Abstract

Nietzsche’s texts invite perplexing questions about the justification and objectivity of his ethical views. According to the interpretation suggested here, Nietzsche does not advance a substantive (first-order) normative ethics, but proposes, based on his ontological idea of will to power, an instrumentalist theory of (second-order) value. He is not a realist about value—according to him, nothing is intrinsically valuable. However, things, actions, beliefs, and values can be evaluated with reference to their capacities in serving our fundamental quest for power. The central advantage of this interpretation against competing readings is that it attempts to make sense of how an “objective” (r)evaluation fits together with antirealism or nihilism about value, including how the “ethics” of will to power is to be understood alongside the metaphysical and ethical doctrine of eternal recurrence.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4594
Print ISSN
0968-8005
Pages
pp. 213-224
Launched on MUSE
2013-08-15
Open Access
No
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