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Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Normativity$
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Christopher Janaway and Simon Robertson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583676.001.0001

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What is a Nietzschean Self? 1

What is a Nietzschean Self? 1

(p.202) 9 What is a Nietzschean Self?1
Nietzsche, Naturalism, and Normativity

R. Lanier Anderson

Oxford University Press

The nature of the self is contested within Nietzsche scholarship. Many texts suggest skeptical eliminativism or reduction of the self to sub-personal drives. But core Nietzschean doctrines (self-overcoming, perspectivist objectivity) seem to require substantial self-management, and Kantians insist that only a separate, transcendental self could play this role. This chapter resists both naturalistic reductionism and transcendentalism. Through analysis of the nature of drives and affects, and then of their interactions, it shows how the Nietzschean self emerges as a numerically distinct psychological object, over and above its constituent drives and affects. But this minimal self lacks the strong features of a transcendental ‘I’; it is complex, not simple, and its boundaries do not coincide with those of consciousness. Nevertheless, the resulting conception of the self affords an adequate basis for understanding Nietzsche's valuation of autonomy (self-governance).

Keywords:   self, autonomy, drives and affects, naturalism, moral psychological minimalism, self-fashioning, self-creation

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