Under the press of questions and comments by Christa Davis Acampora and R. Lanier Anderson, I attempt here to clarify the understanding of human agency that I attribute to Nietzsche in my book, Nietzsche, Psychology, and First Philosophy. A central issue concerns what Nietzsche means in Genealogy I:13, in his famous “lightning-flash” metaphor. I argue that the task posed to us by this passage is to understand it in a way that is consistent with Nietzsche’s genealogies and critiques, all of which involve psychological explanations, and so suggest a psychological model of motivated agency, consistent with what appears to be GM I:13’s denial of the basic presupposition of the notion of agency: a distinction between the doer, as instigator of the bodily movement, and the deed. Against objections, I defend the claim that Nietzsche proposes an “expressivist” account that preserves the notion of agency.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 181-195
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.