Before becoming a philosopher, Freidrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was first a classical philologist –a person that studies classical literature.
At age 24, he became the youngest member to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869. After resigning from this spot in 1879 due to his well-being, Nietzsche lived his life in the care of his mother and later on with his sister after his mother passed away in 1897. Nietzsche died in 1900. He'd accomplished many of his works between the years 1879-1888, almost a decade. Most of his work has deeply influenced Western philosophy. His pieces mainly focused on history, culture, and religion.
In The Twilight of the Idols - The Antichrist otherwise known as How to Philosophize with a Hammer Nietzsche praises Thucydides, Napoleon, Caesar and Goethe as more fitting of the role of cultural figures. He discusses the German culture back then as ignorant and that they reject moral principles as they view that life is meaningless. He also talks about how some Italian, French, and British cultural figures display the same nihilistic ways. The written piece was said to be written during the 26th of August to the 3rd of September. The Twilight of the Idols shows how astounded Nietzsche is at morality and how it is often used for control and authority.
This book of Nietzsche is divided into twelve sections.
In the first section of the book, Maxims and Arrows, he writes a long list of short individual sayings and proverbs on variety of topics.
The Problem of Socrates is the second part of the book, Nietzsche points out that wise men view life as no good, that they have come to a consensus that life is full of doubt, melancholy, weariness and resistance. He pointed out that Socrates and Plato deteriorated the already superior Greek culture. He questions a lot of Socrates' characteristics whether Socrates was even Greek at all, saying that he was ugly and how the Greeks thought of this as a refutation. It appears that the author can't stomach a man like Socrates, a plebeian; a "foolish" commoner of the lowest type has tainted the glory of the Greekswith his own beliefs. Eventually, Nietzsche demanded, the estimation of life cannot be assessed, and any judgment concerning it just uncovers the individual's life-denying or invigorating tendencies.
In the third section, Nietzsche relates all that was wrong with Socrates was also wrong with almost every other philosopher. They weaken their own beliefs and philosophizing in an attempt to reach the "true" world by escaping the "apparent" world. He discusses that these philosophers have failed to realize that "the apparent world is the only one."
The fourth section of the book, How the "True World" Finally Became a Fable, he summarizes the previous section in six short parts: one, the virtuous man lives in the "true world" which he obtains through his wisdom; two, the virtuous man doesn't live in the "true world" but rather it is promised to him; three, the "true world" cannot be promised as it remains a solace; four, if the "true world" is unattainable then it is also unknown and therefore it does not obligate us; five, the mere idea of the "true world" is useless; six, the "true world" is abolished therefore abolishing the apparent one with it.
The fifth section, Morality as Anti-Nature, has Nietzsche attacking morality. He argues that a person's passion may very well drag them down with their foolishness, yet he states that passion can spiritualize itself. He attacks Christianity, saying that it deals with reckless passion by getting rid of the passion completely, which leads Nietzsche to believe that the Christian Church is hostile to life. Despite this, he has no intention of terminating the Christian Church. Nietzsche as a self-proclaimed immoralist, concludes that immoralists such as himself have the greatest amount of respect for people because they do not compare the value of one's manner in life with another person's.
The Four Great Errors, the sixth part of the selection, Nietzsche suggests that people mistook the effects as the causes and belittled the power of the will. He highlights that morality is merely a means of control. In the "Improvers" of Mankind, the seventh part of the selection, Nietzsche names the "improvers" as people who urge morality; he includes the quotation marks as a way to say that these people have failed at achieving their goal. Nietzsche also proclaims that a moral fact is non-existent. He shows two examples of moralization, despite the non-existence of moral fact. The first example being religion, Nietzsche explains the story of a man who is converted to Christianity by a priest to keep him moral. Nevertheless, the man fails in the face of human instinct like lust. The man is then called a sinner. The second example is in India where the Caste System is involved. The Caste System attempted to moralizemen by downgrading and dehumanizing the oppressed.
In the eighth part of the selection, What the Germans Lack, looking at German culture of his day, Nietzsche characterizes any favorable position Germans hold over other European nations to essential moral virtues and not to any social advancement. He discusses that by prioritizing politics over brains, the German thought is decreasing in sophistication. The condition of the state and the culture of the state are inversely proportional; they are in strain since one of the match flourishes to the detriment of the other.
The Skirmishes of an Untimely Man is the ninth and longest part of the selection. Nietzsche gives a long list of people then criticizes them on their belief and virtues. The second to the last part, What I Owe to the Ancients, he starts to bring the book to a close. It concludes that the only way forward is to look backward. Nietzsche then calls himself the last desciple of Dionysus. In the very last section, The Hammer Speaks, Nietzsche quotes Part III Zarathustra on Old and New Tablets.