Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (/ˈniːtʃə,
Nietzsche’s body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture and science. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. His writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony.Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogicalcritique of religion and Christian morality and his related theory of master–slave morality; his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the “death of God” and the profound crisis of nihilism; his notion of the Apollonian and Dionysian; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power. He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermenschand the doctrine of eternal return. In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health.
After his death, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche became the curator and editor of her brother’s manuscripts. She reworked Nietzsche’s unpublished writings to fit her own German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating Nietzsche’s stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her published editions, Nietzsche’s work became associated with fascism and Nazism; 20th century scholars contested this interpretation of his work and corrected editions of his writings were soon made available. Nietzsche’s thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics and popular culture.