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14 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?
He means an investigation of the origins of morality.

This is goes against other Western ethical doctrines in that it frames morality as a naturally occurring, historically changing, and possibly transient (or impermanent) phenomenon, instead of a divine or transcendent phenomenon.
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 identify that morality comes from human psychology.

However, he says that they fail to see the need for a historical account on 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 weak, which claims that the weak are good (because they do no violence, etc.)

He calls it the great disgust because it is deceptive; the week are just lying to themselves, denying themselves, and are going against their will to power.
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 was the 2000 year process of revenge against the “strong.” (driven by ressentiment?) “Good and bad” were inverted and became “good and evil.”

The priests prescribed this morality; they told the low that their weakness was merit. Like a herd, the weak followed.
What is ressentiment in Nietzsche’s genealogy, and what role does it play in producing morality?
An emotion of the weak (who can’t take actual revenge) that recovers their loss to the strong with a sort of imaginary revenge of envy and hatred . It acts as a sort of fulcrum for the inversion of morality
What are the two key apects of the emergence of morality, as Nietzsche describes them in Treatises 1 and 2 of GOM? Describe both of these two great changes, for Nietzsche.
The revaluation of values: when values were flipped, and good became bad.

The emergence of moral conciseness: through guilt, punishment, and fighting our forgetful nature, we become calculable and predictable and develop as well as express our will.
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?
Punishment was a way for someone to feel as if their debt to society had been paid. Suffering through punishment was something one did willfully in order to restore ones dignity.

Today, punishment no longer purifies, it just 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.
9. 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. If a crime is committed, justice has been harmed, 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."
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.

It does not necessarily mean having power over others, but having complete power over ourselves and our own life.

The will to power or the lack there of dictates morality.
What is the ascetic ideal that shapes culture – in religion, morality, philosophy, and science – for Nietzsche?
The ascetic ideal is the “will to nothingness” or “an aversion to life.” It can be equated to the life of a monk, trying to strip a human being to the simplest form of life. In our culture for example: scientists try to find the true origin of all things, and similarly philosophers try to explain why things are how they are.

Nietzsche says that this is going against our nature and that we should just live our lives in the present.
Why does Nietzsche say at the end of GOM that the ascetic ideal and its morality are “still a will”?
Nietzsche says that even this "will to nothingness," this ascetic ideal, is still a will since we are going against our human nature to obtain it.

He says however, that it is wrong to strive for the ascetic ideal, and that we should just accept our human nature.
What is Nietzsche’s view about the kind of moral progress in Western society that Mill celebrated?
Mill believed that through social utility society will eventually progress to equality. Nietzsche says that we are actually degreasing. Furthermore, equality will never happen because of our natural will to power, and he argues that some people are just naturally better than others.