chapter  9
20 Pages

Genetic accounts which debunk morality

Nietzsche, in the first essay of the Genealogy of Morals (1967), gives a psychological account of the origins of what he calls ‘slave morality’. This term covers a very wide range of value systems, indeed it would seem to cover most of the influential moral systems in western

thought, e.g. Stoicism, many strands of Christianity, Kantian ethics, many socialist views, universalist humanitarian values, and also most of the ethical theories we have discussed in any detail. And while it might be a bit ethnocentric, there is some plausibility in supposing Nietzsche meant ‘slave morality’ to cover anything we might normally call a morality or a normative ethics.