Nietzsche’s Social Account of Responsibility

Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):103-110 (2012)
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I have two aims in this paper. The first is to add to a growing case against reading the sovereign individual, discussed by Nietzsche in On the Genealogy of Morality, as Nietzsche’s ethical ideal. I suggest that the conception of responsibility active in the sovereign individual passage is directly at odds with what, as a second aim, I argue Nietzsche’s positive account of responsibility to be. Thinking that the sovereign individual, a sort of distant and composed individual who stands apart, represents Nietzsche’s ideal fails to appreciate what we can call the social aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy. Nietzsche’s positive account of responsibility is a conception that sees as central and crucial our place in a community of interpreting and self-interpreting others who figure in the processes by which we, as Nietzsche puts it, become what we are.
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