have the pride not to know it. But nowadays all the world talks of things of which it cannot have any experience, and this is most true, and in the worst way, concerning philosophers and philosophical states: exceedingly few know them, may know them, and all popular opinions about them are false” (329).

Incidentally, most scholars misunderstand philosophy. [They are incapable of understanding.] They are low in the “order of rank” and perhaps do not even perceive that there is an order of rank. [Here is Nietzsche’s beautiful and inspiring close to this section.]

Ultimately, there is an order of rank among states of the soul, and the order of rank among problems accords with this. The highest problems repulse everyone mercilessly who dares approach them without being predestined for their solution by the height and power of his spirituality. What does it avail when nimble smarties or clumsy solid mechanics and empiricists push near them, as is common today, trying with their plebian ambition to enter the ‘court of courts.’ Upon such carpets coarse feet may never step: the primeval law of things takes care of that; the doors remain closed to such obtrusiveness, even if they crash and crush their heads against them.

For every high world one must be born; or to speak more clearly, one must be cultivated for it: a right to philosophy—taking that word in its greatest sense—one has only by virtue of one’s origins; one’s ancestors, one’s ‘blood’ decide here, too. Many generations must have labored to prepare the origin of the philosopher; every one of his virtues must have been acquired, nurtures, inherited, and digested singly, and not only the bold, light, delicate gait and course of his thoughts but above all the readiness for great responsibilities, the loftiness of glances that dominate and look down, feeling separated from the crowd and its duties and virtues, the affable protection and defense of whatever is misunderstood and slandered, whether it be god or devil, the pleasure and exercise of the great justice, the art of command, the width of the will, the slow eye that rarely admires, rarely looks up, rarely loves— (330)

Our Virtues

Here Nietzsche discusses the predominate virtues held by the European culture of his day. Whatever virtues a culture has are always based on their “most secret and cordial inclinations,” with their “most ardent needs,” he says (335). He is pleased that, though inheritance of “pigtail” moral notions like “‘good conscience’”—(“that venerable long pigtail of a concept which our grandfathers fastened to the backs of their heads, and often enough also to the backside of their understanding”)—is inevitable, at least some progress has been made (335). The progress, is that piety can often take on fake or superficial attitudes. Refreshingly, writers like Voltaire have responded to these kinds of artificial moralities: “Morality as a pose—offends our taste today. That, too, is progress—just as it was progress when religion as a pose finally offended our fathers’ taste, including hostility and Voltairian bitterness against religion” (336).

Beneath moral judgments lies inferiority and malice by those pronouncing them: “Moral judgments and condemnations constitute the favorite revenge of the spiritually limited against those less limited—also a sort of compensation for having been ill-favored by nature—finally an opportunity for acquiring spirit and becoming refined—malice spiritualized” (337).

[That morality is not equivocal, unconditional, or above relativity is one of Nietzsche’s primary arguments in this section.]

This is the only way for them [the inferior] to pull those above them [Nietzsche and the free spirits] down into their lower intellectual realm. In this way “they fight for the ‘equality of all men before God’ and almost need faith in God just for that,” and “they include the most vigorous foes of atheism” (337). High spirituality, in contrast, sees through these moralists. When scrutinizing them Nietzsche finds that pretenses of selflessness or self-sacrifice are really the opposite; these pretenses are overtly self serving. But this is only true of the inferior type person. Conversely, for the higher type [i.e. the genuine philosopher or free spirit], “self-denial and modest self-effacement would not be a virtue but the waste of a virtue” (339). Instead, “moralities must be forced to bow first of all before the order of rank; their presumption must be brought home to their conscience—until they finally reach agreement that it is immoral to say: ‘what is right for one is fair for the other,’” he says (339).

The preaching of pity is the next topic discussed. Similar to morality, pity is grounded in psychological factors. Pity is driven by self-contempt, Nietzsche argues.

Where pity is preached today…psychologists should keep their ears open: trough all the vanity, through all the noise that characterizes these preachers (like all preachers) they will hear a hoarse, groaning, genuine sound of self-contempt. […] The man of ‘modern ideas,’ this proud ape, is immeasurably dissatisfied with himself: that is certain. He suffers—and his vanity wants him to suffer only with others, to feel pity.— (339-40)

Nietzsche then analyses the Europe of his day in light of its history, concluding that has become “hybrid.” Europe is wearing “a costume” that Nietzsche metaphorically describes as historically constructed (340-41). The costume consists of various influences, but all (“whether hedonism or pessimism, utilitarianism or eudaemonism”) have been embraced in order to construct and measure values (343). Further, all of these influences are chosen “in accordance with pleasure and pain” (343).

