Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:

Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view

whats new at ieet

Vita-More @ Alcor Conference

Roux on H+ & Cyborgization @ “Transformed Body” (“Le Corps Transformé”)

Horizons - Perspectives on Psychedelics

Autonomous cars & accidents: The human and financial standpoint

Gun Control’s MP3 Moment

Solving Problems With Collective Intelligence – Towards an Internet of Thinkers?

ieet books

Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence
Calum Chace


g3reth on 'Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Does it Work? (Summary, Part 3)' (Oct 8, 2015)

DonaldFleck on 'Mindfulness-Based Therapy – Examining the Studies (Part 2)' (Oct 8, 2015)

michaelis on 'Consciousness is a Mathematical Pattern' (Oct 8, 2015)

spud100 on 'Digital Immortality Map: Reconstruction of the Personality Based on its Information Traces' (Oct 8, 2015)

AlonzoTG on 'Digital Immortality Map: Reconstruction of the Personality Based on its Information Traces' (Oct 7, 2015)

Valkyrie Ice on 'Technoprogressive Declaration - Transvision 2014' (Oct 7, 2015)

hilariousgoat on '#2: Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews so high?' (Oct 7, 2015)

Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month

Seven Emerging Technologies That Will Change the World Forever
Sep 29, 2015
(122122) Hits
(4) Comments

The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world
Sep 25, 2015
(29510) Hits
(3) Comments

This Artificially Intelligent Boss Means the Workplace Will Never Be the Same
Sep 18, 2015
(16715) Hits
(1) Comments

Religion and Superintelligence
Sep 12, 2015
(8552) Hits
(0) Comments

IEET > Life > Enablement > Vision > Futurism > Fellows > Russell Blackford > Stefan Sorgner

Print Email permalink (2) Comments (10333) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg

Was Nietzsche a Transhumanist?

Posted: Apr 24, 2012

Debate is academically steaming on whether or not Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’s philosophy specifically represents… Transhumanism. The topic was initiated by IEET Fellow Stefan Sorgner, who wrote his original article, “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism”  in the Journal of Evolution and Technology.

The Journal of Evolution and Technology summarily published an issue on the contentious topic, with essays by several scholars:
Russell Blackford Editorial: Nietzsche and European Posthumanisms 
Max More The Overhuman in the Transhuman 
Michael Hauskeller “Nietzsche, the Overhuman and the Posthuman: A Reply to Stefan Sorgner” 
Bill Hibbard Nietzsche’s Overhuman is an Ideal Whereas Posthumans Will be Real 
Russell Blackford (again) Editorial 
Stefan Sorgner Beyond Humanism: Reflections on Trans- and Posthumanism 

Quite recently, this debate was renewed by four Nietzsche scholars, who responded in the journal “The Agonist”:
Keith Ansell Pearson,  The Future is Superhuman: Nietzsche’s Gift
Paul S. Loeb, Nietzsche’s Transhumanism
Babette Babich,  On the “All-too-Human” Dream of Transhumanism

Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, Zarathustra 2.0 and Beyond: Further Remarks on the Complex Relationship between Nietzsche and Transhumanism

Readers -  what’s your opinion? All gloves are off!  Insert your two cents in Comments below:

Print Email permalink (2) Comments (10334) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Something we can say for sure:
if Nietzsche had been able to foresee transhumanism way back when, he would have been a transhumanist.

...all gloves are off? what’s my opinion? will insert one cent (adjusted for grade inflation):
the quote below is excessively pettifogging; IMO merely write Nietzsche would have been a transhumanist and—one might add—a transhuman—because he would avail himself of the treatments and surgeries of today if he were our contemporary. Nietzsche made it clear he wanted to get ahead in life, he was no shrinking violet; yes, this is assertion.. however you cannot go by 19th century writings, no one in the 19th century would have been so daring (or foolhardy) to have anticipated “transhumanism”  two or three generations before the word had been coined. You cannot always go by the letter as sometimes the spirit is valid because, to be pettifogging myself, when I questioned the inclusion of religion and spirituality at IEET the response was IEET is openminded; thus it is fair game to speculate at such a site that Nietzsche would not only be interested in transhumanism if he lived in our era, but he would be a transhuman as well. ‘Course, in a professional paper one has to be more objective smile

“Sorgner tells us in his essay what, in his judgment, Nietzsche would have ‘liked.’ Hence we are informed that Nietzsche would have been an advocate of transhumanism. This is an argument by assertion.
In one case, I mentioned that given the structural analogies of genetic enhancement by means of the alteration of genes and classical education and the relevance of education for bringing about the overhuman according to Nietzsche provides us with a reason for assuming that he might have also been in favor of certain genetic enhancement technologies. I stressed that these reflections provide us with a reason for asserting that the fact that genetic enhancement procedures play an important role in transhumanist reflections but do not and cannot turn up in Nietzsche’s philosophy is not a reason for dissociating Nietzsche from the transhumanist movement. However, this does not imply that I claim to know what Nietzsche would have liked or that he necessarily would have been in favor of transhumanist ideals. Both claims are far too strong.”

YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Is Technology offering Transparency…or Spying on us?

Previous entry: Digital Janitor


RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-297-2376

West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @