The Philosophy GuideBook to Nietzsche on Morali..

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Edited by Tim Crane and Jonathan Wolff
First published 2002
Sam, William, and Celia
6A commentary on the First Essay193
Explaining historical blindness195
Beyond good and evil206
The triumph of slave morality217
7A commentary on the Second Essay223
The morality of custom and the origin of conscience (13)226
Bad conscience: debt and guilt (48)229
Bad conscience: internalized cruelty (1618)232
The moralization of conscience through religion (1922)235
Preface and
3A nal rationale for this study though surely the least important of
philosophers want to be artistic natures and enjoy the divine
For an overview, see Magnus (1988). Magnus, however, appears to misun-
. Without the
my doctoral thesis. For his invaluable and constructive guidance on
For comments on some or all of the manuscript, or helpful
Knobe, Maurice Leiter, Richard Posner, John Richardson, Mathias
Risse, Neil Sinhababu, James Q. Whitman, Allen Wood, and Paul
Woodruff. Maurice Leiter, in particular, greatly improved the clarity
The Birth of Tragedy
The Case of Wagner
Smtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bnden
psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (18561939), and the postmodern
philosopher and historian Michel Foucault (192684). Freud famously
philosophers of human nature
. The
One possibility, then, is that Foucault himself is an M-Naturalist, just the kind
In the semantic sense, by contrast, S-Naturalism is just the view that predi-
(e.g.,maximizing human well-being) that admit of empirical inquiry (e.g.,
natural product
thoughts, values, every yes, no, if and but grow from us with
Truth and knowledge
wegzulgen] of reality (A: 15); or Themore abstract the truth [Wahrheit
have to seduce the senses to it (BGE: 128); or Today we possess
testimony of the senses. ... The rest is miscarriage ... [in which]
reality is not encountered at all. (TI III: 3); or the whole treatment of
the Four Great Errors [
in 1878, and its Schopenhauer-inspired empiricism
nonnatural faculty ... capable of knowledge of reality uncontaminated by
Cf. Poellner (2001) on essential representation-dependence.
claim that there exists a noumenal world, a world-in-itself. For the
its inexorability in small as in great matters ... the most difcult is
(BGE: 207). His complaint about science here, and elsewhere, isnt
in itself, we act once more as we have always acted
What if a regressive trait lurked in the [morally] good man,
manner? ... So that morality itself were to blame if man never
Mchtigkeit undPracht] possible for the type man? So that morality itself wasthe danger of dangers?This basic worry about the possibilities for human greatness animates all his writings, even some of the earliest. In the 1870s, hewas already speaking of the goal of culture as the production ofgenius (U III: 6), though at this time he worried less about the effectof morality on genius than about the crudest and most evil forces,the egoism of the money-makers and the military despots (U III: 4).The major work of the early 1880s, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, beginswith Zarathustras image of a world in which all human excellence
What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What
who makes everything small. ...
We have invented happiness, say the last men, and they
one needs warmth. One still loves ones neighbor and rubs
Formerly, all the world was mad, say the most rened,
We have invented happiness, say the last men, and they blink.
1870 as a medical orderly in the Franco-Prussian war of 18701, but
rationalism against which the books argument is mainly directed.
academic peers. Fourteen years later, he himself called the book badly
therefore disdainful of proof. ... (BT Attempt: 3). The reviews at
invalid. Within a decade of his death, he was probably the most famous
Cf. EH III: CW-4: It is part of my ambition to be considered a despiser of
For example, it reects no concern for the effect of capitalism and national-
worlds leading center for classical philology what we now call
least, dispassionate and ... disinterested (Silk and Stern 1981: 11).
of the state of classical philology at the time, see Whitman (1986). As
Whitman argues, part of what made
The Birth of Tragedy
The Presocratics and the Sophists
instincts come to the top (WP: 427). For the whole phenomenon Plato
I would sooner use the phrase higher swindle (TI X: 2), he says.
