First published Fri May 30, 1997; substantive revision Fri Apr 29, 2011 Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche ( / ˈ n iː tʃ ə / [ 42 ] or / ˈ n i tʃ i / ; [ 43 ] German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːt͡sʃə] ; October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher , poet , composer , cultural critic , and classical philologist . He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy, and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor , irony , and aphorism . Nietzsche's key ideas include the " death of God ," the Übermensch , the eternal recurrence , the Apollonian and Dionysian dichotomy, perspectivism , and the will to power . Central to his philosophy is the idea of "life-affirmation", which involves questioning of all doctrines that drain life's expansive energies, however socially prevalent those views might be. [ 44 ] His influence remains substantial within philosophy, notably in existentialism , post-modernism , and post-structuralism , as well as outside it.
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality , existence , knowledge , values , reason , mind , and language . [ 1 ] [ 2 ] Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument . [ 3 ] In more casual speech, by extension, "philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group". [ 4 ] The word "philosophy" comes from the Ancient Greek φιλοσοφία ( philosophia ), which literally means "love of wisdom". [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] The introduction of the terms "philosopher" and "philosophy" has been ascribed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras . [ 8 ] A "philosopher" was understood as a word which contrasted with " sophist ".