Date of Award

1-6-2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Dr. Jessica Berry

Second Advisor

Dr. Eric Wilson

Third Advisor

Dr. Andrew Altman

Abstract

Moral philosophers like Martha Nussbaum, Philippa Foot, and Michael Weber argue for what I call the “Neo-Stoic Reading” of Nietzsche, which includes two claims: first, Nietzsche allegedly recommends the relentless pursuit of self-interest at the expense of other persons; second, he denies empathy any major role in the ethical life. I will argue that the Neo-Stoic view misses an important unifying theme in Nietzsche’s ethics and his criticism of morality—his investment in the value of honor—and that Nietzsche’s ethical recommendations involving empathy and even altruism can be better understood by situating them within an historical tradition of honor-based ethics.

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