Two novel books on wooden surface

60+ Best Philosophical Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes

Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher, classical scholar, poet, and cultural critic. He was best known for evaluating the cultural values of Western philosophy, religion, and morality. Nietzsche was influenced by Plato and an influence on Freud. Keep reading for some of the best Friedrich Nietzsche quotes.

About Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche, was born on October 15th, 1844, in Röcken, Saxony, Prussia. From an early age, Nietzsche was recognized to have incredible intellectual ability. He excelled through college and received his doctorate from the University of Leipzig in 1869. Following his time as a student, he became a professor of classical philology at the University of Basel. Sadly, his time as a classical philologist professor came to an abrupt halt. While assisting the wounded during the 1870 Franco-German war, he contracted diphtheria and dysentery.

The last years of his life were defined by pain and his deteriorating health. He spent the majority of his time working on his writing. To his disappointment, he was never fully acknowledged until after his death on August 25th, 1900.

Nietzsche’s Work

Nietzsche’s work was defined by his interest in evaluating the cultural values of Western philosophy, religion, and morality. They are often categorized into separate timeframes and purposes. One section is the early works flushed with a Romantic perspective and influenced by Schopenhauer and Wagner. The middle period, which praised reason and science. Lastly, the mature writings that honed in on the origin and function of values in human life. He was believed to practice nihilism, the counter to Nietzsche’s philosophy that the ‘ascetic ideal‘ heavily influences Western and contemporary culture.

Despite his short life that granted him little to no recognition, his work grew very popular in the years following his death. Over time, he became a profound influence on much of modern intellectual history. His ideas on the world influenced many great philosophers and psychologists of the past century, including Freud. His writing is still being analyzed and debated to this day. 

Friedrich Nietzsche left behind a grand legacy of intelligence and original thinking, creating some of the most profound Nietsche quotes we still hear today. Read through the Nietzsche quotes below to discover one to think about and be inspired by.

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes
Public domain – Wikipedia

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes on Thought

“Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than being misunderstood.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Sometimes people don’t want to hear the truth because they don’t want their illusions destroyed.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill-temper.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, and simpler.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“A thought comes when it will, not when I will.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

two novel books on wooden surface

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes on Religion and Philosophy

“Is man one of God’s blunders or is God one of man’s blunders?” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The spiritualization of sensuality is called love: it is a great triumph over Christianity.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The earth has a skin, and that skin has diseases; one of its diseases is called man.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process, he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Enduring habits I hate… Yes, at the very bottom of my soul, I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred backdoors through which I can escape from enduring habits.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is an old illusion. It is called good and evil.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the haughtiest and most mendacious minute of “world history”- yet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more’ … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: ‘You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes on Truth and Knowledge

“Here, the ways of men divide. If you wish to strive for peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“In the mountains of truth, you never climb in vain.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Better know nothing than half-know many things.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The charm of knowledge would be small indeed, were it not that there is so much shame to be overcome on the way to it.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“What is the truth, but a lie agreed upon.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“There are no facts, only interpretations.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“One may sometimes tell a lie, but the grimace that accompanies it tells the truth.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes About Love and Friendship

“In every real man, a child is hidden that wants to play.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired that we love.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“When one has not had a good father, one must create one.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Whatever is done for love always occurs beyond good and evil.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes On Life, Strength, and Suffering

“I know of no better life purpose than to perish in attempting the great and the impossible.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Life is that which must overcome itself again and again.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“I love those who do not know how to live for today.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“We love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“No one can construct for you the bridge upon which precisely you must cross the stream of life, no one but you yourself alone.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you believed more in life, you would fling yourself less to the moment.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“The person lives most beautifully who does not reflect upon existence.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes On Art and Dancing

“Art is the proper task of life.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“One must have chaos to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzche quotes

“And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth, false, which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen?” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Other Friedrich Nietzsche Quotes

“Fanatics are picturesque; mankind would rather see gestures than listen to reasons.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“Fear is the mother of morality.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“To do great things is difficult, but to command great things is more difficult.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

Famous Works by Nietzsche for Further Reading

If you’re looking for a specific Friedrich Nietzsche quote, feel free to do some more reading:

More Quotes:

About the author
Katee’s passion for writing and fascination for language has forever guided her path in life. Follow Katee on Instagram or read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.

Related