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Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology

On-line version ISSN 2079-7222

Indo-Pac. j. phenomenol. (Online) vol.9 n.2 Grahamstown Oct. 2009

 

Ten tips for a great marriage according to Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 

Skye Nettleton

 

 


ABSTRACT

Friendship is the highest form of love, according to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, because great friends inspire each other and can even push each other towards the ideal of the Übermensch. While he was sceptical that many people would be strong enough for this kind of higher relationship, Nietzsche saw friendship as essential to a good marriage. Sex, in contrast, creates complications, because a relationship based on romantic feelings is unlikely to endure a lifetime. Furthermore, the ontological differences between men and women tend to turn love into a war. In order to overcome the power games in the arena of love, Nietzsche thus challenges lovers to be great friends.
Drawing on Nietzsche's plethora of aphorisms on friendship, marriage, sex and power relationships, this paper outlines how Nietzsche thought the institution of and approach to marriage could be reinvigorated in ways conducive to more successful relationships and greater human achievements. While some of Nietzsche's ideas about marriage at first appear to be outrageous, much of what Nietzsche recommends is as relevant and challenging today as it was in his own time. Indeed, Nietzsche himself prophesied that the world would not be ready for his ideas until "sometime around the year 2000" (Fuss & Shapiro, 1971, p. 91).


 

 

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