This page features a selection of the best quotes Friedrich Nietzsche. All of these quotes are real and references are given after each quote.
Here are the best quotes Nietzsche in no particular order:
Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: “I seek God! I seek God!” … “Where is God gone?” he called out. “I mean to tell you! We have killed him — you and I! We are all his murderers! … God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him! … There never was a greater event, and on account of it, all who are born after us belong to a higher history than any history hitherto!”
– The Gay Science, sect. 125
He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.
– Beyond Good and Evil, pt. 4, sect. 146
Nobody will very readily regard a doctrine as true merely because it makes people happy or virtuous.… A thing could be TRUE, although it were in the highest degree injurious and dangerous; indeed, the fundamental constitution of existence might be such that one succumbed by a full knowledge of it—so that the strength of a mind might be measured by the amount of “truth” it could endure—or to speak more plainly, by the extent to which it REQUIRED truth attenuated, veiled, sweetened, damped, and falsified.
– Beyond Good and Evil, pt. 2, sect 39
There are questions regarding the truth or untruth of which it is not for man to decide; all the capital questions, all the capital problems of valuation, are beyond human reason…. To know the limits of reason—that alone is genuine philosophy.
– The Antichrist, sect. 55
What ever has value in the present world, has not it in itself, by its nature, nature is always worthless: but a value was once given to it, bestowed upon it and it was we who gave and bestowed!
– The Gay Science, sect. 301
What if a “demon” crept after thee into thy loneliest loneliness some day or night, and said to thee: “This life, as thou livest it at present, and hast lived it, thou must live it once more, and also innumerable times; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great in thy life must come to thee again, and all in the same series and sequence and similarly this spider and this moonlight among the trees, and similarly this moment, and I myself. The eternal sand-glass of existence will ever be turned once more, and thou with it, thou speck of dust!” Wouldst thou not throw thyself down and gnash thy teeth, and curse the demon that so spake? Or hast thou once experienced a tremendous moment in which thou wouldst answer him: “Thou art a God, and never did I hear anything so divine!” If that thought acquired power over thee as thou art, it would transform thee, and perhaps crush thee; the question with regard to all and everything: “Dost thou want this once more, and also for innumerable times?” would lie as the heaviest burden upon thy activity! Or, how wouldst thou have to become favourably inclined to thyself and to life, so as to long for nothing more ardently than for this last eternal sanctioning and sealing?
– The Gay Science, sect. 341
But what after all are man’s truths? They are his irrefutable errors.
– The Gay Science, sect. 265
What then is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms – in short a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.
– On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense
[Anything which is living] will endeavour to grow, to gain ground, attract to itself and acquire ascendancy—not owing to any morality or immorality, but because it LIVES, and because life IS precisely Will to Power. … “Exploitation” does not belong to a depraved, or imperfect and primitive society it belongs to the nature of the living being as a primary organic function, it is a consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the Will to Life.
– Beyond Good and Evil, pt. 9, sect. 259
What is good?—Whatever augments the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself, in man. What is evil?—Whatever springs from weakness.
– The Antichrist, sect. 2
There is MASTER-MORALITY and SLAVE-MORALITY. … In the first case, when it is the rulers who determine the conception “good,” … the antithesis “good” and “bad” means practically the same as “noble” and “despicable” … The noble type of man regards HIMSELF as a determiner of values; he does not require to be approved of; he passes the judgment: “What is injurious to me is injurious in itself,”. He knows that it is he himself only who confers honour on things; he is a CREATOR OF VALUES. … The slave has an unfavourable eye for the virtues of the powerful; he has a skepticism and distrust, a REFINEMENT of distrust of everything “good” that is there honoured—he would fain persuade himself that the very happiness there is not genuine. On the other hand, THOSE qualities which serve to alleviate the existence of sufferers are brought into prominence and flooded with light; it is here that sympathy, the kind, helping hand, the warm heart, patience, diligence, humility, and friendliness attain to honour; for here these are the most useful qualities, and almost the only means of supporting the burden of existence. Slave-morality is essentially the morality of utility.
– Beyond Good and Evil, pt. 9, sect. 260
Man is something that shall be overcome…
A polluted stream is man. One must be a sea to be able to receive a polluted stream without becoming unclean. Behold, I teach you the overman: he is this sea; in him your great contempt can go under.
– Thus Spoke Zarathustra, pt. 1, Zarathustra’s Prologue, sect. 3
What is originality? To see some thing that does not yet bear a name, that cannot yet be named, although it is before everybody’s eyes. As people are usually constituted, it is the name that first makes a thing generally visible to them.
– The Gay Science, sect. 261
It has gradually become clear to me what every great philosophy up till now has consisted of—namely, the confession of its originator, and a species of involuntary and unconscious auto-biography.
– Beyond Good and Evil, pt. 1, sect. 6
As to what I understand by being a philosopher,—that is to say, a terrible explosive in the presence of which everything is in danger.
– Ecce Homo, Thoughts Out of Season
If you want to learn more about Nietzsche, check out the following pages:
- The Best Books on or by Nietzsche
- The Philosophy of Nietzsche: A collection of articles, videos, and podcasts
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A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations – Lennox Johnson
Publisher’s Description: A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is a collection of the greatest thoughts from history’s greatest thinkers. Featuring classic quotations by Aristotle, Epicurus, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Michel Foucault, and many more, A History of Western Philosophy in 500 Essential Quotations is ideal for anyone looking to quickly understand the fundamental ideas that have shaped the modern world.