Chapter

What is a Nietzschean Self?<sup>1</sup>

R. Lanier Anderson

in Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Normativity

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199583676
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745294 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583676.003.0009
What is a Nietzschean Self?1

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The nature of the self is contested within Nietzsche scholarship. Many texts suggest skeptical eliminativism or reduction of the self to sub-personal drives. But core Nietzschean doctrines (self-overcoming, perspectivist objectivity) seem to require substantial self-management, and Kantians insist that only a separate, transcendental self could play this role. This chapter resists both naturalistic reductionism and transcendentalism. Through analysis of the nature of drives and affects, and then of their interactions, it shows how the Nietzschean self emerges as a numerically distinct psychological object, over and above its constituent drives and affects. But this minimal self lacks the strong features of a transcendental ‘I’; it is complex, not simple, and its boundaries do not coincide with those of consciousness. Nevertheless, the resulting conception of the self affords an adequate basis for understanding Nietzsche's valuation of autonomy (self-governance).

Keywords: self; autonomy; drives and affects; naturalism; moral psychological minimalism; self-fashioning; self-creation

Chapter.  18098 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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