Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals
The Genealogy of Morals looks at the history of moral thought. What has changed to make us believe what we do now? He asks what values do values have. Friedrich Nietzsche takes the current western morals based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and says that it was not always this way. These beliefs were invented by people (362-363). There was a time during Roman and Greek rule that people thought differently; Nietzsche says that this is an Aristotelian moral thought. Moral thought evolved from the Aristotelian morals to the western Judeo-Christian morals during the slave revolt and is based on how people perceive what is considered good (Nietzsche 363).
Morality is based on social practices and claims such as what is considered right and wrong, duty versus responsibility, and values (Nietzsche 364). Nietzsche describes two very different types of morality; Aristotelian, or master morality, and Judeo-Christian, or slave morality (Nietzsche 365). There are four characteristics that are used to describe the master morality. One is an optimistic evaluation of human nature; this is where the proud states of a noble person are recognized in themselves (Nietzsche 367). Two is contempt and hostility towards others that are of a lower stature (Nietzsche 363). Three is the practice of the proud Viking warrior; the noble person holds all the power over others and himself and respects everything that is severe and harsh (Nietzsche 365). The fourth characteristic is the noble person’s source of freedom from the power he feels in himself (Nietzsche 368).
In contrast to the master morality, Nietzsche describes the slave morality as slaves who are dependent upon their masters; they view power differently than the master morality. He describes four characteristic for slave morality as well. One, their view of human nature is pessimistic, skeptical, and distrustful (Nietzsche 367-368). Two, when dealing with others they use...