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- Beyond Good and Evil
- Beyond Good and Evil
- Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Morality of Immoralism
Beyond Good and Evil
Moreover, BGE is supposed to provide an "introduction to the background of Zarathustra", as Nietzsche wrote to his editor. The result is a powerfully argued and challenging investigation, which shows how sophisticated Nietzsche's treatment of the traditional questions about the True and the Good is. The authors claim that BGE can be read either exoterically or esoterically. Prima facie, the book seems to articulate a completely naturalistic project.
This, however, they claim, is just how it looks exoterically. Nietzsche's way of writing, they suggest, aims at urging the attentive reader to overcome this allegedly superficial impression and access the deeper, esoteric meaning of his book.
This would be true, in particular, of the physiological and biological talk he often adopts. To take this talk at face value would be to remain blind to the esoteric meaning Nietzsche is actually trying to convey to the careful reader. Once this blindness is removed, she would realize that "he does not turn his back on the normative aspirations of traditional philosophy" 9.
In the first part of the book, they argue that Nietzsche doesn't aim at resolving the tension between the "will to truth" as best represented by scientific knowledge and the "will to value" our normative commitments in favor of one of these two poles. The second part focuses on Nietzsche's philosophical psychology, which the authors interpret as a renewal of Plato's view of the soul. I shall summarize how they proceed in articulating these two main points and then raise some worries about their reading.
According to their proposal, this "magnificent tension" is the one between the "will to truth" and "will to value". As the authors read this story, it is wrong to take Nietzsche as criticizing either the "will to truth" -- the mistake of postmodern readings -- or, alternatively, the "will to value" -- the mistake of naturalist readings. In fact, he praises the "will to truth" embodied by scientific knowledge. One might well be incorrectly led to this conclusion by his claim that philosophy doesn't have "a 'drive for knowledge'" as its "father" BGE 6 , but rather corresponds to a mere projection of the philosopher's own values.
However, the authors deny that Nietzsche is thereby suggesting that philosophers should renounce their normative commitments. Quite the contrary, being able to "see" things in terms of values is what constitutes, in his eyes, the very essence of philosophy. To better illustrate his point, Nietzsche uses the example of music:.
What would one have comprehended, understood, recognized! Nothing, really nothing of what is 'music' in it! GS Scientific explanations at their best are true, but they lose their truth when accompanied by an insistence that everything can be explained scientifically. The only things that stand outside the range of scientific explanation. Values such as the beauty of a piece of music are located in the latter.
The second part of the book is devoted to Nietzsche's philosophical psychology. The authors oppose the widespread thesis that he simply dismisses normatively loaded notions like 'soul' and 'will'. They first address Nietzsche's treatment of the soul and argue that he only criticizes the "atomistic" conception which takes it to be "something indestructible, eternal, indivisible" BGE Contrary to this view, Nietzsche proposes to think of "'the soul as a society constructed out of drives and affects'" BGE In turn, the order of one's drives is what constitutes one's will.
The key point of the authors' reading is that "the drives are arranged not merely in a causal order but in a political one" This would emerge from Nietzsche's description -- in BGE 19, of which they provide an impressive reading at pp. The order of the drives which constitutes someone's will is thus the "normative order" also constituting her "values" Having such a will is what makes us persons able to act on reasons. As such, we enter the "space of reasons" to which scientific explanations are blind.
The first concerns Nietzsche's notion of will to power, which they read psychologically as a kind of "second-order drive" shared by all other drives and underlying the process through which these end up forming the political order which constitutes one's will. Furthermore, they argue that Nietzsche's notion of will to power has no role to play outside his philosophical psychology.
To substantiate this claim, they offer an esoteric reading of those aphorisms where it is apparently employed in a biological BGE 13 , physical BGE 22 or ontological BGE 36 sense. In addition, the authors maintain that the view of the soul they ascribe to Nietzsche has the advantage of providing an illuminating rationale for his peculiar way of writing.
And this is precisely what Nietzsche tries to achieve in writing the way he does. I shall focus on two main points. The first concerns their appeal to the distinction, found in BGE, between exoteric and esoteric.
As Nietzsche explicitly endorses it, it seems obvious that his book has been written in view of it see, e. His point is rather that, since the kind of reaction one has to certain views depends on one's being a "higher" or a "lesser" type of man BGE 30 , in many cultures such views were allowed -- rightly, for Nietzsche -- to circulate only within limited circles of initiates.
The same point is made with regard to books, some of which "have inverse values for soul and for health, depending on whether they are used by the lower souls. Nonetheless, the authors are right in stressing that Nietzsche's texts are written so as to misguide hasty readers and that his usage of certain terms differs from the current one.
Thus, even if the exoteric-esoteric distinction is of little help in illuminating such peculiarities, their exegetical efforts are more than justified. In some cases, such efforts also strike me as successful, as when they propose to read Nietzsche's claim that logical principles are "false" as tantamount to "not-transcending our cognitive practices". Thus, it seems to me more natural to hold that, in referring to his "foreign"-sounding "new language" BGE 3 , Nietzsche wants to make us reflect on his usage of the traditional philosophical jargon.
In particular, there are reasons to doubt that the normative aspects they find in BGE suffice to ground the attribution to Nietzsche of substantial concerns with rational justification. Consider for instance their view of Nietzsche as carrying on Kant's normative program.
