Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the most influential thinkers of the past 150 years and On the Genealogy of Morality (1887) is his most important work on ethics and politics. A polemical contribution to moral and political theory, it offers a critique of moral values and traces the historical evolution of concepts such as guilt, conscience, responsibility, law and justice.
This unique collaboration of an internationally renowned Nietzsche commentator and a scholar of German language and literature has yielded the finest existing edition of Nietzsche's book in English. The translation itself strikes an intelligent balance between fidelity to the German and readability in English. It is especially welcome for bringing an historically and philosophically sensitive appreciation of Nietzsche to bear on translation issues. (The decision to translate Mitleid consistently as "compassion," instead of "pity"-thus emphasizing for the English-language reader Nietzsche's opposition to Schopenhauer's moral philosophy-is but one of many examples.)
The Introduction is the most philosophically substantial guide to the Genealogy in any edition, and will be of value to both student and specialist. Most remarkable of all are the notes on the text: the wealth of biographical, historical, philosophical, and literary detail makes the volume the most informative and reader-friendly edition of Nietzsche's work to date. The notes will also prove fascinating for the scholar, as the editors have tracked down the numerous contemporary scholarly sources on which Nietzsche relied in writing the Genealogy.