Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm: - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), German classical scholar, philosopher, and critic of culture, who became one of the most influential of all modern thinkers. His attempts to unmask the motives that underlie traditional Western religion, morality, and philosophy deeply affected generations of theologians, philosophers, psychologists, poets, novelists, and playwrights. He thought through the consequences of the triumph of the Enlightenment's secularism, expressed in his observation that God is dead, in a way that determined the agenda for many of Europe's most-celebrated intellectuals after his death. He was an ardent foe of nationalism, anti-Semitism, and power politics. 
 Nietzsche once wrote that some men are born posthumously, and that is certainly true in his case. The history of philosophy, theology, and psychology since the early 20th century is unintelligible without him. Nietzsche's great influence is due not only to his originality but also to the fact that he was one of the German language's most-brilliant prose writers.