PHILOSOPHY - Nietzsche

Nietzsche believed that the central task of philosophy was to teach us to 'become who we are'. You can find out more about him and other great thinkers in our 'Great Thinkers' book. For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop:
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“The challenge begins with how to pronounce his name. The first bit should sound like ‘Knee’, the second like ‘cher’: Knee – cher.
Friedrich Nietzsche was born in 1844 in a quiet village in the eastern part of Germany, where – for generations – his forefathers had been pastors. He did exceptionally well at school and university; and so excelled at ancient Greek (a very prestigious subject, at the time) that he was made a professor at the University of Basel when still only in his mid-twenties…”

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  • crabstickz

    Love love LOVE this channel! 

  • TeenageMillionaire

    I dont understand how he lived a sad life when his very philosophy was about becoming the superheros of our own lives. This example reminds of the saying "those that cannot do teach" is it possible he was unable to live up to his own ideas that he sought to teach others instead?

  • chicanochrist

    Nietzsche got me through High School. “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night.” He also made me strive to be a better person. I love Nietzsche.

  • Qiu Yazhu

    If Nietzsche was alive today, he would probably be those kind of people that comments they were born in the wrong era, lol.

  • knpstrr

    watching this while drinking red wine... whoops!

  • Lucas Rodmo

    I don't know why, but some people figured that the Nietzsche philosophy is a sad philosophy, and is the exact opposite to me!

  • Bagmisikha Puhan

    Sadly, he is still misunderstood by many.

  • Idi

    This Nietzsche guys sounds a bit too up-beat and happy for my tastes.

  • Milixen

    Sort of ironic Nietzche didn't manage to overcome himself.

  • tinkerchel

    As someone who had attempted and failed suicide, someone who's still struggling on the borderline of life and death even now, I'm literally crying tears at just how much this video speaks for my feelings right now. I've recently came out of a relationship consisted of physical and psychological abuse, topped by being thrown into a mental hospital in a foreign country just because my ex bribed the officials even though I'm perfectly sane in most sense. What followed was appalling, my family refused to learn about the core of my suffering and my need to fight and survive. Instead they insisted on drugging me to "ease my pain". I strongly refused because I wouldn't go through my life lying to myself. My mom, a Christian, who abandoned me on several occasions since my early childhood now leaves everything to god. Sh refuses to give me any real help despite the fact that she was my only close family left, and so am I to her. I'm suffering all these things Nietzsche despised. I fear that one day my family would lose their patience and stuff me in a hospital, pumped me with druggs so to get me to their desired state of "peace" and "happiness". While all the while I would much prefer going out in a storm. P.S.I really wish to distinguish myself from those who see the problems in their lives but never dare to change anything. I've grown to hate that particular mentality. As much as I cry and scream about my torment, I've never stopped fighting to get my life back. It's just in this process, Ive never felt so alone and misunderstood. But thanks for giving me the courage to go on fighting, SOL, especially Alain. I've found you after watching your interview about your book "What Great Philosophers Can Teach Us About How to Live". Almost everything you've said resonated with me. You are making the greatest difference imaginable in my life, at this very special time.

  • Neferi Waenre

    Humanities died a long time ago in India, where sadly, i live. Engineering and money is everything and culture is dying rapidly.

  • cjua2803

    I like the idea of replacing religion with our culture. However most aspects of modern culture are either deleterious (social media) or have some hidden agenda. While that was always the case in older cultures it seems far more dangerous now; maybe its due to the increase of technology.

  • Therodinn

    Well he was sort of right - the vacuum left by Christianity had to be replaced by something else, and it was. In Germany it was called nationalsocialism.

  • Pending

    Wait.... the gay science?

  • Tyler Jordan

    Will there be a church of Nietzsche ; before you think that absurd think of Buddha he was mostly just a philosopher.

  • Zoe Lyons

    Omg, Nietzsche was a socially awkward dude blogging about sheeple from his mother's garage.

