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Nieztsche Three Types Of History Essay

1181 words - 5 pages

Nietzsche has an interesting view of history; he saw it as a necessity for men, but that we also need to forget it. He saw history as a service to life and that the necessity of history is for man to be a historical being. However, Nietzsche also saw too much history as being detrimental and creates a generation of cynical people. He used the term “inwardness” defined as man’s “chaotic inner world” filled with “knowledge, taken in excess without hunger, even contrary to need” that “no longer acts as a transforming motive impelling to action and remains hidden” (Nietzsche 24). Nietzsche believed that history should be a balanced contemplation between historical and unhistorical to preserve ...view middle of the document...

However, this form of history can be exaggerated to inspire greatness. It disregards causes therefore it could be considered a collection of effects within themselves (Nietzsche 15).
The antiquarian kind of history preserves and reveres the soul (Nietzsche 19). This type of history is all about preserving and admiring the past. The antiquarian is to him who with loyalty and love looks back on his origins and give thanks for his existence (Nietzsche 19). Antiquarian history provides man with the assurance that his existence is neither arbitrary nor accidental, but rather a link in a chain of events from the past and therefore justified. This type of history places reverence of history as the highest as the highest value to a society. Antiquarian history is an appreciation of the past but does not generate new life. This type of history allows men to understand the importance of history and how to preserve history (Nietzsche 21). It also helps men find their identity and purpose in history: “history of his city become for him the history of his self (Nietzsche 19). It inherits the virtues of the past but is reluctant to replace the new accomplishments with the old ones.
Critical history is the kind that the type that dissolve the past in order to enable one to live. In critical history man must have the strength to shatter and dissolve something to enable him to live (Nietzsche 21). Critical history appeals to the suffering of men and the need of liberation. This kind of history is judgmental and condemning of the past. Critical history says that condemning the unjust and obsolete from the past will improve the present. Nietzsche writes “For since we happen to be the results of earlier generations, we are also the results of their aberrations, passions and errors, even crimes; it is not possible to free oneself form this chain. If we condemn those aberrations and think ourselves quite exempt from them, the fact that we descended from them is not eliminated”. This type of history can help to liberate those who feel oppressed by tradition.
There are differences between these three kinds of history. For monumental history, if a man wants to achieve greatness he must master the past. To achieve antiquarian a man must revere and preserve the past and for critical history it is must be condemned and judge. Monumental history is used to discover models to be emulated and passed while the antiquated method of history requires an appreciation for the past but does not demand anything...

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