morality-nietzche   11

Brian Leiter - The Death of God and the Death of Morality [Nietzsche] :: SSRN - September 16, 2015
University of Chicago -' Nietzsche famously proclaimed the "death of God," but in so doing it was not God's death that was really notable -- Nietzsche assumes that most reflective, modern readers realize that "the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable" (GS 343) -- but the implications of that belief becoming unbelievable, namely, "how much must collapse now that this faith has been undermined," in particular, "the whole of our European morality" (GS 343). What is the connection between the death of God and the death of morality? I argue that Nietzsche thinks the death of God will undermine two central aspects of our morality: its moral egalitarianism, and its belief in moral responsibility and warranted guilt. I offer an account of how Nietzsche sees the connections, and conclude with some skeptical considerations about whether Nietzsche was right that atheism would, in fact, undermine morality. -- Number of Pages in PDF File: 25 -- Keywords: Nietzsche, theism, morality -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  moral_philosophy  religious_belief  religious_culture  19thC  Nietzsche  theism  atheism  God-existence  moral_psychology  morality-Nietzche  morality-divine_command  morality-Christian  morality-conventional  morality-objective  Kant-ethics  egalitarian  guilt  norms  obligation  responsibility  free_will  downloaded 
october 2015 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - The Truth is Terrible - in Daniel Came (ed.), Nietzsche on Morality and the Affirmation of Life (Oxford University Press, Forthcoming Feb 2014) :: SSRN
When Nietzsche says, as he frequently does, that "the truth is terrible" he has in mind three kinds of terrible truths: (1) the terrible "existential" truths about the human situation (the inevitability of death and suffering); (2) the terrible "moral" truth that "life is essentially something amoral"; and (3) the terrible "epistemic" truth that most of what we think we know about the world around us is illusory. These terrible truths raise Schopenhauer's question: why continue living at all? Nietzsche's answer, from early in his career to the very end, is that only viewed in terms of aesthetic values can life itself be "justified" (where "justification" really means restoring an affective attachment to life). Something can have aesthetic value even if it has no epistemic value -- indeed, Nietzsche takes it to be a hallmark of art that "the lie hallows itself" and "the willl to deception has good conscience on its side." Similarly, something can have aesthetic value even when it lacks moral value, something well-exemplified, he thinks, by the Homeric sagas. But how could the fact that life exemplifies aesthetic value restore our attachment to life in the face of the terrible existential truths about our situation? I suggest that there are two keys to understanding Nietzsche's answer: first, his assimilation of aesthetic pleasure to a kind of sublimated sexual pleasure; and second, his psychological thesis, central to the Genealogy, that powerful affects neutralize pain, and thus can "seduce" the sufferer back to life. Finally, life can only supply the requisite kind of aesthetic pleasure if it features what I call the "spectacle of genius," the spectacle represented by the likes of Beethoven, Goethe, and Napoleon. Since such geniuses are not possible in a culture dominated by "morality" (in Nietzsche's pejorative sense), the critique of morality is essential to the restoration of an affective attachment to life, since only by defeating morality will the spectacle of genius continue to be possible. - Keywords: Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, life, morality, art, aesthetic value - didn't download
paper  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  Germany  Nietzsche  morality-Nietzche  values  moral_psychology  genius  aesthetics  Schopenhauer  Dionysian 
september 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Moral Skepticism and Moral Disagreement in Nietzsche (2013) :: SSRN - Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Vol. 9 (Oxford University Press, 2014)
