Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes 135 Sourced Quotes

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered on a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality.

Here are 135 real Friedrich Nietzsche quotes ordered by their popularity online. The most quoted quotes on the web appear first. Questionable and fake quotes are excluded. Sources and related information are shown after each quote. We hope you find these quotes useful. If there is anything we can do to improve this article, your feedback is welcome. If you find these quotes helpful, please share them.

1. “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Notebooks (Summer 1886 – Fall 1887)
  • As translated in The Portable Nietzsche (1954) by Walter Kaufmann, p. 458.

2. “Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) What does not kill me, makes me stronger.
 • Maxims and Arrows, 8.

3. “Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Without music, life would be a mistake.
 • Maxims and Arrows, 33.

4. “A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions — as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 41.

5. “Gott ist tot! Gott bleibt tot! Und wir haben ihn getötet.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?
• Sec. 125.

6. “In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 16.

7. “The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 191.

8. “Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
• Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146

9. “»Glaube« heißt Nicht-wissen-wollen.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Antichrist (1888) "Faith" means not wanting to know.
• Sec. 52.

10. “Man verdirbt einen Jüngling am sichersten, wenn man ihn anleitet, den Gleichdenkenden höher zu achten, als den Andersdenkenden.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.
The Dawn, Sec. 297.

11. “Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches I.332

12. “Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) What the Germans lack, 2; also in The Antichrist, Sec. 60, and Gay Science, Sec. 147.

13. “... die Hoffnung: sie ist in Wahrheit das übelste der Übel, weil sie die Qual der Menschen verlängert.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments.
• I.71.

14. “The 'Kingdom of Heaven' is a condition of the heart — not something that comes 'upon the earth' or 'after death'.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 34.

15. “Es gibt in der Welt einen einzigen Weg, auf welchem niemand gehen kann, außer dir: wohin er führt? Frage nicht, gehe ihn.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Untimely Meditations (1876) There exists in the world a single path along which no one can go except you: whither does it lead? Do not ask, go along it.
 • “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.1, R. Hollingdale, trans. (1983), p. 129

16. “Mathematics would certainly have not come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no actual circle, no absolute magnitude.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: As quoted in The Puzzle Instinct : The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life‎ (2004) by Marcel Danesi, p. 71 from Human All-Too-Human

17. “Although the most acute judges of the witches and even the witches themselves, were convinced of the guilt of witchery, the guilt nevertheless was non-existent. It is thus with all guilt.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: As translated in The Portable Nietzsche (1954) by Walter Kaufmann, p. 96.

18. “One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises one makes.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches I.59.

19. “Wie? ist der Mensch nur ein Fehlgriff Gottes? Oder Gott nur ein Fehlgriff des Menschen?”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) What is it: is man only a blunder of God, or God only a blunder of man?
Variant: Which? Is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's blunders?
 • Maxims and Arrows, 7.

20. “Einige werden posthum geboren.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Antichrist (1888) Some are born posthumously.
 • Foreword.

21. “‘Do I still have to add that in the entire New Testament there is only one solitary figure one is obliged to respect? Pilate, the Roman governor. To take a Jewish affair seriously — he cannot persuade himself to do that. One Jew more or less — what does it matter ?... The noble scorn of a Roman before whom an impudent misuse of the word 'truth' was carried on has enriched the New Testament with the only expression which possesses value — which is its criticism, its annihilation even: 'What is truth?...’”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 46.

22. “Ist das Leben nicht hundert Mal zu kurz, sich in ihm— zu langweilen?”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Is not life a hundred times too short for us— to bore ourselves?
• Beyond Good and Evil; Chapter VII, 227

23. “One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches I.74.

24. “The worst readers are those who behave like plundering troops: they take away a few things they can use, dirty and confound the remainder, and revile the whole.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches II.137.

25. “Woe to the thinker who is not the gardener but only the soil of the plants that grow in him!”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Daybreak — Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (1881) 382

26. “Morality is herd instinct in the individual.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 116.

27. “Hat man sein warum? des Lebens, so verträgt man sich fast mit jedem wie?”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) He who has a Why? in life can tolerate almost any How?
 • Maxims and Arrows, 12.

