The concept of Superman is both the best known of Nietzsche’s philosophy but also and especially the more complex. This concept goes through the work of Nietzsche, but appears vividly in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
It is indeed from the Superman that one can access the Nietzsche’s thought, all other themes (morals, art, religion, …) must be understood from the Superman.
The Superman theory and the genetic interpretation:
Before presenting what the Superman Nietzsche, first get up misunderstandings by explaining what is not the Superman.
“All beings till now have created beyond themselves something greater than themselves. What is the ape to man? It’s just what man must be to the Superman ”
This extract should not be understood literally. Nietzsche is no an evolutionist, he uses this argument as teaching, as an image. Therefore, the superman is not a new species created as a result of genetic selection (required or incurred). The superman is the man who excels. A man who transcends.
The definition of the Superman:
- Zarathustra is presented as the harbinger of a complete reversal, as the prophet of a new culture. It shall be made for the creation, spontaneity, of art, including the game, activity or child dance are the best picture, including Dionysus, the god of drunkenness and dancing, not Socrates, would symbol.
- Zarathustra is the embodiment of lucidity, which makes him understand a state of capital: the death of God. This death was the end result of transcendence. The land now belongs to men. And “contempt of the earth is now what is more dangerous”
- God is dead, but not yet the illusions that belief in him and religion have generated. So Zarathustra wants to end the old world, dualistic metaphysics and morality that results. Faced with this moral reactive man to become superman, must practice the “contempt” contempt of happiness (in the sense of morbid resignation of the Stoics), reason (understood as moral consciousness in Kant), of virtue (ie the disposal of the property, which is obedience to religious morality), Justice (this morality that protects the weak and the strong), compassion (pity this trend in terms should actually disappear).
- The construction of a new morality will be superior to the old if she calls, according to Nietzsche, new men, supermen. This new morality is precisely the Will to Power.
- Facing the death of God, the Superman must face the last men, those who think that the death of God means nihilism, pure destruction. Nietzsche fights against immorality in the name of immorality. Thus, hollow, Nietzsche tells us that the death of God is not enough to lead the world in a new corporation, without the will to power, if it is animated by a weak will, morality can become nihilism.
The Superman is a franchisor, a wrestler for the earth, a being of will, a pure act, a work.
Related articles on the theory of Superman
- Nietzsche, Nihilism And The Death Of God | Kenan Malik | Pandaemonium | 12 February 2012 (kenanmalik.wordpress.com)
- Zarathustra’s Prologue: 1-4 (ivanbaker.wordpress.com)
- Nietzsche: An American Icon? (thecatholicthing.org)
- Of the Afterworldsmen (bibliologist.wordpress.com)
- The Overman is a Noble Determiner of Values (losthistorian.wordpress.com)