nietzsche essays on the uses and abuses of history adam knig
Nietzsche’s actual psychological explanations rely heavily onappeals to sub-personal psychological attitudes. As Janaway (2009: 52)observes, a great many different kinds of attitude enter theseaccounts (including not only the standard beliefs and desires ofcurrent-day moral psychology, but also “wills”, feelings,sensations, moods, imaginings, memories, valuations, convictions, andmore), but arguably the core attitudes that do the most work for himare drives and affects. These attitude types havebeen intensively studied in recent work (see esp. Richardson 1996 andKatsafanas 2011b, 2013, 2016; see also Anderson 2012a, Clark andDudrick 2015). While much remains controversial, it is helpful tothink of drives as dispositions toward general patterns of activity;they aim at activity of the relevant sort (e.g., an eating drive, adrive for power), and they also represent some more specific object oroccasion of the activity in a particular case (e.g., this ice cream,or overcoming a particular problem in the course of writing a paper).Affects are emotional states that combine a receptive and feltresponsiveness to the world with a tendency toward a distinctivepattern of reaction—states like love, hate, anger, fear, joy,etc. Typically, the sub-personal attitudes postulated inNietzsche’s psychological explanations represent the world inone way or another. Since he endorses Leibniz’s thought thatrepresentation, not consciousness, is the decisive mark of the mental(GS 354), it is reasonable to treat these attitudes asdistinctively psychological, whether they are conscious or not.
Critical essay nietzsche Research paper Writing Service
Nietzsche is arguably most famous for his criticisms of traditionalEuropean moral commitments, together with their foundations inChristianity. This critique is very wide-ranging; it aims to underminenot just religious faith or philosophical moral theory, butalso many central aspects of ordinary moral consciousness, some ofwhich are difficult to imagine doing without (e.g., altruisticconcern, guilt for wrongdoing, moral responsibility, the value ofcompassion, the demand for equal consideration of persons, and so on).
The good/evil pattern of valuation is quite different. It focuses itsnegative evaluation (evil) on violations of the interests orwell-being of others—and consequently its positive evaluation(good) on altruistic concern for their welfare. Such a morality needsto have universalistic pretensions: if it is to promote and protectthe welfare of all, its restrictions and injunctions must apply toeveryone equally. It is thereby especially amenable to ideas of basichuman equality, starting from the thought that each person has anequal claim to moral consideration and respect. These are familiarideas in the modern context—so familiar, indeed, that Nietzscheobserves how easily we confuse them with “the moral manner ofvaluation as such” (GM Pref., 4)—but theuniversalist structure, altruistic sentiments, and egalitariantendency of those values mark an obvious contrast with the valuationof exclusive virtues in the good/bad pattern. The contrast, togetherwith the prior dominance of good/bad structured moralities, raises astraightforward historical question: What happened? How did we getfrom the widespread acceptance of good/bad valuation to the nearuniversal dominance of good/evil thinking?
Nietzsche, Friedrich | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The most extensive development of this Nietzschean critique ofmorality appears in his late work On the Genealogy ofMorality, which consists of three treatises, each devoted to thepsychological examination of a central moral idea. In the FirstTreatise, Nietzsche takes up the idea that moral consciousnessconsists fundamentally in altruistic concern for others. He begins byobserving a striking fact, namely, that this widespread conception ofwhat morality is all about—while entirely commonsensical tous—is not the essence of any possible morality, but a historicalinnovation.
Friedrich Nietzsche - Wikipedia
The highly purified character of moralized guilt suggests how it mightbe a powerful tool for moral revaluation and simultaneously indicatessome of Nietzsche’s reasons for skepticism against it. AsWilliams (1993a) observes, a purified notion of guilt pertaining towhat is completely under the agent’s control (and so entirelyimmune from luck) stands in a particularly tight fit withblame: “Blame needs an occasion—anaction—and a target—the person who did the action and goeson to meet the blame” (Williams 1993a: 10). The pure idea ofmoralized guilt answers this need by tying any wrong actioninextricably and uniquely to a blamable agent. As we saw, the impulseto assign blame was central to the ressentiment thatmotivated the moral revaluation of values, according to the FirstTreatise. Thus, insofar as people (even nobles) become susceptible tosuch moralized guilt, they might also become vulnerable to therevaluation, and Nietzsche offers some speculations about how and whythis might happen (GM II, 16–17).
Friedrich Nietzsche (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
But Nietzsche’s main concern in the Second Treatise is thedanger he takes moralized guilt to pose to psychological health. Thesecriticisms have attracted an increasingly subtle secondary literature;see Reginster (2011), as well as Williams (1993a, b),Ridley (1998), May (1999: 55–80), Leiter (2002: 223–44),Risse (2001, 2005), Janaway (2007: 124–42), and Owen (2007:91–112). One salient thought is that guilt’s very moralpurity makes it liable to turn against the agent herself—even incases where it plays no legitimate role in self-regulation, or in waysthat outstrip any such role. For example, given guilt’s intenseinternalization, no connection to an actual victim isessential to it. Any observer (whether real or ideal/imagined) of theviolation can equally be entitled to resent the guilty party, and thatfact makes space for religious (or other ideological) systems toattach guilt to practically any kind of rule violation, even when noone was harmed. In such cases, free-floating guilt can lose its socialand moral point and develop into something hard to distinguish from apathological desire for self-punishment.