Chapter

Nietzsche's Denial of Evil

Claudia Card

in The Atrocity Paradigm

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195145083
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833115 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195145089.003.0002
 Nietzsche's Denial of Evil

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This chapter contests Nietzsche's account of the origin of the concept “evil” and its meanings, questioning his claims that the weak are more dishonest than the powerful, that the powerful are unlikely to hate victims, and that hatred is what motivates judgments of evil. Nietzsche argued in his Genealogy of Morality that judgments of evil originate in the perspectives of impotent, victimized masses; he found such judgments dishonest and dangerous to human vitality. This chapter argues, on the contrary, that the concept “evil” is not rooted in the dishonest envy of the weak but originates more plausibly with those who believe themselves to be entitled to decent treatment. Nietzsche's “slave values” are also better understood as values that masters naturally apply to slaves in interacting with them than as values originated by slaves, although some slaves may internalize them.

Keywords: dishonesty; envy; evil; hatred; Nietzsche; power; slave values

Chapter.  11394 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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