Free Will, Autonomy, and the Sovereign Individual
This chapter distinguishes a conception of ‘free will’ that Nietzsche opposes (that of the pure, neutral agent unaffected by contingencies of character and circumstance) and one that he supports. In Human, All too Human, Nietzsche propounds the ‘total unfreedom’ of the will. But in Beyond Good and Evil and the Genealogy, he is more concerned with the project of genealogy, tracing the affective psychological states underlying beliefs in both free will and ‘unfree will’, and secondly with a positive conception of free will that might be attained by certain individuals, associated with his conception of the ‘sovereign individual’, which embraces a wholeness of character, acceptance of what constitutes and constrains oneself, and creation of one's own values. The chapter explores the kind of autonomy required in agents who would participate in a revaluation of values, and argues that Nietzsche must conceive them as having a kind of autonomy.
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