Moving back to a critique of pity, Nietzsche says that philosophers of the future will pity those who would wish to eliminate suffering. The virtue of the free spirits will not be pity; it will be honesty. For Nietzsche, honesty is the true virtue and the only virtue, whereas the pseudo-virtues of the herd are really a vice. The free spirits, or philosophers of the future are encouraged towards a “most spiritual will to power and overcoming of the world that flies and flutters covetously around all the realms of the future—let us come to the assistance of our ‘god’ with all our ‘devils’!” (345).  

Sorry [Nietzsche sarcastically says, for discovering that] all moral philosophy so far has been boring and was a soporific and that ‘virtue’ has been impaired more for me by its boring advocates than by anything else, though I am not denying their general utility. It is important that as few people as possible should think about morality; hence it is very important that morality should not one day become interesting. But there is no reason for worry. Things still stand today as they have always stood: I see nobody in Europe who has (let alone, promotes) any awareness that thinking about morality could become dangerous, captious, seductive—that there might be any calamity involved (346).

Nietzsche then offers examples of the boorish moralizers of the past, such as the Bentham followers called Utilitarians, the Puritans, etc. But, he asks, “Isn’t a moral philosopher the opposite of a puritan? Namely, insofar as he is a thinker who considers morality questionable, as calling for question marks, in short as a problem? Should moralizing not be—immoral?” (347).

[This section closes with what is probably the most controversial elements in this book. Nietzsche launches into a scathing analysis of the rise of feminism in Europe, and women in general; claiming that the “one of the worst developments of the general uglification of Europe” is the rise of early seeds of feminism (352).]

Woman has much reason for shame; so much pedantry, superficiality, schoolmarmishness, petty presumption, petty licentiousness and immodesty lies concealed in woman—one only needs to study her behavior with children!—and so far all this was at bottom best repressed and kept under control by fear of man. Woe when ‘the eternally boring in woman’ [“‘the Eternal-Feminine’ in the penultimate line of Goethe’s Faust,’” notes Kaufmann]—she is rich in that!—is permitted to venture forth! (353)

He complains that enlightenment used to be the task of men only, but now women are taking up this task. This is a problem because women neither desire nor comprehend truth: “[women do] not want truth: what is truth to woman? From the beginning, nothing has been more alien, repugnant, and hostile to woman than truth—her great art is the lie, her highest concern is mere appearance and beauty” (353). Further, it is not men who despise women, but women who despise themselves: “is it not true that on the whole ‘woman’ has so far been despised most by woman herself—and by no means by us?” Women have been prohibited from speaking in Church, Napoleon said women shouldn’t speak about politics, and Madame de Stael said women shouldn’t speak about themselves. Nietzsche says all three forms of censorship should not be understood as sexist. Rather, these are results of “man’s thoughtfulness and consideration for women” (354). 

Nietzsche says that in all ages preceding his, men have treated women like “birds…as something one has to lock up lest it fly away”; but now we have erred by missing the “fundamental problem of ‘man and woman’” or “the most abysmal antagonism between them and the necessity of an eternally hostile tension.” Even worse, 19th century Europe has managed “to dream” up notions of “equal rights, equal education, equal claim and obligations—that is a typical sign of shallowness, [and those who would encourage these tenets of equality are] suspicious” thinkers, and are “incapable of attaining any depth” (356-57).

In contrast, the free spirit or philosopher of the future should think “of women as Orientals do: he must conceive of woman as a possession, as property that can be locked, as something predestined for service and achieving her perfection in that. Here he must base himself on the tremendous reason of Asia, on Asia’s superiority in the instincts.” The Greeks, for example, when employing this perspective of women, “increased along with the range of their powers, they also gradually became more severe, in brief, more Oriental against woman. How necessary, how logical, how humanely desirable even, this was—is worth pondering” (357).

Peoples and Fatherlands

[I would summarize this section as Nietzsche’s critique of Germany in particular and Europe in general, alongside reasons he thinks have contributed to their decline.]

