ABSTRACT

Jesse Prinz compares and contrasts three important genealogical methods that have been employed to trace the history of morals: utilitarian genealogy, which has its roots in the British moralist tradition, materialist genealogy, which has its roots in Marxist political theory and, finally, Nietzschean genealogy. Prinz argues that Nietzsche's genealogical method has several advantages over the other two, and that it deserves to be taken more seriously by contemporary philosophers interested in studying the history of morality. One unique and compelling feature of Nietzsche's genealogical method that Prinz counts in its favor is that it combines serious attention to actual history with equally serious attention to the role psychological forces might play in driving historical change. In this paper, I argue that while this combination of history and psychology is indeed a unique feature of Nietzsche's genealogical method, it is also one of its most puzzling and problematic features.

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