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Übermensch


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


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M odern european philosophy, ethics Nietzsche 's superman or overman, the perfectionist ideal of life he offers as a goal to human beings when their former ideal, namely God , is dead. Übermensch is a worldly antithesis of God, a union of the strongest mind and strongest body. For Nietzsche, it is the realization of the profoundest human potentialities and gifts, the overcoming or negation of the mediocrities of the merely human. Übermensch involves no bifurcation of humanity. It is the creator of meaning of life and the full affirmation of life. It affirms the eternal recurrence , and in it the will to power attains its zenith. Human beings should transcend themselves and become supermen. They would thus be saved not by a divine Savior, but by the glorification of the human species. The aim of culture should be to produce supermen. For Nietzsche, any culture that generates a multitude of mediocrities must be sick and should be condemned. Human life, which has value only as a means of producing supermen, stands between beast and superman. Superman is the ideal man. Nietzsche does not mention any single example, but denies that either he or Zarathustra is a superman. “Behold, I teach you the Übermensch, the Übermensch is the meaning of earth. Let your will say: the Übermensch shall be the meaning of the earth.” Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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