28. “I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned to him just now, was inspired by ‘instinct.’ Not only is his overtendency like mine—namely to make all knowledge the most powerful affect — but in five main points of his doctrine I recognize myself; this most unusual and loneliest thinker is closest to me precisely in these matters: he denies the freedom of the will, teleology, the moral world-order, the unegoistic, and evil. Even though the divergencies are admittedly tremendous, they are due more to the difference in time, culture, and science. In summa: my lonesomeness, which, as on very high mountains, often made it hard for me to breathe and make my blood rush out, is now at least a twosomeness. Strange! Incidentally, I am not at all as well as I had hoped. Exceptional weather here too! Eternal change of atmospheric conditions! — that will yet drive me out of Europe! I must have clear skies for months, else I get nowhere. Already six severe attacks of two or three days each. With affectionate love, Your friend.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Postcard to Franz Overbeck, Sils-Maria (30 July 1881) as translated by Walter Kaufmann in The Portable Nietzsche (1954).

29. “Die mutter der Ausschweifung ist nicht die Freude, sondern die Freudlosigkeit.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches The mother of excess is not joy but joylessness.http://books.google.com/books?id=Nl-vaAdJD3MC&q=%22The+mother+of+excess+is+not+joy+but+joylessness%22&pg=PA230#v=onepage
• II.77.

30. “While every noble morality develops from a triumphant affirmation of itself, slave morality from the outset says No to what is ‘outside,’ what is ‘different,’ what is ‘not itself’; and this No is its creative deed.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 1, Section 10.

31. “Love is a state in which a man sees things most decidedly as they are not.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 23.

32. “We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things — metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

33. “Mancher wird nur deshalb kein Denker, weil sein Gedächtnis zu gut ist.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches Many a man fails to become a thinker only because his memory is too good.
• II.122.

34. “It says nothing against the ripeness of a spirit that it has a few worms.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches II.353.

35. “Whoever has overthrown an existing law of custom has hitherto always first been accounted a bad man: but when, as did happen, the law could not afterwards be reinstated and this fact was accepted, the predicate gradually changed: - history treats almost exclusively of these bad men who subsequently became good men!”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Daybreak — Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (1881) 20

36. “Whatever has value in our world now does not have value in itself, according to its nature — nature is always value-less, but has been given value at some time, as a present — and it was we who gave and bestowed it.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 302.

37. “Women are considered profound. Why? Because we never fathom their depths. But women aren't even shallow.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Maxims and Arrows, 27.

38. “Freedom means that the manly instincts which delight in war and victory dominate over other instincts, for example, over those of ‘pleasure.’ The human being who has become free — and how much more the spirit who has become free — spits on the contemptible type of well-being dreamed of by shopkeepers, Christians, cows, females, Englishmen, and other democrats. The free man is a warrior. —”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888)

39. “What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself. What is bad? All that is born of weakness. What is happiness? The feeling that power is growing, that resistance is overcome.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 2.

40. “The very word ‘Christianity’ is a misunderstanding — in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Antichrist (1888) This has commonly been paraphrased: The last Christian died on the cross.
• Sec. 39.

41. “God created woman. And boredom did indeed cease from that moment — but many other things ceased as well! Woman was God's second mistake.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 48.

42. “… was ihn nicht umbringt, macht ihn stärker”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Ecce Homo (1888): Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) indicates the phrase Pontius Pilate used in presenting Jesus to the crowd after his scourging. Cross-references within Ecce Homo are by chapter and paragraph number, with the chapters referred to in abbreviated form as follows: F: Foreword, I: Why I Am So Wise, II: Why I Am So Clever, III: Why I Write Such Good Books, IV: Why I Am a Destiny. What does not kill him, makes him stronger.
• "Why I Am So Wise", 2.
• Compare Twilight of the Idols (1888), "Maxims and Arrows", aphorism 8: What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.

43. “To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Will to Power (1888): Der Wille zur Macht (1888) is an anthology of material from Nietzsche's notebooks of the 1880s, edited by his friend Peter Gast, supervised by his sister Elisabeth Nietzsche, and misrepresented by her as his unpublished magnum opus. All but 16 of its 1067 fragments can be traced to source texts in the historical-critical edition of Nietzsche's writings, Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke, though 204 of the 1067 sections involve patching together paragraphs not originally juxtaposed by Nietzsche, or dividing continuous passages into multiple "aphorisms" and re-arranging their order, and much of the text has been lightly edited to correct punctuation errors. Because of its misrepresentation of Nietzsche's private notes as an all but finished magnum opus, it has been called a "historic forgery". Sec 910 (Autumn 1887, KSA 12.513).

