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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  10,254 ratings  ·  355 reviews
This volume presents Nietzsche's remarkable collection of almost 1400 aphorisms in R. J. Hollingdale's distinguished translation, together with a new historical introduction by Richard Schacht. Subtitled "A Book for Free Spirits," Human, All Too Human marked for Nietzsche a new "positivism" and skepticism with which he challenged his previous metaphysical and psychological ...more
Paperback, 428 pages
Published November 13th 1996 by Cambridge University Press (first published 1878)
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Glenn Russell
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There are many generalizations and sweeping judgments made about Nietzsche and his philosophy. I find such remarks next to useless. For me, there is only one way to approach Nietzsche – read each paragraph and maxim and aphorism slowly and carefully and arrive at my own conclusions after seeing how his words apply to my own life. As by way of example, below are several of his shorter aphorisms from this book coupled with my comments.

“FROM CANNIBAL COUNTRY – In solitude the lonely man is eaten u
Ahmad Sharabiani
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches = Human, All Too Human, Friedrich Nietzsche

Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits is a book by 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, originally published in 1878. A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims, was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow, followed in 1880.

The book is Nietzsche's first in the aphoristic style that would come to dominate his writings, discussing a variety of concepts in short paragraphs or sayin
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite book by Nietzsche excluding Thus Spoke Zarathustra. If you love aphorisms that pack a punch then this will be right up your alley. Not a laborious read like some "treatise" philosophy, but witty, controversial, eloquent, and brutally honest.
My favorite aphorism - "Life consists of rare individual moments of the highest significance and countless intervals in which at best the phantoms of those moments hover over us. Love, spring, a beautiful melody, the mountains, the moon,
Apr 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Free spirits and open minds
Shelves: philosophy
The Nietzsche of his middle period is, in my view, the best, before his mental breakdown. There is less of the crazed polemic in this work than, say, in Ecce Homo, Zarathustra, or Twilight of the Idols, although Nietzsche, being Nietzsche, never takes prisoners in his attacks. Still, there is a good deal of thoughtful reflection on philosophy, culture, religion, family, and marriage that are worth considering.
Though I really enjoyed this book and love studying the works of Nietzsche, Sartre, and others, I'm reminded of a quote recently use on the Daily Show: "I was once a college sophomore, too".

Quoting this book or carrying it around with you on the bus on your way to work doesn't necessarily transform you into someone with deep, cutting insight into our existentialist situation...nor does it make you the "overman". Remember: We all took the same PHIL 101 classes;)
Lady Jane
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Allegedly, Nietzsche wrote this piece after he broke his friendship with Wagner, the musician Nietzsche formerly idolized; soon after he began to break away from his fondness for the romanticism of music and art. This shift in attitude is strongly conveyed in this amazing work, Human, All Too Human. As Marion Faber writes in the introduction, "Judging from its sour title, it would certainly be a book which differed from its visionary and utopian predecessors. 'Human, all too human' is kind of a ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am still not certain it is really possible in this culture to become--or perhaps remain a free spirit. In the oppressive expectations of a world that requires conformity for sustinence may well be a kind of caging we may never escape. We must be always worried our expression of spirit is too unleashed, too sexual, too ethnic, too loud, too inspired--too free for everyone who is not. Nothing scarier than someone who is who and what she (or he) is with no apologies for it to those who are uncomf ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
The people no doubt possess something that might be called an artistic need, but it is small and cheap to satisfy. The refuse of art is at bottom all that is required: we should honestly admit that to ourselves. Just consider, for instance, the kind of songs and tunes the most vigorous, soundest and most naive strata of our populace nowadays take true delight in, dwelling among shepherds, cowherds, farmers, huntsmen, soldiers, seamen, and then supply yourself with an answer. And in the small tow
Mar 25, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Re-read: Jan 26-Feb 4, 2017

This would not be among my top choices if I were looking through Nietzsche's works for a beach read--for that, I would want a copy of Zarathustra, The Gay Science or Twilight of the Idols. No, this one I see as something you might read on the commuter train to work or during your lunch break or in that quiet that forms when the party's over and everyone has gone home.

Nor do I think this book is the best introduction to Nietzsche's work. A number of themes closely assoc
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A fun read for the iconoclastic teenager, as all teenagers should be - and, well, everybody else, too. Try to read the book without prejudice, or rather in spite of it, no: in conflict with it. And remember, as probably with all books, where and when it was written - long before the Nazis and the European World Wars, after the Enlightenment, at the end of Romanticism and the birth of Existentialism (loved Dostoevsky), 30 years after "The Origin of the Species", 100 years before The Satanic Verse ...more
Sep 30, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
My copy was stolen before I could finish, but I did get at least as far as aphorism 201 - and what a gem it is! I keep a copy in my workstation at all times and will transcribe it here. I edited the text a little for extra venom (not usually necessary with FWN!).

Bad writers necessary. There will always have to be bad writers, for they reflect the taste of CRETINS who have needs as much as the mature do. If human life were longer, there would be more of the individuals who have matured than of
Onyango Makagutu
The criticisms on religion in this book are as valid as they were when they were first written.
I have enjoyed my second reading of this volume by one of the greatest minds to have walked on earth.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my very first Nietzsche book. As the original book was written in German and Nietzsche's sentence constructions are often long, the English translator did a very good job of translating this. After finishing this book, I ended up getting a more clear perception about certain things and some of his arguments eradicated confusions those I was having for a very long time. The point of this whole book is to demonstrate that, eventually, we are erroneous human being. Our thinkings, perception ...more
Jul 15, 2012 added it
Something about this book feeds my soul. I think the world should be more open to Nietzche. His thoughts and speculations were so different from mine, but it did change me a little in that I should rely less on my emotions and abandon some of my irrational and emotional conclusions about the world. I think much of what he says is quite interesting and worth the read.
Usman Raza
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply one of the greatest book ever written, highly recommend this book to everyone.
Nov 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, aphorisms
It really is a magical feeling when a work of 19th Century German Philosophy is not written like or requires you to understand Kant/Hegel - let alone be engaging at the same time.

