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150 Profound Quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche

Last updated on Feb 14th, 2019

150 Profound Quotes by Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, and scholar, who is considered one of the most influential of all modern thinkers.

Nietzsche has explored various topics related to the human condition such as individuality, truth, morality, religion, history, culture and nihilism. The central point of his philosophy is the idea of “life-affirmation”, which focuses on life in this world instead on the world beyond.

In his brilliant career, Nietzsche published several major works of philosophy. Among the best known are Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Twilight of the Idols and Beyond Good and Evil.

His writings, especially on religion and morality in contemporary civilization, influenced many major thinkers and writers of the 20th century.

 

1
What does not kill me, strengthens me.'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
2
He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into you.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
3
It is true we love life; not because we are wont to live, but because we are wont to love.'First Part: Reading and Writing,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
4
And life, in spite of ourselves, is not devised by morality.'Author's Preface,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
5
The secret of realising the largest productivity and the greatest enjoyment of existence is to live in danger!'Book Fourth: Sanctus Januarius,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
6
Against tedium even the Gods struggle in vain. The Antichrist (1888)
7
In revenge and in love woman is more barbarous than man.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
8
In the mountains of truth you never climb in vain. Either you already reach a higher point today, or you exercise your strength in order to be able to climb higher tomorrow.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
9
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.'Zarathustra's Prologue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation. - Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power Quotes)
10
Necessity is not an established fact, but an interpretation.'The Will to Power in Science,' The Will to Power (1901)
11
Without music life would be a mistake.'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1889)
12
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.'Man alone by Himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
13
He who despises himself, nevertheless esteems himself thereby, as a despiser.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
14
Even God hath his hell: it is his love for man.'Chapter XXV: The Pitiful,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
15
Existence really is an imperfect tense that never becomes a present.On the Use and Abuse of History for Life (1874)
16
A little health on and off is the best remedy for the invalid.'The Wanderer and His Shadow,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1880)
17
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,' Untimely Meditations (1876)
18
Close beside my knowledge lieth my black ignorance.'Chapter LXIV: The Leech,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
19
Our vanity is most difficult to wound just when our pride has been wounded.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
Therefore he gives man hope, in reality it is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
20
Therefore he gives man hope, in reality it is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs the torments of man.'The History of the Moral Sentiments,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
21
Thoughts are the shadows of our sentiments — always, however, obscurer, emptier, and simpler.'Book Third,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
22
There is always some madness in love. But there is always, also, some method in madness.'Chapter VII: Reading and Writing,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
23
Fear is the mother of morals.'The Natural History of Morals,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
24
A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.'Wife and Child,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
25
Only thoughts won by walking are valuable.'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1889)
26
He who cannot give anything away cannot feel anything either.'The Will to Power in Art,' The Will to Power (1901)
27
There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom.'Chapter IV: The Despisers of the Body,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
28
He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.'Man in Society,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
29
Success has always been the greatest liar.'What is Noble?,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
What is good? — All that increases the feeling of power, will to power, power itself, in man. - Friedrich Nietzsche (The Antichrist Quotes)
30
What is good? — All that increases the feeling of power, will to power, power itself, in man. The Antichrist (1888)
31
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends.'Chapter XXII: The Bestowing Virtue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
32
The best author will be the one who is ashamed to become a writer.'Concerning the Soul of Artists and Authors,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
33
There is a haughtiness of kindness which has the appearance of wickedness.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
34
One must pay dearly for immortality: one has to die several times while still alive.'Why I Write such Excellent Books: Thus spake Zarathustra,' Ecce Homo (1888)
35
In everything there is one thing impossible – rationality!'Chapter XLVIII: Before Sunrise,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
36
There are no eternal facts, as there are likewise no absolute truths.'First and Last Things,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
37
My concept of freedom. — The worth of a thing lies sometimes not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it — what it costs us.'Roving Expeditions of an Inopportune Philosopher,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
38
What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
39
