Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming)

Matthieu Queloz
Oxford University
Amplifying Bernard Williams’s critique of the Nietzschean project of a revaluation of values, this paper mounts a critique of the idea that whether values will help us to live can serve as a criterion for choosing which values to live by. I explore why it might not serve as a criterion and highlight a number of further difficulties faced by the Nietzschean project. I then come to Nietzsche’s defence, arguing that if we distinguish valuations from values, there is at least one form of the project which overcomes those difficulties. Finally, however, I show that even on this reading, the project must either fall prey to ‘Saint-Just’s illusion’ or fall back into the problems it was supposed to escape. This highlights important difficulties faced by the Nietzschean project and its descendants while also explaining why Williams, who was so Nietzschean in other respects, remained wary of the revaluation of values as a project.
Keywords Bernard Williams  Friedrich Nietzsche  Saint-Just's Illusion  Revaluation of Values  Value Choice  Value Creation  Conceptual Engineering  Conceptual Ethics
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqaa026
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
Transformative Experience.L. A. Paul - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Morals by Agreement.David Gauthier - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Fixing Language. An Essay on Conceptual Engineering.Herman Cappelen - 2019 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 73 (1):169-173.

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