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Beyond SelflessnessReading Nietzsche's Genealogy$
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Christopher Janaway

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279692

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279692.001.0001

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Nietzsche and Paul Rée on the Origins of Moral Feelings

Nietzsche and Paul Rée on the Origins of Moral Feelings

Chapter:
(p.74) 5 Nietzsche and Paul Rée on the Origins of Moral Feelings
Source:
Beyond Selflessness
Author(s):

Christopher Janaway (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279692.003.0005

This chapter compares central themes of the Genealogy with their treatment in Rée's Origin of the Moral Sensations, which Nietzsche highlights in the Preface as the main book he is disagreeing with. Rée accounts for the origin of the concepts ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in terms of utility, evolution, and conditioning. His central term is the ‘unegoistic’: communities who became conditioned to have positive feelings towards the unegoistic were selected for survival. It is argued that Rée's theory is the one criticized in GENEALOGY I under the heading of ‘English psychologists’. In reply, Nietzsche distinguishes ‘bad’ from ‘evil’, and examines power-relations rather than a homogeneous community. Rée's accounts of conscience, blame, and punishment are similarly founded on the notion of the unegoistic. Nietzsche's accounts of punishment and justice in the Genealogy are a counter to Rée.

Keywords:   conscience, English psychologists, evolution, power-relations, punishment, Rée, unegoistic, utility

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