Man is for woman a means: the purpose is always the child.'Chapter XVIII: Old and Young Women', Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
We often contradict an opinion when it is really only the tone in which it is expressed that is unsympathetic to us. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
40
We often contradict an opinion when it is really only the tone in which it is expressed that is unsympathetic to us.'Man in Society,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
41
Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual.'Book Third,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
42
The man who is being punished is no longer he who has done the deed. He is always the scapegoat.The Dawn or The Dawn of Day (1881)
43
To recognise untruth as a condition of life.'Prejudices of Philosophers,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
44
Whoever has not got a good father should procure one.'Wife and Child,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
45
Man is the cruellest animal.'Chapter LVII: The Convalescent,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
46
Facts are precisely what is lacking, all that exists consists of interpretations.'The Will to Power in Science,' The Will to Power (1901)
47
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,' Untimely Meditations (1876)
48
Wit is the epitaph of an emotion.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
49
In praise there is more obtrusiveness than in blame.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! - Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra Quotes)
50
Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!'Chapter XXIX: The Tarantulas,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
51
Danger which first teaches us to know our resources, our virtues, our shield and sword, our genius — which compels us to be strong… 'Roving Expeditions of an Inopportune Philosopher,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
52
Our destiny rules over us, even when we are not yet aware of it; it is the future that makes laws for our today.'Author's Preface,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
53
The most perfidious manner of injuring a cause is to vindicate it intentionally with fallacious arguments.'Book Third,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
54
Blessed are the forgetful: for they “get the better” even of their blunders.'Our Virtues,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
55
Two different things wanteth the true man: danger and diversion. Therefore wanteth he woman, as the most dangerous plaything.'Chapter XVIII: Old and Young Women,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
56
A good author possesses not only his own intellect, but also that of his friends.'Concerning the Soul of Artists and Authors,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
57
Neither necessity nor desire, but the love of power, is the demon of mankind. You may give men everything possible health, food, shelter, enjoyment but they are and remain unhappy and capricious, for the demon waits and waits; and must be satisfied.The Dawn or The Dawn of Day (1881)
58
“Belief” means not-wishing-to-know what is true.The Antichrist (1888)
59
Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
60
There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings.'The Religious Life,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
61
One should hold fast one’s heart; for when one letteth it go, how quickly doth one’s head run away!'Chapter XXV: The Pitiful', Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
62
What really raises one’s indignation against suffering is not suffering intrinsically, but the senselessness of suffering. 'Second Essay: Guilt, Bad Conscience, and the Like,' On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)
63
We recover best from our unnaturalness, from our spirituality, in our savage moods…'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
64
All mankind is divided, as it was at all times and is still, into slaves and freemen; for whoever has not two-thirds of his day for himself is a slave, be he otherwise whatever he likes, statesman, merchant, official, or scholar.'The Signs of Higher and Lower Culture,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
65
There is an innocence of admiration: it is possessed by him to whom it has not yet occurred that he himself may he admired some day. 'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
66
One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar.'Chapter XXII: The Bestwing Virtue', Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
67
Perhaps I know best why man is the only animal that laughs: he alone suffers so excruciatingly that he was compelled to invent laughter.'Concerning the History of European Nihilism,' The Will to Power (1901)
68
The unreasonableness of a thing is no argument against its existence, but rather a condition thereof. 'Man alone by himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
69
We are responsible to ourselves for our own existence; consequently we want to be the true helmsman of this existence and refuse to allow our existence to resemble a mindless act of chance.'Schopenhauer as educator,' Untimely Meditations (1876)
Is not life a hundred times too short for us — to bore ourselves? - Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good and Evil Quotes)
70
Is not life a hundred times too short for us — to bore ourselves?'Our Virtues,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
71
In the true man there is a child hidden: it wanteth to play.'Chapter XVIII: Old and Young Women,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
72
When one has much to put into them, a day has a hundred pockets.'Man alone by Himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
73
For in fact, nothing is more democratic than logic: it is knows no respect of persons, and takes even the crooked nose as straight.'Book Fifth: We Fearless Ones,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
74
Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be entreated not to hit the nail at all.'The Wanderer and His Shadow,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1880)
75
Idleness is the parent of all psychology.'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
76
Every nation, every individual, has unpleasant and even dangerous qualities.'A Glance at the State,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
