The Equivocal Use of Power in Nietzsche’s Failed Anti-Egalitarianism

Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (4):1-32 (2014)
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Abstract
This paper argues that Nietzsche’s anti-egalitarianism depends on equivocation between conceptions of power as quantitative superiority and qualitative feeling and between associated conceptions of equality as similarity and opposition or resistance . Nietzsche’s key arguments against equality fail when applied to the qualitative form of power, since the feeling of power does not directly correlate with quantitative ability and requires relatively equal or proportional resistance. Consequently, Nietzsche’s commitment to the promotion of humanity’s highest individuals does not entail the rejection of moral egalitarianism in every form and even supports a pluralistic egalitarianism that promotes equality understood not as similarity but as multiple, proportional resistances.
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First archival date: 2012-01-02
Latest version: 3 (2015-10-21)
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