With the Greeks, things go forward swiftly, but also as swiftly
philosophische Wissenschaft
of nature. For Heraclitus, for example, the study of men their soul,
institutions and ideas ... was in no way separate from the study of
the senses, but each persons sensory experience may be different,
is their commitment to human nature as a subject of study (Woodruff
Cf. Guthrie (1971: 84): To understand the temper of the age in which the
unbefangenste Weltkenntnis
to the Sophists is vitiated; indeed, Brobjers own research elsewhere has
Thucydides and, perhaps Machiavellis
The Prince],
Sophist Gorgias, as well as Glaucon and Thrasymachus in Platos
that [s]elf-interest ... is what every nature (
Compare also Glaucon in Platos
(Quoted in Janaway 1998b: 16)
For an excellent overview of Schopenhauers philosophy, see Janaway
the intellect. To be an individual expression of this will is to
(GM Pref: 5)
, as though fated. Indeed, the
Ecce Homo
... All thiswe are at liberty to do: but how many know we are
(e.g., the drives) which constitute the character. As Schopenhauer
()suggests, though, that there is work for the intellect to do in guidingthe character precisely what we can do when we acquire characterin Schopenhauers sense. So the passages in
repudiation of Schopenhauers view, but a reiteration of it.
it does not (though Schopenhauer, at least, is unclear on this issue). We
See generally, Lange (1865) and Vitzthum (1995).
natural forces (Vitzthum 1995: 70) so that a human being is nothing
dHolbach, Vitzthum 1995: 71).
Force and Matter
like all other organic beings (p. lxxviii). Man is a product of nature,
German Materialism had its origins in Ludwig Feuerbachs
Materialists proper Bchner, Vogt and Moleschott from the anthropo-
logical materialism of Feuerbach and the historical materialism of Marx.
iologist Karl Vogts
Blind Faith and Science
and Bchners
Force and
materialism, going through 12 editions in 17 years, and being trans-
among other things, Langes discussion of the materialist movement
of our times (quoted in Stack 1983: 13) including such gures as
Feuerbach, Bchner, Moleschott, Heinrich Czolbe, and the pioneering
admits that in the late 1870s, A truly burning thirst took hold of me:
Soul]; note Schopenhauers own irtation with the same view [1844: 272 ff.]).
The scope problem
du sollst]speaks to us too (4). This means, of course,
one moral code ought to apply to all. Finally, defenders of the Pre-
Kaufmann 1959: 21314; Kaufmann 1974: 374; Foot 1973: 1579; Magnus
Cf. Foot 1973: 114; Geuss 1981: 44.
Cf. Nehamas 1985: 209, 214; see also Foot 1973: 165; Solomon 1973b: 216;
Cf. Deleuze 1962: 21; Danto 1965: 1056; Schacht 1983: 441 ff.; Williams
2agents (generally) hold particular moral beliefs because they
See, e.g., BGE: 32; GM I: 13; TI VI; EH III: 5; EH IV: 8; and also Leiter
1they are always
2they may not be
I am grateful to R. C. Koons for guidance on this issue.
is. But to speak of what rather than who suggests precisely the objecti-
equally problematic, grounds. For example, commenting on the famous
who despise the body do so because of the belief that they have a stable self
(1985: 251 n. 6). But Zarathustra nowhere in the passage disputes the exis-
Ecce Homo
thing one has taken to be important so far.
is necessary ... but
()(surprisingly) that amor fatiis my inmost nature (EH III: CW-4). The
Cf. Schopenhauers observation in
On the Freedom of the Will
use talk and moralizing to reform a mans character ... is exactly like
the attempt ... by means of careful cultivation to make an oak produce apri-
cots (1841b: 45).
If all youractions arise from choices (that arise from the will), but
causa sui
, then everything about our
consciousness is not causally efcacious in its own right. While a
persons conscious states may be part of the causal chain leading up to
sophical consequences of abandoning free will. For a refreshingly different
mechanism of our actions, but ... in any particular case the law
of a persons life trajectory. So while type-facts may circumscribe the
Classically Realist
a person is whatever facilitates that persons
goodness. As W. K.