44. “Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed.—Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919): John R. Bartlett, Maxims

45. “Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Letter to Elisabeth Nietzsche, Bonn, 1865-06-11

46. “Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented knowing. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of ‘world history,’ but nevertheless, it was only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled and congealed, and the clever beasts had to die. One might invent such a fable, and yet he still would not have adequately illustrated how miserable, how shadowy and transient, how aimless and arbitrary the human intellect looks within nature. There were eternities during which it did not exist. And when it is all over with the human intellect, nothing will have happened.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

47. “The pride connected with knowing and sensing lies like a blinding fog over the eyes and senses of men, thus deceiving them concerning the value of existence. For this pride contains within itself the most flattering estimation of the value of knowing. Deception is the most general effect of such pride, but even its most particular effects contain within themselves something of the same deceitful character.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

48. “The various languages placed side by side show that with words it is never a question of truth, never a question of adequate expression; otherwise, there would not be so many languages. The ‘thing in itself’ (which is precisely what the pure truth, apart from any of its consequences, would be) is likewise something quite incomprehensible to the creator of language and something not in the least worth striving for. '''This creator only designates the relations of things to men, and for expressing these relations he lays hold of the boldest metaphors.'''' To begin with, a nerve stimulus is transferred into an image: first metaphor. The image, in turn, is imitated in a sound: second metaphor. And each time there is a complete overleaping of one sphere, right into the middle of an entirely new and different one.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

49. “We obtain the concept, as we do the form, by overlooking what is individual and actual; whereas nature is acquainted with no forms and no concepts, and likewise with no species, but only with an X which remains inaccessible and undefinable for us.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

50. “Only by forgetting this primitive world of metaphor can one live with any repose, security, and consistency: only by means of the petrification and coagulation of a mass of images which originally streamed from the primal faculty of human imagination like a fiery liquid, only in the invincible faith that this sun, this window, this table is a truth in itself, in short, only by forgetting that he himself is an artistically creating subject, does man live with any repose, security, and consistency. If but for an instant he could escape from the prison walls of this faith, his ‘self consciousness’ would be immediately destroyed. It is even a difficult thing for him to admit to himself that the insect or the bird perceives an entirely different world from the one that man does, and that the question of which of these perceptions of the world is the more correct one is quite meaningless, for this would have to have been decided previously in accordance with the criterion of the correct perception, which means, in accordance with a criterion which is not available.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

51. “We have seen how it is originally language which works on the construction of concepts, a labor taken over in later ages by science. Just as the bee simultaneously constructs cells and fills them with honey, so science works unceasingly on this great columbarium of concepts, the graveyard of perceptions.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

52. “Niemand kann dir die Brücke bauen, auf der gerade du über den Fluß des Lebens schreiten mußt, niemand außer dir allein.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Untimely Meditations (1876) No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.
 • “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.1, R. Hollingdale, trans. (1983), p. 129

53. “Die Länge des Tages. - Wenn man viel hineinzustecken hat, so hat ein Tag hundert Taschen.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Helen Zimmern translation: (1909-1913) The day's length. If a man has a great deal to put in them, a day will have a hundred pockets.
• Section IX, "Man Alone with Himself" / aphorism 529.

54. “We are, all of us, growing volcanoes that approach the hour of their eruption; but how near or distant that is, nobody knows — not even God.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 9.

55. “Good prose is written only face to face with poetry.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 92.

56. “Mystical explanations are considered deep; the truth is, they are not even shallow.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882)

57. “To find everything profound — that is an inconvenient trait. It makes one strain one's eyes all the time, and in the end one finds more than one might have wished.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 158.

58. “We have no dreams at all or interesting ones. We should learn to be awake the same way — not at all or in an interesting manner.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 232.

