Value, Affect, and Drive

In Peter Kail & Manuel Dries (eds.), Nietzsche on Mind and Nature. Oxford University Press (2016)
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Abstract

Nietzsche associates values with affects and drives: he not only claims that values are explained by drives and affects, but sometimes appears to identify values with drives and affects. This is decidedly odd: the agent's reflectively endorsed ends, principles, commitments--what we would think of as the agent's values--seem not only distinct from, but often in conflict with, the agent's drives. Consequently, it is unclear how we should understand Nietzsche's concept of value. This essay attempts to dispel these puzzles by reconstructing Nietzsche's account of value. According to the view that I defend, an agent values X iff (i) the agent has a drive-induced affective orientation toward X and (ii) the agent does not disapprove of this affective orientation. Additionally, I argue that drives generate thoughts about justification, thereby inclining the agent to regard pursuit of the drive's aim as valuable. I contend that this interpretation makes sense of Nietzsche’s remarks about value and overcomes the difficulties inherent in competing interpretations. I conclude by investigating the recalcitrance of drive-induced affective orientations.

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Paul Katsafanas
Boston University

Citations of this work

Nietzsche on the necessity of repression.James S. Pearson - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 66 (1):1-30.
The Foundations of Agency – and Ethics?Olof Leffler - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):547-563.

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References found in this work

Nietzsche's new Darwinism.John Richardson - 2004 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology.Paul Katsafanas - 2013 - In John Richardson & Ken Gemes (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche. Oxford University Press. pp. 727-755.
Affect, value, and objectivity.Peter Poellner - 2007 - In Brian Leiter & Neil Sinhababu (eds.), Nietzsche and morality. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 227--61.
Nietzsche on freedom and autonomy.Ken Gemes & Simon May (eds.) - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche.Ken Gemes & John Richardson (eds.) - 2013 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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