Knowing Ourselves: Nietzsche, the Practice of Genealogy, and the Overcoming of Self-Estrangement

Allison Merrick
2021 Genealogy  
By centering Nietzsche's philosophical methods, notably the practice of genealogy, this article addresses how our moral values developed, and how, while they once worked to address certain needs, these values now may perpetuate our self-misunderstandings. In conversation first with Nehamas and Geuss, and then with Reginster, I reconstruct the two dominant conceptions of the practice of genealogy in Nietzsche Studies. I argue that when history is plainly in view, authors have a tendency to
more » ... a tendency to remove necessity and psychology from the picture; when necessity and psychology are sharply in focus, commentators are likely to lose sight of history. In keeping all dimensions in the picture, I argue that we obtain a richer and more textured account of the genealogical mode of inquiry. Moreover, I demonstrate that as a psycho-historical mode of inquiry, the normative force of genealogy is immanent to the system of evaluation that is under consideration, which gives Nietzsche's version of the philosophical practice of genealogy an advantage over more contemporary accounts.
doi:10.3390/genealogy5020041 fatcat:3ykxdvgts5gcjjbm64dm4yx27u