59. “Was sagt dein Gewissen? — 'Du sollst der werden, der du bist.'”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) What does your conscience say? — "You shall become the person you are."
 • It is noted here, here and here that the phrase was first used by Pindar, and was merely re-used by Nietzsche.
• Sec. 270.

60. “Perhaps man will rise ever higher as soon as he ceases to flow out into a god.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 285.

61. “I would not know what the spirit of a philosopher might wish more to be than a good dancer.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 381.

62. “We are unknown to ourselves, we men of knowledge-and with good reason. We have never sought ourselves- how could it happen that we should ever find ourselves?”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Preface, Section 1

63. “The sick are the greatest danger for the healthy; it is not from the strongest that harm comes to the strong, but from the weakest.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 3, Aphorism 14.

64. “A strong and well-constituted man digests his experiences (deeds and misdeeds all included) just as he digests his meats, even when he has some tough morsels to swallow.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 3, Aphorism 16.

65. “Plato ist langweilig.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Plato is boring.
 • What I Owe to the Ancients, 2.

66. “To live alone one must be an animal or a god - says Aristotle. There is yet a third case: one must be both - a philosopher.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Maxims and Arrows, 3

67. “Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves. It is to preserve the distance which separates us from other men. To grow more indifferent to hardship, to severity, to privation, and even to life itself.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Sect. 38.

68. “We have already gone beyond whatever we have words for. In all talk there is a grain of contempt.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Expeditions of an Untimely Man §26.
Wofür wir Worte haben, darüber sind wir auch schon hinaus. In allem Reden liegt ein Gran Verachtung.

69. “Our institutions are no good any more: on that there is universal agreement. However, it is not their fault but ours. Once we have lost all the instincts out of which institutions grow, we lose institutions altogether because we are no longer good for them.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888)

70. “Hope, in its stronger forms, is a great deal more powerful stimulans to life than any sort of realized joy can ever be. Man must be sustained in suffering by a hope so high that no conflict with actuality can dash it—so high, indeed, that no fulfilment can satisfy it: a hope reaching out beyond this world.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 23.

71. “The whole disaster was only made possible by the fact that there already existed in the world a similar megalomania, allied to this one in race, to wit, the Jewish.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 44.

72. “That faith makes blessed under certain circumstances, that blessedness does not make of a fixed idea a true idea, that faith moves no mountains but puts mountains where there are none: a quick walk through a madhouse enlightens one sufficiently about this.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 51; Often paraphrased as: "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything".

73. “Nihilist und Christ: das reimt sich, das reimt sich nicht bloss.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Nihilist and Christian. They rhyme, and do not merely rhyme...

74. “There is nothing to life that has value, except the degree of power—assuming that life itself is the will to power.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Will to Power (1888): Der Wille zur Macht (1888) is an anthology of material from Nietzsche's notebooks of the 1880s, edited by his friend Peter Gast, supervised by his sister Elisabeth Nietzsche, and misrepresented by her as his unpublished magnum opus. All but 16 of its 1067 fragments can be traced to source texts in the historical-critical edition of Nietzsche's writings, Kritische Gesamtausgabe: Werke, though 204 of the 1067 sections involve patching together paragraphs not originally juxtaposed by Nietzsche, or dividing continuous passages into multiple "aphorisms" and re-arranging their order, and much of the text has been lightly edited to correct punctuation errors. Because of its misrepresentation of Nietzsche's private notes as an all but finished magnum opus, it has been called a "historic forgery". Book 1, sec. 55 (10 June 1887)

75. “He that prefers the beautiful to the useful in life will, undoubtedly, like children who prefer sweetmeats to bread, destroy his digestion and acquire a very fretful outlook on the world.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919): John R. Bartlett, Maxims

76. “Merchant and pirate were for a long period one and the same person. Even today mercantile morality is really nothing but a refinement of piratical morality.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919): John R. Bartlett, Maxims

77. “I have somehow something like ‘influence’ … In the Anti-Semitic Correspondence … my name is mentioned in almost every issue. Zarathustra … has charmed the anti-Semites; there is a special anti-Semitic interpretation of it that made me laugh very much.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: As quoted in "Idea of Anti-Semitism Filled Nietzsche With Ire and Melancholy" in The New York Times (19 December 1987).

