Intro to Philosophy
Notes: Phil 1
● Punishment and justice: a common view (not nietzsche)
○ There is good and there is evil
○ We can choose to do good or to do evil
○ If we do evil, we are guilty and we deserve punishment
○ This we call “justice”
○ Also in turn, punishment makes us aware of our misdeeds, it makes us feel guilty
and awakes in us a conscience.
○ Nietzsche thinks this is complete bullshit.
● Nietzsche against the commin view
○ There is no good and evil. These are human made categories. (if you want to go
after someone, blame them, just dont calle them evil)
○ We are not free to act against our instincts. We are a product of our
○ So we are not guilty and do not deserve to be punished. Also, punishment does
not make us feel guilty, go ask anyone in prison if they feel guilty!
○ In fact, when people get arrested and go to prison, they immediately see that the
sjustice system does much worse things to them than they are even accused of,
and they completely lose any faim in the common view of justice.
● Punishment as pleasure 1
○ Netizsche rejects the connection between punishment and guilt. He notes that
oroginally punishment was an alternative payment for creditors when the debtor
did not pay.
○ So to be guilty simply meant to have a debt to pay. When the debtor had no
money, the creditor could punish the debtor as a mean to alternative satisfaction
○ The word “schuld” in german means both debt and guilt
● Punishment as pleasure
○ Nietzsche thinks punishment cannot be related to guilt and conscience.
Punishment does not make us feel guilty and it does not change the way we
behave. So why do we still punish?
○ Nietzsche thinks it is because of the pleasure we derive from it.
○ That we derive pleasure from punishing people is also seen from the public
spectacle with executions
● A brief history or cruelty and pleasure