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An Analysis of Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality





ISBN 9781912127191
Published July 21, 2017 by Macat Library
98 Pages

 
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Book Description

Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality is a sustained feat of incisive interpretation. Well known as one of Nietzsche’s greatest works, and as one of the most important books of nineteenth-century philosophy, On the Genealogy of Morality also provided the inspiration for the methodologies of several key philosophers of the modern age. Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, among others, cite Nietzsche as an influence specifically because of the interpretative techniques laid out in this work – techniques which are a model for the ways in which interpretation can be used to power critical thinking of the highest order.

The key aspects of interpretation are understanding, clarifying, and questioning definitions; what Nietzsche brings to the process is a sense of how important context, history and culture are to understanding any term. In the case of morals, for instance, he argues that if we are to truly understand what we mean by “good” or “evil,” we cannot ever assume the two concepts have a stable meaning, outside of a given moment in history. Indeed, to understand what they mean now, and might mean in the future, we need to trace the genealogy of concepts back to their very roots – a feat of interpretation that Nietzsche undertakes masterfully.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the Text 

Who was Friedrich Nietzsche? 

What does On the Genealogy of Morality Say?  

Why does On the Genealogy of Morality Matter? 

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr Don Berry holds a PhD in philosophy from University College London and an honors degree in mathematics from Cambridge. His research focuses on bioethics.