  • Slippery Gyspy

    "Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman- a rope over an abyss." Friedrich NietzscheNietzsche was more spiritual than most people realize. He's been misinterpreted a lot. The Superman (Ubermensch) he is talking about is someone who overcomes his animal nature and becomes a spiritual being. "The Present" explains the nature of both animal and spiritual realm: Google 'The Truth Contest' for more information.

  • E. Camilo

    If he could somehow be resurrected he would die again of a strike after understanding how ignorance is worshiped, useless media products spread around like masterpieces and watched by millions. The internet should be the key to knowledge and true information. Instead it's used to alienate and make people stupid.

  • Friedrich Nietzsche

    the reason why nietzsche hated alcohol and relugion it us because those two is our comforters to our society we use it as an excuse to escape to reality and what is happening in the world around us. Envy is not a sin but a guide because with envy their is also desire and we should focus in our desires in order to accomplish our goals in life and those two comforters are the walls that keep us from doing our desires.Comment if I am wrong on what I said

  • Simon Taylor

    I smashed a bottle of vodka in someones face yesterday, stole my samsung neo 5

  • Angelini

    Nietzsche was the philosopher who most opened people's minds to the real mediocrity that is the world.

  • Lets play

    How can one mention Nietsche and not mention Nihilism?

  • Gremblo Bremblo

    I feel like Nietzsche's father was a pretty bad preacher.

  • Steve Frank

    If am was going to take instruction on how to build a house, I wouldn't pick the carpenter who's house is a pile of rubble. Nietzsche and Heidegger don't get my vote...if we were having a vote.

  • Mikołaj Dołhun

    Was the scene about beating a horse to death in Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment somehow connected to Frederich's experience?

  • Max Hudson

    Honestly is there anybody on this planet who sees a photo of Mark Zuckerberg and feels envy?

  • Mike B

    I find it humorous that Nietzsche was a miserable man who felt the need to advise people on how to live.

  • Spiritofblake

    But WHAT did he ''understand'' during the ''horse episode''/breakdown?? Could it have been an alternate basis for ''slave morality'' and humanistic/intellectual/cultural development alike, one grounded in genuine empathy and altruism? That would mirror the psychological/moral journey of Raskolnikov in ''Crime and Punushment'' who at the beginning of the book - and especially through his admiration of ''great man'' like Napoleon - seems downright proto-Nietzschean. However, by the end the murderous 'former student' is humbled by the suffering he causes and sees and, like Dostoyevsky himself, after being exiled to Siberia gradually grows more Christian-like. For Nietzsche to fully understand this transformation on a visceral level may have been profoundly disorienting and even traumatic, as that would have suddenly placed the world into a completely different perspective than the one he focused on (or focused himself Into) for much of his life.

  • Xelaju2013

    If Christianity is a convenient path for cowards how does one account for the heroic faith of Christians demonstrated throughout history from the first century right up to today -where more Christians are persecuted around the world than all the centuries combined. in Islamic, Hindu and Communist nations...we are hunted down, tortured to renounce Christ and refusing, killed. Christ, our founder, demonstrated true heroic path in His life and death, and requires the same of his followers.

  • Will Daure

    I admire the philosophers inspired by Nietzsche, but Nietzsche is one that I don't really like, or at least I don't enjoy his philosophy. Maybe it's just because I'm a pacifist and a Christian (i.e. there's bias). But in general, I think Nietzsche lacked understanding of other people's thoughts.The reason why I try to be humble, good to strangers, practice obedience, etc. is that I just like to find a deeper sense of humanity. I don't think those are words set to overcompensate for the fact that many of us are underprivileged, but rather, those are words that show our capability of understanding people of different backgrounds. Though unlike Christians during his time, I don't force myself to get contented with a simple life. Of course, I feel envy sometimes. But I don't get too aggressive about it, as in how Nietzsche thinks how I should feel. I can't envision myself sitting all day contemplating about how unfair life is, and making it as my daily driver.Or maybe it's just because I'm a millennial. In our generation, we admire equality and egalitarian attitudes towards each other. If Nietzsche were alive, he would call this some kind of tolerance bullshit. But the millennial's way of thinking is too embedded in my heart that it's hard for me to make it as a tactic of making my image better.Perhaps, I'm wrong. But it just offends me when people think I should be aggressive. It's just not me.

