Nietzche on Master Morality

Nietzche offers an argument for our embrace of master values. It goes a little somethin’ like dis:

b Morality changes over time.
(2) If morality changes, we can change it.
(3) :. We can change morality
(4) The natural force of all life is the will to power.
(5) Master values reflect this natural force.
(6) If 3,4,5 are true, we should change our morality i.e. we’ve made a mistake.
(7):. We should change our morality.[/b]

Endorsements, support, criticisms…

Avi,

The only problem, or really inconsistency, in Nietzsche here is that:

“(4) The natural force of all life is the will to power.”

Is taken as a “natural”, unchanging value, which itself is a value.

Dunamis

Nice observation. But I think (4) is strictly an empirical claim that purports to be supported by data in nature. So do you take Nietzche as a relativist or absolutist?

Avi,

“But I think (4) is strictly an empirical claim that purports to be supported by data in nature.”

For Nietzsche, even cause and effect, geometric planes are not definitively known, but only humanizations. Nietzsche simply did not account for the historical contingency of his own assertion.

"112

Cause and Effect. We say it is "explanation "; but it is only in “description” that we are in advance of the older stages of knowledge and science. We describe better, we explain just as little as our predecessors. We have discovered a manifold succession where the naive man and investigator of older cultures saw only two things, “cause” and "effect,“as it was said; we have perfected the conception of becoming, but have not got a knowledge of what is above and behind the conception. The series of “causes” stands before us much more complete in every case; we conclude that this and that must first precede in order that that other may follow - but we have not grasped anything thereby. The peculiarity, for example, in every chemical process seems a “miracle,” the same as before, just like all locomotion; nobody has “explained” impulse. How could we ever explain? We operate only with things which do not exist, with lines, surfaces, bodies, atoms, divisible times, divisible spaces - how can explanation ever be possible when we first make everything a conception, our conception? It is sufficient to regard science as the exactest humanizing of things that is possible; we always learn to describe ourselves more accurately by describing things and their successions. Cause and effect: there is probably never any such duality; in fact there is a continuum before us, from which we isolate a few portions - just as we always observe a motion as isolated points, and therefore do not properly see it, but infer it. The abruptness with which many effects take place leads us into error; it is however only an abruptness for us. There is an infinite multitude of processes in that abrupt moment which escape us. An intellect which could see cause and effect as a continuum, which could see the flux of events not according to our mode of perception, as things arbitrarily separated and broken - would throw aside the conception of cause and effect, and would deny all conditionality.”

The Gay Science

Dunamis

nietzsche was a perspectivist…

-Imp

Perspectivism -
Nietzsche’s position regarding truth, which asserts that there is no such thing as an absolute truth, but merely different perspectives that one can adopt. We could think of truth as a sculpture, where there is no single “right” perspective to look at it. To properly appreciate the sculpture, we must walk around it, looking at it from as many different perspectives as possible. Similarly, Nietzsche insists that we should not get caught up in dogmatism, but rather look at the truth from as many perspectives as possible. (from sparknotes)

So when this definition says “but rather look at the truth from as many perspectives as possible,” does not this assume that there is a truth? If so, would you say Nietzche would advocate a subjectivist truth or an absolute truth?

This question relates to the argument by the way, I will show how after I get your feedback.

Avi,

So when this definition says “but rather look at the truth from as many perspectives as possible,” does not this assume that there is a truth? If so, would you say Nietzche would advocate a subjectivist truth or an absolute truth?

I’ll let Imp handle Perspectivism because he was the one who introduced it, but Nietzsche was not consistent. When speaking of the Will to Power he is being practically metaphysical, despite his distain for the category. He is asserting the supremacy of a trans-historical category and value, in contradiction to his analysis of the genealogical nature of values, the humanizations of observation and language. In short his “morality” does not match up to his skepticism. He would like his “truth” to remain unscathed. But it doesn’t.

Dunamis

And in what book does one find Nietzsche’s suggestion that we should adopt master morality?

Dunamis

How is “Will to Power” itself a value?

this gets back to the point I was arguing with RT in the other thread… there is no absolute truth - metaphysically speaking at least - and Dunamis’ objection to Nietzsche’s metaphysical inconsistency is right on the nose although I am not certain if Nietzsche’s morality is totally metaphysical… the bit about willing the overman perhaps, but not the master morality or the morality of the eternal recurrence which was Nietzsche’s counter to the Kantian golden rule…

but to answer the question, I think Nietzsche would say there is only the subjective perspectives; however, the perspective of the strongest spectator (or as Nietzsche would argue, the christian herd animal perspective) influences the others to the point of making the others see through glasses tinted by the influence of the stronger… this is evidenced most strongly in the language used to describe the vision… perhaps they see it for what it is but because they lack the language to describe it fully, distinctly, uniquely or clearly, it falls under the rubric demanded by the given language… it is a question of creating new understandings and making new language which must stand outside of language if that makes sense…

-Imp

-Imp

Nih,

“How is “Will to Power” itself a value?”

