Thinking out loud about Nietzsche's philosophy Tuesday, July 13, Katsafanas on "Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology" So our regular Nietzsche reading group here at U of C has been thinned out by summer, but those of us still around have decided to read some secondary literature, starting with the illuminating paper by Paul Katsafanas BU on " Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology " that will appear in The Oxford Handbook, which I guess will be out in The comments that follow are mine, and should not be imputed to the other members of the group, though I do want to acknowledge them since I learned from the opportunity to discuss the paper with them:
Thus, what unifies Nietzsche's seemingly disparate critical remarks — about altruism, happiness, pity, equality, Kantian respect for persons, utilitarianism, etc. Indeed, when we turn to the details of Nietzsche's criticisms of these norms we find that, in fact, this is precisely what he argues.
One detailed example will have to suffice here.
An early remark of Nietzsche's suggests his answer: Are we not, with this tremendous objective of obliterating all the sharp edges of life, well on the way to turning mankind into sand?
Small, soft, round, unending sand! Is that your ideal, you heralds of the sympathetic affections? Yet why does aiming for happiness make a person so unworthy of admiration?
Nietzsche's answer appears to be this: He writes, for example, that: The discipline of suffering, of great suffering — do you not know that only this discipline has created all enhancements of man so far? That tension of the soul in unhappiness which cultivates its strength, its shudders face to face with great ruin, its inventiveness and courage in enduring, persevering, interpreting, and exploiting suffering, and whatever has been granted to it of profundity, secret, mask, spirit, cunning, greatness — was it not granted to it through suffering, through the discipline of great suffering?
The value of suffering, according to Nietzsche, is only extrinsic: As Nietzsche puts the point elsewhere: Nietzsche's attack, then, conforms to the model sketched above: There is reason to think that, on this second point, Nietzsche is generalizing from his own experience with physical suffering, the worst periods of which coincided with his greatest productivity.
Indeed, he believed that his suffering contributed essentially to his work: Even if there is no shortage in the history of art and literature of cases of immense suffering being the spur to great creativity, there remains a serious worry about the logic of this line of Nietzschean critique.
One might think, in fact, that MPS could perfectly well allow an exception for those individuals whose own suffering is essential to the realization of central life projects. After all, a prescription to alleviate suffering reflects a concern with promoting well-being, under some construal.
But if some individuals — nascent Goethes, Nietzsches, and other geniuses — would be better off with a good dose of suffering, then why would MPS recommend otherwise?
This seems the natural philosophical question to ask, yet it also involves an important misunderstanding of Nietzsche's critique, which is not, we might say, about philosophical theory but rather about the real nature of culture.
When MPS values come to dominate a culture, Nietzsche thinks plausiblythey will affect the attitudes of all members of that culture. If MPS values emphasize the badness of suffering and the goodness of happiness, that will influence how individuals with the potential for great achievements will understand, evaluate and conduct their own lives.
If, in fact, suffering is a precondition for these individuals to do anything great, and if they have internalized the norm that suffering must be alleviated, and that happiness is the ultimate goal, then we run the risk that, rather than — to put it crudely — suffer and create, they will instead waste their energies pursuing pleasure, lamenting their suffering and seeking to alleviate it.
Thus, the normative component of MPS is harmful because, in reality, it will have the effect of leading potentially excellent persons to value what is in fact not conducive to their flourishing and devalue what is in fact essential to it.
In sum, Nietzsche's central objection to MPS is that it thwarts the development of human excellence.
His argument for this, in each case, turns on identifying distinctive valuations of MPS, and showing how — as in the case of norms favoring happiness and devaluing suffering — they undermine the development of individuals who would manifest human excellence.
For discussion of other examples, see Leiter Nietzsche's Positive Ethical Vision While Nietzsche clearly has views about the states of affairs to which positive intrinsic value attaches namely, the flourishing of higher menthere is more disagreement among interpreters about what kind of ethics arises from the latter valuation so central to his critique of morality.
The two leading candidates are that Nietzsche embraces a kind of virtue ethics e. These accounts turn out to overlap — the perfections of the latter account are often the virtues of the former — though the perfectionist account will prove to have certain other advantages, discussed below. There is an additional, and special difficulty, for those who think Nietzsche is a virtue ethicist, namely, that he also thinks genuine virtues are specific to individuals, meaning that there will be nothing general for the theorist to say about them [see, e.
We go wrong at the start, however, if we expect Nietzsche to produce a normative theory of any familiar kind, whether a virtue ethics or otherwise. Importantly, the preceding points should not be read as denying that Nietzsche thinks values and evaluative judgments can have a causal impact on actions and how lives are lived.
Values make a causal difference, but, given Nietzsche's epiphenomenalism about consciousness discussed, above, in 1. Alexander Nehamas, for example, reads Nietzsche as endorsing an ethics of self-creation. Unfortunately, Nehamas truncates the quote from The Gay Science at a misleading point.
For Nietzsche, in the full passage, continues as follows: To that end [of creating ourselves] we must become the best learners and discoverers of everything that is lawful and necessary in the world:The decision-making power of prosecutors, based on the wide range of choices available to them, in the handling of criminal defendants, the scheduling of cases for .
An Argument in Favor of John Locke's Philosophies. words. 2 pages. The Main Ideas of Historical Materialism. 1, words. An Interpretation to Reach the Crux of Nietzsche's Argument About Will to Power. 2, words. Ressentiment is a distinct feature of slave morality, so rather than aspiring to power (or encouraging a will to power) humans are busy reproaching power.
In this way, ambition becomes tied to greed and we become suspicious of achievement. A will to power is what drives human behavior. Jul 13, · The aggressive drive does not just produce a blind urge that causes the agent to act aggressively.
Rather, the aggressive drive manifests itself by producing desires, affects, and perceptual saliences that jointly inclidne the agent to see aggression as warranted by the circumstances. A force, as a "will to power," is understood to exist in an antagonistic relation to all other forces.
This antagonism over power is, for Müller-Lauter, the single essential quality of force, in a system otherwise comprised merely of quantitative differences in forces' power. At his daily Mass on Monday, Pope Francis said that, while scandals are inevitable, Christians must beware of injuring the "vulnerability of the people of God" and causing them wounds that "they.