Abstract

Meaning, in the sense that interests Nietzsche, is possible only on the basis of what he calls “obedience over a long period of time and in a single direction” (BGE 188). That he considers one's authority as a speaker to be in this way a function of obedience suggests that a better understanding of training more generally might help us understand his conception of the achievement of intelligibility. To that end, I begin an exploration in this article of the notions of authority and obedience in Nietzsche's work through the perspective of the formal obedience training of dogs. I contend that understanding the distinction between predictability and reliability in the context of dog training sheds new light on what we might think of as the normative dimension of the sovereign individual's reliability as described in the Genealogy and helps to make clear why, for Nietzsche, individuality is best understood as a form of mutuality.

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