Nietzsche - Ethics


To overestimate the significance of the German thinker Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) for the development of the subsequent philosophy - it is impossible. He had a tremendous influence on the twentieth century, where there was not a single major author who did not recognize his primacy in the formation of a modern intellectual view of many processes. Nietzsche began his academic career as a classical philologist, but ten years later he left teaching and occupied himself exclusively with philosophy. For ethics, his works On the other side of good and evil "are important; (1886) and "To the genealogy of morality" (1887), although the view of the meaning of human life is the main subject of consideration of all his books. Incidentally, it should be noted that Nietzsche was an extremely prolific writer: a collection of his works occupies three dozen voluminous volumes. And everything was written to 44 years; in the beginning of 1889 Nietzsche overtook mental illness and after that he created nothing more.

Ethical views of Nietzsche are striking in its radical nature. We have already noted that after such a convincing picture of the moral consciousness drawn by Kant, the very word "morality" began to be identified with the Kantian view. All the subsequent of the considered philosophers criticized this or that aspect of this view, but no one questioned the very necessity of following morality. Nietzsche just became the philosopher who brought criticism of Kantianism to its logical conclusion, openly voicing distrust of the very phenomenon of morality. He calls his position immoralism & quot ;, which should not be confused with amoralism. Its essence is to look at morality objectively, coming out "the other side of good and evil", and not deliberately indulging in moral preaching, which, according to Nietzsche, all philosophers dealt with before him.

What is the reason for the philosopher's distrust of morality? Firstly, he is categorically against normality. From the following quote his view becomes extremely clear: "In all morals, it is about discovering or seeking the higher states of life." Actually, the whole of Nietzsche's philosophy was devoted to the search for a perfect life, but on this path he was forced to discard modern morality, because, from his point of view, it does not allow life to develop. And the main problem is that this decadent morality dominates the earth for almost two thousand years, making a person weak and helpless.

In the book "To the genealogy of morality" Nietzsche recreates a grandiose picture of the substitution of values ​​that happened after the emergence of Christianity. The substitution is so effective that even all researchers, starting to look for the origins of morality, for some reason are engaged in the search for unselfish forms of human interaction. That is, good is a priori identified with sacrifice, help to one's neighbor, etc. But who has ever managed to reliably prove this identity? Nietzsche's originality lies in the fact that he claims the opposite: once, in ancient times, everything that happened as a result of the actions of the most powerful and noble people was considered good. The very actions could have been anything, even extremely cruel. But this chosen caste of people (as an example of Nietzsche leads Homeric heroes) appropriated her right to call her deeds good, distinguishing them from the actions of commoners, whom they considered weak and miserable. And, the more "evil" in our understanding were their accomplishments, the more cruelty was revealed in endless wars and campaigns, the more loudly poets and historians glorified the "best" actions of great people. Thus, in the minds of people two stable associations were fixed: "strong - aristocratic - noble - good" and "weak - plebeian - simple - bad". Between the two castes there was an absolute distance, but they did not treat each other with hatred. The strong despised the weak and in their own way loved them as the "material" for their exploits, while the weak, on the contrary, were afraid to approach the heroes, perceiving them as celestials.

The above state of mores Nietzsche considers the ideal field for the development of higher abilities of the individual. By golden age did not last long. The impulse to a coup appeared in the midst of the aristocrats themselves. It turned out that their community was not the same: it had groups of warriors and priests. The former earned themselves glory with physical strength, the latter - imposing their own way of assessing what is happening. Of course, the power belonged to the soldiers, and with it the right to the best part of the booty. But the priests demanded the best part of themselves under the guise of having to sacrifice to higher powers. They demanded, but they did not. They could not dispute their interest in an open battle, but this only increased their envy of the strong and the desire to rule. Arguing about the position of the priests, Nietzsche reveals the phenomenon called him "ressentiment" (from the French concept denoting multiple, obsessive experiences of the same negative emotions). In his interpretation, ressentiment is both jealousy and hatred, implicated in powerlessness, to change anything and dream of revenge. While heroes performed feats, the priests accumulated negative energy, which eventually resulted in a moral catastrophe.

The uprising in morality begins with the fact that ressentiment realizes itself as a creative force and begins to impose its values. The revolution is initiated by the priests, but they quickly involve the plebeians in it, pretending to adopt their attitudes. It should be noted that Nietzsche regards values ​​as the most terrible weapon in the struggle for power. Physical strength can win a local victory, but the successful imposition of its assessments entails lasting domination. The priests overturn the entire system of values ​​that existed before with the "horrifying sequence". Henceforth, all the noble, powerful, free and strong receive the label of the evil. On the contrary, all the base, the slavish, the weak and the sick are exalted as good. A change in the concepts good and bad on and "evil." Thus, their absolutization takes place: the knightly method of evaluation is forever proclaimed vicious, and the plebeian way is truly virtuous. The relation between the two castes also changes: from now on, the weak hate and curse the strong who do not yet notice the danger. Finally, a new system of morals is cemented by Christianity with its cult of assistance to all the weak, poor, sick.

Henceforth, the priestly method of evaluation triumphs. But the work to destroy a free man, turning him into a primitive, understandable and humiliated creature continued throughout the Christian era. The essence of the degradation of a strong personality lies in the fact that all of its freedom-loving instincts, which used to have an outlet in actions and were glorified as the best, are now locked in the psyche and begin to destroy it from within. But man, from the point of view of Nietzsche, is a predatory beast who needs to commit violence. Therefore, the priestly morality does everything to suppress the instincts of freedom by prescribing various ascetic practices.

In addition to the fact that the dominant morality glorifies all the weak and wretched, Nietzsche points out one more important property. She is not creative, not creative. Her values ​​were formed as a reaction to the actions of strong people, so the philosopher calls it reactive. Itself can not create anything, but is capable of destroying. In his aphoristic form, the philosopher proclaims her desire to say "no" the world, while the aristocratic value system said "yes". Hence the author finally condemns the Christian morality, calling it artificially trumped-up ideal.

After reading this, we are entitled to ask: if all the preceding ethics, with rare exceptions, went along the wrong path, glorifying unselfish motives, then what does Nietzsche offer in return? I must say that the positive part of his ethics does not look as consistent as critical. He understands the nature of man as the development of the biological instinct will to power (force). However, in the absolute majority of people, this instinct is suppressed by the prevailing morality, and only the elect consider themselves above it and live by the principle "nothing is true, everything is allowed". In fact, Nietzsche's moral ideal is the absence of any restrictions, so he treats morality so badly. Sometimes in his works encounters shocking arguments that it would be nice to go back to the epochs of bloody wars, where the world would be shaken by the cruelty of the best of people - the "blond beasts". But the defenders of Nietzsche argue that in his philosophy it is still about spiritual struggle, where the thinker confronts the stereotypes of society and requires us to educate ourselves in a creative personality capable of profound knowledge of what is happening around.

No matter how we evaluate Nietzsche's legacy, we must recognize the enormous importance of his conclusions for practical philosophy. First, he called for a more in-depth understanding of the personality, in which instincts exert no less, or even more significant, influence on behavior than the mind. Secondly, he convincingly demonstrated the inadequacy of a narrow, purely normative understanding of morality. Morality as a man's craving for a better life does not fit in prohibitions; The benchmark for neos become values ​​that can be realized on the road to perfection. These reflections of Nietzsche gave rise to attempts to build ethics on new theoretical grounds, where the value role of good will play the main role.

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