Don't let his reputation for inspiring/get plagiarised by edgelords dissuade you - there is a lot of wit and insight in these short aphorisms no matter what your beliefs are.

Who knew that the early Nietzsche could be so likable? The Nietzsche of Human, All Too Human is the funny guy at the cocktail party, who deploys his zingers against religion, art, society, and other such things. If we were Victorians, we'd call him a popinjay. Nowadays, we'd say he's a little like Christopher Hitchens or something. Later Nietzsche, just a douchebag. Early Nietzsche, hilarious! And OK with other humans!

It's hard to call this philosophy. There's no system. I don't however, have a
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Clocking in at 509 pages, with 638 (part I) and 350 (part II) aphorisms, not taking into account the introduction, this book truly was a behemoth.

I think a lot of misconceptions are circulating about Nietzsche. The fact that he is a pure nihilist, for instance.
For starters, nihilism is a term difficult to delineate.
Wikipedia says that nihilism is a "philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life.
Most commonly, nihilism is presented i
Anuraag Sharma
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
I have so many new topics to think about and talk about.
This book was a totally different experience.
I'm starting to like this guy.
Erik Graff
Jan 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nietzsche fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: philosophy
Not all of Nietzsche was available in English while I poured through his works in college. Consequently, I had to read Human, All Too Human and Untimely Meditations later, only portions of each having been previously included in Kaufmann's editions.

The aphoristic style of this book does not lend itself to a normal reading. Instead, one might benefit from reading it aloud with others, preferably in German and English, following such recitations with discussion. This I did not do and, so, did not
One of my co-workers saw me reading this book and said: "You're alright." in that slow genuinely appreciative way. He later referred to himself as the anti-christ and asked me how well his wife performed.*

*His wife was one of my professors in college. Not making this up: I discovered they were a couple based on their beverage preference of Perrier.
Jason Friedlander
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took over a year to finish but it’s definitely up there in the top 10 books I’ve read in my life and its effect on me will hopefully only reverberate exponentially over the rest of my years wandering on for Knowledge and Truth.
Zainab Al saba'a
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
My first philosophical read. Too abstract for my liking, and the translation didn’t probably do it justice.
Nikolaus Geromont
Human, All Too Human is the first from Nietzche's canon to feature the crucial concepts of his later (and better known) philosophy, such as the will to power, the idea of the Übermensch, and the need to transcend conventional Christian morality. His book was reportedly born out of a personal crisis, shortly after he had concluded his friendship to Wagner, a time when he arguably matured as a philosopher. From these writings Nietzsche would in due course deliver achievements such as Thus spake Za ...more
Eya Beldi
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
this book made my brain freeze about a lot of stuff and made me question my basis.
I liked these paragraphs :
"there are no internal facts as there are no absolute truths."
" logic itself rests upon assumptions which nothing in the world of reality corresponds."
"it is the same with the science of mathematics which certainly would never have come into existence of mankind had known from the beginning that in all nature there is no perfectly straight line no true circle no standard of measurement."
Nietzsche is so important a philosopher and psychologist especially if you disagree with him
I mentioned in my preceding review on The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings, that Nietzsche was the first philosopher of any general sort to attract me. As such in referencing this, it brought back to mind the rather unfortunate decision I made. Given, not only as my introduction to Nietzsche, but to philosophy in general, I chose Thus Spoke Zarathustra. When I read and review the book in time, I'll detail more into this. But suffice it to say, even then I realized, that I was attempting to bi ...more
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Human, All Too Human” is not a sledgehammer, like some of Nietzsche’s other works. It is more of a whisper to whoever may want or have ears to listen, with an occasional shout. It is an attempt to come to terms with oneself after a period of becoming a performer of existence, the weight of which starts to turn into a hunch. Sounds familiar, sounds human? The goal seems noble - to free the man from his shadow, whatever form that shadow may take - prejudices, religions, pressures, guilts or bad e ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-philosophy
I shall try keep this simple.
Introduction --> Audience --> Criticisms --> Examples For Potential Readers

1. Introduction

It is hard to review half a year's time with a thing, human or not.

I call this book "my athiest's bible"—a collection of 1000+ opinions on 'what is good', if no form of God or afterlife exists. Most of these statements are about 7 sentences long (see 4. for examples).

I was expecting this to be really tough to read, let alone interpret with any meaning for myself. I was sur

Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
rly cute book--a kind of literary self-exorcism!

i only started reading human, all too human after i had already run through the majority of nietzsche's mature thought [BG&E, GM, TI, Zarathustra, Antichrist, Ecce Homo] and finished the gay science (a kind of cousin to this book)

did not love as much as the gay science--but it is lovely as testament to liberation of the spirit through the act of writing. i glimpsed several scenes in the book that anticipated further points of interest in N's later
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Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a German philosopher of the late 19th century who challenged the foundations of Christianity and traditional morality. He was interested in the enhancement of individual and cultural health, and believed in life, creativity, power, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond. Central to his philosophy is the idea of “life- ...more

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