Guilt, bad conscience, and self-punishment in Nietzsche's Genealogy

In Brian Leiter & Neil Sinhababu (eds.), Nietzsche and Morality. Oxford University Press. pp. 138--54 (2007)
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Abstract

The article provides a commentary on the Second Treatise of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality, entitled '"Guilt, "Bad Conscience," and Related Matters'. The Treatise's central train of thought is that having a bad conscience or feeling guilty is a way in which we satisfy a fundamental need to inflict cruelty. This is achieved by turning the exercise of cruelty inwards, upon the self rather than others, and by interpreting such a cruelty as a legitimate form of punishment of oneself.

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Christopher Janaway
University of Southampton

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