Master Morality

Master morality is the morality of the masters, the nobles, the warriors, who see themselves and their actions as good. Thus, strength, power, health, wealth, and happiness are all considered “good.”

Slave Morality

Nietzsche identifies slave morality with a priestly caste. These people are the poor, the unhealthy, the weak, and the impotent, and they learn to hate and resent the power and health of the masters. They dub their masters “evil” and call themselves “good” by contrast. Thus, slave morality is characterized by a contrast between “good” and “evil.”


The important concept of ressentiment appears frequently in Nietzsche’s writings. This French word is pretty much equivalent to the English word “resentment,” and Nietzsche uses it largely because there is no German word for “resentment.” It is the central creative force behind Nietzsche’s conception of slave morality.

Will to Power

The fundamental drive motivating all things in the universe. The will to power, which Nietzsche refers to elsewhere as the “instinct for freedom,” is the drive for autonomy from dominance over all other wills. This will to power can find unrefined expression in the rape, pillage, and torture of primitive barbarians, or it can be refined into a cruelty turned against oneself, struggling to make oneself deeper, stronger, and with an independent mind. 

Eternal Recurrence

The eternal recurrence concerns a recognition that everything is connected and nothing is permanent, and that if one says “yes” to one thing in the universe, one must necessarily be saying “yes” to everything. Nietzsche’s ideal is the person who has the strength and courage for this universal affirmation. 


Nietzsche's position regarding truth, which asserts that there is no such thing as an absolute truth, but merely different perspectives that one can adopt. We could think of truth as a sculpture, where there is no single "right" perspective to look at it. To properly appreciate the sculpture, we must walk around it, looking at it from as many different perspectives as possible. Similarly, Nietzsche insists that we should not get caught up in dogmatism, but rather look at the truth from as many perspectives as possible.


Literally, a belief in nothing. Nietzsche characterized his age as nihilistic, because of its unwavering faith in a science that describes the world as meaningless and under the sway of unchanging laws. 


The renunciation of earthly pleasures in favor of a simple abstinent life. Monks and hermits are often associated with asceticism. 

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