Waterstones On the Genealogy of Morality

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Waterstones On the Genealogy of Morality
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Description: This new edition is the product of a collaboration between a Germanist and a philosopher who is also a Nietzsche scholar. The translation strives not only to communicate a sense of Nietzsche's style but also to convey his meaning accuratelyâand thus to be an important advance on previous translations of this work. A superb set of notes ensures that Clark and Swensen's Genealogy will become the new edition of choice for classroom use. Waterstones On the Genealogy of Morality - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

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Author: Don Berry

Rating: 5

Review: 'On the Genealogy of Morality' marks the culmination of Friedrich Nietzsche's critique of the Judeo-Christian moral framework shared by his late nineteenth century contemporaries, and extends many of the themes of his earlier works such as the history of this conventional moral schema and of moral feeling itself, the roots of our belief in God, the scientific drive towards truth at all costs, and what he takes to be the ultimately perspectival nature of all truth. Written in 1887, when Nietzsche was at the height of his intellectual powers, he sets aside his characteristically eclectic and aphoristic style in order to systematically pursue a variety of topics related to morality by constructing an historical narrative across three polemical essays. The first essay locates the origins of contemporary moral values - which centre on humility, chastity, compassion and piety - as the outcome of an historical struggle between two groups: a weaker slave class who identify with this ideology, and a stronger ruling class who are associated with Rome and with the heroes of Ancient Greece, and whose values are dominated by a respect for strong, dominant, ambitious individuals who are successful in battle. Dissatisfied with their situation, the weaker subjugated class inculcate their own ideals under the influence of a third group - which Nietzsche refers to as the 'priestly caste' - in order to exact a kind of spiritual revenge upon their natural rulers. In the second essay Nietzsche gives another historical narrative, this time following the development of our moral consciousness and feelings of bad conscience, which can ultimately be traced back to primitive creditor-debtor relationships in prehistory, before they are transformed and internalised by a series of contingent developments. Lastly, in the third and final essay he explores what he refers to as the 'Ascetic Ideal', wherein the good life is conceived as one of self-denial, abstinence from physical pleasures, and chastity. The success of this ideal is due to its being the only means to find meaning in life that has been invented hitherto: even a scientific drive towards truth is seen to be an extension of this ideal, rather than its antithesis as often thought. In Nietzsche's view, his predecessors since the Enlightment had rested content with simply providing more explicit articulations and attempted rational justifications or 'groundings' of the moral beliefs they had inherited from their culture and which had been inculcated into them since childhood. But for Nietzsche the philosopher must attempt more than this; the value of these moral beliefs must itself be brought into question, and evaluated by their effectiveness in enhancing life's expansive energies and in promoting the development of what he took to be the ideal type of person: strong, cultured, creative individuals such as a Goethe, Shakespeare or Beethoven. More than rational argument is needed in effecting such a self-criticism, as the roots of these beliefs lie far deeper than the surface rationalisations we provide for them, and are not easily available for conscious inspection: hence Nietzsche uses a variety of literary and rhetorical strategies in order to strip away our preconceptions by force. Consequently the style is highly engaging and entertaining. The Genealogy is a book that has influenced generations of scholars and students, especially in the so-called 'Continental' philosophical traditions, and I would recommend it for anyone who is able and willing to take a self-critical view of their own most cherished beliefs and to challenge the ideals and values they have inherited from society. This particular translation by Clarke and Swensen is both accurate and readable, in my view preferable to both the Cambridge and Oxford editions, and the introduction is excellent and up to date.

 

Author: Ethan Blanchard

Rating: 2

Review: Only his etymologies were interesting. But his angry, instable ranting against Christianity just drones on too long. Not a fool, but an utterly misguided sage. I have also read Mein Kampf and can say that Hitler certainly echoes aspects of Nietzsche in the first few chapters. Particularly his view on Jewish manipulation of the "strong". That's not an insult, but an apathetic observation. Nietzsche's biggest logical flaw stems from his chronic theophobia, he labels the "weak" as being envious of the "strong" and that vices are aspects of the "strong" that the "weak" don't have. This is easy to see in wrath or lust or greed: these are things the so-called "weak" cannot have so they label it as unworthy of having to satisfy that (per Nietzsche's reasoning), but the notion that ENVY is sickly and bad is a CHRISTIAN value. He uses moral positioning to discredit morality-- ergo invalid circular logic. Second, is the whole dichotomy of "strong" vs. "evil". No group falls into one of these categories, nor are these categories permanent statuses (nor real). If I am "weak", but I convince someone who is "strong" to do my bidding, THEN I AM NOW THE STRONG ONE, His hero of the strong is Napoleon, but anyone who has read a biography of the emperor (Vive L'Empereur) knows that he was merely an astute artillery officer who could have very easily been decapitated during the Terror in Corsica, but was lucky. He does not embody the strong nor the weak, but the reality that one can gain power and lose it and that power is not hereditary.

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The Book Depository On the Genealogy of Morality by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Description: On the Genealogy of Morality : Paperback : Hackett Publishing Co, Inc : 9780872202832 : 0872202836 : 01 Oct 1998 : The text contains some of Nietzsche's most disturbing ideas, including the slave revolt in morality, which he claims began with the Jews and has now triumphed, and the blond beast that must erupt, which he claims to find behind all civilisation. The Book Depository On the Genealogy of Morality by Friedrich Nietzsche - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

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