The genesis of the concept of the Uebermensch in Nietzsche

Badcock, Gary D. (1984) The genesis of the concept of the Uebermensch in Nietzsche. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The concept of the Uebermensch, while a leading theme of Nietzsche's philosophy, is very difficult to define, and remains largely indeterminate in the commentaries. An attempt is made in the present thesis to render its definition more determinate through an examination of the genesis of the concept in the overall structures of Nietzsche's thought. -- The philosophy of Nietzsche is here characterized as essentially a polemic against the Western moral tradition, establishing itself purely through its opposition to morality. Since morality, as Nietzsche understands it, is an aberration of the highest order, a negation, then the negation of that original negation yields a positive result. The concept of the Uebermensch, which is defined as the positive result of the Nietzschean polemic, therefore has its logical genesis in, and can be seen to reflect the structures of, the critique of morality. -- Chapter One sets forth the various sides of the doctrine of the Uebermensch as it receives expression in Nietzsche. It is given as a prophetic vision, as a psychological description, and as a moment within a cultural-historical typology. -- Chapter Two examines the nature of "morality” in Nietzsche's philosophy. Rather than merely a particular set of ethical imperatives, even those characteristic of the West, morality is fundamentally a form of human existence in which the conscious, or spiritual life and the natural life are posed as mutually contradictory. The chapter concludes with an examination of the negation of morality, and, in particular, of the nature of the positive result. -- Chapter Three, finally, reveals how the express content of the doctrine of the Uebermensch, given in Chapter One, directly expresses the more abstract limits of the definition generated in Chapter Two. In each of its three phases, the concept of the Uebermensch is defined by a unity in difference of the human spiritual and natural life. It is therefore defined as the positive result of Nietzsche's negation of negation.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5733
Item ID: 5733
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 77-79.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm, 1844-1900--Criticism and interpretation

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