Nietzsche genealogy of morals 1st essay

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Friedrich Nietzsche's Genealogy of Modern Morality

Export citation. In Section 2 Nietzsche initiates his alternative history of moral concepts. Recommend this book. Nietzsche's 'On the Genealogy of Morality'. Lawrence J. Optional message. Written at the height of the philosopher's intellectual powers, Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals has become one of the key texts of recent Western philosophy. Its essayistic style affords a unique opportunity to observe many of Nietzsche's persisting concerns coming together in an illuminating constellation.

A profound influence on psychoanalysis, antihistoricism, and poststructuralism and an abiding challenge to ethical theory, Nietzsche's book addresses many of the major philosophical problems and possibilities of modernity. In this unique collection focusing on the Genealogy , twenty-five notable philosophers offer diverse discussions of the book's central themes and concepts.


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They explore such notions as ressentiment , asceticism, "slave" and "master" moralities, and what Nietzsche calls "genealogy" and its relation to other forms of inquiry in his work. The book presents a cross section of contemporary Nietzsche scholarship and philosophical investigation that is certain to interest philosophers, intellectual and cultural historians, and anyone concerned with one of the master thinkers of the modern age. Nietzsche's Immoralism Philippa Foot 2. But if there are heavenly goddesses who are our patrons, beyond good and evil, then from time to time grant me a glimpse, grant me a single glimpse into something perfect, something completely developed, something happy, powerful, triumphant, from which there is still something to fear!

A glimpse of a man who justifies humanity, of a complementary and redeeming stroke-of-luck of a man, for whose sake we can hang onto a faith in humanity! For matters stand like this: the diminution and levelling of European man hides our greatest danger, for the sight of him makes us tired. We don't see anything today which wants to be greater. We suspect that things are constantly going down and down into something thinner, more good-natured, more prudent, more comfortable, more mediocre, more indifferent, more Chinese, more Christian—humanity, there is no doubt, is becoming constantly "better".

Europe's fate lies right here. With our fear of mankind we also have lost our love for mankind, our reverence for mankind, our hopes for mankind, even our will to be mankind. A glimpse at man makes us tired—what is today's nihilism, if it is not that? We are weary of man. But let's go back: the problem with the other origin of the "good," of the good as the man of resentment has imagined it for himself, demands some conclusion.

That lambs are annoyed at the great predatory birds is not a strange thing, and it provides no reason for holding anything against these large birds of prey, because they snatch away small lambs. And if the lambs say among themselves "These predatory birds are evil—and whoever is least like a predatory bird—and especially who is like its opposite, a lamb—shouldn't that animal be good?

Nothing is tastier than a tender lamb. To demand that strength does not express itself as strength, that it must not consist of a will to overpower, a will to throw down, a will to rule, a thirst for enemies and opposition and triumph—that is as unreasonable as to demand that weakness express itself as strength.

A quantum of force is just such a quantum of drive, will, action—indeed, it is nothing but these drives, willing, and actions in themselves—and it cannot appear as anything else except through the seduction of language and the fundamental errors of reason petrified in it , which understands and misunderstands all action as conditioned by something which causes actions, by a "Subject. In fact, in just the same way as people separate lightning from its flash and take the latter as an action, as the effect of a subject, which is called lightning, so popular morality separates strength from the manifestations of that strength, as if behind the strong person there is an indifferent substrate, which is free to manifest strength or not.

But there is no such substrate, there is no "being" behind the doing, acting, becoming. People basically duplicate the event: when they see lightning, well, that is an action of an action: they set up the same event first as the cause and then again as its effect.

Natural scientists are no better when they say "Force moves, force causes" and so on—our entire scientific knowledge, for all its coolness, its freedom from feelings, still remains exposed to the seductions of language and has not gotten rid of the changelings foisted on it, the "Subject" the atom, for example, is such a changeling, like the Kantian "Thing in itself" : it's no wonder that the repressed, secretly smouldering feelings of rage and hate use this belief for themselves and, in fact, maintain a faith in nothing more strongly than in the idea that the strong are free to be weak and predatory birds are free to be lambs—and in so doing, they arrogate to themselves the right to blame the birds of prey for being birds of prey.

