1.1 THE ATTACK ON MORALITY: nietzsche
isn't concerned with what's classed as moral
and immoral, he believes that what's classed
as immoral and moral should be avoided or
done, his concern is with the psychology of
morality. nietzsche's concern with morality is
that it goes against the will to power and is
therefore a threat to human greatness. the
conventional morality is aimed at the herd
and the people who aim to avoid suffering
and danger, nietzsche wants to free those
who have the potential to be great from that
1.1.1 he opposes all moral systems that attack or
damage the values of a 'higher' man, and
benefit the herd. or any morality that
presupposes free will, or the idea that we can
know truths about ourselves through
introspection, or the similarity of people.
18.104.22.168 what does nietzsche mean by morality, the morality
that he intends to attack? (1) by its values, i.e.
equality, pity selflessness and so on. (2) by its
origins, in particular its motives, especially
resentment. (3) its claim that it should apply to all.
(4) emprical and metaphysical assumptions, e.g.
about freedom, the self, guilt and soon.
1.2 if there were universal moral values, they would be the same for everybody, and a 'history' of morality would be similar to a
'history' of science as it would consist of how we came to know about these moral values. but we can discuss how moral
values have changed over time. but not everyone accepts this and they argue that there are moral values which apply to
everyone, arguing that they are grounded in reason or happiness or so on. nietzsche rejects these theories as they assume
there is no natural history of morality. claims of universality assume that all people are equal and what is goo for one person
is good for another, but nietzsche argues this ignores what type of people there are, namely leaders and followers.
1.3 free will and introspection
1.3.1 nietzsche argues that each person has a fixed psycho-physical
constitution, and that there values, beliefs and so their lives are an
expression of this. a person's constitution subscribes what they can
become or do relative to their circumstances. the will then has its origin in
unconscious physiological forces. in general, whatever we are conscious
of in ourselves is an effect of something we are not conscious of, e.g. facts
about the psycho-physiological constitution. introspection then can't lead
to self-knowledge. yet conventional moralities require we make judgements
on the basis of people's motives, it presupposes that we can know in
ourselves, or in other, which motives cause an action. even when we have
clearly formed an intention it is not always the intention that brings about
the act but other factors.
1.3.2 the idea that a will is free is based on the idea that it has no causes other than itself, the person cannot will or not will.
there is no cause of events which lead to a will,the will is a 'causa sui' (cause in itself). nietzsche says that our experience
of willing does not necessarily lead to the idea of free will, but then how could it have come about? he argues that it
supports the belief in ourselves and our right to praise. nietzsche also says that it serves the purpose of us holding people
t blame for what is in their power. the idea of free will also relates to the idea that values could be the basis for an act of
will. the will is not conditioned by anything of this world, the 'moral law' can determine the will its self. this locates moral
values outside the normal world of causes and into the transcendental world.
1.4 MORALITY AND EVOLUTION: nietzsche argues that evolution favours tameness and
commonness, this is because human society needs to be split up into commanders and
followers, and as evolution proposes that the traits that are superior will survive, e.g traits
which allow people to get along with many more people, this would be traits that are found it
the 'herd' (followers) as they are the greatest number of people, and traits which are found in
exceptional leaders will be rare, therefore evolution favours the herd. the herd even favours
leaders which have common traits with them like tame, modest, hard working and so on, not
leaders that can command. but the tension between free spirits being bread and the
evolutionary process has led to the free spirits being motivated to overcome the ascetic ideal
and prepare the conditions for new philosophers.
2 herd morality
2.1 nietzsche objects to the herd morality as it values what has no values. if each person's values help
them establish favourable conditions then it will lead to the continuation of herd like people, it is
therefore not something the whole human race can live by. the herd morality is a development of the
slave morality which inherits most of its content, including reinterpretations of various traits: impotence
- goodness of heart, craven fear - humility, submission - 'obedience', cowardice and being forced to
wait - patience, inability to take revenge - forgiveness, desire for revenge - desire for justice, hatred of
an enemy - hatred of injustice. happiness becomes being opposed to suffering,pity vs indifference to
suffering, peacefulness vs danger, alturism vs self-love, equality vs inequality, communal utility vs
endangering such utility, ridding oneself of instinct vs instinctual satisfaction, well being of the soul vs
well being of the body.
