Ascetic Idea by Nietzsche – Essay Example

The paper "Ascetic Idea by Nietzsche" is a perfect example of a philosophy essay. Nietzsche discusses not what the ascetic idea has done, but what it actually means. He views it as meaning different things to different groups who have used it. For instance, artists use it as something to which they use to prop up their art. Nietzsche states that it means “nothing or too many things.” We can understand how they both can be synonymous, nothing and too many things, by considering how a vast amount of information can become so overwhelming that people are not able to really discern any amount of knowledge. If nothing is really learned, then nothing can be similar to too many things. Nietzsche then states that philosophers use it to attempt to at some sort of higher learning or knowledge. He states that to philosophers it is a “sense and instinct for the most favorable conditions of higher spirituality.” The most favorable conditions for a philosopher would lead to the philosopher being able to discern the most knowledge since philosophers are lovers of knowledge. Nietzsche also considered philosophers to have posted first as the ascetic priest because there would have been a basic mistrust of philosophers at the time they first existed. The true ascetic priest would have used the ascetic idea to appeal to a supreme sense of power. In this scenario, the ascetic priest attempted to appeal those in the most unfortunate situations as a savior figure. Considering Nietzsche’s basic distrust of religion and morality, this can be viewed as Nietzsche attempting to show why exactly he felt so strongly against such institutions as they are portrayed as opportunistic.