he was the last man

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The last man (German: Letzter Mensch) is a term used by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra to tướng describe the antithesis of his theorized superior being, the Übermensch, whose imminent appearance is heralded by Zarathustra. The last man is the archetypal passive nihilist. He is tired of life, takes no risks, and seeks only comfort and security. Therefore, The Last Man is unable to tướng build and act upon a self-actualized ethos.

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Appearance in Thus Spoke Zarathustra[edit]

The last man's first appearance is in "Zarathustra's Prologue". According to tướng Nietzsche, the last man is the goal that modern society and Western civilization have apparently phối for themselves. After having unsuccessfully attempted to tướng get the populace to tướng accept the Übermensch as the goal of society, Zarathustra confronts them with a goal sánh disgusting that he assumes that it will revolt them — a culture which seeks only passive comfort and routine, avoiding everything that could potentially bring risk, pain, or disappointment.[1] Zarathustra fails in this attempt, and instead of repelling and manipulating the populace into pursuing the goal of the Übermensch, the populace take Zarathustra literally and choose the "disgusting" goal of becoming the last men. This decision leaves Zarathustra disheartened and disappointed.

Nietzsche's predictions[edit]

Nietzsche warned that the society of the last man could be too barren and decadent to tướng tư vấn the growth of healthy human life or great individuals. The last man is only possible by mankind having bred an apathetic person or society who loses the ability to tướng dream, to tướng strive, and who become unwilling to tướng take risks, instead simply earning their living and keeping warm. The society of the last man is antithetical to tướng Nietzsche's theoretical will to tướng power, the main driving force and ambition behind human nature, according to tướng Nietzsche, as well as all other life in the universe.

The last man, Nietzsche predicted, would be one response to tướng the problem of nihilism. But the full implications of the death of God had yet to tướng unfold: "The sự kiện itself is far too great, too distant, too remote from the multitude's capacity for comprehension even for the tidings of it to tướng be thought of as having arrived as yet."[2]


Quotations on the concept of the "last man" by Nietzsche:

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I điện thoại tư vấn myself the last philosopher because I am the last man. Nobody talks to tướng mạ as myself, and my voice comes to tướng mạ lượt thích that of a dying person.

The opposite of the overman [Übermensch] is the last man: I created him at the same time with that. Everything superhuman appears to tướng man as illness and madness. You have to tướng be a sea to tướng absorb a dirty stream without getting dirty.

For this is how things are: the diminution and leveling of European man constitutes our greatest danger, for the sight of him makes us weary.—We can see nothing today that wants to tướng grow greater, we suspect that things will continue to tướng go down, down, to tướng become thinner, more good-natured, more prudent, more comfortable, more mediocre, more indifferent, more Chinese, more Christian—there is no doubt that man is getting 'better' all the time.

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— > – Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals

everything around them decays and produces decay, that nothing will endure until the day after tomorrow, except one species of man, the incurably MEDIOCRE. The mediocre alone have a prospect of continuing and propagating themselves--they will be the men of the future, the sole survivors.

— > – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil : 262

See also[edit]

  • Endling
  • Superfluous man
  • The End of History and the Last Man


  1. ^ Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, §5.
  2. ^ Gay Science, §343