The Übermensch (German for "Beyond-Man", "Superman", "Overman", "Superhuman", "Hyperman", "Hyperhuman"; German pronunciation: [ˈyːbɐmɛnʃ]) is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (German: Also sprach Zarathustra), Nietzsche has his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself. It is a work of philosophical allegory, with a structural similarity to the Gathas of Zoroaster/Zarathustra.
In 1896, Alexander Tille made the first English translation of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, rendering Übermensch as "Beyond-Man". In 1909, Thomas Common translated it as "Superman", following the terminology of George Bernard Shaw's 1903 stage play Man and Superman. Walter Kaufmann lambasted this translation in the 1950s for two reasons: first, the failure of the English prefix "super" to capture the nuance of the German über (though in Latin, its meaning of "above" or "beyond" is closer to the German); and second, for promoting misidentification of Nietzsche's concept with the comic-book character Superman (whom Fredric Wertham described as "un-American and fascist"). Kaufmann and others preferred to translate Übermensch as "overman". Scholars continue to employ both terms, some simply opting to reproduce the German word.
The German prefix über can have connotations of superiority, transcendence, excessiveness, or intensity, depending on the words to which it is attached. Mensch refers to a human being, rather than a male specifically. The adjective übermenschlich means super-human: beyond human strength or out of proportion to humanity.
Nietzsche introduces the concept of the Übermensch in contrast to his understanding of the other-worldliness of Christianity: Zarathustra proclaims the will of the Übermensch to give meaning to life on earth, and admonishes his audience to ignore those who promise other-worldly fullfillment to draw them away from the earth. The turn away from the earth is prompted, he says, by a dissatisfaction with life that causes the sufferer to imagine another world which will fulfill his revenge. The Übermensch grasps the earthly world with relish and gratitude.
Zarathustra declares that the Christian escape from this world also required the invention of an immortal soul separate from the earthly body. This led to the abnegation and mortification of the body, or asceticism. Zarathustra further links the Übermensch to the body and to interpreting the soul as simply an aspect of the body.
Zarathustra ties the Übermensch to the death of God. While the concept of God was the ultimate expression of other-worldly values and their underlying instincts, belief in God nevertheless did give meaning to life for a time. "God is dead" means that the idea of God can no longer provide values. With the sole source of values exhausted, the danger of nihilism looms.
Zarathustra presents the Übermensch as the creator of new values to banish nihilism. If the Übermensch acts to create new values within the moral vacuum of nihilism, there is nothing that this creative act would not justify. Alternatively, in the absence of this creation, there are no grounds upon which to criticize or justify any action, including the particular values created and the means by which they are promulgated.
In order to avoid a relapse into Platonic idealism or asceticism, the creation of these new values cannot be motivated by the same instincts that gave birth to those tables of values. Instead, they must be motivated by a love of this world and of life. Whereas Nietzsche diagnosed the Christian value system as a reaction against life and hence destructive in a sense, the new values which the Übermensch will be responsible for will be life-affirming and creative (see Nietzschean affirmation).
Zarathustra first announces the Übermensch as a goal humanity can set for itself. All human life would be given meaning by how it advanced a new generation of human beings. The aspiration of a woman would be to give birth to an Übermensch, for example; her relationships with men would be judged by this standard.
Zarathustra contrasts the Übermensch with the degenerate last man of egalitarian modernity, an alternative goal which humanity might set for itself. The last man appears only in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and is presented as a smothering of aspiration antithetical to the sprit of the Übermensch.
According to Rüdiger Safranski, some commentators associate the Übermensch with a program of eugenics. This is most pronounced when considered in the aspect of a goal that humanity sets for itself. The reduction of all psychology to physiology implies, to some, that human beings can be bred for cultural traits. This interpretation of Nietzsche's doctrine focuses more on the future of humanity than on a single cataclysmic individual. There is no consensus regarding how this aspect of the Übermensch relates to the creation of new values.