2.1.1 this morality though has no intrinsic value, and it often endangers human greatness. as
greatness requires suffering in general but this goes against the herd morality and the
feelings of the many. it goes against the development of higher people and deems what the
higher people do, or need to do to get greater as evil, this limits those people who have the
potential to be great leaving them with self- doubt and self-loathing.
22.214.171.124 nietzsche sees this morality to be shrewed and stupid. it contains and controls powerful
instinctual emotions and drives, this is shrewed because these are dangerous to the
herd person, who does not have a strong enough will to control their emotions and to
stand up to others. but it is stupid because it is based on misunderstanding and fear and
opposes the development of higher people. it even undermines its own moral values, as
it is based on fear there can be no neighbourly love or alturism. the herd morality has
moved away from the ascetic ideal and has become a form of utilitarianism as it's aimed
at happiness in this world rather than redemption in the next. but with the loss of the
ascetic ideal there is nothing to inspire people to become greater and overcome their
weaknesses, or find powerful or creative responses to their resentment. this leads
nietzsche to praising christianity for its ability for greatness in architecture and art.
2.2 nietzsche criticises modern ideas, these include values of:
democracy, equality, work ethic, a morality that opposes suffering,
and beliefs in science and positivism (view that morality should limit
itself to what is given in experience and the study of science). he
argues that these values originate from religion. nietzsche opposes
the view of equality, which is so present in democracy, as inequality
is so natural in human life and society, so what does equality rest
upon? equality and democracy are instincts of the herd morality, as
they favour what is unexceptional and mediocre. those who support
these values, even if atheist, are supporting the values of christianity
as they aim for a 'free' society where everybody is equal. the morality
is grounded in the avoidance of suffering, which they think ofas
objective, they are unable to recognise sufferings perspectival
2.2.1 when nietzsche opposes pity he does not mean that we should be heartless, he opposes pity as
the basis for morality as suffering is the origin of greatness. (1) pity wrongly preserves the weak
and prevents people from becoming stronger through suffering. (2) pity demeans both the person
giving and receiving pity. the pitied person is shown a lack of power and their self-respect will be
undermined, so pity brings them more suffering. the person pitying suffers for the person
suffering, again doubling the suffering, they show a lack of self-respect as pity shows a sense
of false equality, 'you' and 'i' suffer together. (3) humans inevitably suffer, so trying to alleviate
suffering goes against life. (4) pity sees individuals as valuable, but as nietzsche argues the goal
of humankind lies in its highest specimen.
2.2.2 nietzsche criticises the modern idea of work ethic (work is morally good an it sets
you free), as this destroys time for self-contemplation and reflection which is vital for
a religious life, the work ethic therefore requires this time. believers in modern ideas
often feel superior to religion, but in fact they don't understand it. they don't
understand whether they should treat it as work or leisure, as their minds have
become s narrow in their categories of understanding. they seek to be tolerant but
avoid the pain of real tolerance, fail to show proper reverence for what is of real
value, feeling if they have the right to investigate everything, they lack shame. even
though nietzsche attacks religion he has enormous regard for it, he has no respect
for those who reject religion thoughtlessly.
126.96.36.199 thinkers who had 'freed' themselves from religion and
advocated modern ideas had thought of themselves as
'free spirits', turning over past conceptions of right and
wrong, advocating a new basis for society. but nietzsche
agues that they are merely continuing the christian
ideas under a new guise, supporting further domination
of herd values and undermining the conditions
necessary for human greatness. by contrast though the
new philosophers will see humankind as degenerating,
they see the '"fate that lies hidden behind the stupid
innocence and blissful ignorance of modern ideas"
2.2.3 nietzsche does not criticise science but scientism, a faith in science having the
ultimate source of knowledge and solutions to the problems of life and suffering. but
science does not genuinely explain the world, it just describes it. this is accepted
and applauded by positivism, as science goes along with the popular idea that we
can only know about what we can see and touch. nietzsche agrees but argues that
we must treat the evidence of our sense cautiously as the sense are guided by our
values. believers in science and positivism fail to recognise this as it goes against
their morality, they think that scientific knowledge is unconditional and objective. and
so science can't replace philosophy for two reasons: (1) it is philosophy that
establishes truth of perspectivism, the perspective of science is a foreground
perspective as it doesn't realise it's a perspective. (2) science incorporates values
but doesn't dictate or create values, this is the job of the new philosopher.
2.3 why should we reject the herd morality and accept the value
nietzsche gives to will to power? life is the will to power, and without
life nothing can be valued, valuing life is valuing the ground of all
values. but weak forms of life, the herd, are still life, and even
dominate life. so we can coherently value life, and the herd, without
valuing the will to power as nietzsche does.
3.1 has evolved out of master morality and can be found in its purest form in the new philosopher. the
noble person has a sense of themselves in knowing what is good and bad, and the new philosopher
creates values. the noble person feels full of greatness and power, while the new philosopher
expresses the will to power in its purest form and are full of joy in the affirmation of life.the noble
person despises what is weak, the new philosopher ranks people on how much suffering and truth
they can bear. both are independent and are not moved by the suffering of the common people.
3.1.1 the best sign of a high rank is to recognise that there is
an instinct for rank, not only among humans, and a
sense of what is great, every elevation of human beings
ahas been and will be achieved through hierarchical
societies. noblility involves a grand attitude (e.g. the
perspective of eternal return) and a longing for 'expansive
inner states' not a sense of being caught up in oneself,
but a continual 'self-overcoming'. this shouldn't be
understood in the usual moral or spiritual terms, e.g.
overcoming one's selfishness or transcending human
desires. it isn't guided by fixed values but involves the
creation of new values, which requires the
self-overcoming of all that is too weak to sustain such
188.8.131.52 nietzsche finds nobility in individuals (a certain type of individual), 5 important characteristic traits: (1) noble man is
solitary, independent and uses others as a means to his ends. (2) is driven by his work, having unified his personality to
focus on his project, he seeks responsibility. (3) is essentially healthy, knowing what is good for him and choosing that.
(4) wills his life unconditionally and perhaps can will the eternal return. (5) has reverence for himself, honouring himself
as powerful, and exercising power over himself and striving for his own values. the higher man is most likely involved in
artistic or creative work, which precisely requires solitude, an obsessiveness about one's project, an indifference to
others opinion, a certainty about oneself and a respect for the traditions for which one has inherited.
184.108.40.206.1 there are consequences to the noble person's sense of self
worth: (1) they can't understand vanity, they start off with a
good opinion of oneself, independently of what others think,
and then demand that their work is recognised by others. the
common person,by contrast, starts off with what other people
think of themselves (just as a slaves worth is bestowed by its
master). (2) they are egotistical as they believe that others
should be sacrificed for their development, this isn't
selfishness as they take responsibility for the human race. (3)
they respect and revere other noble people as they see
something of themselves within them. (4) they don't 'look up'
so its very unlikely that they will believe in god, as nietzsche
believes the idea of god belongs in slave morality.
220.127.116.11.1.1 to be noble one must use suffering, in oneself, to become greater. the noble person suffers greatly but will not cease in
their aim to grow stronger. they will not evoke pity, so will not try to display their suffering, instead they will wear a mask,
e.g. one that treats suffering casually.
18.104.22.168.1.1.1 nobility is not for everybody and nietzsche sees it as unreasonable
for herd people, who have an inability to face the truth about oneself
to adopt nobility, he only aims to free those higher people from living
by the standards of herd morality.
4 history of morality
4.1 one of nietzsche's primary concerns with morality is how certain
values which are associated with the herd became values. morality
is a product if historical development, we can't understand a moral
value or psychological state unless we use history, because that
value or state of mind frequently inherit several different meanings
from different times in the past. through understanding its history we
can distinguish the different meanings and feelings, and see how
they have changed over time. in turn this helps us t understand that
there alternatives to these values and states.
4.1.1 he offers us the history of nobility. barbarians, who are 'predatory' humans
conquered more peaceful of weaker cultures, when in power they
established a class based on the natural hierarchy of humans. nietzsche
had in mind the societies of ancient Rome and Greece when talking about
an aristocratic class, as they lived in conditions of constant threat of
war,invasion and revolt, under these conditions strong people with
intolerant values who didn't mind using 'lower' people as means to an end
were praised and valuable. over time though conditions became easier for
the aristocratic class and the need for strong discipline and values faded
away as they were no longer necessary. individuals ended up emerging as
individuals, expressing not their class but their own values and wills. this
leads to a new danger located in neighbours and even oneself, it is the fear
of individuality. this is met with a new morality based on being 'mediocre'
and encouraging people to be the same.
22.214.171.124 this is one way (according to nietzsche) that values associated with greatness were replaced by
those which favoured the majority. we can identify the stages of decline of the noble/aristocratic
morality: fall of greek empire, fall of roman empire, changes in european societies between the middle
ages and the french revolution.