What Did Nietzsche Think About Existentialism?


Vincent White

Nietzsche is one of the most influential philosophers in Western history. His ideas on existentialism have had a significant impact on modern philosophy.

However, Nietzsche himself was not an existentialist. In fact, his views on the subject are quite complex and nuanced.

One of Nietzsche’s central ideas was the concept of the “will to power.” For Nietzsche, this meant that all human action is driven by a desire for power and domination. This idea stands in stark contrast to the existentialist view that human beings are free and autonomous agents.

Another important difference between Nietzsche’s philosophy and existentialism is their views on morality. Nietzsche famously proclaimed that “God is dead,” meaning that traditional morality rooted in religion no longer has any validity. In contrast, many existentialists believe that individuals must create their own meaning and values in life.

Despite these differences, some scholars argue that there are similarities between Nietzsche’s philosophy and existentialism. For example, both emphasize individuality and authenticity as important values. Both also reject the idea of objective truth or universal morality.

Ultimately, whether or not one considers Nietzsche to be an existentialist depends on how one defines the term. Some define it narrowly as a specific philosophical movement that emerged in the 20th century, while others use it more broadly to describe a certain approach to life and thought.

In summary, while Nietzsche’s ideas have certainly influenced existentialism, he cannot be considered an existentialist himself. His views on the will to power and morality set him apart from traditional existentialist thought. Nevertheless, his emphasis on individuality and authenticity resonates with many who identify with the broader spirit of existentialism.