Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals | Ressentiment & Slave Morality | Philosophy Core Concepts

Friedrich Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals | Ressentiment & Slave Morality | Philosophy Core Concepts

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00:00
hi this is dr gregory sadler i'm a professor of philosophy and the president and founder of an educational consulting company called reason i o where we put philosophy into practice i've studied and taught philosophy for over 20 years and i find that many people run into difficulties reading classic philosophical texts sometimes it's the way things are said or how the text is structured but the concepts themselves are not always that complicated and that's where i come in to help students and lifelong learners
00:31
i've been producing longer lecture videos and posting them to youtube many viewers say they find them useful what you're currently watching is part of a new series of shorter videos each of them focused on one core concept from an important philosophical text i hope you find it useful as well one of the most important developments and concepts that friedrich nietzsche is going to narrate and explore for us in his genealogy of morals particularly in essay 1
01:03
is what he calls the slave revolt in morality and this is closely associated with another key idea that uh verizontimont and it's it's it's he says it flows out of this there are a few things that we want to keep in mind before we jump in and look at precisely what he has to say about this so slave morality or herd morality however we want to talk about it nietzsche has
01:34
very many ways of discussing this platonism for the masses you know is christianity right christianity is a form of this this morality um he's not excluding many other modern things as well many of the men of science fit into this depending on how they orient themselves even you know those who are focused on sort of an economic basis for things and viewing everything in terms of
02:06
utility or what they can buy for it if they are champions of capitalism they may actually be part of slave morality just as much as socialists or those in favor of democracy all these things nietzsche sees as fitting into slave morality early on in the essay he's not discussing it in any sort of expansive sense like that because he's really really interested in where this comes from and we can say that at the beginning
02:38
there isn't any actually slave morality a morality is something that's an achievement something that develops and so originally there's a primary valuation which nietzsche sometimes calls master morality or you know the aristocratic noble way of understanding these things and that's that's what's there and then we have the emergence of the priest and a different kind of valuation and then we have the
03:08
common people who have been dis valued by this this uh master morality and then something new happens we have the emergence or the explosion of the slave morality this slave revolt right and they're not revolting just to change material circumstances they're not revolting just to change being treated like equals or anything like that what they're actually doing is changing the culture
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itself and in effect taking it over so this is this is an important development according to nietzsche and what we really have here is the clash of two different kinds of moral valuation the master morality is self-assertive it views the masters as good it values them as such it makes a judgment about them and it dis values the others
04:10
the commoners as bad not as evil but as as bad as weak and you know with the priest we have the pure versus the impure we have a sort of clash with the aristocratic motive valuation but it's really with the common people that we find um this this developing in a way that can can do something so he talks in chapter 10 about the slave revolt in morality
04:41
as being something that it you know brings something new into existence and so he says the slave revolt and morality begins when resentment itself becomes creative and gives birth to values gives birth to new ways of valuing people actions uh institutions all those sorts of things and he tells us that the result amount of natures that are denied the true
05:12
reaction that of deeds and compensate themselves with an imaginary revenge now a little bit later on in that very chapter he'll talk about how resonte mont isn't just something that the lower class has or the priests have the nobles can have it but it's a little bit different he says if it should appear in the noble man it consummates and exhausts itself in an immediate reaction therefore does not poison and so what we can say is that with the priest and with the common people
05:44
resontaman poisons and that's part of what makes it creative another really important aspect here he tells us that the no is its creative deed it's refusal it's rejection of something and so it's it's bringing something new into being a new configuration a new mindset by saying no by negating something else which makes it reactive according to nietzsche
06:16
so we what we have here is action as reaction so as opposed to the nobles who just as the strong kind of instinctively engage with each other fighting with each other rivaling with each other and then also turn towards the common people you know suppressing them stealing things from them uh raping pillaging whatever it's going to be exploiting them and then towards the external enemy they show themselves as totally um you know brutal
06:47
uh and this is all you know sort of agency in this case it's it's just simply reaction on the part of those who are filled with resentment he tells us that the here's the passage this inversion of the value positing i this need to direct one's view outward instead of back to oneself is of the essence of risantomont in order to exist slave morality first
07:17
needs a hostile external world it needs physiologically st see speaking external stimuli in order to act at all its action is fundamentally reaction so this is a you know very important note uh what is what is the outward facing focus it's toward a hostile world this world is so you know sucky it's uh unfair why did things have to be this way and towards the strong the people who
07:48
actually do things who exert their force within that that world so the hostile world and the strong are really in some respect connected with each other and slave morality focuses on that and then then says i'm not like that those are bad actually not just bad but evil and i am something different so we can talk about persons that are filled with resentment nature
08:19
identifies the priest earlier in uh chapters uh leading up to this as a person of resentment right the priest turns inward and does so out of impotence they don't come out well in physical confrontations with the warriors but this is also something of the common people especially as the common people gain some measure of control or power over parts of their life which could still be capriciously taken away
08:49
by the the nobles intervening and doing things that they don't like but there are these these people of resentment and then nietzsche characterizes them in some very important ways um he tells us that um while the noble person lives in trust and openness with themselves the person of resentment and notice all the negatives here that nietzsche has right so it's it's uh not just that they bring
