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On the Genealogy of Morals (Anglais) Broché – 1969

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These English psychologists, whom one has also to thank for the only attempts hitherto to arrive at a history of the origin of morality-they themselves are no easy riddle; I confess that, as living riddles, they even possess one essential advantage over their books-they are interesting! Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index
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Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS le 28 décembre 2005
Format: Broché
This anthology of Nietzsche's writing is a marvelous work - Kaufmann's translations make the philosopher's unique style accessible and interesting to the English reader; it doesn't resort to false formality or dry academic prose as is often the case in translation of such material, but rather sets things in lively and dynamic tones, much as Nietzsche's own writing and tendency toward the dramatic was noted by his contemporaries.
Nietzsche's father was a Lutheran minister, but he died five years after Nietzsche's birth in 1844. Nietzsche was raised by his mother, grandmother and aunts; later in his life, his sister would become executor of his estate (after Nietzsche had become incapable of managing his own affairs) and reshape his philosophy and writings in her own idea - this becomes a running motif in later anthologies of Nietzsche; editors can quote and clip to fit their own agendas. In some ways, that is true of Kaufmann's text here, but in much less inappropriate ways than others, particularly Nietzsche's first editor, his sister.
Nietzsche was a star pupil from his earliest days at university in Bonn and Leipzig. His formal study was in classical philology, but his attentions turned in various directions quickly during his writing and professional life - he had an intense interest in drama and the arts, with Wagner's music and Greek drama in principal interest. His first book was devoted to these topics - 'The Birth of Tragedy'. It was not highly regarded at the time, but has since become much more appreciated as an anticipation of later developments in philosophy and aesthetics.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9d5a71a4) étoiles sur 5 39 commentaires
91 internautes sur 96 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d75b8ac) étoiles sur 5 Right translator, wrong edition 1 décembre 2001
Par James Liu - Publié sur
Format: Broché
On The Geneology of Morals -- This work is clearest when read as a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil. I don't suggest starting here. The prose is more straightforward than BG&E, he is attemting polemic in essay form. Yet still, it is still a voice in your head, consipring with you, coaxing you toward understanding. Here, the prose style of BG&E becomes apparent.
Ecce Homo -- This would seem like a very pretentious work. It is not. He comes off almost modestly here. This too, clears the air of all that is rotten about what has been said about him. It is as if he had guessed what evil things would be said about him.
Especially if this is your first Nietzsche book, I suggest, instead of buying this, buying the Basic Writings of Nietzsche which contains these two books, as well as three others (Beyond Good & Evil, which is a better place to start anyway; The Birth of Tragedy, and The Case of Wagner), by the same translator, and which costs only a few dollars more now that it's out in paperback.
23 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d75bd2c) étoiles sur 5 Astonishing Philosophy 7 mai 2007
Par Steiner - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Nietzsche's complex sequel to Beyond Good and Evil is a remarkable achievement of philosophy, philology, and history. It laid the groundwork for such 20th century thinkers as Foucault and Deleuze, though they would never reach Nietzsche's complexity and moral sophistication. In the preface to the book, Nietzsche proposes the project of investigating the origins of morality on the grounds that human beings are unknown to themselves. He is ultimately concerned with the development of moral prejudices, and the value of morality itself. He criticizes mankind in its acceptance of moral principles, and writes: "we need a critique of moral values, the value of these values themselves must first be called in question-and for that there is needed a knowledge of the conditions and circumstances in which they grew, under which they evolved and changed" (456).

Nietzsche begins the essay (Good and Evil, Good and Bad), with a philological examination of the words and roots of the words related to good and evil, and a delimitation of their evolution. He makes a connection between the creations of words and places them within the historical context of rulers and nobility. Linguistically, Nietzsche has discovered that the `good' is linked with nobility. He writes: "everywhere `noble,' `aristocratic' in the social sense, is the basic concept from which `good' in the sense of `with aristocratic soul,' `noble,'" (464). Alternatively, words associated with the `bad' invariably were linked with the `plain,' `simple,' and `low.' In this way, morality as a human construction is an extension of power, wealth, and civilization. The origin of evil is intertwined with priestly aristocracies.

Nietzsche moves into a discussion of a shift in the history of morality, in which the morality of the priestly aristocracy is superceded by Jewish morality. For Nietzsche, the Jews inverted the morality of nobility and established a system which places value on the lower order of mankind. He indicates that the Jews believed "the wretched alone are the good; the poor, impotent, lowly alone are the good; the suffering, deprived, sick, ugly alone are pious, alone are blessed by God" (470). Nietzsche describes this turn as `the slave revolt' of morality. He describes the triumph of Judeo-Christian morality over the previous system of values, and indicates that this turn is a triumph for the herd instinct, and for ressentiment. He writes: "The slave revolt in morality begins when ressentiment itself becomes creative and gives birth to values: the ressentiment of natures that are denied the true reaction, that of deeds, and compensate themselves with an imaginary revenge" (472). Noble morality develops as an affirmation of itself, while slave morality always says No to what is external to it. For Nietzsche, the need to constantly turn outward to an external `other' and place judgment on it is the essence of ressentiment.

