Volume 8 of SUP’s Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche features the seminal texts of Beyond Good and Evil & On the Genealogy of Morality
Supposing that truth is a woman—well? is the suspicion not founded that all philosophers, insofar as they were dogmatists, poorly understood women? that the ghastly earnest and the clumsy obtrusiveness with which they tended to approach truth so far were inept and indecent means for nothing more than charming a female for themselves? What is certain is that she has not allowed herself to be charmed:—and every kind of dogmatism stands there today with a gloomy and despondent look. If it stands at all anymore!
So begins Nietzsche's colorful opening argument in Beyond Good and Evil, in which he envisions truth as a coy woman, not to be wooed by blunt and unbending philosophical doctrines. Rejecting much of the accepted wisdom of 19th century philosophy and its antecedents earned Nietzsche the oft-cited credit as one of the most important precursors to postmodern thought. Unsurprisingly, countless contemporary philosophers—from Freud to Derrida—are indebted to Nietzsche, whose philosophy and works were decidedly avant-garde. As a result of his celebrity, countless editions and translations of his writings have circulated through both scholarly and popular pipelines—including this ambitious poster, in which the entire text of Beyond Good and Evil is rendered into a graphic depiction of a sheep herd:
(Poster via Litographs)
Stanford University Press' edition of this text (regrettably, not rendered in poster format) is translated from the the Colli-Montinari critical student edition—described as the "German-language 'gold standard'". Stanford's ongoing series, The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, reaches the midpoint of its projected 15 volumes with the publication of this book. This volume, Beyond Good and Evil/On the Genealogy of Morality, pairs these two treatises—two of Nietzsche’s most well-known—into a single annotated and accessible book.
Though he coined some of most categorical statements of the 19th century (“God is dead” being chief among them) Nietzsche takes philosophy to task for dogmatism, and explores the origins of our conceptions of good and evil in these writings. Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morality, both watershed texts in their own right, develop a critique of universal and discrete moral categories, opting instead for a dash of moral relativism. The origins of such classically Nietzschean concepts as slave morality, herd mentality, and will to power, these canonical publications serve as excellent entry points not only into Nietzsche’s philosophy, but to contemporary thought more broadly.
Read the full Preface of
Beyond Good and Evil
See the Table of Contents
See the other volumes in
The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche