NietzscheGM3 - On the Genealogy of Morality Lecture 3 A...

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On the Genealogy of Morality Lecture 3
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A Question From Last Time Conflict between two moral systems: “noble” and “slave morality”. According to Nietzsche, “slave morality” triumphed. But how is this triumph possible? How did the “nobles” come to embrace values that: (1) were proposed by those that they devalued or ignored, and (2) were harmful to them?
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Nietzsche’s Answer Over the second and third sections of the Genealogy , Nietzsche develops an answer to this question. It was possible for the “slave morality” to triumph because a subset of noble class - the priests - allied themselves with the slaves and aided in the development of their moral system.
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Goals of the Second Section Nietzsche begins to develop this answer in the second section. But his primary concern in this section to explain another central feature of contemporary Morality as he understands it. Namely, how and why did guilt appear? How and why people begin to feel responsible / guilty for their actions?
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What is Guilt? What exactly is the emotion Nietzsche is trying to explain? To anticipate a bit, we could say that guilt is involves an experience of having failed to respect obligations that one believes that one should have respected. When we feel guilty we blame ourselves for having failed to live up to our obligations.
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Guilt vs. Shame Unlike shame, guilt is a fundamentally private emotion. There is no presupposition in guilt that there is a (real or imagined) witness to our failure. It is enough that we know we failed, whether or not the failure is knowable by others.
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Guilt and Responsibility We experience this failure as something we are responsible for. Thus, it involves a stain on one’s character: it is a personal failure that we should have avoided. Contrast this with what we experience when something bad happens to us: here we don’t feel that our character is stained.
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Nietzsche’s surprising hypothesis is that the origins of guilt are to be found in the urge to cruelty, which Nietzsche believes is a basic human emotion. But how exactly does cruelty generate
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NietzscheGM3 - On the Genealogy of Morality Lecture 3 A...

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