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Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions

Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions Abstract: This article discusses two general strategies that have been pursued to explain how moral thought and moral institutions might have emerged. The first is found in the tradition of those whom Nietzsche calls "English psychologists"; the second is Nietzsche's own. I begin by giving an account of the resources of "English" genealogy as represented by Paul Rée and especially Charles Darwin. On the basis of that discussion, I consider Nietzsche's objections to English genealogy in detail. I argue that as they stand, these objections are inconclusive; while they are, at least to a certain extent, effective against Rée, they fail as objections to the fundamental insights of Darwin. Moreover, I argue that on reflection, the rival genealogy that Nietzsche puts forward is not nearly as well supported and cannot plausibly bear the weight of explanation alone. Finally, I ask what this entails for our conception of ethical emotion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Penn State University Press

Naturalism and the Genealogy of Moral Institutions

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Penn State University Press
ISSN
1538-4594
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: This article discusses two general strategies that have been pursued to explain how moral thought and moral institutions might have emerged. The first is found in the tradition of those whom Nietzsche calls "English psychologists"; the second is Nietzsche's own. I begin by giving an account of the resources of "English" genealogy as represented by Paul Rée and especially Charles Darwin. On the basis of that discussion, I consider Nietzsche's objections to English genealogy in detail. I argue that as they stand, these objections are inconclusive; while they are, at least to a certain extent, effective against Rée, they fail as objections to the fundamental insights of Darwin. Moreover, I argue that on reflection, the rival genealogy that Nietzsche puts forward is not nearly as well supported and cannot plausibly bear the weight of explanation alone. Finally, I ask what this entails for our conception of ethical emotion.

Journal

The Journal of Nietzsche StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Dec 4, 2010

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