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 257 -- This essay offers a new interpretation of Nietzsche's argument for moral skepticism.., an argument that should be of independent philosophical interest as well. On this account, Nietzsche offers a version of the argument from moral disagreement, but, unlike familiar varieties, it does not purport to exploit anthropological reports about the moral views of exotic cultures, or even garden-variety conflicting moral intuitions about concrete cases. Nietzsche, instead, calls attention to the single most important and embarrassing fact about the history of moral theorizing by philosophers over two millennia: namely, that no rational consensus has been secured on any substantive, foundational proposition about morality. Persistent and apparently intractable disagreement on foundational questions, of course, distinguishes moral theory from inquiry in the sciences and mathematics (perhaps in kind, certainly in degree). According to Nietzsche, the best explanation for this disagreement is that, even though moral skepticism is true, philosophers can still construct valid dialectical justifications for moral propositions because the premises of different justifications will answer to the psychological needs of at least some philosophers and thus be deemed true by some of them. The essay concludes by considering various attempts to defuse this abductive argument for skepticism based on moral disagreement and by addressing the question whether the argument "proves too much," that is, whether it might entail an implausible skepticism about a wide range of topics about which there is philosophical disagreement. -- Keywords: Nietzsche, morality, skepticism, metaethics, anti-realism -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  Germany  Nietzsche  moral_philosophy  morality-objective  morality-Nietzche  morality-conventional  morality-critics  scepticism  human_nature  metaethics  epistemology-moral  foundationalism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - Morality Critics [chapter] :: SSRN - in THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY, B. Leiter & M. Rosen, eds., Oxford University Press, 2007
U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 114 -- One striking feature of post-Kantian philosophy in Europe has been the emergence of morality critics, philosophers who, contra the popular consensus, dispute the value of morality and the moral life. Their views find a faint echo in the work of some Anglophone moral philosophers (Philippa Foot and Bernard Williams are the main exemplars), but, as we will see, the "Continental" criticisms of morality generally cut far deeper and more radically. -- These Continental morality critics object that morality in practice is an obstacle to human flourishing itself. So understood, this attack on morality raises two immediate questions. First, the Continental morality critics are plainly not without ethical views of their own - ..broadly, about the good life for (some or all) human beings - since it is on the basis of these views that they criticize "morality." -- we can usefully divide Continental critics of morality into two camps: .... In the first camp ... see the individual's acceptance of morality as such as an obstacle to the individual's flourishing; in different ways, Nietzsche and Freud .... In the second camp ... see morality as among the "ideological" instruments that sustain socio-economic relations that are obstacles to individual flourishing. On this second account - ..Marx and perhaps some of ..the Frankfurt School - it is not allegiance to morality per se that thwarts individual flourishing, but rather the role such allegiance plays in sustaining certain socio-economic relations.. We will call the former "Direct Morality Critics" and the latter "Indirect Morality Critics." (Foucault straddles both approaches, and so we will discuss him in a transitional section.) -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  books  SSRN  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  social_theory  metaethics  continental_philosophy  cultural_critique  Germany  France  Marx  Nietzsche  Freud  Frankfurt_School  Foucault  morality-Nietzche  morality-conventional  normativity  human_nature  social_order  ideology  bourgeoisie  power  morality-critics  Williams_Bernard  values  ethics  human_condition  flourishing  Aristotelian  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Brian Leiter - The Hermeneutics of Suspicion: Recovering Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud (2005) :: SSRN
U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 72 -- Paul Ricoeur famously dubbed that great triumvirate of late nineteenth - and early twentieth-century thought - Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud - "the school of suspicion," by which he meant those thinkers who taught us to regard with suspicion our conscious understandings and experience, whether the deliverances of ordinary psychological introspection about one's desires.., or the moral categories political leaders and ordinary citizens apply to themselves and the social world they inhabit... "Beneath" or "behind" the surface lay causal forces that explained the conscious phenomena precisely because they laid bare the true meaning of those phenomena -- I shall argue that, in fact, all three of the great practitioners of the hermeneutics of