For Rüdiger Safranski, the Übermensch represents a higher biological type reached through artificial selection and at the same time is also an ideal for anyone who is creative and strong enough to master the whole spectrum of human potential, good and "evil", to become an "artist-tyrant". In Ecce Homo, Nietzsche vehemently denied any idealistic, democratic or humanitarian interpretation of the Übermensch: "The word Übermensch [designates] a type of supreme achievement, as opposed to 'modern' men, 'good' men, Christians, and other nihilists ... When I whispered into the ears of some people that they were better off looking for a Cesare Borgia than a Parsifal, they did not believe their ears." Safranski argues that the combination of ruthless warrior pride and artistic brilliance that defined the Italian Renaissance embodied the sense of the Übermensch for Nietzsche. According to Safranski, Nietzsche intended the ultra-aristocratic figure of the Übermensch to serve as a Machiavellian bogeyman of the modern Western middle class and its pseudo-Christian egalitarian value system.
The Übermensch shares a place of prominence in Thus Spoke Zarathustra with another of Nietzsche's key concepts: the eternal recurrence of the same. Several interpretations for this fact have been offered.
Laurence Lampert suggests that the eternal recurrence replaces the Übermensch as the object of serious aspiration. This is in part due to the fact that even the Übermensch can appear like an other-worldly hope. The Übermensch lies in the future — no historical figures have ever been Übermenschen — and so still represents a sort of eschatological redemption in some future time.
Stanley Rosen, on the other hand, suggests that the doctrine of eternal return is an esoteric ruse meant to save the concept of the Übermensch from the charge of Idealism. Rather than positing an as-yet unexperienced perfection, Nietzsche would be the prophet of something that has occurred a countless number of times in the past.
Others maintain that willing the eternal recurrence of the same is a necessary step if the Übermensch is to create new values, untainted by the spirit of gravity or asceticism. Values involve a rank-ordering of things, and so are inseparable from approval and disapproval; yet it was dissatisfaction that prompted men to seek refuge in other-worldliness and embrace other-worldly values. Therefore, it could seem that the Übermensch, in being devoted to any values at all, would necessarily fail to create values that did not share some bit of asceticism. Willing the eternal recurrence is presented as accepting the existence of the low while still recognizing it as the low, and thus as overcoming the spirit of gravity or asceticism.
Still others suggest that one must have the strength of the Übermensch in order to will the eternal recurrence of the same; that is, only the Übermensch will have the strength to fully accept all of his past life, including his failures and misdeeds, and to truly will their eternal return. This action nearly kills Zarathustra, for example, and most human beings cannot avoid other-worldliness because they really are sick, not because of any choice they made.
The term Übermensch was used frequently by Hitler and the Nazi regime to describe their idea of a biologically superior Aryan or Germanic master race; a racial version of Nietzsche's Übermensch became a philosophical foundation for National Socialist ideas. The Nazi notion of the master race also spawned the idea of "inferior humans" (Untermenschen) who should be dominated and enslaved; this term does not originate with Nietzsche, who was critical of both antisemitism and German nationalism. In his final years, Nietzsche began to believe that he was in fact Polish, not German, and was quoted as saying, "I am a pure-blooded Polish nobleman, without a single drop of bad blood, certainly not German blood". In defiance of nationalist doctrines, he claimed that he and Germany were great only because of "Polish blood in their veins", and that he would be "having all anti-semites shot" as an answer to his stance on anti-semitism. Nietzsche died long before Hitler's reign, and it was partly Nietzsche's sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche who manipulated her brother's words to accommodate the worldview of herself and her husband, Bernhard Förster, a prominent German nationalist and antisemite. Forster founded the Deutscher Volksverein (German People's League) in 1881 with Max Liebermann von Sonnenberg.
