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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 25, 2018

Moral Psychology

Thomas Steinbuch
Pages 43-56

The Foundations of Nietzsche’s Psychological Critique of Moral Equality in Ecce Homo

Ecce Homo/Wise 4 & 5 contain Nietzsche’s unmasking critique of the psychology of pity and moral egalitarianism. The foundation of his critique is in his own experience of mastering life-weakening ressentiment as came to him from his father. The brain damage which claimed Karl Ludwig Nietzsche’s life in 1849 must have had an early psycho-traumatic effect on Nietzsche in his infancy. In his psycho-autobiography Ecce Homo, Nietzsche reveals how he imposed a regimen of second-order psychological strategies to master his psychology of compulsive ressentiment as came to him from his father. Appearing solicitous of his suffering in self-mastery, caritas approached him and, interacting with it, Nietzsche perceived its hateful resentment of strength of life. Moreover, against contract theory he argues that investing some with privileged rights is necessary for our progress to beings of überflüssige-leben. The author reviews Sarah Kofman’s Freudian reading of Nietzsche’s self-assessment of being a décadent, and her readings of EH/Wise 4 & 5. Also, the author develops a criticism of Dirk Johnson’s book Nietzsche’s Anti-Darwinism for failing in his account of how will to power reorders inner life to produce the values of affirmation. The author also argues that Lawrence Hatab’s position in A Nietzschean Defense of Democracy cannot be maintained.