Nietzsche as a Critic of Genealogical Debunking: Making Room for Naturalism without Subversion

The Monist 102 (3) (2019)

Authors
Matthieu Queloz
University of Basel
Abstract
This paper argues that Nietzsche is a critic of just the kind of genealogical debunking he is popularly associated with. We begin by showing that interpretations of Nietzsche which see him as engaging in genealogical debunking turn him into an advocate of nihilism, for on his own premises, any truthful genealogical inquiry into our values is going to uncover what most of his contemporaries deem objectionable origins and thus license global genealogical debunking. To escape nihilism and make room for naturalism without indiscriminate subversion, we then argue, Nietzsche targets the way of thinking about values that permits genealogical debunking: far from trying to subvert values simply by uncovering their origins, Nietzsche is actively criticising genealogical debunking thus understood. Finally, we draw out the consequences of our reading for Nietzsche’s positive vision.
Keywords Nietzsche  Bernard Williams  Genealogy  Genealogical Debunking  Naturalism  Nihilism
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