The thought of Nietzsche had an important influence on anarchist authors. Spencer Sunshine writes: "There were many things that drew anarchists to Nietzsche: his hatred of the state; his disgust for the mindless social behavior of 'herds'; his anti-Christianity; his distrust of the effect of both the market and the State on cultural production; his desire for an 'overman' — that is, for a new human who was to be neither master nor slave; his praise of the ecstatic and creative self, with the artist as his prototype, who could say, 'Yes' to the self-creation of a new world on the basis of nothing; and his forwarding of the 'transvaluation of values' as source of change, as opposed to a Marxist conception of class struggle and the dialectic of a linear history." The influential American anarchist Emma Goldman, in the preface of her famous collection Anarchism and Other Essays, defends both Nietzsche and Max Stirner from attacks within anarchism when she says "The most disheartening tendency common among readers is to tear out one sentence from a work, as a criterion of the writer's ideas or personality. Friedrich Nietzsche, for instance, is decried as a hater of the weak because he believed in the Übermensch. It does not occur to the shallow interpreters of that giant mind that this vision of the Übermensch also called for a state of society which will not give birth to a race of weaklings and slaves."
Sunshine says that the "Spanish anarchists also mixed their class politics with Nietzschean inspiration." Murray Bookchin, in The Spanish Anarchists, describes prominent CNT–FAI member Salvador Seguí as "an admirer of Nietzschean individualism, of the superhombre to whom 'all is permitted'." Bookchin, in his 1973 introduction to Sam Dolgoff's The Anarchist Collectives, even describes the reconstruction of society by the workers as a Nietzschean project. Bookchin says that "workers must see themselves as human beings, not as class beings; as creative personalities, not as 'proletarians,' as self-affirming individuals, not as 'masses'. . .(the) economic component must be humanized precisely by bringing an 'affinity of friendship' to the work process, by diminishing the role of onerous work in the lives of producers, indeed by a total 'transvaluation of values' (to use Nietzsche's phrase) as it applies to production and consumption as well as social and personal life."
Axis Amerika is the name of two different teams of super-villains who have appeared in DC Comics.Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (, German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈniːtʃə] (listen) or [- ˈniːtsʃə]; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy. He became the youngest ever to hold the Chair of Classical Philology at the University of Basel in 1869 at the age of 24. Nietzsche resigned in 1879 due to health problems that plagued him most of his life; he completed much of his core writing in the following decade. In 1889 at age 44, he suffered a collapse and afterward, a complete loss of his mental faculties. He lived his remaining years in the care of his mother until her death in 1897 and then with his sister Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche. Nietzsche died in 1900.Nietzsche's body of work touched a wide range of topics, including art, philology, history, religion, tragedy, culture, and science. His early inspiration was drawn from figures such as Arthur Schopenhauer, Richard Wagner and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. His writing spans philosophical polemics, poetry, cultural criticism and fiction while displaying a fondness for aphorism and irony. Prominent elements of his philosophy include his radical critique of truth in favor of perspectivism; his genealogical critique of religion and Christian morality and his related theory of master–slave morality; his aesthetic affirmation of existence in response to the "death of God" and the profound crisis of nihilism; his notion of the Apollonian and Dionysian; and his characterization of the human subject as the expression of competing wills, collectively understood as the will to power. He also developed influential concepts such as the Übermensch and the doctrine of eternal return. In his later work, he became increasingly preoccupied with the creative powers of the individual to overcome social, cultural and moral contexts in pursuit of new values and aesthetic health.Nietzsche was explicitly opposed to antisemitism and nationalism, although his sister attempted to associate his work with fascism and Nazism.Nietzsche's thought enjoyed renewed popularity in the 1960s and his ideas have since had a profound impact on 20th and early-21st century thinkers across philosophy—especially in schools of continental philosophy such as existentialism, postmodernism and post-structuralism—as well as art, literature, psychology, politics and popular culture.Killer (video album)
Killer is the sixth music-VHS and the first music-DVD by the Berlin punk rock band Die Ärzte. The 2009 DVD "Overkiller" is an expansion of that. The video is a Videoclip-accumulation.Last man
The last man (German: Letzter Mensch) is a term used by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra to describe the antithesis of his imagined superior being, the Übermensch, whose imminent appearance is heralded by Zarathustra. The last man is tired of life, takes no risks, and seeks only comfort and security.
