Philosophy Nietzsche

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By taylordordick
Words 1334
Pages 6
Taylor Dordick
Philosophy 320.19
December 11, 2013
Final
Question 3 Friedrich Nietzsche and Hannah Arendt both wrote extensively about the foundations of moral philosophy and the formation of the ethical self. Nietzsche, in “On the Genealogy of Morals”, centers his own moral philosophy on the concept of a supra moral individual, which he specifically defines in terms of someone who is effectively free and sovereign, not bound by the bourgeois “morality of custom”. Defined as acting autonomously, capable of “measuring value” and being “entitled to make promises”, such an individual gains the cherished freedom of “responsibility” which is ultimately internalized as “conscience”. Arendt, in “Responsibility and Judgment”, focuses on the notion of a moral individual who is in “harmony” with his or herself, a state of mind that is gained from independently considering and arriving at fundamental moral guidelines. Like Nietzsche, Arendt asserts that moral beliefs and decisions must stem from this sense of internal harmony and justice, as opposed to simple obedience to demands imposed from outside. However, Arendt anchors her own portrayal of moral autonomy in more Kantian terms of a categorical imperative and ultimately a sense of dignity and self respect that derives from acting with conscience. Nietzsche begins his second essay titled “‘Guilt’, ‘Bad Conscience’, and Related Matters”, with a mixture of observation and sarcastic wit, “The breeding of an animal which is entitled to make promises – is this not the paradoxical task which nature has said itself with respect to man?” (Nietzsche 39). In posing this question, Nietzsche is expressing the basic contradiction at the heart of so many modern moral systems, namely that society and civilization – the sources of the “breeding” are necessary to help define and create an autonomous individual capable of acting with…...

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