Chapter

<i>Egoism Rehabilitated</i>

Robin Small

in Nietzsche and Rée

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199278077
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602702 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199278075.003.0010
Egoism Rehabilitated

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In On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), Nietzsche criticizes the ideas of the ‘English psychologists’—in fact, the account of the moral sense he had earlier borrowed from Rée—and elaborates his own alternative. In many ways, this is the naturalistic approach taken further, not just explaining valuation but placing values themselves in question, and opening up the possibility of their re-valuation through a new conception of the life process. This chapter presents Nietzsche’s rehabilitation of egoism through his engagement with Herbert Spencer’s ethics, arguing that his hostility is largely due to an unacknowledged amount of common ground.

Keywords: altruism; egoism; English psychologists; evolution; Herbert Spencer; positivism; vanity

Chapter.  8959 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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