Much has been made of the apparent tensions in Nietzsche's ethical and metaethical views. In this essay I examine a kind of value standard available to Nietzsche that is present in his work. I offer an interpretation of honesty as both a Nietzschean virtue and a means of ethical assessment. Despite Nietzsche's well-known criticisms of truth, he upholds honesty as the only remaining virtue of his free spirits. Honesty has been treated in the literature primarily in the contexts of truth or life affirmation, but I argue that we should instead recognize honesty as a virtue within the context of valuing. I defend honesty as a distinct kind of truthfulness and sincerity involving what I call confrontation. The seeds of Nietzsche's mature view are first evident in his work on tragedy, then developed further in Zarathustra, ultimately revealing a constraint on valuing that is essential to Nietzsche's broader normative projects.

You do not currently have access to this content.