Thoughts on the Genealogy of Morals

After having some issues understanding some of Nietzsche’s ideas that he introduces in the book, I finished reading it and definitely found his ideas intriguing. I understand that the words “good” and “bad” can have very different meanings to different people, and I’m sure there’s more to the argument that maybe I just didn’t fully understand, but I felt like that was a pretty simple concept in itself…

I was also interested by Nietzsche’s idea that maybe it would be incorrect for a lamb to blame a bird of prey for attempting to eat them, because that is basically all a bird of prey does. By looking at simple grammar, it is made clear that birds of prey are called as such for a reason. Just like how lightning cannot exist without the flash, a bird of prey cannot exist without preying.

I found plenty of points in this book interesting, but there are also definitely parts where I need some clarification. For example, I don’t have a great grasp on the transition from master morality to slave morality, and a few other ideas brought up. I definitely enjoy these types of readings more than I like reading the fiction novels, because in the fiction novels I feel like they are very straight-forward, and don’t really need much clarification or discussion. But with books like these, talking about the ideas presented in the book with people after you read is crucial to fully understanding what Nietzsche meant to get across. Looking forward to hearing other people’s thoughts and also getting my own questions cleared up!

1 thought on “Thoughts on the Genealogy of Morals

  1. I have to agree that this is probably one of the most confusing texts we’ve read. The fact that Jill stated that Nietzsche’s work is in no way linear or structured, yet loosely intertwined gave me some relief though. I feel like a text like this requires a lot of attention we can’t really dedicate ourselves to or understand within only a week. I mean Nietzsche even recommends at the preface that we read his prior works to understand his arguments.
    Slave Morality and Master morality in my opinion are concepts which sound more advanced and confusing than they actually are. They really are just opposing ideals between two types of people; the elite and the norm. The elite attempt to set foundations and rules which they call “moral” or “good” to maintain order, and thus benefit themselves as rulers and keep the slaves in check, and call any acts that disrupt this order as “evil” or worthy of punishment. Meanwhile the slaves are left to resent their masters and claim that they as overlords are “evil”, and naively declare every action of theirs as “Evil” and thus themselves as good for not being like their enemies… At least that’s my understanding, might be missing something there myself!

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