Nietzsche on the aesthetics of character and virtue

Came, Daniel (2014) Nietzsche on the aesthetics of character and virtue. In: Nietzsche on art and life. Oxford University Press, pp. 127-142. ISBN 0199545960, 9780199545964


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This essay addresses the question of the relation of aesthetic to ethical value in Nietzsche's early and later writings. My central contention is that Nietzsche wanted to effect a rapprochement between aesthetics and ethics, to extend the structure of aesthetic judgment into the ethical domain, and, indeed, to effect the substitution of aesthetic for moral concepts when dealing with such typically ethical domains as action, motivation and character, and their adoption as the predominant terms in practical reasoning. The paper explores the development and transformations of this theme from its introduction in The Birth of Tragedy to Nietzsche’s imperative to give ‘style’ to one’s character and thereby ‘turn oneself into a work of art’ (GS, 290) in his latest works. In particular I am interested in what is distinctive about Nietzsche’s aestheticist approach to ethical questions, and in what respects, and to what degree, he extends the norms of aesthetic judgment and practice into the realm of ethical appraisal and practical reason.

Keywords:Nietzsche, aesthetics, art, character, virtue, ethics
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V500 Philosophy
Divisions:College of Arts
Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:30427
Deposited On:14 Mar 2018 13:10

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