Morality vs. Excellence
The central objection animating Nietzsche’s critique is that morality impedes the highest human excellences and hence value. The objection shares certain affinities with worries levied by more recent morality critics, who argue that moral theories are unable to accommodate the legitimate pursuit of various non-moral goods crucial to a minimally good life. One common response on behalf of morality is to defend a less demanding moral theory that does accommodate relevant non-moral goods. This chapter reconstructs Nietzsche’s objection via two arguments, showing that his version has bite even against undemanding moral theories: such theories would still impede the highest excellences. It then examines how the objection can be extended: how morality impedes not just the highest excellences but our lesser flourishing too.
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