Skip Ribbon Commands Skip to main content
Chap 27 SG
 
EPISTEMOLOGY
 
I. Perspectivism 
 
Nietzsche’s perspectivism: reality, truth, the good, order, purpose, stability = social constructions invented by humans for “metaphysical comfort.”
 
·       No facts-in-themselves, only interpretations
·       Interpretations falsify by conceptualizing, classifying
·       Error is even useful (up to a point)
 
Perspectives and power
 
·       All interpreting happens from some perspective
·       No perspective is uninterested
·       Values drive perspectives and thus interpretations
·       Instinct (the will to power) creates values and truth
·       Therefore, the will to power drives perspectives
 
 
 
 
METAPHYSICS
 
I. The will to power
 
·       All life as expression of WTP
·       What is the WTP? (451)
 
 
 
 
Cosmology (not in Lawhead)
 
·       the world = flux, energy, the action and reaction of forces
·       the everyday world = world of practice, pursuit of ends
·       We need meanings, values, concepts, fragmentation of the flux into forms and individuals, “natural kinds” as requirements of our logical system [even our everyday practical logic]
·       So we need to interpret things “in our own image.”
 
 
 
 
 
III. The Problem of the Self (not in Lawhead)
 
Nietzsche starts with body – the tangible and real
[not with “soul” or “will” at least as unified entities]
 
Evolutionary-historical development of a ‘self’
Human consciousness and self-consciousness results from the need for cooperation (with the herd)
Consciousness the repository for the commonplace
The public interpretation of things
Concepts = signals of the herd (e.g. “responsibility,” “free will,” “the moral agent”)
Consciousness is weak compared to unconscious forces, instinct
 
But consciousness ‘deepens’ as aggressive instincts turn inward (with slave morality – see below)
Original consciousness very ‘thin’
But invention of responsibility leads to invention of ‘soul’
·       Development of more self-consciousness
·       Development of [bad] conscience, shame, guilt [as reaction, as the conscious expression of the instinct to cruelty turned inward (the WTP of the powerless)]
·       Development of responsibility as a concept
 
What’s happening from the WTP perspective?
WTP centers acting and reacting
Reaction [resentment] as weakness, sickness
No true ‘self’ as self-encapsulated consciousness or center of experience (remember Hume?)
 
 
 
 
ETHICS
 
I. What is the value of our values? 
 
What standard of value do we use to ask this question? (see 452, also evaluating perspectives on 447-8)
 
The Genealogy of Morals (452-3)
Genealogy = not exactly a history, but a study of the origins and the “mutations” of a thing
 
I. Master ‘Values’ – the “noble” value system
“good” = us – the noble, aristocratic
what are the virtues here?
 
 
 
 
“bad” = them – the common, low
what are the qualities here?
 
 
 
 
 
Psychology – what motivates this stance?
 
 
 
 
II. Slave Morality – the “morality of pity”
“good” = us – the poor, the meek
what are the virtues here?
 
 
 
 
 
“bad” = them, now the evil ones
what are the qualities here?
 
 
 
 
 
 
An “inversion” of the master values, a revaluation – a “slave revolt in morality”
But also, a negation, a no-saying, a reaction
See 453-54
 
 
 
 
Psychology – what motivates this stance?
 
 
 
 
 
Problems with both valuations:
·       Master morality – no conscience, not much control over instincts
·       Slave morality – resentment.  Morality of pity, of reaction, of negation.  Judeo-Christian skepticism leads to nihilism.
 
 
 
IV. Nihilism
 
What is nihilism?  Why is Nietzsche worried about nihilism?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Madman (In the Gay Science)
What is to say that we’ve killed God? (449)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
But nihilism might also be “creative”
·       As “transition” (453)
 
 
 
 
·       Why might this be creative?
 
 
 
 
V. So can we get healthy? 
 
A. Eternal Recurrence (455)
For Nietzsche, there is no teleological “sending,” [e.g. to a Hegelian stage in which the rational is the real, or to some lost paradise or future heaven]  The universe just grinds purposelessly on.
 
But “What if?” [in the Gay Science] 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amor Fati – what is it? What does it signify? (456)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
B. The Overman (454)
What are his virtues? (454-5)
 
 
 
 
 
The “prescription”
1.     Self-overcoming. And overcoming
2.     Our impulse is to avoid pain
3.     Self-overcoming = accepting pain for betterment
 
 
 
Different psychological types will react to eternal recurrence proposal in different ways
1.     Weakness: reacting to pain, saying “no” to it
 
 
 
o   Why is this bad?
 
 
 
 
 
2.     Strength: possibility of a “step back”
o   Ability to say “no” to impulse to react
 
 
 
o   Why is this good?
© 2014 Irvine Valley College