The Camels With Hammers "Nietzsche and Morality Reader Challenge"

In a couple of recent posts, I have begun to explicate Nietzschean texts on morality and moral values and show how they support my interpretation of him as a kind of values realist who essentially could be categorized as an egoistic indirect consequentialist perfectionist.

Now there are many texts that lead people to infer that Nietzsche is very different than this, that he is a values relativist, nihilist, emotivist, conventionalist, or other variety of anti-realist who opposes all moralities in principle. In future posts, I will continue working through various key Nietzsche texts from which I developed my interpretation of Nietzsche’s values realism and my account of his specific positive, constructive ethical system.

As part of this task, I want to take hard passages which seemingly sink my project and seemingly reveal Nietzsche as a values anti-realist and show how my systematic reading of Nietzsche can reconcile and make illuminating sense of them.

There are, admittedly, many such texts in Nietzsche’s writings which prima facie look disastrous to my claims about his views. So, even as I select some choice ones that interest me in particular, I want to pose a challenge to you, my highly valued readers, to dig through Nietzsche’s texts and present me with what you think are the hardest texts to reconcile with the claim that Nietzsche is a species of values realist who could favor some moral systems as good overall.

If there are a lot of replies, obviously I will have trouble answering all of them in a timely fashion unless I blogged on Nietzsche exclusively. Nonetheless, I am game to answer as many as I can (without too much thematic redundancy) and as a general rule, I will choose the hardest to reconcile suggested texts first. Meaning, I will not go easy on myself here.

The posts I have already made outlining my reading of Nietzsche, which can serve as a guide to you in figuring out where I am coming from, and which you can tailor your challenges more precisely to refute, are the following posts:

Nietzsche’s Immoralism As Rebellion Against The Authoritarian Tendencies of Moralities

A Video Of Me Rambling About Nietzsche

Apostasy As A Religious Act (Or “Why A Camel Hammers The Idols of Faith”)

A Brief Overview of My Dissertation

Nietzsche: Moral Absolutism and Moral Relativism Are “Equally Childish”

That list will be periodically updated to include responses to the CWHNMARC (the “Camels With Hammers Nietzsche and Morality Reader Challenge”) as they are written.

So now, with no further ado, to those of you who think you can stump me and refute my system through effective reference to Nietzsche’s own words, I throw down the gauntlet.

Your Challenges?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.