Übermensch: A Hero of Our Time?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Mindful, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Mindful
    Offline

    Mindful Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    14,776
    Thanks Received:
    4,456
    Trophy Points:
    420
    Location:
    Here, there, and everywhere.
    Ratings:
    +28,930
    Eva Cybulska dispells popular misconceptions about this controversial figure.
    “Man is a rope, fastened between animal and Übermensch – a rope over an abyss.”
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue

    The term Übermensch, often translated as Superman or Overman, was not invented by Nietzsche. The concept of hyperanthropos can be found in the ancient writings of Lucian. In German, the word had already been used by Müller, Herder, Novalis, Heine, and most importantly by Goethe in relation to Faust (in Faust, Part I, line 490). In America Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of the Oversoul, and, perhaps with the exception of Goethe’s Faust, his aristocratic, self-reliant ‘Beyond-man’ was probably the greatest contributor to Nietzsche’s idea of the Übermensch. Nietzsche was, however, well familiar with all the above sources.

    The first public appearance of Nietzsche’s Übermensch was in his book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-5). As a teenager Nietzsche had already applied the word Übermensch to Manfred, the lonely Faustian figure in Byron’s poem of the same name who wanders in the Alps tortured by some unspoken guilt. Having challenged all authoritative powers, he dies defying the religious path to redemption. Nietzsche’s affinity with Manfred culminated in him composing a piano duet called Manfred Meditation, which he sent to his musical hero, the conductor Hans von Bülow. The maestro’s verdict on this ‘masterpiece’ as “the most irritating musical extravagance” put a decisive end to Nietzsche’s career as a music composer.

    Nietzsche’s Übermensch: A Hero of Our Time? | Issue 93 | Philosophy Now
     
  2. Mindful
    Offline

    Mindful Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    14,776
    Thanks Received:
    4,456
    Trophy Points:
    420
    Location:
    Here, there, and everywhere.
    Ratings:
    +28,930
    ^^ What the Übermensch is Not
    “Above all do not confuse me with what I am not!”
    Ecce Homo

    The Übermensch is not a Nazi. Nietzsche’s anti-semitic sister Elisabeth invited Hitler to her brother’s shrine in Weimar in 1934 and essentially made an offering of his philosophy. The Führer, who never read the philosopher’s works, took to the selected snippets that Elisabeth provided like a proverbial fish to water and adopted the Übermensch as a symbol of a master-race. Little did he know that Nietzsche had written that he “would have all anti-Semites shot”, not to mention his strong anti-nationalistic and pan-European tendencies. Provocatively, he also talked of himself as “the last anti-political German” (Ecce Homo, Why I am so Wise).

    Some anarchists appropriated Übermensch to their cause, latching onto its aspects of strength and individualism. But Nietzsche never advocated abolishment of the state or legislation in pursuit of selfish aims. Quite the opposite: he argued for a well-ordered soul and a well-ordered society.

    Übermensch is not a tyrant. If anything, he is someone capable of tyranny who manages to overcome and sublimate this urge. His magnanimity stems not from weakness and servitude, but from the strength of his passions. He is rather like “the Roman Caesar with Christ’s soul” (Will to Power; 983), a value-creating and value-destroying free spirit who disciplines himself to wholeness. It’s important to stress that there has never yet been an Übermensch; it remains an ideal.
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. there4eyeM
    Offline

    there4eyeM unlicensed metaphysician

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    11,965
    Thanks Received:
    1,294
    Trophy Points:
    265
    Ratings:
    +4,519
    Apt interpretation. Unfortunately, this vocabulary has become so polluted and hijacked in social exchange that few will be able to deal well with what is stated in the op.
    The aspiration to a human that fulfills human kind's potential is as old as time. Jesus represents part of it, as do Lao Tzu, Buddha, Zarathustra and a few others. We get glimmers of it in certain individuals from time to time, and in our own thinking when most inspired. The tendency in the popular mind to reject the concept as inherently élitist adds to the problem of actively pursuing the goal socially.
    Like "God is dead", the refusal to penetrate the superficial sense of the expression negates a positive interpretation.
     
  4. Mindful
    Offline

    Mindful Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    14,776
    Thanks Received:
    4,456
    Trophy Points:
    420
    Location:
    Here, there, and everywhere.
    Ratings:
    +28,930
    So somebody took/stole the word übermensch, corrupted it to have another meaning other than that which Nietsche ascribed to it. Then it was conveniently given its opposite, untermensch, to categorise all the racially inferior people the Nazis decided were not fit to live.
     
  5. there4eyeM
    Offline

    there4eyeM unlicensed metaphysician

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    11,965
    Thanks Received:
    1,294
    Trophy Points:
    265
    Ratings:
    +4,519
    One problem is translating the word into English; all the usual options miss a nuance to the concept. 'Superior', 'super', 'over' just don't get it. There is also the aspect of 'man' being part of the term. We have to deal with the unfortunate fact that people of certain persuasions are allergic in a political correctness way to many otherwise useful forms of verbiage.
    Another way of expressing it might help. 'Nexthuman'? 'Evolvedone'? 'Mindful Being'?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Mindful
    Offline

    Mindful Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    14,776
    Thanks Received:
    4,456
    Trophy Points:
    420
    Location:
    Here, there, and everywhere.
    Ratings:
    +28,930
    German language always has to have an unter to its über/ober.
     
  7. there4eyeM
    Offline

    there4eyeM unlicensed metaphysician

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    11,965
    Thanks Received:
    1,294
    Trophy Points:
    265
    Ratings:
    +4,519
    Oh, there is no doubt that the 'untermenschen' are very numerous. Every human perception, however, exists only by contrast. This does not seem to be commonly realized and integrated into general thought processes (if, indeed, thought processes are general).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

azs

,

best cameras