Philosophy Essay Sample: Nietzsche's Notion of Master and Slave Morality

Published: 2019-09-06
Philosophy Essay Sample: Nietzsche's Notion of Master and Slave Morality
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Philosophy Nietzsche
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1903 words
16 min read

Nietzsche explains the two types of morality. The first type of morality is known as master morality while the second category is slave morality. Slave morality in an individual makes them humble, kind, and showing sympathy for other people. Master morality causes one be proud and become powerful. Slave morality weighs its actions on either right or wrong intentions, whereas master morality weighs its actions on consequences that are bad or good. The morality in a community dictates the culture development in the society. The codes of conduct and the language a community communicates are based on the two types of the morality; slave and master morality. The essay explains Nietzsches notion of the master and slave morality. The article also describes the Apollonian and Dionysian concept, and how it categorizes human beings.

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Master morality

Nietzsche despises the claims that every good thing is beneficial while all bad things are harmful (Deleuze, 2006). The society has always placed the significance of things in the way that they appear to be in the society. The community thinks that good things are noble and powerful, and that bad thing is weak and feared; no one wants to associate with the evil. Master morality has the aspect of nobility. Other characteristics of master morality are courage, self-worth, and truthfulness. The beginning of master morality is a unique person who comes up with an idea and develops it to become either something good or bad. It is therefore to understand the consequences of an event (Deleuze, 2006). The noble character of an individual helps them to determine the values without any approval. It the responsibility of an individual to know the consequences of the actions, this is through judgment. In master morality, there should be recognition of matters of great importance to valuing good things.

Slave morality

Slave morality responds to master morality. The master morality is the foundation of morality. The slave morality values the aspects that are valuable to master morality (Deleuze, 2006). The nobility of slave morality comes from its valuation of the intentions of an action rather than the consequences. Slave morality reacts to oppression, and characterized by negative thoughts; there is an opposition of what is good. Slave morality dwells on utility. Nietzsche explains that the weak individuals in the society corrupt the powerful to believe that the sources of slavery are evil (Deleuze, 2006). Slave morality suggests that people in the community should voluntarily remain humble; this is refusing to admit that their weakness is the reason why the active individuals put them to slavery in the past. The slave morality is obsessed with equity and freedom. The ancient society had struggles in slave and master moralities. The Roman and Greek believed that the master morality was a good way of living, where the dominant individual is the hero; the noble man. The nobleman would be a leader and lead the community.

Application of Nietzsches notion of master and slave morality to the society

The modern world, there are no aspects of slave morality. The society is enlightened on the benefits of making explicit judgments and understanding the reason why they participate in particular activities (Deleuze, 2006). People choose what is beneficial and despise that which does not make sense in their lives. Slave morality has led to individuals becoming dull and insignificant in the community. For instance, the ideology of slave morality being proud is not of any beneficial to the society since there are no compelling aspects. Individuals become less innovative and unmotivated, individuals stagnate in their developments, and they do not want to think for themselves but want to follow the actions of others. In the society today, slave morality increase hatred and lack of acceptance of the realities. The hopes of the slave morality do not bear many fruits but it is just a mere illusion (Margalit, 2009). The powerful individuals continue to rule the society. The slave morality will introduce envy and evil thoughts to individuals that are prospering. The weak people do not want the powerful to rule over them. Instead, they become aggressive and look for ways to manipulate leaders to suit their needs; this is selfishness.

Some individuals in the society today criticize the notion of Nietzsche that the master morality is better than slave morality. People believe the urge to rule other people is evil, and it is a selfish control over other people.

Apollonian and Dionysian is better than master and slave morality

Nietzsche describes two differing forms that are significant in the characterization of people in the society (Margalit, 2009). The Dionysian and Apollonian outlooks were important in explaining the emergence of tragedy in the ancient Greek community. In the demonstration, Nietzsche used Apollo as the god of the sun that brightens the world. The individuals that embraced the Apollonian ideology were the elderly people who are knowledgeable. Humanity is defined as an organizational setup among people. Dionysus symbolized the wine god. It also indicated celebrations and rituals. In the Dionysian view of the world, individuals are seen as passionate and not defined by boundaries; they enjoy themselves. Human beings are united. The Apollonian does not see tragedy as the consequence of people living in a world full of chaos and much celebration, but it views it as the outcome of ones character. Nietzsche believed that the view of tragedy as from ones actions was crucial in explaining mysteries in life.