  • Blarghalt

    Screw philosophy, I want to know what arcane forces Nietzsche dabbled in to grow that 'stache.

  • fire fox

    "Übermensch" is the counterpart to the nazi-term "Untermensch"And the real coward in the bible is Pilatus because he refuses to let jesus go while he knows that hes innocent and instead chooses to back down in front of the mob and RUNAWAY FROM HIS PROBLEMS.

  • Bruce Wilhite

    I've read Nietzsche for 40 years. I have all of his books, and I've studied them. The author of this video presented his own biases. He doesn't understand Nietzsche at all.

  • Jansen hunt

    I find it easy to relate to his ideals of religion, but I find it impossible to take life advice from a man that crumpled under the weight of his own being. The human being that truly has the answers to how we are to handle what we're dealt would be able to handle what they're dealt.

  • G.H.ChristoFascist

    Christianity doesn't teach to be ashamed of envy. It teaches us to accept it since we know that we are not perfect, and repent for our sins.

  • Aya ted

    I really wish there were moore videos about Nietzsche .. he's such a great man with profound ideas

  • Max Mustermann

    It's pronounced like knee and che , not cha 😅

  • jademarissa

    Fuck. I think he was right about Christianity.

  • Trinity Fusion

    Atheist do have morals, and think philosophically, they just don't need a book or imaginary beings to get their principles.Where do we get our morality? From the constant development of our culture. From the evolution of laws and guidelines that help us create a peaceful and prosperous society. We are who create our morality and we pass it down to our children and grandchildren. That is why Muslim people can live prosperously in the US along side Baptists, Mormons, Hindus and Atheists. We have a morality that supersedes all religions and is beholden to none.

  • Stephen Kirby

    Nietzsche said god is dead. Well, he was incorrect. The human conceptualization of a god was never alive in the first place, except for between the ears of ‘believers’. That there is one individual on the face of the globe who knows that god is only a human conceptualization intended to assist people with their ignorant fears, means that a god, or gods, is or are not extant in reality. Capische?Stupidly not-thinking people, the world over, continue to operate as if there just might be one. These people would be better served by ‘believing’ in the FSM.

  • Jims

    His own life served as the ultimate proof of his beliefs, sadly ironic...

  • Deja Spriggs

    I love Nietzsche! He is so brilliant and I wish I could learn directly from him!

  • Tobias Busch

    It's pronounced Neat - Che

  • Kate Lazar

    I LOVE THE SCHOOL OF LIFE! You're videos are stunning :')

  • john hanrahan

    "God is dead"- Nietzsche"Nietzsche is dead"-God.Now, who ya gonna believe?

  • yochanan

    Why not have admiration instead of envy? Envy is a negative destructive feeling which is why Judeo-Christian morals condemn it. No wonder Nietzsche ended the way he did. What Christianity really teaches is SELF-MASTERY. A man who can not control his inner urges is an intellectual-animal and a slave of his instincts and not a real Man. Now Nietzsche created a mockery of Christianity (a straw man) and criticized it but what he criticized is not true Christianity. Jesus had total SELF-MASTERY, He was not an animal ruled by his lower instincts. The fruits of Christ were an entire civilization based on the highest ideals and the fruits of Nietzsche and some other so-called "philosophers" are Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and the current Nihilistic West. I will stay with Christ.

  • Chris Cruise

    He wasn't a fan of Christianity but he predicted what would happen if you erase God from culture and you saw it in Mao China and Stalin Russia

  • stochastic24

    Self-overcoming was never attributed to Übermensch. It would be closer to say Self-overcoming is the process of becoming Übermensch. Mankind is a bridge.

