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Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality

1. Introduction

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About this Lecture


In this module, Ben gives a background of Nietzsche's life, and how his thought developed over his career. He then debunks two popular myths about Nietzsche: first, that he held the impossible position of being both a naturalist and post-modernist; and second, that he was a Nazi and an anti-Semite.


Published in 1887, the Genealogy of Morality is the locus classicus of Nietzsche's criticism of contemporary morality and religion. The book is divided into three essays: the first deals with the origins of Christian and contemporary secular morality; the second is an essay on the moral psychology of guilt; and the third is an examination of what Nietzsche calls the ascetic ideal. After an introductory module, which gives an overview of Nietzsche's life and broader philosophical ideas, there is one module for each of the three essays.


Ben Martin is a second-year BPhil student at Brasenose College, Oxford. He studied PPE as an undergraduate and is now writing his thesis on the philosophy of self-deception. His academic interests span epistemology, ethics, and the history of philosophy, particularly Nietzsche and Wittgenstein.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Martin, B. (2018, August 15). Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality - Introduction [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Martin, B. "Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality – Introduction." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,