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Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

(The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche #3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  9,691 ratings  ·  309 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 7th 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;)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Tony Go
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
Gerrit G.
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
IF you had read the late Nietzsche, then I bet you'll find a different one in this book (together with Fröhliche Wissenschaften this is from his middle period). Obviously, put aside that I did not get everything, Nietzsche is wrong with some things, but you'll find many treasures here... sometimes between the lines. Given some maturity and life experience, I do think this is a great read.

Warning: you cannot turn back and 'unread' this.
A large collection of more than a thousand aphorisms (and a few poems and dialogues) split up into two books. The first book is split up by theme (morality, religion, the state, women etc.) - the second book is more loosely structured. You get a ton of thoughts ranging from a few sentences to a few pages; the best part being that you can see how cleanly Nietzsche develops a thought over a few inter-connected aphorism (and then comes back to it later, only to refute it). It's like reading through ...more
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A great philosophical exploration.
A few years ago i read Thus Spoke Zarathustra
It did not have the same effect on me as this one
Maybe because i was much younger
Or because this book is much more attractive
It’s like a genesis of Nietzsche’s ideas.
Antonio Delgado
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This early Nietzsche book contains the genesis of some of his most important discussions, including his conception of history, time, and one can argue, his ethics rooted in a humanism that will later be picked up by Arendt, Sartre and Heidegger, among others.
Cass -  Words on Paper
A delectable menagerie of aphorisms, diverse in its observations delving into the complexity of human behaviour. Nietzsche intertwines words into a symphony of humble truths - some of these truths are expressed in pithy statements, others are more verbose. Admittedly I regret that I could not understand the core meaning - or in the case of some, any meaning at all - of every single aphorism, but the ones that rang true for me held steady, allowing my mind to gather a sense of deep clarity and yi ...more
Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
There are a few reviews already drawing comparisons (in style at least) to Nietzche's aphorisms and Wittgenstein's. They both carry a feeling of ironic self-criticism and an uncertainty that they will ultimately be able to express what they want to express. Self-deception, after all, is a key theme in both authors' writing.

518 - "Human lot . Whoever thinks more deeply knows that he is always wrong, whatever his acts and judgments."

491 - "Self-observation . Man is very well defended against himse
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are curious about Nietzsche, or philosophy in general
"Many men wait all their lives for the opportunity to be good in their way.

Before the review, some things to make clear.
Before I go into describing the work itself, I want to say that I won't be reviewing Nietzsche's life, and this work has a lot to offer in terms of what seem to be Nietzsche's views. I will be avoiding what I've encountered with the populace in regard to what they think of Nietzsche. I would prefer to not only read more of Nietzsche's works and refer to them in other revi
C. Quabela
This is a really good read for those interested in the development of Nietzsche's thought, though it is not one to be taken alone. The reason being is that it makes a complete 180 from The Birth of Tragedy in a short period of time. The ideas found in this book indicate most importantly his change in direction from his original, moderate idealism, relatively speaking,for he was never so far gone as to metaphysics as we categorize philosophers as idealists such as men like Berkley, and so you get ...more
Andrew Hunt
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
A few remarks on a great work. - Human, All Too Human is one of Nietzsche's earlier efforts. As such, its one thousand, three hundred and ninety-six aphorisms come across as, not the ravings of a lunatic (see Ecce Homo), but merely the ramblings of an eccentric. This, as is well known, is the hallmark of the best philosophy.

Perhaps the reason for the relative lack of attention this voluminous book receives in the literature lies in its dearth of references to what are considered the quintessenti
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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

Other books in the series

The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche (9 books)
  • Untimely Meditations
  • II إنسان مفرط في إنسانيته
  • Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality
  • Beyond Good and Evil and The Genealogy of Morals (The Essential Nietzsche)
  • The Case of Wagner / Twilight of the Idols / The Antichrist / Ecce Homo / Dionysus Dithyrambs / Nietzsche Contra Wagner: Volume 9
  • Unpublished Writings from the Period of Unfashionable Observations
  • Unpublished Fragments from the Period of Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Summer 1882-Winter 1883/84) (The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, #14)
  • Unpublished Fragments (Spring 1885-Spring 1886): Volume 16

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