Chapter

Nietzsche's Immoralism

Philippa Foot

in Moral Dilemmas

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252848
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597411 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019925284X.003.0010
Nietzsche's Immoralism

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An in‐depth assessment of Nietzsche's attack on morality. Foot takes up the challenge by asking the fundamental question, ‘Can morality be discredited?’ Historically, Anglo‐American analytic philosophy has overlooked the significance of Nietzsche's views on morality by dismissing or ignoring his arguments. The central thrust of Nietzsche's attack is, according to Foot, that no kinds of action are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in themselves, whoever does them. This Nietzschean idea, Foot contends, puts us in a dangerous position. It cannot give a proper account of injustice and therefore seems tacitly to license it. By examining the central thesis of Nietzsche's immoralism and elucidating many of his key ideas, e.g. ‘the will to power’, ‘master–slave morality’ and the ‘overman’ (superman), Foot argues that although Nietzsche's immoralism should be given serious consideration, the emphatic conclusion is that, in the last analysis, no part of his attack on morality is convincing.

Keywords: aestheticism; Freud; immoralism; injustice; universalism

Chapter.  5731 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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