Chapter

The Genealogist's Apprenticeship

Ruth Abbey

in Nietzsche's Middle Period

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780195134087
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785766 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195134087.003.0001
 The Genealogist's Apprenticeship

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The middle period represents Nietzsche’s apprenticeship as a genealogist of morals. The appeal to history operates in several ways in these texts — to historicize morality in general, and to show, in particular, the origins of certain current moral values and beliefs. It also has scholarly and practical purposes — Nietzsche believes that his genealogical analysis provides a truer understanding of morality that will also weaken the grip of some moral concepts on human hearts and minds. He argues that traditionally, morality’s function has been to preserve the collective whatever the cost to individuality. The naturalism of the middle period’s accounts of morality is critically examined, and the rationalism of Nietzsche’s approach is drawn out.

Keywords: Nietzsche; morality; history; naturalism; rationalism

Chapter.  5799 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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