Nietzsche's ethics of the future: creative valuation and the life of self-development

Obrigewitsch, Christian (2020) Nietzsche's ethics of the future: creative valuation and the life of self-development. The Agonist, 13. pp. 78-90. ISSN 2752-4132

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Nietzsche’s future, his posthumous life, which incorporates our past, present, and future interpretations and evaluations of his work, is riddled with complications and misunderstandings.1 His conception of existence as the struggle of absolute differences leads to him devaluing and debasing democracy in the political sphere, as well as utilitarianism and deontology in the ethical sphere – for all three come down to an essential equality of human beings (in terms of rights, calculability, and rationality, respectively). What sort of ethics might this strange figure profess, then? Based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the central concept of his thinking, the will to power, combined with the willful propagation and proliferation of this very misunderstanding by Nietzsche’s sister and the Nazi party, the myth of Nietzsche as a fascist philosopher was born. Though even a minimally thoughtful reading of his work would render this myth invalidated, this remained the very problem in the way of clearing up the misconception surrounding Nietzsche’s thought and his name. For beyond the deplorable editing work that the Nazi philosophers did to transform Nietzsche’s message, the very association of his name to fascist parties and figures dissuaded many from touching his works. Thankfully there were a few thinkers early on who fought to expose this myth for what it was, and to let Nietzsche’s thought speak for itself.2 Much work has since been done as well, and continues to be argued in the pages of Nietzsche scholarship. But the question remains a contested one: what exactly is Nietzsche’s ethics?

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Philosophy
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2022 17:13
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2022 17:15

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