Authors
Paul Katsafanas
Boston University
Abstract
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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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00440.x
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Practical Reality.Jonathan Dancy - 2000 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Constitutivism About Practical Reasons.Paul Katsafanas - 2018 - In Daniel Star (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Reasons and Normativity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 367-394.
Nietzsche on the Diachronic Will and the Problem of Morality.Alessandra Tanesini - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):652-675.

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