I’m not sure this is a trick question or not. In one sense it is a value because it is literally a Will to the value of Power. In another sense it is a value because it is a the moral justification/explanation of action. And thirdly, Nietzsche primary critique of metaphysical epistemology is conducted at the level of values. His own metaphysical positing must be subject to the same critique, which means the critique of the language and culture that produced it.

Imp’s “it is a question of creating new understandings and making new language which must stand outside of language if that makes sense…” essentially marks out the advance that Heidegger attempts to make upon Nietzsche, finding authenticity in the praxis of language use/creation.

Dunamis

One of my contentions with this argument is the (seeming) contradiction in (1) & (6). (1) would have us take Nietzche as a relativist, whereas in (6) he seems to give a prescriptive claim with the breach of the relativist principle, namely, he is onto some ‘correct’ value or way, and that we’ve made a mistake in the past, hence introducing himself as an absolutist. One can attempt to let the argument play out assuming he is a relativist or perspectivist which I am not well informed on, (and do not know if he gave his perspectivist theory before this argument, so I use ‘realtivist’ in my lack of knowledge in this regard), or take him as an absolutist and see if the argument succeeds.

-Imp
[/quote]

For one thing it must be noted that Nietzsche didn’t think Master Morality was for everyone, only a select few, the Blond beasts. In addition to this while Nietzsche gives long polemics on slave morality and the like, specifically in GOM and BG&E it is a mistake to think that he categorically tells us to adopt Master Morality as both these books are critiques from a historical perspective. It is an obvious mistake of interpretation to think that Nietzsche seeks to villify the bad conscience, ascetic ideal, and slave morality in the geneaology or “that he suggests that mankind would be better off if only these things had never appeared”(Kaufmann). Likewise BG&E should not be seen as an attempt to promote a certain morality, but as an attempt to question the things in morality that haven’t been questioned. Nietzsche simply opens doors that have long been covered in cobb webs

To a certain extent I can agree that Zarathustra is an attempt at promoting a psychology or morality, but the extent to which this morality coincides with the Master Morality found in the geneaology(nobles) is questionable, the parallels of psychology are more easily drawn.

This doesn’t make sense, "The will to power is not a being, not a becoming, but a pathos --the most elemental fact from which a becoming and effecting first emerge-- "

An explanation indeed, but whether or not it is a used as a justification directly depends on the morality. Nietzsche never said that morality is justified by the “will to power”.

This argument is of a different nature than the previous two, lets save this one for later.

For one thing it must be noted that Nietzsche didn’t think Master Morality was for everyone, only a select few, the Blond beasts. In addition to this while Nietzsche gives long polemics on slave morality and the like, specifically in GOM and BG&E it is a mistake to think that he categorically tells us to adopt Master Morality as both these books are critiques from a historical perspective. It is an obvious mistake of interpretation to think that Nietzsche seeks to villify the bad conscience, ascetic ideal, and slave morality in the geneaology or “that he suggests that mankind would be better off if only these things had never appeared”(Kaufmann). Likewise BG&E should not be seen as an attempt to promote a certain morality, but as an attempt to question the things in morality that haven’t been questioned. Nietzsche simply opens doors that have long been covered in cobb webs

To a certain extent I can agree that Zarathustra is an attempt at promoting a psychology or morality, but the extent to which this morality coincides with the Master Morality found in the geneaology(nobles) is questionable, the parallels of psychology are more easily drawn.
[/quote]

yes, I agree with your summation of whom it is to adopt the master morality, you simply asked in which books it could be seen…

-Imp

On the contrary, I asked, “in what book does one find Nietzsche’s suggestion that we should adopt master morality?”.

There is an assumption in the OP that Nietzsche believes Master Morality should be adopted universally, is there not?

yes, I suppose you are correct…

but I am not sure if it is universally adopted… for Nietzsche, universally imposed fits better…

if one has the power to adopt the master morality, one then asks, “what matters the rest?” and the rest will live by whatever morality is foisted upon them until they can free themselves from its shackles…

-Imp

It is important to remember that "Master Morality"is not a defined system of ethics, but rather a “psychology” or pathos.

Nih,

"The will to power is not a being, not a becoming, but a pathos --the most elemental fact from which a becoming and effecting first emerge-- "

And as such he proposes it as a transcendental category, something his skepticism forbids.

An explanation indeed, but whether or not it is a used as a justification directly depends on the morality. Nietzsche never said that morality is justified by the “will to power”.

He implied by his critique of common Christian morality and his concept of “resentment” that the justification for action that is usually supplied by morality itself, is rather to be replaced by an acknowledgement and embrace of the Will to Power. This is a value judgment, plain and simple.

Dunamis

Master morality is to be adopted by those who can handle it, those capable of being masters. Some people (according to Nietzsche) are naturally (through inheritance of spirit via the bloodline) more capable of being masters and some are more suited to being slaves.

However:
(while looking for Beyond Good and Evil online I found a zillion sites devoted to a recent computer game of the same name and a list including this book at humaneventsonline.com/article.php?id=7591)

BGE 200

gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/bygdv10.txt