The Free Individual

Paul Katsafanas

in The Nietzschean Self

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

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Nietzschean freedom has been interpreted as unity, self-overcoming, self-affirmation, becoming who you are, expressing maximal will to power, loving fate, being self-determining, and one could go on and on. This chapter sorts through this interpretive tangle. It argues that Nietzschean freedom involves revaluing values. Nietzsche believes that human beings have acquired the capacity to regulate their actions via consciously adopted principles and goals. However, most human beings can only regulate themselves in this way by depending on external standards, customs, and sanctions. A human being counts as free when she is able to regulate her action without dependence on these kinds of external props. This is the sense in which Nietzschean freedom is self-determination. As external influences are not transparent or obvious, genuine self-determination requires self-understanding. We must track down and analyze the ways in which external factors surreptitiously influence us.

Keywords: Nietzsche; freedom; self-determination; self-understanding; value

Chapter.  19928 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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