Railtons view explains how this could be so, providing the philo-
See, e.g., BGE: 62, 21; GM III: 14; A: 5, 24; EH IV: 4; WP: 274, 345, 400,
What is characteri
? What, in other words, marks the
to give style
claim for a philosopher whose physical ailments were legion. Yet
[T]he passion that attacks those who are noble is peculiar. ...
higher men. If there
1their impotence becomes goodness of heart;
2their anxious lowliness becomes humility;
3their inoffensiveness and their lingering at the door becomes
4their inability to achieve revenge becomes their
1, 9, IV: 13, 10; BGE: 197, 198, 2012, 225, 257; GM Pref: 5, III: 11 ff.; TI
II, V, IX: 35, 378, 48; A: 7, 43; EH III: D-2, IV: 4, 78; WP: 752.
What has
Note the contrast with the traditional Christian view of suffering. While the
characteristic of the disciplined artist at work may possess consid-
Kaufmanns translation actually makes the distinctions much easier to draw;
See, e.g., Morgan 1941: 118 ff.; Kaufmann 1974: 199200; Wilcox 1974:
13). When it comes to value judgments pertaining to welfare or pruden-
there are
(EH III: Z-6). Elsewhere he remarks that, Todays
ears resist ... our truths (BGE: 202). And he recognizes that, Our
the same time keep away, create a distance, forbid entrance,
One possible response might run as follows. Yes, one might
reduce them to the level of desiccated Chinese stagnation (EH IV:
contact with reality and as pure ction which falsies ... reality
die Wirklichkeit flscht
Two nal puzzles
and decline than any other human being before me ... I know both,
and, at least within the Kantian tradition, so too are the Free Will and
s fame rests on its perceived
and what is the
Foucault (1971) renders
viduate it intelligibly over time. What the genealogist denies is that this
stable element is to be located in the objects purpose or value or
simply be the act of inicting a harm or loss on a person based on a
This point is missed in both Foucault (1971) and Geuss (1994), but correctly
as the voice of God in man but rather
See, e.g., Foot (1973): 114; Kaufmann (1974): 113; Geuss (1981): 44.
This claim requires at least two qualications. First, in at least one place,
false consciousness about MPS. To that end, the tone and trappings of
... has a two thousand-year history behind
... for cold, pure, inconsequential knowledge (U III: 6). Its aim is
to know the truth about MPSs origins for the sake of knowing
Some commentators have also contested the translation of Zur as on,
instead of towards. Once again, the German commands neither translation;
We may agree with this account in two respects: rst, of course, in its
peculiar to MPS (and Christianity) that they will become impris-
munity. ... Hence just these drives are branded and slandered
? What hap-
pened? For it is weird and monstrous and dumbfounding, and
to takeMPS seriously. In a passage that justies Bergmanns vivid
is degenerating.
First Essay is BGE: 260, from which I will quote liberally
the First Essay
morality] was victorious (GM I: 7). What we have lost sight of is
Vengeance, to be sure, was another important motive for the slave revolt,
W. E. H. Leckys
The Origin of Moral Feelings
as follows: To the father of this book, with gratefulness from its mother.
In the case of Res hypothesis about the origin of the morality
spiritually noble, aristocratic and spiritually privileged, while
) express the concepts of common,
plebeian, and low (GM I: 4; cf. p. 5).
ressentiment] ...
needs to be distinguished from the French word spelled and pronounced alike,
differ in sense. ... [B]oth to resent in English and
in French
word does. Bittners point is conrmed by the fact that in the German,
, the Church Father Tertullian, is offered as an example
and instinctive ressentiment, by means of which the noble racesand their ideals were nally wrecked and overpowered, as theactual instruments of culture; which, however, is not to say thatthe bearersof these instincts were themselves representatives ofthe culture.(GM I: 11)The originalnobles or masters Roman, Arabian, Germanic,Japanese nobility, Homeric heroes, Scandinavian Vikings (GM I: 11)
instrument of culture, though the men of
chapters, would be an MPS). To understand, in turn, what it means to
the master morality of good and bad.
