In Bernard Reginster’s account of On the Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche’s genealogical exercise is ‘functional.’ Nietzsche aims, in his view, to expose the functional role of moral beliefs in serving particular emotional needs of agents. The focus on this theme is tight, to the exclusion of some traditional topics, including perspectivism or truthfulness, as Reginster himself notes. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 tackle essays 1, 2, and 3 of the Genealogy, but virtually the first half of the book is devoted to Reginster’s overarching argumentative frame, which I will briefly sketch. Reginster sees Nietzsche’s demand that the value of moral values be called into question as a call to understand the function of moral beliefs, by providing a naturalistic explanation of them. History plays no role in Reginster’s analysis. He concentrates on the internal dynamics of a more or less timeless, generic, individual human agent. If this is...
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Book Review| April 01 2023
The Will to Nothingness: An Essay on Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality
The Will to Nothingness: An Essay on Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality.
Oxford University Press,
viii + 202 pp.
The Philosophical Review (2023) 132 (2): 305–308.
Christopher Janaway; The Will to Nothingness: An Essay on Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality. The Philosophical Review 1 April 2023; 132 (2): 305–308. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-10294474
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