Studying Nietzsche, one of the German words that I feel is underappreciated, and I wanted to confirm the meaning of, is "außer/aussermoralisch". In comparison to "unmoralisch" or other variations on "moralisch", can I say, without a doubt, that "aussermoralisch" is not only a defined distinction/word, but also is easily-and-only translatable as "extra-moral", when translated into English?

Depending on the answer, how would one, in German, distinctly determine "amoral", "nonmoral", and "extra-moral"??

Please respond with more than 5 sentences.

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    So if I edit my question, will I get an answer from you? Everything has it's standards, I guess: I'll fix it. Dec 28, 2021 at 8:22
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    @planetmaker and the request could be phrased differently. Yes, there’s the proverbial German bluntness, but it’s usually perceived quite harshly in an English text. In case of doubt, re-read the CoC, take a deep breath and walk away.
    – Stephie
    Dec 28, 2021 at 10:27
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    @Stephie: Wow, it's a German thing? This whole time I was thinking it was an internet thing :) Anyway, it even says "be nice" in the comment header, but if someone in the English SE asked "wut wuz shakespears First play?" I'd think "This guy has far more serious issues." When you ask a question here you're asking strangers to spend time and effort to help you, so to me it's understandable if they become annoyed when it looks like you've put in none of your own effort. But you're right that text can offend when no offense is meant, and an effort should be made to avoid that.
    – RDBury
    Dec 28, 2021 at 12:37
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    We should keep in mind that some people will have questions about a particular German word but no intention to learn the language. Which is fine. That said, ß is a form of s and has nothing to do with b or β ;)
    – Carsten S
    Dec 28, 2021 at 14:44
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    Aside from the question of politeness, which is quite subjective, I would encourage everyone to correct spelling mistakes silently by simply editing the post, as merely pointing out the mistake in a comment distracts from the question at hand, as has happened here. There is a meta topic on the subject: german.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/331/…
    – David Vogt
    Dec 28, 2021 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


Generally "außer-" means "not covered by" or "outside of". For example "außergerichtliche Einigung" is a peaceful arrangement (Einigung) made without going to the court (Gericht).

I don't think you can create 5 sentences with the word "außermoralisch". If you google for it, you will most probably find only that one from Nietzsche. This word is not used in the everyday life, but more in the philosophic discussion.

I would like to quote from the book "Grundbegriffe der Ethik" written by Alfred Simon, 1996

Es gibt auch Normen, die nicht zum Bereich der Moral gehören: Wer bei Rot über eine freie Kreuzung fährt, wer als Mann in Österreich einen Rock trägt, wer die Möglichkeit zu einer beruflichen Verbesserung ungenützt läßt oder wer beim Fußball einen Einwurf mit nur einer Hand ausführt, verstößt zwar gegen bestimmte Handlungsnormen, handelt aber nicht unmoralisch. Der Ethiker bezeichnet solche nicht-moralische Handlungsnormen als außermoralische Normen und meint damit Normen, die nicht zum Bereich der Moral gehören.

You can find some more definitions and examples reading first two pages of the chapter "Ethik und Moral" here:


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