78. “Deception, flattering, lying, deluding, talking behind the back, putting up a false front, living in borrowed splendor, wearing a mask, hiding behind convention, playing a role for others and for oneself — in short, a continuous fluttering around the solitary flame of vanity — is so much the rule and the law among men that there is almost nothing which is less comprehensible than how an honest and pure drive for truth could have arisen among them. They are deeply immersed in illusions and in dream images; their eyes merely glide over the surface of things and see ‘forms.’”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

79. “What does man actually know about himself? Is he, indeed, ever able to perceive himself completely, as if laid out in a lighted display case? Does nature not conceal most things from him — even concerning his own body — in order to confine and lock him within a proud, deceptive consciousness, aloof from the coils of the bowels, the rapid flow of the blood stream, and the intricate quivering of the fibers! She threw away the key.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

80. “The liar is a person who uses the valid designations, the words, in order to make something which is unreal appear to be real. He says, for example, ‘I am rich,’ when the proper designation for his condition would be ‘poor.’ He misuses fixed conventions by means of arbitrary substitutions or even reversals of names. If he does this in a selfish and moreover harmful manner, society will cease to trust him and will thereby exclude him. What men avoid by excluding the liar is not so much being defrauded as it is being harmed by means of fraud. Thus, even at this stage, what they hate is basically not deception itself, but rather the unpleasant, hated consequences of certain sorts of deception. It is in a similarly restricted sense that man now wants nothing but truth: he desires the pleasant, life-preserving consequences of truth. He is indifferent toward pure knowledge which has no consequences; toward those truths which are possibly harmful and destructive he is even hostilely inclined.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

81. “Are designations congruent with things? Is language the adequate expression of all realities? It is only by means of forgetfulness that man can ever reach the point of fancying himself to possess a ‘truth’ of the grade just indicated. If he will not be satisfied with truth in the form of tautology, that is to say, if he will not be content with empty husks, then he will always exchange truths for illusions.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

82. “Every word instantly becomes a concept precisely insofar as it is not supposed to serve as a reminder of the unique and entirely individual original experience to which it owes its origin; but rather, a word becomes a concept insofar as it simultaneously has to fit countless more or less similar cases — which means, purely and simply, cases which are never equal and thus altogether unequal. Every concept arises from the equation of unequal things. Just as it is certain that one leaf is never totally the same as another, so it is certain that the concept ‘leaf’ is formed by arbitrarily discarding these individual differences and by forgetting the distinguishing aspects.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

83. “Was ist also Wahrheit? Ein bewegliches Heer von Metaphern, Metonymien, Anthropomorphismen, kurz eine Summe von menschlichen Relationen, die, poetisch und rhetorisch gesteigert, übertragen, geschmückt wurden, und die nach langem Gebrauch einem Volke fest, kanonisch und verbindlich dünken: die Wahrheiten sind Illusionen, von denen man vergessen hat, daß sie welche sind, Metaphern, die abgenutzt und sinnlich kraftlos geworden sind, Münzen, die ihr Bild verloren haben und nun als Metall, nicht mehr als Münzen, in Betracht kommen.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873) What then is truth? A movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions — they are metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their embossing and are now considered as metal and no longer as coins.

84. “The venerability, reliability, and utility of truth is something which a person demonstrates for himself from the contrast with the liar, whom no one trusts and everyone excludes. As a ‘rational’ being, he now places his behavior under the control of abstractions. He will no longer tolerate being carried away by sudden impressions, by intuitions.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

85. “One may certainly admire man as a mighty genius of construction, who succeeds in piling an infinitely complicated dome of concepts upon an unstable foundation, and, as it were, on running water. Of course, in order to be supported by such a foundation, his construction must be like one constructed of spiders' webs: delicate enough to be carried along by the waves, strong enough not to be blown apart by every wind.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

86. “As a genius of construction man raises himself far above the bee in the following way: whereas the bee builds with wax that he gathers from nature, man builds with the far more delicate conceptual material which he first has to manufacture from himself.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

87. “When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding ‘truth’ within the realm of reason. If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare ‘look, a mammal’ I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value. That is to say, it is a thoroughly anthropomorphic truth which contains not a single point which would be ‘true in itself’ or really and universally valid apart from man. At bottom, what the investigator of such truths is seeking is only the metamorphosis of the world into man.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

