Summary Notes on Nietzsche's Ethics

Academia.Edu (2017)
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In an ideal, ordered world, answering metaethical questions (such as “what is goodness?” and “how can we tell the good from the bad”) would lead to statements about morality (principles set out for making decisions, having intentions and taking actions). However, the world is not ideal or ordered, and in life principles for moral action are based on various beliefs, religions and cultures and most of all by the background of the actor him/herself. This corresponds to the view of the great German philosopher Frederik Nietzsche, who Simon Blackburn (Blackburn, 2005) refers to as the “arch debunker”. Blackburn rates Nietzsche as “currently the most influential of the great philosophers” and there is certainly an arguable case for that assessment. Nietzsche is regarded as the bad boy of philosophy, the writer who speaks the unspeakable. But his ideas have been taken up by philosophers who came after him like no other. His views (along with Kierkegaard’s) lead to existentialism. Heidegger based much of his writing on Nietzsche, and the questions Nietzsche raises (but does not necessarily answer) about epistemology, ethics, religion, psychology, and the way we live our lives are profound and still puzzle modern philosophers and social scientists. This article reviews Nietzsche's profound thoughts on these issues.
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