09:20
negation they are also negations of what it is to be noble they're not upright um they're not naive they they think through their reactions they have to consider things because otherwise the nobles may crush them right they're not honest or straightforward with themselves they not only lie to the nobles they lie to each other and they lie to themselves sometimes not totally lying but you know partial lies
09:52
where there's a bit of truth and a bit of lie mixed in together and he says his soul squints his spirit loves hiding places secret paths and back doors everything covert entices him as his world his security his refreshment he understands how to keep silent how not to forget how to wait how to be provisionally self-deprecating and humble and what he's talking about there is this concealment that
10:22
has to take place and this becomes part of their culture it becomes part of their instinctual approaches it becomes habitude and then he goes a little bit further and he says a race of such menarizontamont is bound to become eventually cleverer than any noble race right klugeit is the german this cleverness this you know being able to figure things out
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and that's connected with concealment in this as opposed to the openness and naivete of the nobles he says it will honor cleverness to a far greater degree as a condition of existence of the first importance while with noblemen cleverness can easily acquire a subtle flavor of luxury and and subtlety for here it is less essential right uh in in the case of of the person of rizontamont
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cleverness is really needed and so this is something really quite essential now he goes on and he talks about this what he'll later identify as a trans valuation taking place of values and what's the contrast here so originally we have the strong self-defining themselves as good and in this case the strong are valued now by the man of
11:56
resentment or the race of resentment or the you know weird mixture of the priest and the commoner the strong become the evil the people who do bad things you know and do them because they're cruel they do them because they're underdeveloped they do them because they have evil within their hearts now then the weak the people of resontamont can redefine themselves as well they
12:27
were viewed as bad by the nobles by the noble form of morality now they can call themselves good but notice that there's a really fundamental distinction here the strong self-defined themselves as good they defined good first and then they defined that as against the bad so the opposition is first i define myself then i define you scum over there in the case of the weak
12:59
the common people first they define what's evil and then they negatively define what's good as not being evil when nietzsche by the way talks about going beyond good and evil this is what he's rejecting he's not rejecting good versus bad he's rejecting good versus evil and so there's this entire um transformation or trans valuation we can call it that is taking place there's a very important set of passages in chapter 14
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where he talks about the secret of how ideals are made on earth let's take a look at it he says and what do we find so he says i see nothing but i hear all the more there's a soft weary malignant muttering and whispering coming from all corners and nooks it seems to me one is lying weakness is being lied into something meritorious no doubt of it it is just as you said and impotence was which does not requite into goodness of
14:01
heart anxious lowliness into humility subjection to those one hates into obedience that is to one of whom they they say he commands this objection they call him god the inoffensiveness of the weak man even the cowardice of which he has so much is lingering at the door all of these things acquire flattering names like patience and are called virtue itself so the the the traits of the common person the fawning uh in unable to defend himself or to assert himself person
14:32
are being turned into positive character traits it's no longer just a generic sense of goodness these ideals that he's talking about are quite important and now he talks about a very important one his inability for revenge is called unwillingness to revenge perhaps even forgiveness they also speak of loving one's enemies so the person who can't actually retaliate who can't reimpose some sort of measure or order or relation with the
15:05
other person who has to suck it up and take it says oh i could go after the other person i choose not to because i'm the better person i'm a good person by doing that right so unwillingness is what what impotence looks like he goes on and he says they're miserable all these mutterers and nook counterfeiters though they crouch warmly together but they tell me their misery is a sign of being chosen by god one beats the dogs one likes best
15:36
perhaps this misery is also a preparation attesting a schooling perhaps it's more something that will one day may be made good and recompensed with interest with huge payments of gold no of happiness they call this bliss so misery gets transformed into being chosen gets transformed into its opposite of misery happiness beatitude right again there's there's a lying going on here according to nietzsche then there's a
16:04
another important thing he says here we go now they give me to understand they're not merely better than the mighty the lords of the earth whose spittle they have to lick they are not merely better better but also better off or at least will be better off someday but then there's something else and nietzsche says no wait a minute you've said nothing of the masterpiece of these black magicians who make whiteness milk and innocence of every blackness haven't you noticed their perfection of refinement their boldest most artistic stroke
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what is it what do they do with revengefulness and hatred what have they done with these things they don't talk about revenge and hatred anymore they talk instead about justice he says we good men we are the just with what they what they desire they call not retaliation but the triumph of justice what they hate is not their enemy no they hate injustice they hate godlessness what they believe in and hope for is not the hope of revenge
17:09
the intoxication of sweet revenge but the victory of god the just god over the godless what there is left for them to love on earth is not their brothers in hatred but their brothers in love and so nietzsche is saying these people and we don't have to necessarily have all the god talk in there we can have sort of a secular version of this but people who are saying oh no no i'm not motivated by a desire for revenge i don't have hatred towards anybody nietzsche says that's bs you really do you just
17:41
like to call it justice and you lie to yourself about it it's all being motivated by resentment so this this gives us some idea about what's going on with this transformation this trans valuation this this slave revolt in morality how it embodies rizzontimont it acts as a vehicle for it and in the process you could say develops it fuller maybe to its fullest extent and that becomes the motivating factor
18:14
in this type of morality according to nietzsche you

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