Consider: If I become convinced that something I valued is not in fact valuable, that discovery is normally sufficient to provoke me to revise my value, suggesting that valuing must be responsive to the world; by contrast, subjective desires often persist even in the face of my judgment that their objects are not properly desirable, or are unattainable; see the entries on value theory and desire. We [contemplatives] … are those who really continually fashion something that had not been there before: the whole eternally growing world of valuations, colors, accents, perspectives, scales, affirmations, and negations.
Only we have created the world that concerns man! Some scholars take the value creation passages as evidence that Nietzsche was an anti-realist about value, so that his confident evaluative judgments should be read as efforts at rhetorical persuasion rather than objective claims Leiter , or relatedly they suggest that Nietzsche could fruitfully be read as a skeptic, so that such passages should be evaluated primarily for their practical effect on readers Berry ; see also Leiter Others Hussain take Nietzsche to be advocating a fictionalist posture, according to which values are self-consciously invented contributions to a pretense through which we can satisfy our needs as valuing creatures, even though all evaluative claims are strictly speaking false.
First, while a few passages appear to offer a conception of value creation as some kind of legislative fiat e. Second, a great many of the passages esp. GS 78, , , , connect value creation to artistic creation, suggesting that Nietzsche took artistic creation and aesthetic value as an important paradigm or metaphor for his account of values and value creation more generally.
While some Soll attack this entire idea as confused, other scholars have called on these passages as support for either fictionalist or subjective realist interpretations. In addition to showing that not all value creation leads to results that Nietzsche would endorse, this observation leads to interesting questions—e. If so, what differentiates the two modes? Can we say anything about which is to be preferred? Nietzsche praises many different values, and in the main, he does not follow the stereotypically philosophical strategy of deriving his evaluative judgments from one or a few foundational principles.
A well-known passage appears near the opening of the late work, The Antichrist :.
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What is good? Everything that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself.
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That doctrine seems to include the proposal that creatures like us or more broadly: all life, or even all things period aim at the enhancement of their power—and then further, that this fact entails that enhanced power is good for us or for everything. The same conception has been developed by Paul Katsafanas , who argues that, qua agents, we are ineluctably committed to valuing power because a Reginster-style will to power is a constitutive condition on acting at all.
His account thereby contributes to the constitutivist strategy in ethics pioneered by Christine Korsgaard and David Velleman , On this view, what Nietzsche values is power understood as a tendency toward growth, strength, domination, or expansion Schacht —88; Hussain Leiter is surely right to raise worries about the Millian reconstruction. Nietzsche apparently takes us to be committed to a wide diversity of first order aims, which raises prima facie doubts about the idea that for him all willing really takes power as its first-order aim as the Millian argument would require. It is not clear that this view can avoid the objection rooted in the possibility of pessimism i.
Given his engagement with Schopenhauer, Nietzsche should have been sensitive to the worry. I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati : let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly.
I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse.
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Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: someday I wish to be only a Yes-sayer. GS Let our brilliance make them look dark. No, let us not become darker ourselves on their account, like all those who punish…. Let us look away. After that penultimate section, Nietzsche quotes the first section of Thus Spoke Zarathustra , which returns repeatedly to the same theme of affirmation see, e.
That critique is directed in large measure against aspects of morality that turn the agent against herself—or more broadly, against the side of Christianity that condemns earthly existence, demanding that we repent of it as the price of admission to a different, superior plane of being. What is wrong with these views, according to Nietzsche, is that they negate our life, instead of affirming it.
The affirmation of life can be framed as the rejection of nihilism, so understood. For Nietzsche, that involves a two-sided project: it should both undermine values by reference to which the world could not honestly be affirmed, while also articulating the values exemplified by life and the world that make them affirmable. Readers interested in this issue about the compatibility of Nietzschean affirmation with Nietzschean critique should also consult Huddleston, forthcoming, a, which reaches a more diffident conclusion than this entry.
