I have long been fascinated with the maxims in Beyond Good And Evil (Chapter 4). I have found great depth in many of them, but I suspect there may be other layers that I've missed. Also several of the aphorisms are flat out mysterious to me.

Is anyone aware of any scholarly sound writings on interpretations of these maxims? I'd prefer something that doesn't read like dogma; but rather an exploration of possible meanings. I don't care about a dogmatic interpretation of the writings - what I am after is the value I get when investigating his meaning.

Any help?

  • What have you tried? There are a lot of works on BGE. Including beginner's guides, reader guides, etc.
    – jeroenk
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:02
  • I've searched around. I can't remember exactly who - maybe Kaufman and some articles on the net; some textbooks; etc. I've never found anything that dealt with the aphorisms though.
    – dgo
    Oct 16, 2015 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


The style of the "New Philosopher" proposed by Nietzsche makes the meaning and relevance of the "scholarly" ambiguous. So, although there is a lot of scholarly work about Nietzsche, he himself would probably dismiss most of it.

Kaufmann, the most popular translator of many of Neitzsche's works, indicates in his introduction to his translation of BGE that he purposely tries to keep Nietzsche's reasoning from sounding like philosophical argument, to forestall the illusion that the intention was to join in the scholarly tradition.

Since the core of the issue is a call to action, what may be more profitable is to look into movements that have acted upon this call. I would point you at new religious movements like Crowley's or Witchcraft, and other attempts to contrive a postmodern lifestyle.

  • Thanks for the great answer. I will check it out and respond.
    – dgo
    Oct 16, 2015 at 13:59
  • 1
    You are welcome, though I am not sure this is really an answer. IMHO Kauffman's notes are always worth taking seriously. If you have another translation, this is his: holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/…
    – user9166
    Oct 16, 2015 at 14:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .