David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):620-660 (2011)
This paper has two goals. First, I offer an interpretation of Nietzsche’s puzzling claims about will to power. I argue that the will to power thesis is a version of constitutivism. Constitutivism is the view that we can derive substantive normative conclusions from an account of the nature of agency; in particular, constitutivism rests on the idea that all actions are motivated by a common, higher-order aim, whose presence generates a standard of assessment for actions. Nietzsche’s version of constitutivism is based on a series of subtle claims about the psychology of willing and the nature of satisfaction, which imply that all actions aim at encountering and overcoming resistance (this is what Nietzsche means by “will to power”). Second, I argue that Nietzsche’s theory, thus interpreted, generates a new, a posteriori version of constitutivism that is not vulnerable to certain familiar objections. If this is right, then we can deploy Nietzschean ideas in order to make a substantive contribution to issues that are currently at the forefront of ethics and action theory.
|Keywords||constitutivism constitutive aim Nietzsche practical reason ethics happiness will to power drive|
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References found in this work BETA
Jonathan Dancy (2002). Practical Reality. Oxford University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (2009). Self-Constitution: Agency, Identity, and Integrity. Oxford University Press.
Thomas Scanlon (1998). What We Owe to Each Other. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Alessandra Tanesini (2012). Nietzsche on the Diachronic Will and the Problem of Morality. European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):652-675.
Andrew Huddleston (2014). Nietzsche's Meta-Axiology: Against the Sceptical Readings. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (2):322-342.
Alex Silk (2014). Nietzschean Constructivism: Ethics and Metaethics for All and None. Inquiry 58 (3):244-280.
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