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A Nietzschean critique of obligation-centred moral theory

Robertson, Simon 2011. A Nietzschean critique of obligation-centred moral theory. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (4) , pp. 563-591. 10.1080/09672559.2011.600772

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The focal objection of Nietzsche’s critique of morality is that morality is disvaluable because antagonistic to the highest forms of human excellence. Recent advances in Nietzsche commentary have done much to unpack this objection – an objection which, at first blush, shares certain affinities with worries developed by a number of more recent morality critics. Some, though, have sought to disassociate Nietzsche from these more recent critics, claiming that his critique is directed mainly against moralized culture and that it cannot be successfully reapplied to moral theory. The aim of this paper is to show that there is a viable Nietzschean objection to obligation-centred moral theory – and, in particular, to those undermanding versions that resist the more recent morality critics’ worries. The paper develops two sets of arguments, according to which (respectively) complying with an undemanding moral theory is both inimical to and incompatible with realizing Nietzschean excellence. Thus, even undemanding moral theories generate the effects to which Nietzsche objects.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: excellence, internalization, moral obligation, Nietzsche, undemanding moral theory
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
ISSN: 0967-2559
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 04:15

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