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Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics$
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Maudemarie Clark

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199371846

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199371846.001.0001

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Nietzsche on Free Will, Causality, and Responsibility

Nietzsche on Free Will, Causality, and Responsibility

(p.75) { 4 } Nietzsche on Free Will, Causality, and Responsibility
Nietzsche on Ethics and Politics

Maudemarie Clark

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an account of Nietzsche's position on freedom and responsibility. It argues against the common view that Nietzsche is an incompatibilist concerning ethical responsibility. He certainly rejects the claim that we are responsible in what he calls the “metaphysical superlative sense”, which is precisely the libertarian-incompatibilist sense. But in Genealogy of Morality II he sketches the early development of something that seems very close to the compatibilist idea of responsibility defended by Peter Strawson in “Freedom and Resentment.” The loss of the incompatibilist idea of responsibility therefore does not leave us bereft of any justifiable concept of responsibility. Genealogy of Morality II provides an account of an idea of responsibility that precedes its moralization, that most of us still share, and that is not undermined by the factors that many see as undermining responsibility in the metaphysical sense of concern to incompatibilists.

Keywords:   freedom, responsibility, free will, incompatibilists, Genealogy of Morality

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