The last man's primary appearance is in "Zarathustra's Prologue." According to Nietzsche, the last man is the goal that modern society and Western civilization have apparently set for themselves. After having unsuccessfully attempted to get the populace to accept the Übermensch as the goal of society, Zarathustra confronts them with a goal so disgusting that he assumes that it will revolt them. Zarathustra fails in this attempt, and instead of repelling and manipulating the populace into pursuing the goal of the Übermensch, the populace take Zarathustra literally and choose the "disgusting" goal of becoming the last men. This decision leaves Zarathustra disheartened and disappointed.
The lives of the last men are pacifist and comfortable. There is no longer a distinction between ruler and ruled, strong over weak or supreme over the mediocre. Social conflict and challenges are minimized. Every individual lives equally and in "superficial" harmony. There are no original or flourishing social trends and ideas. Individuality and creativity are suppressed.
Nietzsche warned that the society of the last man could be too barren and decadent to support the growth of healthy human life or great individuals. The last man is only possible by mankind having bred an apathetic person or ethnic group who are unable to dream, who are unwilling to take risks, and simply earn their living and keep warm. The society of the last man is antithetical to Nietzsche's theoretical will to power, the main driving force and ambition behind human nature, according to Nietzsche, as well as all other life in the universe.
The last man, Nietzsche predicted, would be one response to the problem of nihilism. But the full implications of the death of God had yet to unfold: "The event itself is far too great, too distant, too remote from the multitude's capacity for comprehension even for the tidings of it to be thought of as having arrived as yet."Lost Soul (band)
Lost Soul is a Polish technical death metal band established in 1990 in Wrocław. Lost Soul has released four studio album, which have been highly acclaimed by both fans and journalists. The band's latest album, Immerse in Infinity, was promoted with the first video ever recorded by the band for the song "...If The Dead Can Speak".New Man (utopian concept)
The New Man is a utopian concept that involves the creation of a new ideal human being or citizen replacing un-ideal human beings or citizens. The meaning of a New Man has widely varied and various alternatives have been suggested by a variety of religions and political ideologies, including Christianity, communism, classical liberalism, fascism, and utopian socialism.Odd John
Odd John: A Story Between Jest and Earnest is a 1935 science fiction novel by the British author Olaf Stapledon. The novel explores the theme of the Übermensch (superman) in the character of John Wainwright, whose supernormal human mentality inevitably leads to conflict with normal human society and to the destruction of the utopian colony founded by John and other superhumans.
The novel resonates with the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche and the work of English writer J. D. Beresford, with an allusion to Beresford's superhuman child character of Victor Stott in The Hampdenshire Wonder (1911). As the devoted narrator remarks, John does not feel obliged to observe the restricted morality of Homo sapiens. Stapledon's recurrent vision of cosmic angst – that the universe may be indifferent to intelligence, no matter how spiritually refined – also gives the story added depth. Later explorations of the theme of the superhuman and of the incompatibility of the normal with the supernormal occur in the works of Stanisław Lem, Frank Herbert, Wilmar Shiras, Robert Heinlein and Vernor Vinge, among others.
The book is mentioned by Julian May in Intervention, part of the Galactic Milieu Series. It is also responsible for coining the term "homo superior".Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche developed his philosophy during the late 19th century. He owed the awakening of his philosophical interest to reading Arthur Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (The World as Will and Representation, 1819, revised 1844) and said that Schopenhauer was one of the few thinkers that he respected, dedicating to him his essay Schopenhauer als Erzieher (Schopenhauer as Educator), published in 1874 as one of his Untimely Meditations.
Since the dawn of the 20th century, the philosophy of Nietzsche has had great intellectual and political influence around the world. Nietzsche applied himself to such topics as morality, religion, epistemology, psychology, ontology, and social criticism. Because of Nietzsche's evocative style and his often outrageous claims, his philosophy generates passionate reactions running from love to disgust. Nietzsche noted in his autobiographical Ecce Homo that his philosophy developed and evolved over time, so interpreters have found it difficult to relate concepts central to one work to those central to another, for example, the thought of the eternal recurrence features heavily in Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra), but is almost entirely absent from his next book, Beyond Good and Evil. Added to this challenge is the fact that Nietzsche did not seem concerned to develop his thought into a system, even going so far as to disparage the attempt in Beyond Good and Evil.