88. “Between two absolutely different spheres, as between subject and object, there is no causality, no correctness, and no expression; there is, at most, an aesthetic relation: I mean, a suggestive transference, a stammering translation into a completely foreign tongue — for which I there is required, in any case, a freely inventive intermediate sphere and mediating force. ‘Appearance’ is a word that contains many temptations, which is why I avoid it as much as possible. For it is not true that the essence of things ‘appears’ in the empirical world. A painter without hands who wished to express in song the picture before his mind would, by means of this substitution of spheres, still reveal more about the essence of things than does the empirical world. Even the relationship of a nerve stimulus to the generated image is not a necessary one. But when the same image has been generated millions of times and has been handed down for many generations and finally appears on the same occasion every time for all mankind, then it acquires at last the same meaning for men it would have if it were the sole necessary image and if the relationship of the original nerve stimulus to the generated image were a strictly causal one. In the same manner, an eternally repeated dream would certainly be felt and judged to be reality. But the hardening and congealing of a metaphor guarantees absolutely nothing concerning its necessity and exclusive justification.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

89. “Whereas the man of action binds his life to reason and its concepts so that he will not be swept away and lost, the scientific investigator builds his hut right next to the tower of science so that he will be able to work on it and to find shelter for himself beneath those bulwarks which presently exist. And he requires shelter, for there are frightful powers which continuously break in upon him, powers which oppose scientific ‘truth’ with completely different kinds of ‘truths’ which bear on their shields the most varied sorts of emblems.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

90. “Because of the way that myth takes it for granted that miracles are always happening, the waking life of a mythically inspired people — the ancient Greeks, for instance — more closely resembles a dream than it does the waking world of a scientifically disenchanted thinker.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

91. “Man has an invincible inclination to allow himself to be deceived and is, as it were, enchanted with happiness when the rhapsodist tells him epic fables as if they were true, or when the actor in the theater acts more royally than any real king. So long as it is able to deceive without injuring, that master of deception, the intellect, is free; it is released from its former slavery and celebrates its Saturnalia. It is never more luxuriant, richer, prouder, more clever and more daring.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

92. “There are ages in which the rational man and the intuitive man stand side by side, the one in fear of intuition, the other with scorn for abstraction. The latter is just as irrational as the former is inartistic. They both desire to rule over life: the former, by knowing how to meet his principle needs by means of foresight, prudence, and regularity; the latter, by disregarding these needs and, as an ‘overjoyed hero,’ counting as real only that life which has been disguised as illusion and beauty.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873)

93. “Where there have been powerful governments, societies, religions, public opinions, in short wherever there has been tyranny, there the solitary philosopher has been hated; for philosophy offers an asylum to a man into which no tyranny can force it way, the inward cave, the labyrinth of the heart.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Untimely Meditations (1876) trans. Hollingdale, “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.3, p. 139

94. “These people who have fled inward for their freedom also have to live outwardly, become visible, let themselves be seen; they are united with mankind through countless ties of blood, residence, education, fatherland, chance, the importunity of others; they are likewise presupposed to harbour countless opinions simply because these are the ruling opinions of the time; every gesture which is not clearly a denial counts as agreement.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Untimely Meditations (1876) trans. Hollingdale, “Schopenhauer as educator,” § 3.3, p. 139

95. “Haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Untimely Meditations (1876) trans. Hollingdale (1983), “Schopenhauer as educator,” p. 158

96. “When virtue has slept, she will get up more refreshed.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches I.83

97. “Every tradition grows ever more venerable — the more remote its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches I.96.

98. “Unpleasant, even dangerous, qualities can be found in every nation and every individual: it is cruel to demand that the Jew be an exception. In him, these qualities may even be dangerous and revolting to an unusual degree; and perhaps the young stock-exchange Jew is altogether the most disgusting invention of mankind.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches I.475.

99. “A witticism is an epigram on the death of a feeling.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches II.202.

100. “Feinde der Wahrheit. - Überzeugungen sind gefährlichere Feinde der Wahrheit, als Lügen.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Helen Zimmern translation: (1909-1913) Enemies of truth. Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.
• Section IX, "Man Alone with Himself" / aphorism 483.

