Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jessica N. Berry - Chair

Second Advisor

Andrew I. Cohen

Third Advisor

Andrew J. Cohen


In this thesis I provide an overview of Nietzsche's ethics with an emphasis on showing how his naturalistic approach to ethics leads him to advance an egoistic moral code. I argue that this, though radical in the light of conventional morality, is not irrational, unprincipled, or proscriptive of other-regarding moral considerations. On the contrary, it demands the highest degree of foresight and integrity. While Nietzsche's writings are meant for a select group of people, namely "higher men," whose flourishing may be undercut by their unwitting acceptance of a self-destructive morality. I explain that Nietzsche places the highest degree of value on the life of these individuals, the development of their character, and their flourishing. Further, I explain that Nietzsche extols as a great virtue "bestowing" or "gift-giving," and that he takes generosity to be more frequently practiced under an ethics of egoism.


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Philosophy Commons