Nietzsche genealogy of morals second essay sparknotes

In this same passage, reorganization is often referred to as reinterpretation. That is, one important way in which social institutions are reshaped to new functions involves reinterpreting their meaning in society, reconceptualizing them as it were.

Nietzsche genealogy of morals second essay sparknotes

Second Essay, Sections Summary Nietzsche opens the second essay by examining the significance of our ability to make promises.

Nietzsche genealogy of morals second essay sparknotes

To hold to a promise requires both a powerful memory--the will that a certain event should not be forgotten--and a confidence about the future and one's ability to hold to the promise in the future. This confidence demands that, on some level, we must make ourselves calculable or predictable, and for a people to be predictable, they must share a common set of laws or customs that govern their behavior.

Nietzsche genealogy of morals second essay sparknotes

Society and morality thus serve the purpose of making us predictable, which in turn serves the purpose of allowing us to make promises. This complicated process has as its end the "sovereign individual" who is able to make promises, not because he is bound by social mores but because he is master of his own free will.

The sovereign individual is then faced with the tremendous responsibility of being free to make claims regarding his own future: Punishment was not meted out on the basis of guilt, but simply as a reprisal.

Second Essay, Sections 8-15

If someone failed to fulfill a promise or pay off a loan they were in debt to the person they let down, and that debt could be balanced by submitting to punishment, cruelty, or torture.

If a creditor could not have the pleasure of getting his money back, he could have the pleasure of harming his debtor. The memory that is necessary to our ability to make promises was thus "burned in": Nietzsche remarks that making others suffer was considered a great joy--Nietzsche calls it a "festival"--that would balance out an unpaid debt.

We find the origins of conscience, guilt, and duty in the festiveness of cruelty: We have come to see suffering as a great argument against life, though creating suffering was once the greatest celebration of life.

Nietzsche suggests that our revulsion against suffering is, on the one hand, a revulsion against all our instincts, and, on the other hand, a revulsion against the senselessness of suffering. For neither the ancients nor the Christians was suffering senseless: Nietzsche suggests that we invented gods so that there was some all-witnessing presence to insure that no suffering ever went unnoticed.

SparkNotes: Genealogy of Morals: Second Essay, Sections

Commentary In Nietzsche's discussion of the origin of guilt and conscience, we find a sharp contrast with the other kind of "origin" that Foucault sees Nietzsche opposing. The concepts of guilt and conscience are so fundamental to our functioning as social beings that we have had a tendency to see their origins in a great instant of divine creation.

Nietzsche suggests that, like the origin of humanity itself, there is no point of origin, but just a slow evolution. This point is made particularly clear with Nietzsche's account of the origin of guilt.On the Genealogy of Morals, sometimes translated as On the Genealogy of Morality, consists of three essays, each of which questions the value of our moral concepts and examines their evolution.

The first essay, “‘Good and Evil,’ ‘Good and Bad,’” examines the evolution of two distinctive moral codes. A summary of Second Essay, Sections in Friedrich Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals.

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Genealogy of Morals and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

In this post, I briefly note some of the more interesting points that struck my notice in the second and third essays of The Genealogy of Morals. At ii, Nietzsche articulates a . The second essay, "'Guilt,' 'Bad Conscience,' and the like" deals with (surprise, surprise) guilt, bad conscience, and the like.

Nietzsche traces the origins of concepts such as guilt and punishment, showing that originally they were not based on any sense of moral transgression.

Second Essay, Sections 1-7

Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals Here, Nietzsche uses the term "genealogy" in its fundamental sense: an account (logos) of the genesis of a thing. He is going to offer a theory of the genesis of Christian morality, which he believes is also democratic morality.

A summary of Preface in Friedrich Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Genealogy of Morals and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

SparkNotes: Genealogy of Morals: Second Essay, Sections , page 2