Actual philosophers... are commanders and law-givers: they say thus it shall be!, it is they who determine the Wherefore and Whither of mankind, and they possess for this task the preliminary work of all the philosophical laborers, of all those who have subdued the past -- they reach for the future with creative hand, and everything that is or has been becomes for them a means, an instrument, a hammer. Their knowing is creating, their creating is a law giving, their will to truth is -- will to power. Are their such philosophers today? Have there been such philosophers? Must there not be such philosophers?
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, whose critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered around a basic question regarding the foundation of values and morality. Beyond the unique themes dealt with in his works, Nietzsche's powerful style and subtle approach are distinguishing features of his writings. Although largely overlooked during his short working life, which ended with a mental collapse at the age of 44, and frequently misunderstood and misrepresented thereafter, Nietzsche received recognition during the second half of the 20th century as a highly significant figure in modern philosophy. His influence was particularly noted by many existentialist and postmodern philosophers.