Nietzsche: Become what you are

nietzsche superman

Nietzsche: A Philosophy of Superman

The phrase “Become what thou art” is part of the nietzschean Vulgate. Still, she remains at the heart of Nietzsche‘s thought, insofar as it symbolizes his conception of subjectivity.

Extracted from Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which has the role of the new man announces to the populace, it underpins the idea that man, as it exists, is a working copy of itself, an incompletion. Nietzsche calls for self-transcendence, self-overrun:

“The greatness of man is that he is a bridge and not an end”

Yet the sentence contains a contradiction:

– it is formulated as an injunction (“become”!)

– it refers to the desire/will

In other words, man must liberate himself, using his control, but can not understand himself, he needs a first order:

“Everywhere I’ve found alive, I found the will to power, and even the will of him who obeys, I found the will to be master. And life itself told me this secret: “Look,”she said, I am that which must always overcome itself ”

Become what is, basically, calls out of mediocrity (everydayness in Heidegger), to exercise what Nietzsche calls the Will to Power.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Nietzsche: Become what you are, May 12, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 12, 2012,

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