chapter  2
18 Pages

Revising the project of re-evaluation

The grounds for the claim are given by considering an alternative mode of moral philosophy that is historical in character, not in the merely instrumental sense of having an awareness of the history of moral philosophy but as seeing philosophical reflection on ethics as itself having an irreducibly historical dimension. In relation to this historical mode of philosophical reflection, Nietzsche appears as a pivotal figure, whether as a friend or as an antagonist. The critical reflection on our moral beliefs is only one part of the structure of a critical theory of society but it is a crucial part in so far as the test of reflective acceptability serves to motivate the rational acceptance or rejection of our moral beliefs with the concomitant implications for our social institutions. In this conclusion, the author should like to sketch some features of this mode of historical philosophy as a way of reflecting on Nietzsche's own practice of philosophy and his contemporary significance.