To do justice to the
beyond good and evil. Thus, Nehamas cites WP: 351 (1985: 209), where
who are not evil (
... is
[the slaves] basic concept,
one himself (GM 1: 10)).
Second, GBM and GEM have different motives. For GBM, the
attaches to those qualities ... which serve to ease the existence
for those who suffer, e.g., pity ... patience, industry, humility and
friendliness are honored
a touch of disdain is associated ... with the good of this morality
... the good human being [the one who performs good acts] ...
()and noble (GM 1: 7). As one commentator aptly puts it:When the eye of
First, the subject-matter of the judgments of GBM is the person, not
Good and bad Good and evil
Subject-matterThe personParticular actions
Substantive Attaches to nobleAttaches to
valuetraits of characteractions favorable
agents act freelyagents act freely
temptible oneare certain aspects of his character (dispositions,
One should not conclude, either, that GEM values are unconcerned with char-
Of course, it cant be that the strong
and 7 of the First Essay, which we have so far largely ignored.
phenomenon hes explaining: namely, the change in consciousness
represented, in the First Essay, by the triumph of slave morality.
the Second Essay
or consciousness of ones prior acts and debts became a capacity for
First, there is an explanation of how animals like us acquired a
Freud takes internalized cruelty (intensied through the internalization of the
For a practice to be
If conscience a capacity to remember ones promises arises from
What, then, distinguishes a sense of debt (which, presumably, only
agent. We shall
(of compensation in money, land or possessions of any kind), asort of pleasureis given to the creditor as repayment andcompensation, the pleasure of having the right to exercisepower over the powerless without a thought ... the enjoyment
of violating. ... [C]ompensation is made up of a warrant and
To see somebody suffer is nice, to make somebody suffer even nicer
calls animal bad conscience (GM III: 20) and the answer is the
same as the one popularized by Freud some forty years later in
Freud (1930: 789) writes: [Mans] aggressiveness is introjected, internal-
(GM II: 18)
, can mean both debt and guilt. What is involved
Guilt, says one commentator helpfully, is an experience of
an external observer, Williams
than be his son); and
continued to grow for several millennia, and that the Christian God
menschliches Schuldbewusstseins] such thatatheism would involve a second innocence[Unschuld], i.e., an
should be rendered as guilt, rather than debt, but one suspects
creditor, in God.
To moralize the concept of debt is precisely to turn it into guilt:
feeling of guilt. But atheism can only eliminate the feeling of
they are pushed back into conscience; more precisely, the entangle-
conscience with the concept of God. The
crucial question, of course, is why atheism would not sufce to defeat
ness. Why not?
(GMII: 21), for example via ideas like original sin in Christianity
(GM II: 21) or the idea of existence in general ... as inherently worth-
has, through the very same gesture, simply amplied mankinds feeling
debt, but now the even greater debt resulting from the creditors
discharged, debts that reect badly on ones personhood, debts for
Diese Griechen haben sich ... ihrer Gtter bedient,
A god must have confused him [the human wrongdoer], [the
Greek] said to himself at last, shaking his head. ... In this way,
of evil they did not, at that time, take the punishment on them-selves, but rather, as is nobler, the guilt.(GM II: 23)Here we have explicit conrmation that one can have bad conscienceand at the same time not have it expressed via the self-torture associ-ated with Christian guilt. The Greeks have bad conscience as wesaw earlier, Greeks like Oedipus can suffer from the throes of internalself-assessment (e.g., by reference to shame norms) but deect its
What, then, explains why the Greeks created different gods from we
actually become a necessity would be needed to redeem us ...