Common themes in his thought can, however, be identified and discussed. His earliest work emphasized the opposition of Apollonian and Dionysian impulses in art, and the figure of Dionysus continued to play a role in his subsequent thought. Other major currents include the will to power, the claim that God is dead, the distinction between master and slave moralities, and radical perspectivism. Other concepts appear rarely, or are confined to one or two major works, yet are considered centerpieces of Nietzschean philosophy, such as the Übermensch and the thought of eternal recurrence. His later works involved a sustained attack on Christianity and Christian morality, and he seemed to be working toward what he called the transvaluation of all values (Umwertung aller Werte). While Nietzsche is often associated in the public mind with fatalism and nihilism, Nietzsche himself viewed his project as the attempt to overcome the pessimism of Arthur Schopenhauer.Raga Rockers
Raga Rockers is a Norwegian rock band from Oslo with Michael Krohn on vocals. The band was formed in 1982 by front man Michael Krohn. The other original members were Livio Aiello on bass, Bruno Hovden on guitar, Jan Arne Kristiansen on drums, Hugo Alvarstein on keyboards. They recorded their first album in 1983, called The Return of the Raga Rockers. One year later they recorded their second album, Maskiner i Nirvana. Tore Berg on guitar in 1984 and Nils Aune on guitar and keyboards in 1988. The band has made various changes in its line-up with more recent joiners including Hugo Alvarstein, Eivind Staxrud and Hågen Rørmark.
After a long hiatus from 2000 onwards, the band had a big comeback in 2007 with their album Übermensch that topped the VG-lista, a Norwegian albums chart and the single "Aldri mer" taken from the album making it to number five in the Norwegian singles chart. The follow-up album Shit Happens also made it to number on the VG-lista chart.Rock'n'Roll-Übermensch
"Rock'n'Roll-Übermensch" (also known as "Rock'n'Roll Übermensch") (Rock'n'roll Superman) is a song by the German punk band Die Ärzte. It's the eighteenth track and the fourth single from their 2000 album Runter mit den Spendierhosen, Unsichtbarer!.Runter mit den Spendierhosen, Unsichtbarer!
Runter mit den Spendierhosen, Unsichtbarer! ("Stop feeling so generous, invisible one!", lit.: "Down with the generosity trousers, invisible one!") is a studio album by Die Ärzte. The package of the album is a plush pocket.Super-humanism
Superhumanism is defined as "the ability of humans to go above and beyond the general expectations and realities of humankind". This can be accomplished through natural ability, self-actualization or technological aids.
Historical outlooks on superhumanism are viewed as finding the ideal human in physical, mental as well as spiritual form, and has influenced politics, policy, philosophers, scientists and movements.
Well documented historical applications of this philosophy can be found in the events of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Modern depictions of this have evolved and are shown through the comic book ideal of superheroes like Superman, or through technologically aided people or cyborgs.Superhuman
Superhuman qualities are qualities that exceed those found in humans.
The Übermensch or "Superman" was postulated by Friedrich Nietzsche as a type of supreme, ultra-aristocratic achievement which becomes possible in the transcendence of modernity, morals or nihilism.In transhumanism and futurology, superhuman abilities are the technological aim either of human enhancement by genetic modification or cybernetic implants or of future superhuman artificial intelligence.
Speculation about human nature and the possibilities of both human enhancement and future human evolution have made superhumans a popular subject of science fiction.
Superhuman abilities are also associated with the genre of superheroes.Superman
Superman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, the character first appeared in Action Comics #1 on April 18, 1938. Superman regularly appears in comic books published by DC Comics and has been adapted to radio shows, newspaper strips, television shows, movies, and video games.
