Why Should We Care About Nietzsche's 'Higher Men'?
Forthcoming, European Journal of Philosophy (2017)
28 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2016 Last revised: 1 Nov 2016
Date Written: August 14, 2016
This paper offers a new interpretation of Nietzsche's “higher men” doctrine, which explains how he can simultaneously hold the following two positions: first, that higher types are especially important or valuable; and second, that all moral claims are false (i.e. a crude error theory regarding morality). Nietzsche can coherently subscribe to both views by arguing that higher types have wide inter-subjective (prudential) value to lower types. More specifically, higher men, who are mainly characterized by their strong, commanding nature, fulfill a psychological need, common in most humans – the need to obey. The paper develops this conception of higher types and shows how it relates to Nietzsche's insights on culture, nihilism, and becoming.
Keywords: Nietzsche, Continental Philosophy
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