David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Vanessa Lemm (ed.), Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life. Fordham University Press 194-213 (2014)
In this paper, I directly oppose Nietzsche’s endorsement of a morality of breeding to all forms of comparative, positive eugenics: the use of genetic selection to introduce positive improvement in individuals or the species, based on negatively or comparatively defined traits. I begin by explaining Nietzsche’s contrast between two broad categories of morality: breeding and taming. I argue that the ethical dangers of positive eugenics are grounded in their status as forms of taming, which preserves positively evaluated character traits and types through the active de-selection of negatively evaluated ones. The morality of taming is not a form of selection, but de-selection: the production of counter or anti-traits and types. Consequently, in its attempt to improve humanity, it tends necessarily toward violence as the elimination of de-selected forms of human life. In contrast, Nietzsche’s morality of breeding selects traits and types by protecting them from de-selection—specifically, by attacking moral ideas, values, and practices designed to eliminate them. It tends not towards the destruction but preservation of types; its negativity targets not life but the ideas that disable, disempower, and eradicate forms of life. I argue, further, that the fundamental ethical difference between breeding and taming, and so between Nietzschean morality and eugenics, is found in their attitudes toward the natural world. The violence of eugenics as taming is grounded in its status as anti-natural, while Nietzsche’s morality of breeding resists violence through its foundational affirmation of the conditions and limitations of the natural world: its resolute moral naturalism. Finally, I apply my interpretation of breeding and taming to two cases of comparative, positive eugenics: the historical case of racial eugenics and the so-called “designer baby” case in contemporary liberal eugenics. Nietzsche must condemn both as forms of the anti-natural morality of taming, to which the morality of breeding is diametrically opposed.
|Keywords||Nietzsche Breeding Eugenics Ethics Taming Race Racism Genetic Engineering Liberal Eugenics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Donovan Miyasaki (forthcoming). Nietzsche’s Naturalist Morality of Breeding: A Critique of Eugenics as Taming. In Vanessa Lemm (ed.), Nietzsche and the Becoming of Life. Fordham
Donovan Miyasaki, Breeding as Critique of Taming and Eugenics: Nietzsche’s Naturalist Morality of Cultivation.
Christopher E. Forth (2005). Breeding Superman: Nietzsche, Race, and Eugenics in Edwardian and Interwar Britain (Review). Journal of Nietzsche Studies 29 (1):79-80.
Robert Sparrow (2011). Liberalism and Eugenics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):499 - 517.
Wade Roberts (2007). Autonomy, Pluralism, and the Future of the Species: Agar and Habermas on Liberal Eugenics. Philosophical Explorations 22:153-167.
Wade Roberts (2006). Autonomy, Pluralism and the Future of the Species. Social Philosophy Today 22:153-167.
L. Star, E. D. Ellen, K. Uitdehaag & F. W. A. Brom (2008). A Plea to Implement Robustness Into a Breeding Goal: Poultry as an Example. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 21 (2):109-125.
Added to index2009-11-02
Total downloads411 ( #1,217 of 1,725,157 )
Recent downloads (6 months)236 ( #413 of 1,725,157 )
How can I increase my downloads?