How one becomes what one is called: on the relation between traits and trait-terms in Nietzsche

M Alfano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

According to Nietzsche, drives are the ultimate constituents of virtues and vices. I argue that Nietzsche identifies two blueprints for character construction: a slavish, interpersonal blueprint, and a masterly, reflexive blueprint. When the interpersonal blueprint is implemented, a person becomes what he is called: his drives are shaped by the traits ascribed to him so that he becomes more like the sort of person he’s taken to be. When the reflexive blueprint is implemented, a person becomes more like the sort of person she calls herself: her drives are shaped by the traits she ascribes to herself in a community of peers. The reflexive blueprint shares some surprising similarities with the interpersonal blueprint. I conclude with an account of Nietzsche an summoning, which occurs when one person praises a generic type to an audience, implicitly inviting them to identify with that type and thereby to become more like it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-269
JournalJournal of Nietzsche Studies
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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