Kant 's Morality, Nietzsche 's Sickness Essay
Professor Kristyn Hara
Due May 2, 2015
Kant’s Morality, Nietzsche’s Sickness: One and the Same In On the Genealogy of Morality, Friedrich Nietzsche argues against what he calls “bad conscience” (Nietzsche, 56), or the suppression of instinct. He believes that people should act according to their will to power, an aggressive drive which all humans possess. Restraining themselves from exercising this will to power only causes people to turn its violent demands inward and ultimately hurt themselves. In Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Immanuel Kant describes his concept of morality. The morality of an action, he says, is contingent not on its content, but on whether it was preformed out of our duty to preserve and protect the rational nature as it exists in humans (Kant 41). In fact, it is in violation of universal practical law to act on aggression against other people. The following analysis will show that Kant’s notion of morality is virtually identical to what Nietzsche calls “the greatest and most uncanny of sicknesses” (Nietzsche, 57); it is the same, both in cause and content.
Source of Kant’s Morality / Cause of Nietzsche’s Illness For Kant, morality is necessarily objective and unchanging. Therefore, the only true categorical imperative – a law which can be represented in an action which is good in itself – is an objective principle: that a rational nature exists as an end in itself (Kant 41). The rational nature, as…