  • Kellen

    Calling Christians "the herd" is not that rude considering that is what they consider themselves to be. The lord is my shepherd.

  • antonio terry

    This is man is so relevant.

  • Gregory Delacruz

    Where is he's credibility? The guy couldnt handle rejection, Died alone, and didnt even drink alcohol. Cant be a man somuch for a Ubermensch

  • Ahura Mazda

    i've always asked the question why we search for meaning for life?? is that sort of weakness from inglorious evolution when we evolved in our dna? why we can just let nature running its course ?

  • Robert Balliet

    Nietzsche is dead and all his bullshit right along with him . And guess what he will have to account for ? ( himself ) as well as you and me .our God is not angry with any of us because his perfect son paid OUR debt . There is only one sin that will send you to hell ( yes hell ) and that would be to reject that free gift that Christ has paid for . In other words to reject Jesus .!!! What do you think GOSPEL means ? Well I'll tell you . It quite literally means almost to good to be true news . Only it is true and you ( everyone ) should at the least attempt to find out . Thank you

  • Buah Cempedak

    Happy birthday Knee-Cha!

  • Samuel Clemens

    Pretty sure that the German pronunciation of his name would be something more like, "Neeshya" in English.

  • Vaisakh Somanath

    The School of Life - you guys are doing amazing job by putting these videos up for people like me. Thank you :)

  • Jerry Watkins

    Alcohol & Christianity. I gave up one but I'm having a hard time giving up the other.

  • Last of the Romans

    His quote "God is dead, and we have killed him!" refers to the general decline of Christianity in his time, with the "death" of the Christian God Nietzche believed that the Western world's foundation for morality had been destroyed, he prophesized a century of warfare "the monstrous logic of horror" with the collapse of old faith and old morality.

  • Jovana Vasic

    Actually it's pronounced "nee-cheh"

  • Frankie Lerma

    He sure had an interesting way of showing the things you talked about. I don't remember him making a distinction between Christians being "the herd", and everyone else. He doesn't come off, at least to me, the way you described him. I've tried to see him the way you and others see him as, but haven't succeeded.

  • D Lee

    I appreciated your videos, as they are an interesting, though generalized, view of many philosophers, and are a great place for new comers to start exploring from. But feel I should mention your biased opinions do you no favours in expounding the meaning behind any philosophy or life. As I hope you can see, having by now made not a few videos on not a few distinctive philosophers' philosophies, life and her meaning are, at best, notional and ambiguous. And, the idea that we have somehow progressed from notional to actual, to a place where we can expound certain ideas and cull others seems generous to your point. Anyway, it would be great to see a video that juxtaposes this one. Particularly, when it comes to societal perspectives on pain.

  • lordofdarkdudes

    And then the nazis runied everything

  • Alanda Theriault

    Is it just me, or is the advertising for the SoL videos oddly paired with the aim of the organization? A tour of some rich dude's house attempting to be philosophical whilst peddling pseudo-philosophical ideas geared towards a "get rich quick" scheme is rather disingenuous. Apparently "finding your life's purpose" is no more than making some big money?


    aaaaaaaaand pause 3:15

  • adi sav

    Richard Dawkins is a divine person...nice that you guys had to pop him out while mentioning atheism :)

  • breanna bread

    he is the definition of not sugar coating

  • Antonnacio Clarke

    Now I understand his lyrics in Epic Rap Battle

  • James Smith

    I find it fascinating that Nietzsche's moral philosophy is turned on its head in one country on Earth: AMERICA. In post-WWII America, middle/upper-class Protestants have embodied all the hallmarks of "master morality" (stand or fall based on your own merits, strength as virtue, life is beautiful, optimism) while liberal atheists (and Catholics) have embraced "slave morality" (minority rights, helping the poor, hatred of the successful, pessimism). It would make an excellent thesis for an advanced degree in philosophy/sociology.

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