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Word Count: 508
Beyond Good and Evil is a comprehensive overview of Nietzsches mature philosophy The book consists of 296 aphorisms ranging in length from a few sentences to a few pages These aphorisms are grouped thematically into nine different chapters and are bookended by a preface and a poem While each aphorism can stand on its own there is also something of a linear progression between aphorisms within chapters and from one chapter to another Nonetheless each aphorism presents a distinctive point of view and even the individual chapter summaries omit a great deal The preface accuses philosophers of dogmatism and the first chapter explores this claim Every great philosophy Nietzsche asserts is little more than the personal confession Philosophers build up complex systems of thought to justify their own assumptions and prejudices If we can dig these out we can see what these philosophers value most deeply and so gain insight into their character Nietzsche contrasts their dogmatism with the free spirit that is not caught up in a particular point of view He hopes the philosophers of the future will be characterized by such an experimental method willing to try out any hypothesis and follow any argument all the way to its conclusion After a discussion of the religious spirit which he claims is a kind of dogmatism Nietzsche embarks on a series of epigrams most of which highlight our bizarre psychological make-up Next he looks at the long history of moral systems as a set of different attempts at self- overcoming He speaks out strongly against the morality of the herd that encourages a dull mediocrity in all He finds such a mediocrity in modern scholarship which is overly concerned with digging up dry dull facts Nietzsches ideal philosopher creates meaning and values and does not simply deal with empty facts Nietzsche asserts that there is an order of rank according to which the spiritual strength
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