Twilight of the Idols

by

Friedrich Nietzsche

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Twilight of the Idols can help.
In Twilight of the Idols, the ego refers to the self—that is, the conscious subject. Nietzsche examines how the ego causes people to misinterpret the world, arguing that people project the ego (personal biases) onto everything they engage with and, in so doing, unwittingly pass off subjective judgment as objective fact. At the same time, though, he values egoism (self-interest) and believes that institutions like the religion and democracy dampen the ego and devalue human life.

Ego Quotes in Twilight of the Idols

The Twilight of the Idols quotes below are all either spoken by Ego or refer to Ego. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
).
Expeditions of an Untimely Man Quotes

An ‘altruistic’ morality, a morality under which egoism languishes—is under all circumstances a bad sign. This applies to individuals, it applies especially to peoples. The best are lacking when egoism begins to be lacking. To choose what is harmful to oneself, to be attracted by ‘disinterested’ motives, almost constitutes the formula for décadence.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker)
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Twilight of the Idols LitChart as a printable PDF.
Twilight of the Idols PDF

Ego Term Timeline in Twilight of the Idols

The timeline below shows where the term Ego appears in Twilight of the Idols. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
“Reason” in Philosophy
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
...terms of “deed and doer,” in the self among the rest of the world—in the ego as being. This causes us to project ego onto everything we engage with in the... (full context)
The Four Great Errors
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
...will no longer explains behavior. Similarly, we can no longer maintain that “motive” and the “ego” cause or explain behavior. Nietzsche thinks that humanity’s belief in the three “inner facts” of... (full context)
Expeditions of an Untimely Man
The Will to Power   Theme Icon
33. The natural value of egoism. Egoism’s value varies from person to person. The value of a person’s ego depends on... (full context)
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Will to Power   Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
35. A criticism of décadence morality. Nietzsche asserts that “altruistic” morality dampens the ego. To seek out “disinterested” motives is almost decadent. But to not “seek one’s own advantage”... (full context)