77
The maturity of man — that means, to have reacquired the seriousness that one had as a child at play.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
78
He whom the flame of jealousy encompasseth, turneth at last, like the scorpion, the poisoned sting against himself.'Chapter V: Joys and Passions,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
79
If there is something to pardon in everything, there is also something to contemn!'Concerning the History of European Nihilism,' The Will to Power (1901)
One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
80
One will seldom go wrong if one attributes extreme actions to vanity, average ones to habit, and petty ones to fear.'The History of the Moral Sentiments,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
81
The commonest falsehood is that by which one deceives one’s self: the deception of others is a relatively exceptional case.The Antichrist (1888)
82
What we experience in dreams, provided we experience it often, pertains at last just as much to the general belonging of our soul as anything “actually” experienced; by virtue thereof we are richer or poorer.'The Natural History of Morals,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
83
One must still have chaos in one, to give birth to a dancing star.'Zarathustra's Prologue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
84
Marriages which are contracted for love (so-called love-matches) have error for their father and need (necessity) for their mother.'Wife and Child,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
85
We are all growing volcanoes, which will have their hours of eruption: how near or how distant this is, nobody of course knows, not even the good God.'Book First,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
86
How is it? Is man only a mistake of God? Or God only a mistake of man?'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
87
The best friend will probably get the best wife, because a good marriage is based on talent for friendship.
(Also known as: It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.)
'Wife and Child,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
88
The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets successfully through many a bad night.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
89
He who wisheth one day to fly, must first learn standing and walking and running and climbing and dancing: — one doth not fly into flying!'Chapter LV: The Spirit of Gravity,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
Art raises its head where creeds relax. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
90
Art raises its head where creeds relax.'Concerning the Soul of Artists and Authors,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
91
Nothing has been more dearly bought than the minute portion of human reason and feeling of liberty upon which we now pride ourselves.The Dawn or The Dawn of Day (1881)
92
Art is the only task of life.'The Will to Power in Art,' The Will to Power (1901)
93
The fact that an intellect contains a few worms does not detract from its ripeness.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
94
Woman learns how to hate in proportion as she — forget now to charm.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
95
But the worst enemy thou canst meet, wilt thou thyself always be; thou waylayest thyself in caverns and forests.'Chapter XVII: The Way of the Creating One,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
96
It is the privilege of greatness to confer intense happiness with insignificant gifts.'Man alone by Himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
97
When one has one’s wherefore of life, one gets along with almost every how.
(Also known as: He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.)
'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
98
The vanity of others is only counter to our taste when it is counter to our vanity.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
99
Stupidity in a woman is unfeminine.'The Wanderer and His Shadow,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1880)
Let us be on our guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being is only a species of dead being, and a very rare species. - Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science Quotes)
100
Let us be on our guard against saying that death is contrary to life. The living being is only a species of dead being, and a very rare species.'Book Third,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
101
Only where there are graves are there resurrections.'Chapter XXXIII: The Grave Song,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
102
It is not the struggle of opinions that has made history so turbulent; but the struggle of belief in opinions.'Man alone by Himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
103
Culture is liberation, the removal of all the weeds, rubble and vermin that want to attack the tender buds of the plant.'Schopenhauer as educator,' Untimely Meditations (1876)
104
No one is such a liar as the indignant man.'The Free Spirit,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
105
He who has seen another’s ideal becomes his inexorable judge, and as it were his evil conscience.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
106
Verily, he who possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!'Chapter XI: The New Idol,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
107
The “kingdom of heaven” is a state of the heart – not something to come “beyond the world” or “after death.”The Antichrist (1888)
108
We sometimes remain faithful to a cause merely because its opponents never cease to be insipid.'Man alone by Himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
109
To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly.'Roving Expeditions of an Inopportune Philosopher,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra Quotes)
110
What is the ape to man? A laughing-stock, a thing of shame. And just the same shall man be to the Superman: a laughing-stock, a thing of shame.'Zarathustra's Prologue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
111
When a man has finished building his house, he finds that he has learnt unawares something which he ought absolutely to have known before he — began to build.'What is Noble?,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
112
The demand to be loved is the greatest of presumptions.'Man alone by Himself,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