101. “Ziel und Wege. - Viele sind hartnäckig in Bezug auf den einmal eingeschlagenen Weg, Wenige in Bezug auf das Ziel.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Helen Zimmern translation: (1909-1913) Destination and paths. Many people are obstinate about the path once it is taken, few people about the destination.
• Section IX, "Man Alone with Himself" / aphorism 494.

102. “Der Gegenwart entfremdet. - Es hat grosse Vortheile, seiner Zeit sich einmal in stärkerem Maasse zu entfremden und gleichsam von ihrem Ufer zurück in den Ocean der vergangenen Weltbetrachtungen getrieben zu werden. Von dort aus nach der Küste zu blickend, überschaut man wohl zum ersten Male ihre gesammte Gestaltung und hat, wenn man sich ihr wieder nähert, den Vortheil, sie besser im Ganzen zu verstehen, als Die, welche sie nie verlassen haben.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Human, All Too Human (1878):
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches, Helen Zimmern translation: (1909-1913) Alienated from the present. There are great advantages in for once removing ourselves distinctly from our time and letting ourselves be driven from its shore back into the ocean of former world views. Looking at the coast from that perspective, we survey for the first time its entire shape, and when we near it again, we have the advantage of understanding it better on the whole than do those who have never left it.
• Section IX, "Man Alone with Himself" / aphorism 616.

103. “It is not enough to prove something, one has also to seduce or elevate people to it. That is why the man of knowledge should learn how to speak his wisdom: and often in such a way that it sounds like folly!”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Daybreak — Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (1881) 330.

104. “For those who need consolation no means of consolation is so effective as the assertion that in their case no consolation is possible: it implies so great a degree of distinction that they at once hold up their heads again.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Daybreak — Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality (1881) 380.

105. “Without art we would be nothing but foreground and live entirely in the spell of that perspective which makes what is closest at hand and most vulgar appear as if it were vast, and reality itself.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 78.

106. “Gott ist tot! aber so wie die Art der Menschen ist, wird es vielleicht noch Jahrtausende lang Höhlen geben, in denen man seinen Schatten zeigt. — Und wir — Wir müssen auch noch seinen Schatten besiegen.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. — And we — we still have to vanquish his shadow, too.
• Sec. 108.

107. “Der christliche Entschluss, die Welt hässlich und schlecht zu finden, hat die Welt hässlich und schlecht gemacht.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.
• Sec. 130.

108. “What is now decisive against Christianity is our taste, no longer our reasons.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 132.

109. “We are always in our own company.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 166.

110. “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, simpler.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 179.

111. “''Die Leugner des Zufalls. — 'Kein Sieger glaubt an den Zufall.'''”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Those who deny chance. — 'No victor believes in chance.'
 • Sec. 258.

112. “What is the seal of liberation? — No longer being ashamed in front of oneself.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Gay Science (1882): Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882) Sec. 275.

113. “Do you believe then that the sciences would have arisen and grown up if the sorcerers, alchemists, astrologers and witches had not been their forerunners; those who, with their promisings and foreshadowings, had first to create a thirst, a hunger, and a taste for hidden and forbidden powers?”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source:  • Sec. 300.

114. “That every will must consider every other will its equal — would be a principle hostile to life, an agent of the dissolution and destruction of man, an attempt to assassinate the future of man, a sign of weariness, a secret path to nothingness.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 2, Section 11.

115. “The broad effects which can be obtained by punishment in man and beast are the increase of fear, the sharpening of the sense of cunning, the mastery of the desires; so it is that punishment tames man, but does not make him ‘better.’”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 2, Section 15.

116. “The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was therefore accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on earth.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 2, Section 20.

117. “If a temple is to be erected, a temple must be destroyed.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: On the Genealogy of Morality (1887): Also translated as Genealogy of Morals Essay 2, Section 24.

118. “Liberalismus: auf deutsch Heerden-Verthierung ...”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source and Related Info: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Liberalism: in other words, herd-animalization.
 • Skirmishes of an Untimely Man Sect. 38.

119. “Man believes that the world itself is filled with beauty — he forgets that it is he who has created it. He alone has bestowed beauty upon the world — alas! only a very human, an all too human, beauty.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Expeditions of an Untimely Man, 19.

