Who is Nietzsche's Homo Natura? Self-Knowledge, Probity and the Metamorphoses of the Human Being in ,,Beyond Good and Evil‘‘ 230

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In Aphorism 230 of „Beyond Good and Evil,“ Nietzsche introduces the idea of the human being as a creature of nature through the enigmatic term ,homo natura‘
(Nietzsche 1989, 159-162).1 Throughout his writing career, Nietzsche insists on the continuity between nature and the human being. The human being is natural: it belongs to nature and is an inseparable part of it. But what is ,natural‘ in the human being? And also what defines if anything this ,naturalness‘ as human? In BGE 230, Nietzsche presents the question of human nature as a task: the „strange and insane task (seltsame und tolle Aufgabe)“ to „retranslate (zurückübersetzen) the human being back into nature“ (Nietzsche 1989, 161). For Nietzsche, this is the task of the seekers of knowledge (Erkennende), among whom he counts himself, who distinguish themselves through their probity (Redlichkeit) and courage to face the „terrible basic text of homo natura (der schreckliche Grundtext homo natura)“ (ibid.). The task of translating the human being back into nature leads the seekers of knowledge (and Nietzsche) to the open question of „why have knowledge at all (Warum überhaupt Erkenntniss)?“ (ibid., 162).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
JournalInternationales Jahrbuch für philosophische Anthropologie
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Human nature
  • Homo natura
  • Knowledge

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