113
There are many kinds of eyes. Even the Sphinx has eyes — therefore there must be many kinds of “truths,” and consequently there can be no truth.'The Will to Power in Science,' The Will to Power (1901)
114
Art is not merely an imitation of the reality of nature, but in truth a metaphysical supplement to the reality of nature, placed alongside thereof for its conquest.The Birth of Tragedy (1872)
115
Out of the deepest must the highest come to its height.'Chapter XLV: The Wanderer,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
116
Forgetting our purpose is the most frequent form of folly.'The Wanderer and His Shadow,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1880)
117
To be ashamed of one’s immorality is a step on the ladder at the end of which one is ashamed also of one’s morality.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
118
But what after all are man’s truths? They are his irrefutable errors.'Book Third,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
119
A young man can be most surely corrupted when he is taught to value the like-minded more highly than the differently minded.The Dawn or The Dawn of Day (1881)
When art arrays itself in the most shabby material it is most easily recognised as art. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
120
When art arrays itself in the most shabby material it is most easily recognised as art.'Concerning the Soul of Artists and Authors,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
121
For this is hardest of all: to close the open hand out of love, and keep modest as a giver.'Chapter XXIII: The Child with the Mirror,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
122
To talk much about oneself may also be a means of concealing oneself.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
123
If a woman possesses manly virtues, she is to be run away from; and if she does not possess them, she runs away herself.'Apophthegms and Darts,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
124
The admiration of a quality or of an art may be so strong as to deter us from aspiring to possess that quality or art.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
125
What is happiness? — The feeling that power in creases, that a resistance is overcome.The Antichrist (1888)
126
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman — a rope over an abyss.'Zarathustra's Prologue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
127
Sensuality often forces the growth of love too much, so that its root remains weak, and is easily torn up.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
128
Our character is determined more by the absence of certain experiences than by the experiences we have undergone.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
129
Haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself.'Schopenhauer as educator,' Untimely Meditations (1876)
Extreme positions are not relieved by more moderate ones, but by extreme opposite positions. - Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power Quotes)
130
Extreme positions are not relieved by more moderate ones, but by extreme opposite positions.'Nihilism,' The Will to Power (1901)
131
It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves’ footsteps guide the world.'Chapter XLIV: The Stillest Hour,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
132
It is an excellent thing to express a thing consecutively in two ways, and thus provide it with a right and a left foot. Truth can stand indeed on one leg, but with two she will walk and complete her journey.'The Wanderer and His Shadow,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1880)
133
Egoism belongs to the essence of a noble soul.'What is Noble?,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
134
Before the effect one believes in other causes than after the effect.'Book Third,' The Gay Science or The Joyful Wisdom (1882)
135
The wisest men in all ages have judged similarly with regard to life: it is good for nothing.'The Problem of Socrates,' Twilight of the Idols (1888)
136
Many a man fails to become a thinker for the sole reason that his memory is too good.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
137
Man is something that is to be surpassed.'Zarathustra's Prologue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
138
One does not hate as long as one disesteems, but only when one esteems equal or superior.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
139
A great value of antiquity lies in the fact that its writings are the only ones that modern men still read with exactness.Notes (1874), The Portable Nietzche
He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted. - Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human Quotes)
140
He that humbleth himself wishes to be exalted.'The History of the Moral Sentiments,' Human, All Too Human, Part I (1878)
141
Fanatics are picturesque, and mankind prefers observing poses to listening to reasons…The Antichrist (1888)
142
Not when the truth is filthy, but when it is shallow, doth the discerning one go unwillingly into its waters.'Chapter XIII: Chastity,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
143
There is no such thing as moral phenomena, but only a moral interpretation of phenomena.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
144
Not joy but joylessness is the mother of debauchery.'Miscellaneous Maxims and Opinions,' Human, All Too Human, Part II (1879)
145
Our treasure is there, where stand the hives of our knowledge.'Preface,' On the Genealogy of Morality (1887)
146
Words are only symbols for the relations of things among themselves and to us, and nowhere touch absolute truth.Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks (1873)
147
Do ever what ye will — but first be such as CAN WILL.'Chapter XLIX: The Bedwarfing Virtue,' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883)
148
Presumption in connection with merit offends us even more than presumption in persons devoid of merit, for merit in itself offends us.'Man in Society,' Human, All Too Human (1878)
149
By means of music the very passions enjoy themselves.'Apophthegms and Interludes,' Beyond Good and Evil (1886)
I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think. - Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science Quotes)
150
I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think.'Book Fourth: Sanctus Januarius,' The Gay Science (1882)