Nietzsche's views have always seemed so strikingly different from the background of opinion against which he grew up that they have often been thought to owe their origin to a violent reaction against his upbringing. His entire philosophy even has been seen as no more than a calculated antithesis to the tradition in which he was raised.
1. The Child
The more closely one studies Nietzsche's work, the less inclined one is to look outside it for an elucidation of its meaning or an explanation of its origin.
1. The Child
The defects of German philosophy are those of professionalism: a closed atmosphere, books instead of life, inability to communicate discoveries to the world at large, contempt for good style, inbreeding, lack of general culture, gruesome earnestness. The defects of the cultured philosophe are those of amateurism: too many interests, superficiality, the cultivation of good style as an end in itself, the sacrifice of truth to wit, lack of intellectual honesty, philosophizing but no philosophy, inconsistency. Nietzsche achieves a balance between these two types of mind and two styles of expression: he is profound but not obscure; he aims at good style but reconciles it with good thinking; he is serious but not earnest; he is a sensitive critic of the arts and of culture but not an aesthete; he is an aphorist and epigrammist, but his aphorisms and epigrams derive from a consistent philosophy; he is the wittiest of philosophers, but he rarely succumbs to the temptation to sacrifice truth to a witty phrase; he has many interests but never loses sight of his main interests. He achieves, especially in his later works, a conciseness and limpidity notoriously rare in German writing: no modern thinker of a like profundity has had at his command so flexible an instrument of expression.