For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits

by Nietzsche, Friedrich (1996)


This remarkable collection of almost 1,400 aphorisms was originally published in three instalments. The first (now Volume I) appeared in 1878, just before Nietzsche abandoned academic life, with a first supplement entitled The Assorted Opinions and Maxims following in 1879, and a second entitled The Wanderer and his Shadow a year later. In 1886 Nietzsche republished them together in a two-volume edition, with new prefaces to each volume. Both volumes are presented here in R. J. Hollingdale's distinguished translation (originally published in the series Cambridge Texts in German Philosophy) with a new introduction by Richard Schacht. In this wide-ranging work Nietzsche first employed his celebrated aphoristic style, so perfectly suited to his iconoclastic, penetrating and multi-faceted thought. Many themes of his later work make their initial appearance here, expressed with unforgettable liveliness and subtlety. Human, All Too Human well deserves its subtitle 'A Book for Free Spirits', and its original dedication to Voltaire, whose project of radical enlightenment here found a new champion.

Key Passage

478: Industriousness in south and north. - Industriousness originates in two quite different ways. Workmen in the south are industrious, not from a desire for gain, but because others are always in need. Because someone always comes along who wants a horse shod, a cart repaired, the smith is always industrious. If no one came along, he would lounge about in the market-place. To feed himself in a fruitful country requires no great effort: a very moderate amount of work will suffice, in any event he has no need for industriousness; ultimately he would be quite content to beg. -- The industriousness of English workers, on the other hand, has behind it the sense for gain: it is aware of itself and of its objectives, and desires with possessions power, with power the greatest possible freedom and individual nobility.  (p.176)


Nietzsche, Industriousness, Power


Nietzsche Citations

Links to Reference


Hollingdale, R. J.



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