Nietzsche says that 19th century Germany has lost its historical personality, so to speak. Germans belong “to the day before yesterday and the day after tomorrow—as yet they have no today.” “This is the age of the masses,” and its ideology has infected Europe, specifically the ideology of democracy (364). The democratic movement taking shape is described as a “physiological process” that encourages a “supra-national and nomadic type of man.” This process is fueled by the “art and power of adaptation,” he says (366). As a result, the “‘evolving European’” and its “apostles of ‘modern ideas’” is causing a “mediocritization of man” into a “useful, industrious, handy, multi-purpose herd animal” (366). On the flip side, this sets the stage for the “cultivation of tyrants” (367). In the past, the German culture was distinctive and profound, laments Nietzsche. But now, due to a mixing of various races into one, the “German soul” is conflicted (369).

Examples of this are shown by tracing the history of culturally significant figures and movements: the glory of Mozart was followed by the transition in Beethoven, which was carried on through Rousseau, Schiller, Shelley, Byron, etc. Then the “fleeting” and “superficial” movement of Romanticism transitioned “Europe from Rousseau to Napoleon and to the rise of democracy” (371). Nietzsche thinks that Germany, which was once the “voice for the soul of Europe,” has descended “to mere fatherlandishness” (372).

Nietzsche notes that Europe owes gratitude to the Jews. [Jews have influenced Europe by contributing] the grand style in morality, the terribleness and majesty of infinite demands, infinite meanings, the whole romanticism and sublimity of moral questionabilities—and hence precisely the most attractive, captious, and choicest part of those plays of color and seductions to life in whose afterglow the sky of our European culture, its evening sky, is burning now…. We artists among the spectators and philosophers are—grateful for this to the Jews (375).

The rise of “nationalistic fever and political ambition,” including the “anti-French stupidity, now the anti-Jewish, now the anti-Polish, now the Christian romantic,” has led to the “political infection” contracted by Europe (376-77). The most offensive result of the nationalism Nietzsche so clearly despised was anti-Semitism. Nietzsche praises Jew and lambasts anti-Semites: “The Jews, however, are beyond any doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race now living in Europe; they know how to prevail even under the worst conditions.” Further, the Jewish “impulse” and “instincts … should be noted well and accommodated: to that end it might be useful and fair to expel the anti-Semitic screamers from the country” (377-78). Nietzsche then discusses the English and their philosophers and finally their hand in contributing to the “modern ideas” he so loathed.  

What Is Noble

In What Is Noble the superiority of the “aristocratic society” is advanced on the grounds that it recognizes “the long ladder of and order of rank and differences in value between man and man.” He also endorses the fact that aristocracy “needs slavery in some sense or other” (391). Thus the aristocratic model is applied to the task of going Beyond Good and Evil and the “self overcoming of man” that Nietzsche wants to encourage. Until the “fundamental principle of society” is recognized as the will to power—of aristocratic value laden superiority in a chain of dominance and subjugation—and of the overpowering of weakness, there will be a fundamental “denial of life, a principle of disintegration and decay” (393).

The metaphor of organism is used to defend this claim. Just as a body must “strive to grow, spread, seize, become predominate—not from any morality or immorality but because life simply is will to power” and “will to life”; so also is the best form of government (395). Nietzsche says that there are two types of morality that have always “been prevalent on earth”: “master morality and slave morality” (394ff).

The highest cultures mediate between the two, but all other forms of moralities take their beginning from either the master or the slave. When the master type determines what is to be considered good or bad in conjunction with what is noble or contemptible, the order of rank is established and the creation of values is instantiated. When the slave type determines morality it is done through suspicious, skeptical, eyes the result is an emphasis on the qualities that “serve to ease existence for those who suffer,” such as “pity,” “humility;” ending in a “morality of utility” (397).

The conflict between these two types is identified as the “origin of that famous opposition of ‘good’ and ‘evil’: into evil one’s feelings project power and dangerousness, a certain terribleness, subtlety, and strength that does not permit contempt to develop. According to slave morality, those who are ‘evil’ thus inspire fear; according to master morality it is precisely those who are ‘good’ that inspire, and wish to inspire, fear, while the ‘bad’ are felt to be contemptible” (397). Slave morality inspires the joining of goodness and stupidity, and results in a “longing for freedom, the instinct for happiness and the subtleties of the feeling of freedom”; whereas the master morality inspires “artful and enthusiastic reverence and devotion” (397-98). This distinction “makes plain why love as passion” is heralded by the latter: thanks to the “Provencal knight-poets” (398).

[This ends the argument with which Nietzsche concludes Beyond Good and Evil. The remaining pages are a bit difficult to summarize, mainly because they don’t seem to be intended as continuing the argument.]