In the proceeding section of the treatise, Nietzsche discusses civilization's taming of man the animal. Here he writes: "Supposing that what is at any rate believed to be the `truth' really is true, and the meaning of all culture is the reduction of the beast of prey `man' to a tame and civilized animal, a domestic animal, then one would undoubtedly have to regard all those instincts of reaction and ressentiment through whose aid the noble races and their ideal were finally confounded and overthrown as the actual instruments of culture" (478). Nietzsche insists that Europe's taming of man is a tremendous danger, for we are made to be weary of our own being. For Nietzsche, this weariness and fear of man has compelled us to lose our love for him, to turn our backs on our instincts, to reject affirmation.
32 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d75bda4) étoiles sur 5 the prime translation of a works not in need of many words. 9 juillet 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
having read most of Nietzsche's works in bother german (my native tounge) and english, i must say that if one is unable to read one of the four greatest masters of the german language (with Goethe, Heine, Kafka), walter kaufman translations are the only works that come close to the style and intentions that Nietzsche (presumably) had. in other, especially early translations one can wittness a 'over-nietzschification' that puts supposed nietzschean intent or thought into the works and hence distorting language and content. kaufman, who is first a philosopher and secondly a translator does not fall into this trap. it can only enthusiastically be reccommended.
23 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d75bd38) étoiles sur 5 Kaufmann is standard translation, but others are better 2 février 2010
Par John Buridan - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I should note up front that my review refers to the Vintage edition--the review and the rating pertain to Kaufmann's translation only, not to Nietzsche's text. Nietzsche's work is a classic and should be read by anyone with an interest in philosophy or related fields. That point, I think, goes without saying. What does need to be said is which translation you should choose to read it in. Kaufmann's is, pretty much, the standard translation. And, for the most part, his translation is true to Nietzsche's German. But it suffers in one important way, and that is how it conflates Hegel's idealism and Nietzsche's thought through the use of a Hegelian, idealist vocabulary. To be sure, Nietzsche draws on Hegel a lot, but Kaufmann's translation misleads the reader into thinking that there are more similarities than there actually are. It also makes this translation unbearably difficult to read.

The second problem I have with this particular edition is that Kaufmann's notes are so shallow, and not really helpful at all. A perfect example is on the first page of the first essay, where Nietzsche abandons his native German for a moment and refers to the English Psychologists pushing the "partie honteuse" of our inner world into view. Kaufmann leaves the phrase untranslated, as he ought, and lets a note do the work of translating it. His note says simply, "shame." In my view, it may be as if he had just omitted the note altogether, because this tells me almost nothing about what Nietzsche means, and doesn't even attempt to get at his metaphor. If one were to turn to Clark and Swenson's translation, put out by Hackett (On the Genealogy of Morality), however, one would learn that the phrase means "shameful part" and when pluralized it is equivalent to the English phrase "private parts." This is a helpful note which explains Nietzsche's metaphor and the connotations he's aiming for.

I'll give this edition three stars because I have to compare it to others, such as Clark and Swenson's, above, or Douglas Smith's translation in the Oxford World Classics edition (On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic. By way of clarification and supplement to my last book Beyond Good and Evil (Oxford World's Classics)). In many ways Smith most avoids the "Hegel-ization" of Nietzsche (although it is possible to overdo it, and Smith might be guilty). But in my estimation, Clark and Swenson's is the best, deserving five stars, and Smith's is a close second, perhaps deserving four and a half, or four and three-quarters, not least because Clark and Swenson's notes are better. (Smith's would get five stars if I reviewed it.) Kaufmann's is so far behind these that I cannot justify giving it more than three stars. For a more formulaic, objective approach, you can subtract one star from the translation for at times confusing Nietzsche's thought, and doing so in a confusing way, and subtract one from the edition in general for having mediocre notes. Then you also end up with my three-star rating.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d75d288) étoiles sur 5 Brilliant analyses on slave morality and ascetic decadence. 6 juin 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Perhaps the most readable book for a Nietzsche neophyte, yet a stunningly accurate and psychologically valid glimpse into the "moral," and an explanation of what that realistically entails. This book takes its reader on a tour of many souls: from the Dionysian aristocracy who once held the world for their pleasure, to the vengeful slave who despises the world for his inferiority. A warning, however: this will probably offend those who believe in modern democratic ideals.
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