Nietzsche is definitely a tough read. It’s dense, ideas flying everywhere, and a sense of anti-everything pervades the three essays in “On the Genealogy of Morals”. His ideas of the anti-foundation, and the way his writing style is one which lacks a solid foundation itself is interesting… not to use another word. It’s probably that, his writing style, which made this work so difficult to read. Modern day “essays” of most types have an extremely solid foundation. A modern essay will have a main claim (which is stated in the introduction), and then this claim will be systematically proven through a series of interrelating paragraphs all containing information relating to the original claim. Finally, this is all rounded off with a conclusion, clarifying and simplifying the information and restating the original claim. Nietzsche doesn’t do this in his essays. His essays are more like the ramblings of a madman, recalling occasional ideas, interrupting himself with different ideas, and expecting us to be able to follow his train of thought which left the tracks long ago.
Putting my dislike for his writing style aside, I also have some beef with Nietzsche’s ideas and points, but I’m going to start with what I’m in agreement with Nietzsche. His deduction of guilt and its connection to debt, which then goes on to his idea of punishment is incredibly well thought out. In fact, it’s a common truth that when one is in debt, and is unable to pay it off, one will feel guilt. And the idea of repaying your debts with punishment is one which while I don’t think applies to a lot of modern day scenarios, is fairly true (especially if you’re considering a multitude of gangster movies in which Joe Pesci helps many men repay their “debts”).
However Nietzsche is against the objectification of ones views. He (an introspective lunatic) is a strong believer in broadening your perspectives by conversing with others. He’s against the notion of objectifying your perspective, in fact, having no perspective at all, and to me this makes little sense. He says that it castrates the intellect, yet I have to disagree. Objectivity is an incredibly important aspect which cannot be underestimated. Some of the greatest works (especially philosophical ones) are achieved through the objectification of ones beliefs. While I don’t think we should be eliminating our own perspective completely, objectification is an aspect which a lot of intellectuals find very important to conceiving their work successfully.
Nice blog post man! I definitely agree that Nietzsche was difficult to understand throughout the entire book, because he is considered “anti-foundational”. I tend to enjoy reading philosophical type books but this one in particular didn’t strike me as an enjoyable read, not that it was Nietzsche’s intention to create an enjoyable read anyway. I also liked the way that he explained the origin of debt and guilt, it was one of the easiest concepts to comprehend from the rambling essays.