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See also: ubermensch and Übermensch


Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from German Übermensch, from über- (above, over) +‎ Mensch (human, human being).


übermensch (plural übermenschen)

  1. (in Nietzschean philosophy) An overman (“higher” man) who has overcome (transcended) his (mere) humanity. (There is no consensus regarding the exact nature of the figure of the übermensch in Nietzsche’s philosophy.)
    • 1973, Philippa Foot, “Nietzsche: The Revaluation of Values” in Nietzsche: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Robert C. Solomon, Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, →ISBN, pages 162–163:
      What does he mean when he speaks of the value of one type of man as greater than that of another? Nietzsche himself has remarked elsewhere that one can never too carefully consider the question “value for what?” And in these terms one might try to explain what he says about the value of certain men. Perhaps he means that the contribution they make to life in general — by their optimism and fearlessness for instance — makes them valuable to us all. Or perhaps he is judging their value by the contribution they make to the future. Are they not a bridge to the superior man who may come in the future — to the Übermensch? Neither suggestion tells the whole story, and the second simply shifts the problem. If the “Overman” or “Superman” is the one who gives some men value, this must be because he has value himself.
  2. (Nazism and white supremacist ideology) A member of the proposed Aryan super race.



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