If we are to affirm our life and the world, however, we had better be honest about what they are really like. Endorsing things under some illusory Panglossian description is not affirmation, but self-delusion. How much truth does a spirit endure , how much truth does it dare? More and more that became for me the real measure of value. EH Pref. Some texts present truthfulness as a kind of personal commitment—one tied to particular projects and a way of life in which Nietzsche happens to have invested.
For example, in GS 2 Nietzsche expresses bewilderment in the face of people who do not value honesty:. I do not want to believe it although it is palpable: the great majority of people lacks an intellectual conscience.
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No, life has not disappointed me… ever since the day when the great liberator came to me: the idea that life could be an experiment for the seeker for knowledge…. Indeed, he assigns the highest cultural importance to the experiment testing whether such a life can be well lived:. A thinker is now that being in whom the impulse for truth and those life-preserving errors now clash for their first fight, after the impulse for truth has proved to be also a life-preserving power. Compared to the significance of this fight, everything else is a matter of indifference: the ultimate question about the conditions of life has been posed here, and we confront the first attempt to answer the question by experiment.
To what extent can truth endure incorporation? That is the question; that is the experiment. A second strand of texts emphasizes connections between truthfulness and courage , thereby valorizing honesty as the manifestation of an overall virtuous character marked by resoluteness, determination, and spiritual strength.
Such wishful thinking is not only cognitively corrupt, for Nietzsche, but a troubling manifestation of irresolution and cowardice. Finally, it is worth noting that even when Nietzsche raises doubts about this commitment to truthfulness, his very questions are clearly motivated by the central importance of that value. But even in the face of such worries, Nietzsche does not simply give up on truthfulness. But if truthfulness is a core value for Nietzsche, he is nevertheless famous for insisting that we also need illusion to live well.
From the beginning of his career to the end, he insisted on the irreplaceable value of art precisely because of its power to ensconce us in illusion. Art and artistry carry value for Nietzsche both as a straightforward first-order matter, and also as a source of higher-order lessons about how to create value more generally. But Nietzsche is just as invested in the first-order evaluative point that what makes a life admirable includes its aesthetic features. One last point deserves special mention.
Significantly, the opposition here is not just the one emphasized in The Birth of Tragedy —that the substantive truth about the world might be disturbing enough to demand some artistic salve that helps us cope.
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Nietzsche raises a more specific worry about the deleterious effects of the virtue of honesty—about the will to truth, rather than what is true—and artistry is wheeled in to alleviate them, as well:. If we had not welcomed the arts and invented this kind of cult of the untrue, then the realization of general untruth and mendaciousness that now comes to us through science—the realization that delusion and error are conditions of human knowledge and sensation—would be utterly unbearable.
Honesty would lead to nausea and suicide. But now there is a counterforce against our honesty that helps us to avoid such consequences: art as the good will to appearance. Those views would entail that the basic conditions of cognition prevent our ever knowing things as they really are, independently of us see Anderson , ; Hussain ; and the entry on Friedrich Albert Lange. But while those are the immediate allusions, Nietzsche also endorses more general ideas with similar implications—e.
What is most important, however, is the structure of the thought in GS So it seems that the values Nietzsche endorses conflict with one another, and that very fact is crucial to the value they have for us Anderson — This strand of thought continues to receive strong emphasis in recent interpretations—see, e.
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As Reginster shows, what opposes Nietzschean freedom of spirit is fanaticism , understood as a vehement commitment to some faith or value-set given from without, which is motivated by a need to believe in something because one lacks the self-determination to think for oneself GS A variety of scholars have recently explored the resources of this line of thought in Nietzsche; Anderson surveys the literature, and notable contributions include Ridley b , Pippin , , Reginster , Katsafanas b, , , , and especially the papers in Gemes and May We have seen that Nietzsche promotes a number of different values.
In some cases, these values reinforce one another. For this alone is fitting for a philosopher. We have no right to be single in anything: we may neither err nor hit upon the truth singly. GM Pref.
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