Superman was born on the planet Krypton and named Kal-El. As a baby, he was sent to Earth in a small spaceship by his scientist father Jor-El moments before Krypton was destroyed in a natural cataclysm. His ship landed in the American countryside; he was found and adopted by farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who named him Clark Kent. Clark displayed various superhuman abilities, such as incredible strength and impervious skin. His foster parents advised him to use his abilities for the benefit of humanity, and he decided to fight crime as a vigilante. To protect his privacy, he changes into a colorful costume and uses the alias "Superman" when fighting crime. Clark Kent resides in the fictional American city of Metropolis, where he works as a journalist for the Daily Planet. Superman's love interest is his fellow journalist Lois Lane, and his classic arch-enemy is the genius inventor Lex Luthor. He is a friend of many other superheroes in the DC Universe, such as Batman and Wonder Woman.
Although Superman was not the first superhero character, he popularized the superhero genre and defined its conventions. Superman is still one of the most lucrative superhero franchises.The Last Man (disambiguation)
The Last Man is a science fiction novel by Mary Shelley.
The Last Man may also refer to:
The Last Laugh, a landmark silent film whose original German title, Der letzte Mann, translates as "The Last Man"
The Last Man (1955 film), a West German film
The Last Man (2000 film), a film starring David Arnott and Jeri Ryan
The Last Man (2006 film), a Lebanese film
Le Dernier Homme (English: The Last Man), an 1805 French novel by Jean-Baptiste Cousin de Grainville
"The Last Man" (Stargate Atlantis), an episode of Stargate Atlantis
Last man, a term used by Nietzsche to describe the antithesis of the Übermensch
Last man (football), the last team member in a position to stop an obvious goal-scoring opportunityThe Last Messiah
Den sidste Messias (English: The Last Messiah), published in 1933, is one of Peter Wessel Zapffe's most significant essays as well as concepts, which sums up his own thoughts from his book, On the Tragic, and, as a theory describes a reinterpretation of Friedrich Nietzsche's Übermensch. Zapffe believed that existential angst in humanity was the result of an overly evolved intellect, and that people overcome this by "artificially limiting the content of consciousness."Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, also translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra) is a philosophical novel by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts written between 1883 and 1885 and published between 1883 and 1891. Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch, which were first introduced in The Gay Science.Zarathustra (album)
Zarathustra is a progressive rock album released in 1973 by the Italian band Museo Rosenbach. It is generally regarded as one of the best Italian progressive rock works of all time.
Controversially, the lyrics compose a concept album of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy, particularly Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The song titles translate into The Last Man, The King of Yesterday, Beyond Good and Evil, Übermensch, The Temple of Hourglasses, Of Man, Of Nature, and Of the Eternal Return.
The music has been edited by bassist Alberto Moreno, texts from external collaborator Mauro La Luce. Side A of the vinyl is completely occupied by the long suite Zarathustra, side B includes the remaining three songs, which relate thematically to the first part by the expression of the concept album, so dear to progressive rock groups
The album was a commercial failure mainly because of the boycott of RAI, which was suspicious of the group because of the themes (the quote from Nietzsche could supposedly refer to ideologies of Far-right) and the bust of Mussolini pictured in the collage on the cover, work of the illustrator Caesar Monti.The singer, Stefano Galifi, later joined an art rock band named Il Tempio delle Clessidre (The Temple of Hourglasses), quoting the title of the track.Über
Über (German pronunciation: [ˈyːbɐ] (listen), sometimes written uber in English-language publications) is a German language word meaning "over", "above" or "across". It is an etymological twin with German ober, and is cognate (through Proto-Germanic) with English over, Dutch over, Swedish över and Icelandic yfir, among other Germanic languages; it is distantly cognate to Sanskrit word upari and Hindi uper (both meaning 'above', 'over' or 'up') probably through Proto-Indo-European. The word is relatively well-known within Anglophone communities due to its occasional use as a hyphenated prefix in informal English, usually for emphasis. The German word is properly spelled with an umlaut, while the spelling of the English loanword varies.