Nietzsche and Morality

Nietzsche and Morality

Nietzsche and Morality

Nietzsche and Morality


Nietzsche was surprisingly neglected by most English-language moral philosophers until recently. This volume capitalizes on a growth of interest in Nietzsche's work on morality from two sides - from scholars of the history of philosophy and from contributors to current debates on ethical theory. In eleven new essays, leading philosophers aim both to advance philosophical understanding of Nietzsche's ethical views - his normative and meta-ethics, his moral psychology, his views onfree will and the nature of the self - and to make Nietzsche a live participant in contemporary debates in ethics and cognate fields.


Brian Leiter and Neil Sinhababu

Moral philosophy has long situated its problems, positions, and arguments with respect to the views of the important historical figures in the field. Aristotle, Kant, Hume, and Mill, among others, have loomed large in ethics over the last century, so much so that those contemporaries influenced by them often self-identify as Kantians or Humeans, or as working out 'Aristotelian' or 'Millian' views as a way of defending answers to contemporary questions in moral philosophy.

Yet the historical orientation of moral philosophers has, to date, largely neglected one figure who ought to command at least equal attention, namely, Nietzsche. the reasons for his neglect in Anglophone philosophy are, to be sure, understandable. the general timidity and conservatism of English-speaking moral philosophy—its inclination to elucidate and defend morality; its commitment, more often than not, to the moral status quo and to common-sense (certain utilitarians honorably excepted!); its lack of interest, until relatively recently, in psychological questions—made it generally inhospitable for a critic as radical and as naturalistically inclined as Nietzsche. Until recently, moreover, few English-speaking philosophers (Philippa Foot and the late Bernard Williams are notable exceptions) even tried to defend watered-down versions of the radical views of morality and its value that we associate with Nietzsche. Making matters worse, most scholarly writing on Nietzsche has not been done by scholars conversant with serious philosophy, meaning that philosophically minded value theorists were unlikely to find reading the secondary literature on Nietzsche very rewarding.

The last twenty years have marked a dramatic change in this state of affairs. Increasingly, talented moral philosophers—Simon Blackburn, Thomas Hurka, Nadeem Hussain, Joshua Knobe, Mathias Risse, and R. Jay Wallace are representatives in . . .

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