Antichrist and anti-nihilist (GM II: 24) and equates him with
the Third Essay
for ones own sexual pleasure, a desire for ones own material satisfactions,
who enjoyed drink, women, and the nightlife. He
to the philosophers life, for his drive[s] ... to doubt ... deny ...
research, investigate, dare ... his will to neutrality and objectivity all
, this is primarily a result of the desperate
for most
exercising ones power upon others; that is all one desires in such
cases (GS: 13). To be in a position to benet others is to have a status
to the explanation for praise: A sort of restoration of balance in
judgment even of the more powerful.
What actually arouses indignation over suffering is not the suffering itself,
facts of the slave revolt discussed in the First Essay.
distress ... upon whom [the sufferer] can release his emotions (GM
To see why this suffering is meaningful (hence bearable), we
Truth, science, and perspectivism
On the idea of willing nothingness, and its relationship to Schopenhauer,
without God, the beyond and the virtues of denial, i.e., all the accoutre-
For general treatments of perspectivism, see especially Leiter (1994) and
Poellner (2001). I borrow, a bit, from Leiter (1994) in the discussion that
It is in this regard, among others, that Schopenhauers view is only quasi-
2The more perspectives we enjoy for example, the more angles
Poellner (2001: 11119) explores a similar possibility as well, under the
in principle to accessible truth. ...
Poellner (2001: 115) called this passage to my attention. Cf. his discussion at
as we understand him mechanistically. Formerly man was given
? ... The meaning-
The Birth of Tragedy
puzzle of the First Essay: namely, why did slave morality triumph, why
of the instincts? (BT Pref: 1). Or similarly: The question of the Greeks rela-
meaning. ... I will teach men the meaning of their existence the overman
(Z Pref: 7), where the overman, of course, is the one who is able to afrm the
existentialists, especially Camus. For the meaning embodied in afr-
When the Danish critic Georg Brandes (18421927) rst intro-
to each persons utility or well-being; Kantian theories respect it by empha-
power ... Nature, not Manu, distinguishes the pre-eminently
Twilight of the Idols
no higherduties; but there are men and duties existing beyond
concerned with a species of man whose teleology extends some-
what beyond the welfare of a state ..., and with [this kind of
by justanybody. All the nobler spirits and tastes select their
one at the same time erects barriers against the others. All the
at the same time keep away, create a distance, forbid entrance,
We rst broached this topic in Chapters 4 and 5: see pp. 1324, 1847.
3One might want to respond on Foots behalf, however, and insist
What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a
audacity. As he writes in a
be reconciled with the fact of suffering? What
Force and Matter
London: Trubner.
Schopenhauer and the Development of His Empiricism, in Janaway
Clark, Maudemarie and Leiter, Brian (1997), Introduction, in Friedrich
Foucault, Michel ([1966] 1970),
Sheridan, New York: Random House.
(ed.) (1994),
281, 2836; and mans inner
Czolbe, Heinrich 66
Danto, Arthur xiii, 2n, 72, 75, 76n,
bad conscience
decadence 1589, 191
14, 38, 43, 291
Deleuze, Gilles 54n, 76n, 202n
Freud, Sigmund 2, 5, 7, 1112, 12n,
Guthrie, W. K. C. 401, 45, 47, 49,
Humboldt, Wilhelm von 35
Hutcheson, Francis 198
moral psychology 189, 221, 2867,
harmful to higher human beings
normative component of, critique
Overbeck, Franz 190n
Schaberg, William 33n
143n, 248, 2647, 272,274,
Stegmaier, Werner xin
Stern, J. P. 33, 367
Taylor, Charles 68
Tertullian 204, 254
Transparency of the Self Thesis
Types, Doctrine of 8, 68, 91, 157;
Velleman, J. David 90, 92, 94,
Vitzthum, Richard 645
Vogt, Karl 64n, 65
Voltaire 116n
Wagner, Richard 323, 55,
Watson, Gary 88, 90n, 94
Weber, Max 1, 146
Weinberg, Steven 274

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