Nor do the authors tell us in which sense the "space of reasons" envisaged by Nietzsche might differ from Kant's "logical 'Beyond'". According to it, the "political" order of the drives constituting the soul cannot just correspond to their "causal" order, for it is not merely "an order of strength" Now, it is right to stress that the will to power underlying the formation of such a political order is not equivalent to brute strength.
However, this doesn't show that the power relations between the drives cannot be captured in causal terms. For one thing, it certainly seems wrong to assume that brute strength is the only option available here. It is possible to conceive such relations as realized by sophisticated psychological mechanisms and still treat them as causal. If this is so, why not think of the "political" order as constituted by, or resulting from, the way in which the drives causally interact?
Moreover, it is not clear in which sense the power relations between the drives might be captured in terms of reasons, as the authors claim. They argue that Nietzsche's command-obedience talk implies that the lower-ranked drives "recognize the authority" of the higher-ranked drives But how are we to make sense of it?
This might be an insightful way of seeing it, but it doesn't help us to see how the transactions between the drives happen within something that might be called a "space of reasons".
Rather, it seems to suggest that they don't. Let us move from the sub-personal level of the drives to the personal level of the agent a distinction the authors themselves utilize. Perhaps what motivates talking in terms of rational justification is the way the agent is committed to her values. Each drive highlights a certain aspect of reality as something valuable. If a drive occupies a high-ranked position in the agent's internal normative economy, she will normally assume the drive's "viewpoint" and take to be valuable whatever it highlights as such.
Thus, if the agent's value-commitments are constituted by the value-commitments of her highest-ranked drives, it is hard to see how the former ones might be rationally justified independently from the latter ones. This, indeed, sits nicely with Nietzsche's insistence that the actual motives of our actions lie at the level of our drives.
As we have seen, however, the sub-personal transactions between our drives don't seem to leave room for something like a "space of reasons". Though one might doubt that their case in favor of a normative reading of BGE is successful, it surely provides the most sophisticated and powerful arguments so far brought against the naturalist one.
It is also a major example of philosophical exegesis. The accurate, often even commentary-like, interpretation they offer of Nietzsche's aphorisms is always refreshingly insightful and philosophically stimulating.
It is the kind of thorough, passionate and fascinating investigation one could only wish to come across more often, especially in the field of Nietzsche studies.
Clark M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hollingdale, with an Introduction by R. Schacht, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Nietzsche F. Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality , ed.
Clark and B. Leiter, trans. Hollingdale, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Williams, trans. Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future , ed. Norman, trans.
Norman, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
Beyond Good and Evil
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Oyeshile Published Philosophy. Friedrich Nietzsche presents a radical and enigmatic approach to existentialism by over emphasizing the attributes of subjectivity of the individual over the group, community and God, especially the Christian God. Save to Library.
Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil: A Morality of Immoralism
It was first published in In Beyond Good and Evil , Nietzsche accuses past philosophers of lacking critical sense and blindly accepting dogmatic premises in their consideration of morality. Specifically, he accuses them of founding grand metaphysical systems upon the faith that the good man is the opposite of the evil man, rather than just a different expression of the same basic impulses that find more direct expression in the evil man.
The Will to Truth, which is to tempt us to many a hazardous enterprise, the famous Truthfulness of which all philosophers have hitherto spoken with respect, what questions has this Will to Truth not laid before us! What strange, perplexing, questionable questions! It is already a long story; yet it seems as if it were hardly commenced. Is it any wonder if we at last grow distrustful, lose patience, and turn impatiently away? That this Sphinx teaches us at last to ask questions ourselves?
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Search hundreds of books on our site. It takes up and expands on the ideas of his previous work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra , replacing that work's sunny and life-affirming character with a highly critical, polemical approach. In Beyond Good and Evil , Nietzsche attacks past philosophers for their alleged lack of critical sense and their blind acceptance of Christian premises in their consideration of morality.
Reading on different devices
Он не заметил в АНБ ни одного существа женского пола. - Вас это смущает? - раздался у него за спиной звонкий голос. Беккер обернулся и тотчас почувствовал, что краснеет. Он уставился на карточку с личными данными, приколотыми к блузке стоявшей перед ним женщины. Глава Отделения криптографии АНБ была не просто женщиной, а очень привлекательной женщиной. - Да нет, - замялся .
Одна и та же картинка смотрела на него со всех двенадцати мониторов наподобие какого-то извращенного балета. Вцепившись руками в спинку стула, Бринкерхофф в ужасе смотрел на экраны. - Чед? - услышал он голос у себя за спиной. Обернувшись, Бринкерхофф начал всматриваться в темноту. Мидж как ни чем не бывало стояла в приемной возле двойной двери директорского кабинета и протягивала к нему руку ладонью вверх.
Он видел ее на крошечном экране. Эту женщину, которая смотрела на него из другого мира. Она наблюдает за тем, как я умираю.
Когда Сьюзан вернулась в Третий узел, Грег Хейл как ни в чем не бывало тихо сидел за своим терминалом. ГЛАВА 30 Альфонсо XIII оказался небольшим четырехзвездочным отелем, расположенным в некотором отдалении от Пуэрта-де-Хереса и окруженным кованой чугунной оградой и кустами сирени. Поднявшись по мраморным ступенькам, Дэвид подошел к двери, и она точно по волшебству открылась.