Oct. 2, 2013
Nietzsche on Morality
Natural history of morals
Placing the focus on the agent rather than the patient of morality
All the analysis has been on the effects of morality
He is more interested in the creation of morality – motivations, psychology, society,
environment of these people that create values
Multiple creators of these moralities
Moralities should be understood in terms of the people that create them (psychology,
history, culture) – explains different moral codes
Moralities based on utility – based on the welfare of the community
-love of one’s neighbor
-fear of one’s neighbor – moral code that arises out of wanting to protect one’s self
-Production of ‘excellence’ – forms of humanity
-equality – as a value
Valuing excellence in oneself is not the same as valuing happiness
We decide what is good or bad, right or wrong, based on our inclinations, which are
shaped by our environment
Slave & Master morality
-values of the slaves: drives are given expansion, have a wide range of freedom in the
world – values can be practiced
-values of the slaves: powerful will, but checked by their environment, rather motivated
by resentment, reaction to their negative situation
Always motivated by self-interest
Reductionism – psychological egoism - reduces moral values to forms of self-interests.
Pride regarding acting morally – higher self
Moralities are ‘the sign language of emotions’ 110, 187.
Slave morality originates out of revenge mentality towards the masters
How do we evaluate psychological egoism? Motivations?
-only acting ethically do be commended for it?
-because it benefits them? (self-interest)
-not necessarily concerned with justice
Will to power
Slave morality – testimony of the psychology of slaves Naturalism – everything can be explained in terms of nature – depends on your
understand of nature.
For Nietzsche, in terms of will to power – life is understood in terms of will to power