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2. The First Essay
About this Lecture
In this module, Ben discusses the first essay in Nietzsche's 'Genealogy of Morality'. This essay is a quasi-historical story about the origins of Christian morality, which Nietzsche claims is brought about by a 'slave revolt' in our moral order. But why does Nietzsche criticise morality through an examination of its (supposed) history? And how effective is this 'slave revolt' anyway?
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
Martin, B. (2018, August 15). Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality - The First Essay [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/nietzsche-on-the-genealogy-of-morality/the-first-essay
Martin, Ben. "Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality – The First Essay." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/nietzsche-on-the-genealogy-of-morality/the-first-essay