Nietzsche was born on October 15, 1844, in Röcken (near Leipzig),where his father was a Lutheran minister. His father died in 1849, andthe family relocated to Naumburg, where he grew up in a householdcomprising his mother, grandmother, two aunts, and his younger sister,Elisabeth. Nietzsche had a brilliant school and university career,culminating in May 1869 when he was called to a chair in classicalphilology at Basel. At age 24, he was the youngest ever appointed tothat post. His teacher Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl wrote in his letterof reference that Nietzsche was so promising that “He willsimply be able to do anything he wants to do” (Kaufmann 1954:8). Most of Nietzsche’s university work and his earlypublications were in philology, but he was already interested inphilosophy, particularly the work of Arthur Schopenhauer and FriedrichAlbert Lange. Before the opportunity at Basel arose, Nietzsche hadplanned to pursue a second Ph.D. in philosophy, with a project abouttheories of teleology in the time since Kant.


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