From Cult to Care. The body in Nietzsche between Eugenics and Construction of the Self

Variant title

Dal culto alla cura. Il corpo in Nietzsche tra eugenetica ed etopoiesi 


This article, From cult to care. The body in Nietzsche between eugenics and construction of the self, points out some pivotal aspects about Nietzsche’s reflection on the body. Zarathustra says: “Human being is something that must be overcome”: but what role does the body play in this overcoming? How can this transvaluation of the human being be accomplished? And what does Zarathustra mean when he says Uber-mensch? This essay aims to demonstrate why the body is conceived by Nietzsche as a psychophysical whole and as a plurality of impulses. Than it will be shown how Nietzschean notion of the body can neither be reduced to biological aspects, nor can the enhancement of physical faculties and performance be considered a “cult” in Nietzsche’s thought. Through the analysis of the genealogy of values, the Platonic tradition, and the theme of illness, the article highlights how both materialistic ontology and an eugenic vision of corporeity are not compatible with a detailed reading of Nietzsche’s reflection. The final goal of the essay is to propose an alternative vision of corporeity, where the body is understood as a privileged way to self-conquest and to self-care, as well as to experience the art of living and the aesthetics of existence.




Italian (it)


Alberto GiacomelliUniversità degli Studi di Padova


Orbis Idearum Volume 6, Issue 1 (2018), pp. 139-160
Transformations of the body