suspicion have suffered at the hands of moralizing interpreters who have resisted the essentially naturalistic thrust of their conception of philosophical practice. As a matter of both textual exegesis and intellectual importance, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud are best read as primarily naturalistic thinkers, that is thinkers who view philosophical inquiry as continuous with a sound empirical understanding of the natural world and the causal forces operative in it. When one understands conscious life naturalistically, in terms of its real causes, one contributes at the same time to a critique of the contents of consciousness: that, in short, is the essence of a hermeneutics of suspicion. -- downloaded pdf to Note
paper  SSRN  social_theory  human_nature  intellectual_history  intellectual_history-distorted  19thC  20thC  21stC  hermeneutics_of_suspicion  causation-social  psychology  moral_psychology  historical_change  normativity  morality-Nietzche  Marx  Marxist  Freud  motivation  action-theory  naturalism  empiricism  downloaded  EF-add 
july 2014 by dunnettreader
Allan Megill, review essay - Historicizing Nietzsche? Paradoxes and Lessons of a Hard Case | JSTOR: The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 68, No. 1 (Mar., 1996), pp. 114-152
Reviewed works: *--* (1) Nietzsche Contra Rousseau: A Study of Nietzsche's Moral and Politicial Thought by Keith Ansell-Pearson; *--* (2) The Neitzche Legacy in Germany, 1890-1990 by Steven E. Aschheim; *--* (3) Confrontations: Derrida/Heidegger/Nietzsche by Ernst Behler; *--* (4) Neitzsche on Truth and Philosophy by Steven Taubeneck; *--* (5) Nietzsche Contra Nietzsche: Creativity and the Anti-Romantic by Adrian Del Caro; *--* (6) Neitzsche and the Politics of Aristocratic Radicalism by Bruce Detwiler; *--* (7) Nietzsche's New Seas: Explorations in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics by Michael Allen Gillespie; Tracy B. Strong; *--* (8) Nietzsche and the Origin of Virtue by Lester H. Hunt; *--* (9) Zarathustras Geheimnis: Friedrich Nietzsche und seine verschlüsselte Botschaft by Joachim Köhler; *--* (10) Nietzsche as Postmodernist: Essays Pro and Contra; Clayton Koelb; *--* (11) Nietzsche's Case: Philosophy as/and Literature by Bernd Magnus; Stanley Stewart; Jean-Pierre Mileur; *--* (12) Nietzsche's Philosophy of Nature and Cosmology by Alistair Moles; *--* (13) Nietzsche und der Nietzscheanismus by Ernst Nolte; *--* (14) Young Nietzsche: Becoming a Genius by Carl Pletsch; *--* (15) Nietzsche and the Question of Interpretation: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction by Alan D. Schrift; *--* (16) Alcyone: Nietzsche on Gifts, Noise, and Women by Gary Shapiro; *-'* (17) Nietzschean Narratives by Gary Shapiro; *--* (18) Thinker on Stage: Nietzsche's Materialism by Peter Sloterdijk; *--* (19) Reading Nietzsche by Robert C. Solomon; Kathleen M. Higgins; *--* (20) Nietzsche's Voice by Henry Staten; *--* (21) Left-Wing Nietzscheanism: The Politics of German Expressionism, 1910-1920 by Seth Taylor; *--* (22) Friedrich Nietzsche and the Politics of the Soul: A Study of Heroic Individualism by Leslie Paul Thiele; *--* (23) Nietzsche and Political Thought by Mark Warren; *--* (24) Within Nietzsche's Labyrinth by Alan White; *--* (25) Nietzsche's Philosophy of Art by Julian Young -- downloaded pdf to Note
books  reviews  article  jstor  intellectual_history  19thC  20thC  Nietzsche  Rousseau  Heidegger  political_philosophy  moral_philosophy  aesthetics  morality-Nietzche  lit_crit  literary_history  individualism  self  self-development  Weimar  hermeneutics  deconstruction  postmodern  philosophy_of_science  metaphysics  metaethics  style-philosophy  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
William W. Sokoloff - Nietzsche's Radicalization of Kant | JSTOR: Polity, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct., 2006), pp. 501-518
According to liberals and postmodernists, Nietzsche and Kant occupy opposing places on the theoretical spectrum. I challenge this assumption and argue that Nietzsche is working both with and against Kant in terms of his new morality. Nietzsche's harsh rhetoric against Kant serves as a mask that, on closer examination, conceals similarities. Through an analysis of some of his texts, I demonstrate that Nietzsche works within a Kantian conception of moral autonomy in terms of two of his most provocative formulations: pathos of distance and law of life. Nietzsche's critique of ressentiment, moreover, illustrates his commitment to Kantian assumptions about moral conduct. Bringing Kant and Nietzsche together yields a new image of autonomy that overcomes the sovereign subjectivity central to the Kantian conception. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  moral_philosophy  19thC  Germany  Kant-ethics  Nietzsche  morality-Nietzche  autonomy  ressentiment  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Special section 4 authors, 4 recent readings of Genealogy of Morals | JSTOR: Journal of Nietzsche Studies, No. 35/36, SPRING-AUTUMN 2008
