The "Breeding of Humanity": Nietzsche and Shaw's Man and Superman

Shaw: The Journal of Bernard Shaw Studies 39 (2):183-203 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Nietzsche and Shaw are famous and infamous: famous for their innovative and influential forms of writing, but infamous for their apparent support of totalitarianism and Nazism. However, while it has long been shown that Nietzsche’s provocative language about “breeding” and “masters and slaves” was intended to enhance culture through competition, it is still an open question how and when Shaw supported biological eugenics. Via Nietzsche’s “philosophical breeding,” this article presents a new reading of Shaw’s Man and Superman: on the one hand, it contrasts Nietzsche’s philosophical Übermensch with Shaw’s eugenic Superman; and on the other hand, it connects Nietzsche’s agonistic enhancement of culture with Shaw’s philosophical reflections in “Don Juan in Hell.” In contrast to Tanner’s support of eugenic breeding in his Revolutionist’s Handbook, Shaw’s Don Juan remarkably resembles Nietzsche’s notion of “philosophical breeding” toward a more competent, truthful, and autonomous orientation that is needed in increasingly complex global politics.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Superman.Adam Barkman - 2013-03-11 - In Mark D. White (ed.), Superman and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 111–120.
Superman or Last Man.David Gadon - 2013-03-11 - In Mark D. White (ed.), Superman and Philosophy. Wiley. pp. 101–110.
Nietzsche's Political Skepticism.Tamsin Shaw - 2007 - Princeton University Press.
Nietzsche's Political Skepticism.Tamsin Shaw - 2010 - Princeton University Press.
‘‘‘god’s Death’ In Friedrich Nietzsche’s Philosophy.Antoni Płoszczyniec - 2013 - Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia 8 (1):51-65.
Shaw and the Don: George Bernard Shaw's Reception of Mozart's Don Giovanni.Gareth Cox - 1998 - Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 2 (1).


Added to PP

71 (#217,142)

6 months
71 (#56,978)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Reinhard Mueller
Foundation for Philosophical Orientation

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references