Sparknotes nietzsche genealogy of morals first essay

First Essay, Sections Summary Nietzsche opens by expressing dissatisfaction with the English psychologists who have tried to explain the origin of morality. They claim to be historians of morality, but they completely lack a historical spirit. Their theories suggest that, originally, people benefiting from the unegoistic actions of others would applaud those actions and call them "good. Over time, these genealogists suggest, we forgot this original association, and the habit of calling unegoistic actions "good" led us to conclude that they were somehow good in and of themselves.

Sparknotes nietzsche genealogy of morals first essay

Good and Evil, Good and Bad 1 These English psychologists whom we have to thank for the only Sparknotes nietzsche genealogy of morals first essay up to this point to produce a history of the origins of morality—in themselves they serve up to us no small riddle.

In the way of a lively riddle, they even offer, I confess, something substantially more than their books—they are interesting in themselves! These English psychologists—what do they really want?

Is it a secret, malicious, common instinct perhaps one which is self-deceiving for belittling humanity? Or a small underground hostility and rancour towards Christianity and Platowhich perhaps has never once managed to cross the threshold of consciousness? Or even a lecherous taste for what is odd or painfully paradoxical, for what in existence is questionable and ridiculous?

Or finally a bit of all of these—a little vulgarity, a little gloominess, a little hostility to Christianity, a little thrill, and a need for pepper? But people tell me that these men are simply old, cold, boring frogs, which creep and hop around people as if they were in their own proper element, that is, in a swamp.

I resist that idea when I hear it. And if one is permitted to hope where one cannot know, then I hope from my heart that the situation with these men could be reversed, that these investigators peering at the soul through their microscopes could be thoroughly brave, generous, and proud animals, who know how to control their hearts and their pain and who have educated themselves to sacrifice everything desirable for the sake of the truth, for the sake of every truth, even the simple, the bitter, the hateful, the repellent, the unchristian, the unmoral truth.

Sparknotes nietzsche genealogy of morals first essay

For there are such truths. So all respect to the good spirits that may govern in these historians of morality! Collectively they all think essentially unhistorically, in the traditional manner of philosophers. Of that there is no doubt. The incompetence of their genealogies of morals reveals itself at the very beginning, where the issue is to determine the origin of the idea and of the judgment "good.

Later people forgot how this praise began, and because unegoistic actions had, according to custom, always been praised as good, people then simply felt them as good, as if they were something inherently good.

This pride should be humbled, this evaluation of worth emptied of value. Has that been achieved? It is much more that case that the "good people" themselves, that is, the noble, powerful, higher-ranking and higher-thinking people felt and set themselves and their actions up as good, that is to say, of the first rank, in contrast to everything low, low-minded, common, and vulgar.

From this pathos of distance they first arrogated to themselves the right to create values, to stamp out the names for values. What did they care about usefulness! In relation to such a hot pouring out of the highest rank-ordering, rank-setting judgments of value, the point of view which considers utility is as foreign and inappropriate as possible.

Here the feeling has reached the opposite of that low level of warmth which is a condition for that calculating shrewdness, that calculation by utility—and not just for a moment, not for an exceptional hour, but permanently.

The pathos of nobility and distance, as mentioned, the lasting and domineering feeling, something total and complete, of a higher ruling nature in relation to a lower nature, to an "beneath"—that is the origin of the opposition between "god" and "bad.

Sparknotes nietzsche genealogy of morals first essay

Given this origin, the word "good" was not in any way necessarily tied up with "unegoistic" actions, as the superstitions of those genealogists of morality tell us. Rather, that occurs for the first time with the collapse of aristocratic value judgments, when this entire contrast between "egoistic" and "unegoistic" pressed itself ever more strongly into human awareness—it is, to use my own words, the instinct of the herd which, through this contrast, finally gets its word and its words.

And even so, it took a long time until this instinct in the masses became ruler, with the result that moral evaluation got downright hung up and bogged down on this opposition as is the case, for example, in modern Europe: The utility of the unegoistic action is supposed to be the origin of the praise it receives, and this origin has allegedly been forgotten: Could the usefulness of such actions at some time or other just stop?

The case is the opposite: Hence, instead of disappearing out of consciousness, instead of becoming something forgettable, it must have pressed itself into the consciousness with ever-increasing clarity. How much more sensible is the contrasting theory which is not therefore closer to the truthfor example, the one which is advocated by Herbert Spencer:On the Genealogy of Morals: Summary & Analysis.

By SparkNotes. Summary. On The Genealogy of Morals is made up of three essays, all of which question and critique the value of our moral judgments based on a genealogical method whereby Nietzsche examines the origins and meanings of our different moral concepts..

The first essay, "'Good and Evil,' 'Good and Bad'" contrasts what Nietzsche . A summary of First 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. 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 First 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, . Friedrich Nietzsche - On the Genealogy of Morals Prologue 1 We don't know ourselves, we knowledgeable people—we are personally ignorant about ourselves. Nietzsche suggests that he has long been interested in the question of the origins of good and evil.

He recollects his first attempt at philosophy at the age of thirteen, where his search for an origin brought him to God, and so he posited God as the originator of evil.

SparkNotes: Genealogy of Morals: First Essay, Sections