On the Genealogy of Morals Themes

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The Origins of Good

Nietzsche contrasts master and slave morality, also called noble and herd morality. He claims "good" or "bad" originally just describes the nobles without moral impact. Nietzsche states moral value is imputed by slaves who resent the nobles and consider their actions vices. This slave revolt has a cultural effect that replaces strength and action of the rich nobles with passivity and flatness of the meek who inherit the earth. Nietzsche's inquiry into the origins of good are focused around four key components.

The first component is the utility or useful value of good. He initiates the inquiry by reviewing the psychological dimension proposed by the English psychologists. Good is defined by them in terms of the one who benefits from the action. To that extent good is a utilitarian idea. Specifically if action is useful for the beneficiary, i.e., one who benefits from the...

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