History is a subject which is studied by students all over the world. Different countries have different histories, if the countries have some relations, so the history may be common in some points. In the book “On the advantage and disadvantage of history for life” Friedrich Nietzsche dwells upon the problem of the necessity of history for people, how it can change people’s lives and whether it helps. The question of history’s necessity is discussed from the point of view of Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideas. Friedrich Nietzsche focuses his attention on the question of whether people need history for their lives, whether people’s history brings some advantages and additional opportunities to people or it spoils something and bothers their lives.
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There is a historical and unhistorical understanding of the world. Friedrich Nietzsche compares human historical living with the animals’ unhistorical in order to give his personal understanding of these notions. Animals live unhistorical life as they do not remember the past and do not think about the future. They are happy because they do not remember, all they see is new for them, the past problems and disappointments do not bother them. The human being is historical even though only the limited information is remembered but people know their past and try to predict their future that confirms their historicity.
Friedrich Nietzsche’s opinion is that history makes a person sedentary, that the consideration of the historical processes takes too much time and hampers the people’s development, it is tying the mode of life for the whole generation. Friedrich Nietzsche’s conception is that modern historians are wrong. They are wrong in their desire to consider the past as better as they can with the aim to learn more about the present and to try to understand the future. They are wrong, they think unhistorically and it is Friedrich Nietzsche’s point of view.
History gives people knowledge, an invaluable treasure, and it is a person’s decision whether to take it or not. People’s life is a task which they have to consider, analyze and solve. Returning to the example with animals, Friedrich Nietzsche states that the task of the animal is to be born, to exist (eat, drink, hunt) and die. The people’s life is more complicated and depends on the person’s values, which he/she tries to follow. People cannot just exist as they have past, as they are historical. According to Friedrich Nietzsche’s theory, history belongs to the person in three respects: (1) if the person is active, (2) if the person preserves and admires, and (3) if the person suffers and needs the liberation. Friedrich Nietzsche strengthens that these three respects require three kinds of history, (1) monumental, (2) antiquarian, and (3) critical. These types of history should be balanced in order to give the person an opportunity to develop.
In sum, the philosopher noted that there is a strong connection between the life of historical knowledge and this knowledge has both its advantages and disadvantages. Animals are the happiest creations in the world as they do not see the difference between the past and the present, they are unhistorical. History has both advantages and disadvantages to the reference to people’s life. Every person has a choice, to live a happy life, be unhistorical and never know the past or to be aware of all this and die knowing that life is so beautiful and that there is so much to see and understand.