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The Nietzschean SelfMoral Psychology, Agency, and the Unconscious$
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Paul Katsafanas

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737100

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737100.001.0001

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Consciousness as Superficial and Falsifying

Consciousness as Superficial and Falsifying

(p.48) 3 Consciousness as Superficial and Falsifying
The Nietzschean Self

Paul Katsafanas

Oxford University Press

Nietzsche’s argument that conscious states alone have conceptual content has consequences of great import for moral psychology. In particular, it leads Nietzsche to the claim that conscious states are superficial, falsifying versions of unconscious ones. In making that claim, he relies on two further ideas: that concepts are generalizations from experience, and that there is no one best or most adequate conceptual scheme. This chapter argues that both of these claims are exceedingly plausible. They lead to a problem: the way in which we experience and think about the world is influenced in deep and significant ways by the conceptual schemes that we embrace; but our awareness of these conceptual schemes is, for the most part, patchy and inadequate. This not only presents obstacles to self-understanding, but leads to a number of surreptitious influences upon our deliberations and actions.

Keywords:   Nietzsche, conscious, unconscious, conceptual content, moral psychology

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