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Friedrich Nietzsche was named after Friedrich IV of Preusen (Prussia), who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth. He was perhaps the first philosopher since Platon who was also a gifted poet, whose work exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. While at Pforta, Nietzsche had a penchant for pursuing subjects that were considered unbecoming. As a teenager he became aware of the the work of the almost-unknown poet Friedrich Hölderlin, calling him "my favorite poet" and composed an essay in which he said that the mad poet raised consciousness to "the most sublime ideality." At 24 he was the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel, though he had neither completed his doctorate nor received a teaching certificate ("habilitation"). In 1865 he thoroughly studied the works of Arthur Schopenhauer, later calling him one of the few thinkers whom he respected; but in 1869 but resigned in 1879 due to health problems; he completed most of his significant work over the next decade. He composed "Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None" ("Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen) in four parts between 1883 and 1885 and published between 1883 and 1891. He wrote each part in less than 10 days and published them separately, but they were poorly received, with the last part having a run of only 40 copies (plus 7 he distributed to close friends. His body of writing spanned philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism, and fiction, and drew widely on art, philology, history, religion, and science. He displayed a fondness for aphorism and irony,while engaging with a wide range of subjects including morality, aesthetics, tragedy, epistemology, atheism, and consciousness. Some prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of reason and truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogical critique of religion and Christian ethics, and his related theory of master–slave morality; his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power. In his later work, he developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch ("Superman") and the doctrine of eternal return, and became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural, and moral contexts in pursuit of aesthetic health. In 1889, at 44, he suffered a collapse and a complete loss of his mental faculties and died in 1900. After his death his sister took charge of his unpublished manuscripts, reworking them to fit her own antisemitic German nationalist ideology while often contradicting or obfuscating his stated opinions, which were explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism. Through her efforts, his ideas became associated with Nazism. Scholarly corrections of his manuscripts led to a resurgence of his influence in the 1960s.
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