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11 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
What does Nietzsche mean by a genealogy of morality? How does this idea go against the Western tradition of philosophical ethics we have studied this term?
The genealogy is a naturalistic and historical account of the transient phenomenon of morality in humans. It assesses the origins of morality without reference to any supernatural or transcendent realm of values. This is different from the typical western tradition because it views morality as naturally occurring, historically changing, and transient.
Why does Nietzsche admire the “British psychologists” at the beginning of GOM? What does he think is right and wrong in their approach?
He admires them because they are attempting to provide an historical account of morality.

They orient goodness toward utility, which is a step in the right direction, but failing nonetheless. Nietzsche’s criticism is that they lack a truly historical phenomenological account of the origins of morality.
What is the “morality” that Nietzsche’s genealogy claims to explain (that is: what Nietzsche describing when he describes the “herd morality”? Why does Nietzsche call morality “the great disgust”?
Morality is the vengeful cunning of the powerless, downtrodden, violated and oppressed , who say that they- in their weakness- are the good ones. The good ones do no violence, etc… This is the counterfeiting and self deception of the powerless, dressed up as virtue, with their weakness disguised as merit.
What does Nietzsche mean by the slave revolt in morality? What role do the priests and the herd play in the slave revolt?
The slave revolt stemmed from the weak and their ressentiment of what was originally the “good”- the powerful, noble, beautiful; they ranked themselves superior to the weak, low-minded, common and vulgar- these were the “bad”.

Because of this ressentiment or ‘brewing cauldron of unsatisfied hate’, and the slave’s (common person) desire to make the strong weak, and the good to be bad, the priestly elite of the Judeo-Christian tradition inverted the meanings of good and bad, and transformed the new “bad” (formerly the good) into “evil”.
What is ressentiment in Nietzsche’s genealogy, and what role does it play in producing morality?
A brewing cauldron of unsatisfied hate’, and the slave’s (common person) desire to make the strong weak, and the good to be bad. It is an emotion of the powerless and oppressed, who cannot take actual revenge and who recover their losses by an imaginary revenge of envy and hatred which they aim at the better, stronger, and higher ones.
What are the two key apects of the emergence of morality, as Nietzsche describes them in Treatises 1 nd 2 of GOM? Describe both of these two great changes, for Nietzsche.
The ideas of what is good and what is bad were inverted, and the new meaning of bad was changed to be understood as evil.
Why is the human animal “not permitted to promise” before the emergence of morality? Why are obligation and responsibility capacities that need to develop in the human animal?
Before the emergence of morality, human animals were forgetful, incalculable, wild, and spontaneous. The inversion of good and bad deemed these traits to be bad, evil, and in need of suppression.

Humans became descended to responsibility (the social straight-jacket) only when they sufficiently suppressed the aforementioned animal traits, and became calculable and predictable to themselves and others.
What is the explanation of the role of punishment in Nietzsche’s account? What does he think we don’t understand about punishment in our modern views?
The act of punishment has been at times a celebration of one's power, at times an act of cruelty, at times a simple tit-for-tat. That the society looks upon the punished in a derogatory manner is a terrible mistake to Nietzsche.

Punishment, in ancient times, was meant as a way to purify someone; to make them feel as if their debt to society had been paid. The suffering of a punishment was something which was done willingly, in order to help one to feel a sense of relief and restored dignity.

Today, however, punishment does not purify in this manner; rather it heaps more indignity upon the individual due to the derogatory aspects it has taken on in modern society.
What is moral guilt, and where does it come from in Nietzsche’s view?
Guilt is the internalizing of cruelty. It is a result of a human animal being caged in a peaceful society where the will to power (desire to cause pain) is turned inward upon the self.

Guilt comes from the relation of the creditor and the debtor, where guilt makes an equivalence between payment and pain.
10. What is Nietzsche’s view of justice? Why does Nietzsche disagree with Mill that retribution (punishment) is rooted in vengeance?
Nietzsche’s view of justice is that parties of roughly equal power will settle with one another and forces the weaker to settle amongst themselves. It is the idea of making someone pay a debt that they have. Being punished is payment of that debt.

Justice and the institution of law essentially take revenge out of the hands of the offended party. If I am robbed, it is justice, and not myself, that has been harmed, and so justice must claim revenge. Thus, Nietzsche suggests, the concept of justice can only exist in a society that has established laws that can be transgressed: there is no such thing as "justice in itself."

Justice ~= vengeance. Vengeance = ressentiment, where justice imposes an impersonal limit (a law) that restricts the feeling of ressentiment.
11. What is Nietzsche’s ideal of the will to power? What role does the will to power play in Nietzsche’s GOM?
This is the instinctive striving of every animal for optimum favorable conditions under which it can vent its power completely and attain its maximum feeling of power.

**********Power is an end to which humans aim*************