Review of Richardson's "Nietzsche's Values"
Keywords:Richardson, Nietzsche's Values
This article examines John Richardson’s Nietzsche’s Values. Richardson’s book is systematic in the very best sense. He patiently works through the apparently contrary claims that Nietzsche makes about each topic pertaining to values. In each chapter, Richardson shows that these apparently contrary claims are not only reconcilable, but are interlocking: they support one another, constituting an impressively unified analysis of the human condition. By the end of the book, Richardson produces a comprehensive analysis of Nietzsche’s thought on values, will to power, life, consciousness, agency, freedom, culture, and religion. While the book is impressive, I critique Richardson’s treatment of four points. Section One argues that the form of internalism that Richardson attributes to Nietzsche is somewhat underspecified. Section Two asks whether Richardson’s version of internalism can account for the immense distance between what we do value and what we should value. There, I also raise some questions Richardson’s interpretation of will to power. Section Three suggests that Richardson’s reading of Nietzsche’s ethics is much closer to constitutivism than he acknowledges, and that fully endorsing constitutivism would resolve some of the problems that Richardson’s account otherwise faces. Section Four argues that Richardson’s distinction between animal drives and socially induced drives is problematic.
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