Date of Award

8-2022

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Jessica Berry

Second Advisor

Timothy O'Keefe

Abstract

The inflammatory and elitist language Nietzsche uses in Beyond Good and Evil to describe the relationship between the ruling class and the underclass is often read as hyperbolic, and attempts are often made in the secondary literature to spare him the appearance of advocating gratuitous exploitation. This thesis challenges the assumption that Nietzsche is speaking hyperbolically in the passages in question. It argues in fact that the descriptive project Nietzsche undertakes in Beyond Good and Evil requires the prima facie radical exploitation it puts forward. The central aim of the thesis is to situate his description of human exploitation within the broader framework of a perfectionistic account the conditions of human advancement.

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