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Individuality and BeyondNietzsche Reads Emerson$
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Benedetta Zavatta

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190929213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190929213.001.0001

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Self-Reliance as Moral Autonomy and Original Self-Expression

Self-Reliance as Moral Autonomy and Original Self-Expression

(p.68) 3 Self-Reliance as Moral Autonomy and Original Self-Expression
Individuality and Beyond

Benedetta Zavatta

, Alexander Reynolds
Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 deals with the positions taken by Nietzsche vis-à-vis Socratico-Christian morality or the morality of customs and his working-out of an alternative moral model using contributions provided to him by reading Emerson. This moral model is oriented around the process of individualization; that is, it concerns the development of the individual up to the point where he or she becomes capable of “transvaluating” the values of the tradition and living on the basis of values of his or her own. Nietzsche identifies the criterion of this “transvaluation” in the virtue that Emerson calls self-reliance. This includes various attitudes which Nietzsche personifies in three figures: “Schopenhauer as Educator,” who personifies self-reliance qua faith in one’s own intuitions and nonconformism; the “free spirit” qua “wanderer,” who personifies self-reliance as an intellectual method, that is, as openness to confronting views different from one’s own and placing one’s own self in question; and Zarathustra, who personifies self-reliance as original self-expression.

Keywords:   self-reliance, transvaluation, individualization, skepticism, intellectual nomadism, self-expression

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