Letter from the Assistant Editor(pp. 86-87) Rebecca Bamford. *--* (1) For Whom the Bell Tolls (pp. 88-105) Daniel Conway. *--* (2) How Does the Ascetic Ideal Function in Nietzsche's Genealogy? (pp. 106-123) Lawrence J. Hatab. *--* (3) Beyond Selflessness in Ethics and Inquiry (pp. 124-140) Christopher Janaway. *--* (4) Nietzsche's Genealogy Revisited(pp. 141-154) David Owen. -- the group of articles looks quite helpful -- didn't download
article  jstor  intellectual_history  moral_philosophy  ancient_philosophy  19thC  Germany  ancient_Greece  Platonism  Nietzsche  Schopenhauer  positivism  Darwinism  asceticism  genealogy-method  morality-conventional  morality-Christian  morality-Nietzche  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
The Innocence of Becoming by Brian Leiter :: SSRN - Oct 2013
I offer an interpretation of Nietzsche’s striking idea of “the innocence of becoming” (die Unschuld des Werdens), and offer a partial defense of its import, namely, that no one is ever morally responsible or guilty for what they do and that the so-called “reactive attitudes” are always misplaced. I focus primarily, though not exclusively, on the arguments as set out in Twilight of the Idols. First, there is Nietzsche’s hypothesis, partly psychological and partly historical or anthropological, that the ideas of “free” action or free will, and of responsibility for actions freely chosen or willed, were introduced primarily in order to justify punishment (“[m]en were considered ‘free’ so that they might be judged and punished”). Call this the Genetic Thesis about Free Will. Second, there is Nietzsche’s claim that the moral psychology, or “psychology of the will” as he calls it, that underlies this picture is, in fact, false — that, in fact, it is not true that every action is willed or that it reflects a purpose or that it originates in consciousness. Call these, in aggregate, the Descriptive Thesis about the Will. (Here I draw on earlier work.) Finally, there is articulation of a programmatic agenda, namely, to restore the “innocence of becoming” by getting rid of guilt and punishment based on guilt — not primarily because ascriptions of guilt and responsibility are false (though they are), but because a world understood as “innocent,” one understood in terms of “natural” cause and effect, is a better world in which to live. I thus try to explain and defend Zarathustra’s recommendation: “Enemy’ you shall say, but not villain; sick you shall say, but not scoundrel; fool you shall say, but not sinner.” Nietzsche’s views are contrasted with those of important modern writers on these topics, including P.F. Strawson and Gary Watson. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  Nietzsche  morality-Nietzche  morality-Christian  accountability  moral_psychology  free_will  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Untimely Review of Friedrich Nietzsche's, Twilight of the Idols by Brian Leiter :: SSRN
Leiter, Brian, Untimely Review of Friedrich Nietzsche's, Twilight of the Idols (October 27, 2013). Topoi (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: or -- This review essay of Nietzsche's "Twilight of the Idols" (1888) is part of the journal TOPOI's "Untimely Reviews" series of classic works of philosophy. The journal explains the idea of the series this way: "We take a classic of philosophy and ask an outstanding scholar in the same field to review it as if it had just been published. This implies that the classical work must be contrasted with both past and current literature and must be framed in the wider cultural context of the present day. The result is a litmus test for the work itself: Failure in accounting for relevant issues raised by contemporary literature reveals that, in those respects, our classic has indeed been outpaced by later works. On the other hand, any success in capturing core topics of current discussion, or even anticipating and clarifying issues not yet well brought into focus by contemporary scholars, is the strongest proof of the liveliness of the work, no matter how long ago it was written." -- This essay tries to discharge the task for Nietzsche's TWILIGHT. Themes dealt with are Nietzsche's attacks on morality, on free will, on mental causation, on Socrates, and on Kant. Connections are drawn with contemporary work by Mark Johnston, David Rosenthal, and Daniel Wagner, among others. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  SSRN  Nietzsche  free_will  morality-Nietzche  Plato  Kant  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader

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