Nietzsche's Explaination on the Three Types of History
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Nietzsche had an interesting view of history; he saw it as a necessity for men but that we also need to forget it. He saw history as a service to life and that the necessity of history is for man to be a historical being. However, Nietzsche also saw too much history as being detrimental and creates a generation of cynical people. He used the term “inwardness” defined as man’s “chaotic inner world” filled with “knowledge, taken in excess without hunger, even contrary to need” that “no longer acts as a transforming motive impelling to action and remains hidden” (Nietzsche 24). Nietzsche believed that history should be a balanced contemplation between historical and unhistorical to preserve life. He writes in his scholarship On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life that “the unhistorical and historical are equally necessary for the health of an individual, a people and a culture” (10). Within the historical, Nietzsche named the three types the monumental, antiquarian and the critical.
Nietzsche approaches history as monumental, which is examining the past to inspire greatness for present and future actions. Monumental history examines the past to use it as a teacher or model for future greatness. The monumental history is concerned with the greatest moments in history of humanity and uses it as leverage to emulate or surpass those historical moments. This kind of history attempts to emulate the greatness of the past but Nietzsche is skeptical of this idea by