Marco Brusotti
Technische Universität Berlin
The second essay of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals introduces the ‘sovereign individual’ as ‘responsible’, ‘autonomous’ and ‘free’. Does this affirmative use of moral terminology reveal an unexpected affinity between Nietzsche’s thought and philosophical modernity? In the last decades, this issue has been at the heart of a vast and controversial debate. My analysis shows that, rather than throwing light on Nietzsche’s general position, the specific use of Kantian terms in this passage of GM is due to a polemical intention. Implicitly, Nietzsche rejects Eduard von Hartmann’s criticism of the ‘absolute sovereignty of the individual’. The author of the Phänomenologie des sittlichen Bewusstseins sees the most radical herald of this ‘sovereignty’ in Max Stirner. From Nietzsche’s point of view, Hartmann’s rejection and Stirner’s affirmation share a reductive conception of ‘sovereignty’. Reinterpreting and ‘revaluing’ Kant’s moral terminology, Nietzsche aims to give an interpretation of individual sovereignty that is at the same time antithetical to Stirner’s and wholly at odds with Hartmann’s ethical views. In showing this, the paper gives a new answer to an old question; for already in the 1890s, Hartmann himself, accusing Nietzsche of plagiarizing Stirner, raised the issue of the historical relationship between the two philosophers. More generally, the paper shows that Nietzsche employs a specific textual strategy, which consists in taking Kantian terms in an ‘anti-Kantian’ sense and systematically cultivating the art of using ‘a moral formula in a supramoral sense’.
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DOI 10.1515/nietzstu-2019-0003
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References found in this work BETA

Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy.Ken Gemes & Simon May (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
A Possible Solution to the Stirner-Nietzsche Question.Thomas H. Brobjer - 2003 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 25 (1):109-114.

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