Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals - Essay Example

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My reading of “On the Genealogy of Morals” has particularly drawn my attention to the critical analysis of the first essay in which Friedrich Nietzsche deals with the dichotomy of ‘good and bad’ and ‘good and evil’ in the attempt to convey his philosophy on the…
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Nietzsches Genealogy of Morals
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Analysis of the First Essay of “On the Genealogy of Morals” by Friedrich Nietzsche My reading of “On the Genealogy of Morals”has particularly drawn my attention to the critical analysis of the first essay in which Friedrich Nietzsche deals with the dichotomy of ‘good and bad’ and ‘good and evil’ in the attempt to convey his philosophy on the origin of morals. In his prologue where Nietzsche claims “we knowledgeable people ... we are always busy with our knowledge ... our hearts have not been engaged”, I find myself in spontaneous agreement to the truth of realizing that humans by experience indeed struggle at understanding oneself. It makes me think of my own self and ponder on how much have I been true or sincere in relation to the nature I am. Nevertheless, I could not see how this applies in the way Nietzsche tries to make sense of his position in defining the ‘good’ by detailing where this ‘good’ is coming from and what it is fundamentally composed of.
Perhaps there is an enlightening aspect of studying the points raised by Nietzsche in the first essay so as to arrive at learning his theory with appreciation, unfortunately, I am disposed to conclude that his ethics of the ‘good’ is not rooted in deep understanding of intrinsic human values. Human values that are inherent to us, I believe, are those based on humanity or bearing the elements of compassion or empathic virtue, but instead of establishing the foundation for his school of thought on this perspective, Nietzsche seems to choose being racial, external, and superficial in his judgment of the ‘good’. He expresses profound conviction that “everywhere ‘noble’ or ‘aristocratic’ in a social sense is the fundamental idea out of which ‘good’ in the sense of ‘spiritually noble’, ‘aristocratic’, ‘spiritually high-minded’, ‘spiritually privileged’ necessarily develop – a process which always runs in parallel with that other one which finally transforms ‘common’, ‘vulgar’, and ‘low’ into the concept ‘bad’”.
Nietzsche is in great belief that those in power or of natural royal descent comprise the real “good” for their ethic noble is derived from self-affirmation and it is this self-affirmation that provides them the strength to actualize a positive character. Their aristocratic traits enable them to repel or drive away adversaries so that according to Nietzsche, they ought to exemplify the “good”. However, Nietzsche fails to elaborate from the physical to the inner self of what he considers as ‘noble’ that I feel the need to ask, what if these strong aristocratic people labeled as “good” are corrupt in mind and heart altogether? As if it readily makes sufficient basis to judge from the beauty of what individuals are as perceived regardless of the motives and the unseen qualities by which one can identified at depth.
How could Nietzsche come up with a theory of ‘bad’ simply on account of the ‘weak’, ‘vulgar’, or ‘common’. He occurs inclined to mention ‘ugly’ in this case and it is rather disappointing to find out that the oppressed ones of the world history fall under this category and their brutal experiences could tell how they have come to possess ‘bad’ attributes. The German philosopher either fails or prefers not to consider the ‘background’ or the source to such unpleasant characteristics as though a person who speaks a vulgar language is to be taken as ‘bad’ and it does not matter whether he has lived a rough life with no single opportunity toward decent learning. Nietzsche maintains adherence to the noble ethic over altruism on the ground that the slaves, who are themselves weak and common, expect to be shown and seen in the light of kindness for they are in constant denial in treating the powerful and the strong as their enemies. Read More
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