In essay two of Nietzsche’s ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’, ‘Guilt’, ‘bad conscience’ and related

When the oppressed, the downtrodden, the conquered say to each other, with the vengeful cunning of the powerless, "Let us be different from evil people, namely, good! And that man is good who does not overpower, who hurts no one, who does not attack, who does not retaliate, who hands revenge over to God, who keeps himself hidden, as we do, who avoids all evil and demands little from life in general—like us, the patient, humble, and upright"—what that amounts to, coolly expressed and without bias, is essentially nothing more than "We weak people are merely weak.

It's good if we do nothing, because we are not strong enough. But this bitter state, this shrewdness of the lowest ranks, which even insects possess for in great danger they stand as if they were dead in order not to do "too much" , has, thanks to the counterfeiting and self-deception of powerlessness, dressed itself in the splendour of a self-denying, still, patient virtue, just as if the weakness of the weak man himself—that means his essence, his actions, his entire single, inevitable, and irredeemable reality—is a voluntary achievement, something willed, chosen, an act, something of merit.

This kind of man needs to believe in the disinterested, freely choosing "subject" out of his instinct for self-preservation, self-approval, in which every falsehood is habitually sanctified. The subject or, to use a more popular style, the soul has up to now probably been the best principle for belief on earth, because, for the majority of the dying, the weak, and the downtrodden of all sorts, it makes possible a sublime self-deception which establishes weakness itself as freedom and their being like this or that as something meritorious.

Is there anyone who would like to take a little look down on and under that secret how man fabricates an ideal on earth? Who has the courage for that?

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Come on, now! Here is an open glimpse into this dark workshop. Just wait a moment, my dear Mr. Presumptuous and Nosy: your eye must first get used to this artificial flickering light.

So, enough! Now speak! What's going on down there? Speak up. Say what you see, man of the most dangerous curiosity—now I'm the one who's listening. It is a careful and crafty light rumour-mongering and whispering from every nook and cranny. It seem to me that people are lying; a sugary mildness clings to every sound.

Weakness is going to be falsified into something of merit. There's no doubt about it—things are just as you said they were. The inoffensiveness of the weak man, even cowardice, in which he is rich, his standing at the door, his inevitable need to wait around—here these acquire good names, like 'patience' and are called virtue.

That incapacity for revenge is called the lack of desire for revenge, perhaps even forgiveness 'for they know not what they do—only we know what they do! And people are talking about 'love for one's enemy'—and sweating as they say it. One beats the dog one loves the most. Perhaps this misery may be a preparation, a test, an education, perhaps it is even more—something that will one day be rewarded and paid out with huge interest in gold, no, in happiness.

They call that 'blessedness'. But enough!

THE GENEALOGY OF MORALS

I can't endure it any more. This workshop where man fabricates ideals—it seems to me it stinks from nothing but lies. Just wait a minute more! So far you haven't said anything about the masterpiece of these black magicians who know how to make whiteness, milk, and innocence out of every blackness. Have you not noticed the perfection of their sophistication, their most daring, refined, most spiritual, most fallacious artistic attempt.

Pay attention! These cellar animals full of vengeance and hatred—what are they making right now out of that vengeance and hatred? Have you ever heard these words? If you heard only their words, would you suspect that you were completely among men of resentment? Once again I'll open my ears oh! Now I'm hearing for the first time what they've been saying so often: 'We good men—we are the righteous'—what they demand they don't call repayment but 'the triumph of righteousness.

They hate 'injustice,' 'godlessness. What remains for them to love on earth are not their brothers in hatred but their 'brothers in love,' as they say, all the good and righteous people on the earth. Am I hearing correctly? They call that 'the last judgment,' the coming to their kingdom, the coming of 'God's kingdom'—but in the meanwhile they live 'in faith,' 'in love,' 'in hope.

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SparkNotes: Genealogy of Morals: First Essay, Sections

Belief in what? Love for what? Hope for what?

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