Friedrich Nietzsche

On the Genealogy of Morals
A Polemical Tract



This translation by Ian Johnston of Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC has certain copyright restrictions. For information please use the following link: Copyright. For comments or question please contact Ian Johnston.

If you would like the entire text of Genealogy of Morals in a Word booklet format, so that you can print the text off as a booklet for yourself or your students (or both), please consult the following link: Publisher Files. A printed paperback edition of this translation is available from Richer Resources Publications.




This translation (2014), a revised version of an earlier text, is based on the first German edition of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Zur Genealogie der Moral (Leipzig, 1887).

Nietzsche frequently uses italics to emphasize a word or phrase in his text. These have all been preserved. I have also italicized all foreign words in the text (e.g., a priori, ressentiment) and all book titles (for both of which Nietzsche in most cases uses a normal font). I have also used italics for all explanatory words and phrases inserted in the text and for the occasional insertion of Nietzsche’s original German phrasing into the English text (all such insertions are in square brackets).

In the text I have translated Nietzsche’s longer quotations from foreign languages into English and placed the original quotation in an endnote (at the end of each essay). When he quotes a Greek word, I have left the original Greek in the text and added, in square brackets, a version of the word in the English alphabet and a translation.

In those places where Nietzsche refers to his own earlier works with page numbers, I have added section numbers, too, (again, in square brackets) so that readers may consult any edition of the relevant text.

Nietzsche’s punctuation is often quite idiosyncratic (especially his use of dashes, ellipsis dots, and question marks), but it is an important feature of his style. I have retained most of it, as best I can, in order to convey this aspect of his style. But in some places I have not followed it faithfully.




First Essay
Good and Evil, Good and Bad

Second Essay
Guilt, Bad Conscience, and Related Matters

Third Essay
What is the Meaning of Ascetic Ideals?




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