Review of “Nietzsche’s Ethics”

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

2021.07.01 View this Review Online   View Other NDPR Reviews

Thomas Stern, Nietzsche’s Ethics, Cambridge University Press, 2020, 70pp., $20.00 (pbk), ISBN 9781108713320.

Reviewed by Brian Leiter, University of Chicago This thin book, in the new Cambridge Elements series, purports to “introduce” Nietzsche’s ethics in his “late works,” meaning from 1886 until his breakdown in early January 1889. This period includes such major works as Beyond Good and Evil and On the Genealogy of Morality, as well as very late works that show some signs of impending insanity, like The Antichrist. Stern never argues that the “late ethics” is discontinuous with Nietzsche’s pre-1886 writings about morality; he simply asserts it. According to Stern, Nietzsche’s late ethics consists of a descriptive thesis (“Power seeking . . . is biologically essential” for…

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