Friedrich Nietzsche
Beth Bishop

Friedrich Nietzsche postulated the existence of "the will to power", which can be found in all types of human behavior and values, including sports.  It is man's basic motivational force characterized by self-control.  A man of power has the creativity to describe himself without letting others determine his being.  This is known as the "overman".  Examples of an overman in sport include Muhammed Ali and Wayne Gretsky - these people excelled and re-defined their sport.  The overman is not conceited but one who drives himself hard, sets difficult goals for himself, and demands more of himself than others.  As an athlete the overman plays to win for himself and not just to beat the opponent.  The overman as athlete is motivated by intrinsic qualities.  According to Nietzsche's theory, your values are presented in your actions; therefore how you play the game suggests what kind of person you are.  Nietzsche's philosophy can be compared to the values of sportsmanship in sports today.  The following web links provide an overview of Nietzsche and his philosophy.

1.)  Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche  (
This site contains biographical information on Nietzsche as well as links to excerpts from some of his most famous writings and a collection of favorite quotes.

2.)  (
Walter Kaufmann provides translations of "Beyond Good and Evil" on this web site to explain Nietzsche's opinion on good vs. evil, pleasure vs. pain, and love vs. hate.

Many people believe Nietzsche was a nihilist.  This site discusses the other side of Nietzsche and why people set goals for themselves if there is no reason to life.

4.)  Philosophical Thoughts  (
This web link provides an interpretation of Nietzsche's philosophy, suggestions on understanding his philosophy, and views of "language as a metaphor".

5.)  The perspectives of Nietzsche   (
This is a quotation page dedicated to Nietzsche.  The site offers quotes about Christianity, philosophy, values and morals, man, and other topics as well as links to other Nietzsche sites.

6.)  nietzsche works  (
This site provides a useful, convenient guide to Nietzsche and his life works in chronological order.  The time line points to his major accomplishments and changing philosophy.

This site offers perspectives concerning his views on "Christianity as Antiquity" and Nietzsche's concept of "will to power".

8.)  (
This web link is a lesson on comprehending the writings of Nietzsche.  The site discusses central concepts in his writings and provides a detailed study guide for "Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Book One".  The focus is placed on Nietzsche's opinion on Christianity (he believes that death is irrelevant, and we must put more meaning into life without worrying about what the
future holds).

This web link provides translations of several works by Nietzsche.  There is an attempt to clarify Nietzsche's philosophy regarding the meaning of life, will to power, and high/noble goals.

This site compares morality to antinature.  The philosophy of morality, discussed in this web site, can be compared to that of sportsmanship.

Return to class readings page:  Kinesiology 493: Philosophy of Kinesiology