Gives Nietzsche good advice

Summary of humanly, all-to-humanly

Nietzsche's turn

Friedrich Nietzsche can hardly be assigned to a philosophical school; he was too independent in his thinking. Along with Arthur Schopenhauer and Soeren Kierkegaard he formed a kind of romantic reaction against the philosophical systems of Hegelian stamp. For his conception of art was above all Richard Wagner significant, whose cultural criticism he followed. With the essays Schopenhauer as an educator (1874) and Richard Wagner in Bayreuth (1876) he placed the two men he most admired in the series Untimely considerations A monument. But just two years later Nietzsche parted with his “pillar saints” and stripped off both Schopenhauer's teachings and Wagner's ideal of art. The experiences at the first Bayreuth Festival in 1876 contributed to a profound crisis in Nietzsche's development. If he had previously been a great admirer of Wagner’s art, his euphoria has now turned into bitter opposition and rejection in view of the low-level festival in his eyes. He suspected Wagner of having given up his artistic ideals in favor of pomp, popularism and a downright "star cult" around himself.

From 1878 Nietzsche turned radically away from his former metaphysical-artistic views and turned to a completely different view of art and life, with recourse to the spirit of the Enlightenment. The importance of science and the positivist method came to the fore. Nietzsche himself described this new beginning - according to the image of a hiker who starts the new day after a bad night - as his "philosophy of the morning".


Nietzsche's work on humanly, all-to-humanly fell during his time as full professor for classical philology in Basel. He had to give up this post in 1879, one year after the publication of the first volume, because his numerous illnesses - among others. Migraine attacks, stomach pains and an increasing deterioration of his eyesight - again and again made it necessary to interrupt his teaching. Decisive for Nietzsche's new book was not only his break with Wagner and Schopenhauer, but above all his intensive reading of the French moralists, among others. Montaigne and Pascal. Logically, he dedicated the first volume of humanly, all-to-humanly the French scout Voltaire, on the 100th anniversary of his death the book was published. Nietzsche's friendship with the empirical philosopher also gained great influence Paul Rée, whose Psychological observations impressed him greatly. While philosophizing together in Sorrento, Italy, Nietzsche developed many ideas for his new book.

After the first volume, two additions followed: in March 1879 an appendix with the title “Mixed Opinions and Proverbs” and in December 1879 another appendix called “The Wanderer and His Shadow”. This title is to be understood as biographical: after his retirement, Nietzsche traveled restlessly through Europe - he mainly stayed in Switzerland, Italy and Nice, France - and lived off his pension and donations from good friends. He wandered about seeking relief from his physical ailments, feeling himself "like a shadow," as he later confessed in his autobiography. In 1886 Nietzsche gave all three parts under the title Humanly, all-to-humanly. A book for free spirits out.

Impact history

In retrospect, Nietzsche himself characterized the work as a “monument to a crisis” and a testimony to a “great detachment”. Because he made a 180-degree turn and rejected art metaphysics, the former admirers of his writings were outraged. Richard Wagner was personally offended. In the August-September 1878 edition of the Bayreuth leaves covered Wagner in the article Audience and popularity Nietzsche, whom he did not mention by name, with biting mockery. The philosopher planned an answer, but finally left it at that, simply reading the Bayreuth leaves to reduce.

Nietzsche's book was ignored by the general public. In Russia it was banned because of the harsh criticism of Christianity. Nietzsche's publisher hoped that the ban would not harm the book but, on the contrary, would make it even more attractive. However, this hope was not fulfilled. Today the work is considered an important first component in Nietzsche's middle creative phase.