Obviously, Nietzche thinks that suffering is important, but what exactly does suffering entail? Is it both physical and emotional?

  • 1
    I believe the point is that to experience suffering emotionally, enriched with empathy for self and others, along with other feelings and thoughts surrounding it, is human. So yes, both physical and emotional.
    – Bread
    Mar 21, 2019 at 23:03
  • What do you mean by "other feelings and thoughts surrounding it"? Other than that your interpretation makes sense
    – Asim Khan
    Mar 22, 2019 at 5:48

1 Answer 1


In paragraph 225 of Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche expresses his scorn for ways of thinking that measure "the value of things according to pleasure and pain". He wants suffering to be "heightened and made even worse than it has ever been".

Nietzsche writes:

The discipline of suffering, of great suffering - don't you know that this discipline has been the sole cause of every enhancement in humanity so far? The tension that breeds strength into the unhappy soul, and its shudder at the sight of great destruction, its inventiveness and courage in enduring, surviving, interpreting, and exploiting unhappiness, and whatever depth, secrecy, whatever masks, spirit, cunning, greatness it has been given: - weren't these the gifts of suffering, of the disciple of great suffering?

After such a praise of suffering and contempt for philosophies valuing pleasure, it would seem odd for him not to include all forms of suffering as good for "every enhancement in humanity".

Nietzsche, F. Beyond good and evil. Translated by Judith Norman. 2002. Cambridge

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