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On Nietzsche and pregnancy; The beginning of the genesis of a new human being

Mitcheson, Katrina



Luce Irigaray

Mahon O'Brien

Christos Hadjioannou


Luce Irigaray’s recent book To Be Born: Genesis of New a Human Being can be seen as a response to Friedrich Nietzsche’s well-known call for us to overcome humanity in its current form. Irigaray shares with Nietzsche the belief that to overcome the dissonance that runs through our culture and our being we cannot attend only to cultural and social problems but must bring about the emergence of a new kind of human being. Unlike Nietzsche, however, she develops an understanding of who we are and what we could be that begins with birth and thus roots the potential for this transformation in the concreteness of our infancy and the context of our upbringing. Nietzsche employs the idea of pregnancy in his discussions of the genesis of a new being, but his exclusion of conception and birth indicate limitations inhis approach. I will argue that Nietzsche’s insights into how dependency can limit critical insights and transformation demonstrate the importance of solitude, but he neglects the positive role of care we can find in a proper understanding of a child’s dependency on its parents. Irigaray suggests a route towards addressing these limitations.


Mitcheson, K. (2019). On Nietzsche and pregnancy; The beginning of the genesis of a new human being. In L. Irigaray, M. O'Brien, & C. Hadjioannou (Eds.), Towards a New Human Being (199-220). Palgrave Macmillan.

Online Publication Date Mar 14, 2019
Publication Date Mar 28, 2019
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 15, 2021
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 199-220
Book Title Towards a New Human Being
Chapter Number 12
ISBN 9783030033910
Keywords Nietzsche, Irigaray, pregnancy, transhumanism, overman
Public URL
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