Abstract

Despite drives’ importance for Nietzsche’s explanation of individuals’ values, controversies persist over how to interpret Nietzsche’s attribution of normative capacities to the drives themselves. On one reading, drives evaluate their aims and recognize the normative authority of other drives’ aims. On another, drives’ normative properties reduce to nonnormative, causal properties. Neither approach is satisfying. The former commits Nietzsche to the homuncular fallacy by granting drives complex cognitive capacities. The latter reading either commits Nietzsche to the naturalistic fallacy, having him derive normative conclusions from descriptive premises, or eliminates normativity from his thought altogether. In response to this impasse, this article advances a Leibniz-informed interpretation of Nietzsche’s drive psychology. By construing the normative and efficient causal orders as parallel modes of explanation distinguished by one’s perspective, a Leibniz-informed reading captures the benefits of extant interpretations while avoiding their drawbacks.

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