Amor fati: The anti-carpe diem


My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.

—Friedrich Nietzsche, “Why I Am So Clever,” Ecce Homo (written 1888, published 1908)

Amor fati is all about living with no regrets, but not in the modern way. Carpe diem means making daring decisions, so as not to feel regret later on, whereas amor fati means (among other things) learning to love the choices you’ve already made, daring or not.

— Oliver Burkeman, “No Regrets? Why not?,” The Guardian (2015)


2 thoughts on “Amor fati: The anti-carpe diem

  1. UM June 26, 2015 / 3:02 am

    How does this compare and contrast with the phrase that
    All things are “working together for good”(R)


    • C. Puls July 6, 2015 / 5:32 am

      “Working together for good” is characteristic of St. Augustine or Leibnitz’s philosophies: it carries an assumption that the world is essentially good, and that our actions contribute to that goodness.


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