The advantage of the theory of Apollonian and Dionysian is that it is specific to place and time (Margalit, 2009). According to Nietzsche, the perspective of Dionysian is an important approach to consider in the view of individuals in the society. The other significance of this theory is that it represents the states that emerge as the strength of humans. In conclusion, from the above discussion, the essay describes the two types of morality; the master and the slave morality. The master morality depends on the consequences of the actions of individuals, while the slave morality does not rely on itself, but rather follow what the master morality does. The slave morality looks at the intentions of an individual and comes up with various actions.

A brief description of Categorical Imperative

Kant believed in particular types of behaviors like theft, murder and lying as prohibited in the society. Individuals should ask themselves two different questions before they act (Rawls, 2001). The first question is that, is whether any person that is supposed to work and secondly, whether ones actions respect the goals of humans o for personal gain (Johnson, 2008). The questions should guide individuals to become aware of the consequences and choose whether to perform a particular action. The theory of Kant explains the wrongness or rightness of actions that do not depend on any future results but the duty to be fulfilled. There is a central principle known as categorical imperative that determines the moral functions of an individual (Plaisance, 2007). The imperative is a command to people. An example is controlling someone to pay their taxes. There are various types of imperatives including, hypothetical imperatives, and categorical imperatives. Hypothetical imperatives command an individual with conditions; an example is: if you do not want to go to school, visit your friend. Categorical imperatives on the other hand present command unconditionally. An example is: Pay your taxes. There are no options, but one has to pay the taxes. There is a connection between categorical imperatives and morality in the society today. Morality is based on categorical imperative, and one is supposed to follow the rules in life to maintain a proper conduct. The essay describes the categorical imperative, the formulations, and the disadvantages of Kants theory and the importance of respect to the society.

Categorical imperative works in four ways. The first formulation is acting on the maxim that one wills that it becomes a universal regulation. A maxim refers to a rule on which a person works. For instance, a person can have the rule to do actions that only benefit their family members. A basic idea ensures that one keeps their promises and do to others the same way they would want to be treated. For instance, the law requires people not to do certain things; one should not make exceptions, but follow the law to the latter. Kant explains that an individuals action determines their worth; people should not depend on the consequences, but their will should guide them to do the right thing. The second formulation of Kant on categorical imperative is acting to treat individuals equally. Everyone is entitled to proper treatment, as an individuals it is crucial to do a self- analysis and know if it would be good to also get the same treatment. The third formulation is that one should will and regard on making a law through maxims. Exploitation of other individuals is out of question (Plaisance, 2007). One should have standards that allow them to work towards reaching a particular goal without taking from other people. Finally, is acting as if one was a member of the law-making committee. Everyone has the whole duty to do all that they are obliged to do.

Kant theory has various problems. First, the method does not resolve the various conflicts that exist between duties of individuals and between a perfect and imperfect duty (Plaisance, 2007). Secondly, the formulations do not explain whether telling someone the truth would harm others. The theory needs improvement. How categorical imperative leads to Kants notion of respecting other individuals in the society. Human beings are unique beings because they have the ability to understand other people and live with them well. Kant explains, in his explanation that the organization requires respecting others. Everyone needs to be treated as special (Rawls, 2001). Kant does say this regard implies that people should not use others. Individuals need each other both socially and at personal levels. People do not recognize humanity; they think themselves as more important; they are rude and ignore others. There are also individuals who are polite. Treating particular people well and others in a bad way will have negative consequences at the end, this is because losing a portion of the population, and gaining others will not lead to a peaceful community at the end. In the modern world, the understanding of bad behavior is making an exception of ones family, group, and religion, moral behavior is allowing other people to do what we do. There should be an exception for any person.

The reason Kants notion of morality is significant for the society

The Kants notion is important in various ways. First, people have needs and goals that they need to achieve. Kant explains that individuals should work together and help each other to achieve their goals in life (Rawls, 2001). Secondly, in the society today, everyone has the capability of making a decision, and ones decisions should not affect negatively on other people. Thirdly, the conduct of individuals should be guided by reason. The reason should be beneficial, but not to exploit others in any way. Also, there should be the existence of respect in the society. People should treat their neighbors the same way they would want to be treated. The community should be urged to seek for happiness for themselves; this is ethical. People should understand the interests of the other individuals in the society; this is morality. People strive to maintain a healthy life through the following of rules and regulations in the society; individu...

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