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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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The Unified Self

The Unified Self

(p.164) 7 The Unified Self
The Nietzschean Self

Paul Katsafanas

Oxford University Press

Nietzsche does not think that there is any philosophically significant difference between actions whose etiology includes an episode of conscious willing and those whose etiology does not. However, Nietzsche is interested in something that philosophers have (he thinks mistakenly) attempted to capture by speaking of conscious willing: the distinction between genuine action and mere behavior. Unlike many other philosophers, he does not align this distinction with the willed/unwilled distinction. In other words: genuine actions can be unwilled, and willed actions can be mere behavior. What then distinguishes genuine actions from mere behaviors? Nietzsche marks the distinction with his concept of unity. Genuine actions are those springing from unified agents. This chapter argues that Nietzschean refers to a relation between drives and conscious thought: unity obtains when the agent’s attitude toward her own action is stable under the revelation of further information about the action’s etiology.

Keywords:   Nietzsche, unity, willing, unified agent, action, behavior

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