Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosopher of Immoralism?

This paper intends to show that Friedrich Nietzsche’s approach to morality or ‘immorality’ involves an attempt to see moral beliefs as a product of human psychology, rather than as a set of metaphysical ‘truths’ that are somehow given to, or discoverable by, us. Nietzsche wants to replace the metaphysical (or supernatural) account of morality with a natural one, and his treatment of moral belief-systems, from the perspective of this concern, can be divided into (a) a psychological analysis of the true nature of moral action and agency, and (b) an historical/genealogical tracing of the real origins of moral values. In this paper I am going to focus on the second dimension of Nietzsche’s analysis through references from his polemical texts Beyond Good and Evil, Genealogy of Morals, Gay Science, and Will to Power. I will outline Nietzsche’s historical leitmotif on the morality of ressentiment or slave morality and will show how it figures as a point of departure for his revolutionary transvaluation of values, one that places a new order of morality which is disparagingly called ‘immoralism.’ Next, I will discuss Nietzsche’s treatment of bad conscience and posit that it involves two different stages: one is the present stage of the bad conscience as a feeling of guilt, and the other is an earlier stage. I shall argue that in order for this earlier stage to develop into the level of guilt, he needs another element, namely an indebtedness towards gods, which finds its most striking culmination in the Christian heritage of religious dogmatism. Finally, I will discuss how for Nietzsche Christianity as an ascetic ideal has promoted to preserve a declining life, i.e. a slave morality, for all of humanity.
Keywords Nietzsche  transvaluation  genealogy
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Rafael Pangilinan, Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosopher of Immoralism?
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Christopher Janaway (2007). 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.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

136 ( #31,966 of 1,924,716 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

26 ( #18,292 of 1,924,716 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.