— Georg Simmel
Context: Man is something that is to be overcome.
Logically considered, this, too, presents a contradiction: he who overcomes himself is admittedly the victor, but he is also the defeated. The ego succumbs to itself, when it wins; it achieves victory, when it suffers defeat. Yet the contradiction only arises when the two aspects of this unity are hardened into opposed, mutually exclusive conceptions. It is precisely the fully unified process of the moral life which overcomes and surpasses every lower state by achieving a higher one, and again transcends this latter state through one still higher. That man overcomes himself means that he reaches out beyond the bounds that the moment sets for him. There must be something at hand to be overcome, but it is only there in order to be overcome. Thus even as an ethical agent, man is the limited being that has no limit.
p. 5-6 part of the first essay "Life as Transcendence"