The Unified Self

Paul Katsafanas

in The Nietzschean Self

Published in print February 2016 | ISBN: 9780198737100
Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191800641 | DOI:
The Unified Self

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Nietzsche does not think that there is any philosophically significant difference between actions whose etiology includes an episode of conscious willing and those whose etiology does not. However, Nietzsche is interested in something that philosophers have (he thinks mistakenly) attempted to capture by speaking of conscious willing: the distinction between genuine action and mere behavior. Unlike many other philosophers, he does not align this distinction with the willed/unwilled distinction. In other words: genuine actions can be unwilled, and willed actions can be mere behavior. What then distinguishes genuine actions from mere behaviors? Nietzsche marks the distinction with his concept of unity. Genuine actions are those springing from unified agents. This chapter argues that Nietzschean refers to a relation between drives and conscious thought: unity obtains when the agent’s attitude toward her own action is stable under the revelation of further information about the action’s etiology.

Keywords: Nietzsche; unity; willing; unified agent; action; behavior

Chapter.  17084 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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