Friedrich Nietzsche is one of those philosophers we’ve all heard of but maybe know little, or nothing, about. Yet his writings, almost wholly neglected during his lifetime, have had a lasting and controversial legacy. According to Michael Tanner, in his Very Short Introduction to Nietzsche, among those who have found inspiration in his work include: ‘anarchists, feminists, Nazis, religious cultists, Socialists, Marxists, vegetarians, avant-garde artists, devotees of physical culture, and archconservatives’.
Sometimes considered the ‘godfather’ of post-modernism, Nietzsche argued that there is no such thing as the truth external to our own intellectual institutions and practices – the truth is always relative to our own perspectives and interpretations, even in science. He was an atheist who declared ‘the death of God’, and at various times railed against almost every aspect of contemporary civilisation; urging the rejection of the moral values and practices that are the legacy of Judeo-Christianity. Yet he also celebrated energy, individualism and ‘greatness’; declaring we should ‘Live dangerously!’.
So what were Nietzsche’s ideas and what has been their influence? And is he still relevant today? Whether you want to contribute your own ideas about Nietzsche, or simply want to know more – or something – about his philosophy, come and join the audience at the Leeds Salon.