120. “It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a whole book — what everyone else does not say in a whole book.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Things the Germans Lack, 51.

121. “When one gives up Christian belief one thereby deprives oneself of the right to Christian morality. For the latter is absolutely not self-evident: one must make this point clear again and again, in spite of English shallowpates.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Twilight of the Idols (1888): Götzen-Dämmerung (1888) Expeditions of an Untimely Man §5.

122. “...to the priestly class — decadence is no more than a means to an end. Men of this sort have a vital interest in making mankind sick, and in confusing the values of ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ ‘true’ and ‘false’ in a manner that is not only dangerous to life, but also slanders it.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 24.

123. “The 'kingdom of God' is not something one waits for; it has no yesterday or tomorrow, it does not come 'in a thousand years' — it is an experience within a heart; it is everywhere, it is nowhere...”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 34.

124. “What follows, then? That one had better put on gloves before reading the New Testament. The presence of so much filth makes it very advisable. One would as little choose early Christians for companions as Polish Jews: not that one need seek out an objection to them — neither has a pleasant smell.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 46.

125. “The God that Paul invented for himself, a God who ‘reduced to absurdity’ ‘the wisdom of this world’ (especially the two great enemies of superstition, philology and medicine), is in truth only an indication of Paul's resolute determination to accomplish that very thing himself: to give one's own will the name of God, Torah — that is essentially Jewish.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 47'

126. “Whom do I hate most among the rabble of today? The socialist rabble, the chandala apostles, who undermine the instinct, the pleasure, the worker’s sense of satisfaction with his small existence–who make him envious, who teach him revenge. The source of wrong is never unequal rights but the claim of ‘equal’ rights.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: The Antichrist (1888) Sec. 57.

127. “And nothing on earth consumes a man more quickly than the passion of resentment.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Ecce Homo (1888): Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) indicates the phrase Pontius Pilate used in presenting Jesus to the crowd after his scourging. Cross-references within Ecce Homo are by chapter and paragraph number, with the chapters referred to in abbreviated form as follows: F: Foreword, I: Why I Am So Wise, II: Why I Am So Clever, III: Why I Write Such Good Books, IV: Why I Am a Destiny. "Why I Am So Wise", 6.

128. “I know my fate. One day my name will be associated with the memory of something tremendous — a crisis without equal on earth, the most profound collision of conscience, a decision that was conjured up against everything that had been believed, demanded, hallowed so far. I am no man, I am dynamite.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Ecce Homo (1888): Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) indicates the phrase Pontius Pilate used in presenting Jesus to the crowd after his scourging. Cross-references within Ecce Homo are by chapter and paragraph number, with the chapters referred to in abbreviated form as follows: F: Foreword, I: Why I Am So Wise, II: Why I Am So Clever, III: Why I Write Such Good Books, IV: Why I Am a Destiny. "Why I am a Destiny", 1.

129. “All things considered, I could never have survived my youth without Wagnerian music. For I seemed condemned to the society of Germans. If a man wishes to rid himself of a feeling of unbearable oppression, he may have to take to hashish. Well, I had to take to Wagner...”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Ecce Homo (1888): Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) indicates the phrase Pontius Pilate used in presenting Jesus to the crowd after his scourging. Cross-references within Ecce Homo are by chapter and paragraph number, with the chapters referred to in abbreviated form as follows: F: Foreword, I: Why I Am So Wise, II: Why I Am So Clever, III: Why I Write Such Good Books, IV: Why I Am a Destiny. "Why I am So Clever", 6. Trans. Clifton P. Fadiman.

130. “'''The world is poor for him who has never been sick enough for this 'voluptuousness of hell':”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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Source: Ecce Homo (1888): Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) indicates the phrase Pontius Pilate used in presenting Jesus to the crowd after his scourging. Cross-references within Ecce Homo are by chapter and paragraph number, with the chapters referred to in abbreviated form as follows: F: Foreword, I: Why I Am So Wise, II: Why I Am So Clever, III: Why I Write Such Good Books, IV: Why I Am a Destiny. "Why I am Destiny", 6. Trans. R. J. Hollingdale

131. “This is the antinomy: Insofar as we believe in morality we pass sentence on existence.”

—Friedrich Nietzsche

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