Nietzsche's Revaluation of All Values Essay examples

2324 Words May 19th, 2005 10 Pages
Nietzsche's Revaluation of All Values
In the nineteenth century, popular philosophy - particularly the Hegelian dialectic - professed that mankind was developing in an upward direction, becoming more angelic as it were. Man's moral laws were more advanced, as support for democracy and equal rights were beginning to become popular. However, Friedrich Nietzsche believed that mankind was entering a downward spiral towards complete decadence. Modern man, with its "advanced" morality, was, in truth, decaying on the inside. Claims of morality merely masked modern man's decay:

he is veiled behind moral formulas and concepts of decency…. [not] to mask human malice and villainy…. [but] it is precisely as tame animals that we are a shameful
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Like god's death, this exposes the inherent meaninglessness of the world because the world goes on eternally, devoid of a meaningful conclusion. Furthermore, in saying that there is nothing new under the sun, "but everything old under the sun is going to keep coming back" (Danto 1965, p. 210), there is grave disappointment because mediocrity cannot be annihilated: "alas, man recurs eternally! The little man recurs eternally!" (Z "The Convalescent" 2) Nietzsche does not want us to despair, however, because, acceptance is

the ideal of the most high-spirited, alive, and world-affirming human being who has not only come to terms and learned to get along with what was and is, but who wants to have what was and is repeated into all eternity. [BGE 56]
As with the death of god, this provides man an opening to begin providing value and meaning to his existence by undertaking the revaluation of all values.

Nietzsche's belief that current values were decadent points to a further need for the revaluation. The values were decadent because they deprived mankind of what it needs most, affirmation of life: "I call an animal, a species, an individual

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