Nietzsche's Genealogy

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In the previous discussion I addressed Nietzsche 's text on David Strauss in order to establish the ground for the application of Lear 's ideas to his thought. Accordingly, I discussed the use of irony in Nietzsche 's work and showed how his practice of philosophy in DS can be discussed in Lear 's terms. Now, I shall take a step further and argue that Nietzsche 's conception and practice of genealogy can be attached to his employment of irony. Subsequently, I claim that genealogy as a philosophical tool is a development of the practice of philosophy as irony – or, we might say that it is another tool at the ironist 's disposal. Then, just as I did above with DS, I shall read Nietzsche on genealogy through the same concepts and tools which I…show more content…
In this sense, the task of questioning the values accepted by his time was one of the main aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy - and we see a reflection of this in DS as he moves against German culture. He conceived this as an indispensable task: as Newmark puts it, Nietzsche '[…] tirelessly pointed out that the question of values is first and foremost precisely that, a genuine question. Any given system of values […] has to be critically examined and interrogated before it can reasonably be accepted, maintained, or altered. '1 What must be noticed though, is how this question is asked not out of curiosity or of an excess of critical spirit: Nietzsche traces a close connection between the interest in values and the well-being and flourishing of human beings. In this sense, at the outset of GM Nietzsche frames its Leitfragen as ‘[…] under what conditions did man devise these value judgments good and evil? And what value do they themselves possess? Have they hitherto hindered or furthered human prosperity?’ (GM 3). Along the same lines, a bit later he adds that ‘[…] we need a critique of moral values, the value of these values themselves must first be called in question – and for that there is needed a knowledge of the conditions and circumstances in which they grew, under which they evolved and changed […]’ (GM6). Crucially, this already reveals an aspect of genealogy which places it in line with Hadot 's concept of a spiritual exercise – namely, the fact that it serves the goal of fostering human prosperity through liberation from a condition of
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