The concept of unified agency in Nietzsche, Plato, and Schiller

Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):87-113 (2011)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper examines Nietzsche’s concept of unified agency. A widespread consensus has emerged in the secondary literature on three points: (1) Nietzsche’s notion of unity is meant to be an analysis of freedom; (2) unity refers to a relation between the agent’s drives or motivational states; and (3) unity obtains when one drive predominates and imposes order on the other drives. I argue that these claims are philosophically and textually indefensible. In contrast, I argue that (1′) Nietzschean unity is an account of the distinction between genuine actions and mere behaviors, rather than between free and unfree actions; (2′) unity refers to a relation between drives and conscious thought; and (3′) unity obtains when the agent’s attitude toward her own action is stable under the revelation of further information about the action’s etiology. I show that Nietzsche develops this notion of unity by drawing on Plato’s and Schiller’s accounts of unified agency.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,330

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Nietzsche, the Kantian Self, and Eternal Recurrence.Philip J. Kain - 2004 - Idealistic Studies 34 (3):225-238.
Nietzsche's Philosophical Psychology.Paul Katsafanas - 2013 - In John Richardson & Ken Gemes (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Nietzsche. Oxford University Press. pp. 727-755.
Nietzsche and Kant on the Will: Two Models of Reflective Agency.Paul Katsafanas - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):185-216.
Value, Affect, and Drive.Paul Katsafanas - 2016 - In Peter Kail & Manuel Dries (eds.), Nietzsche on Mind and Nature. Oxford University Press.
Freedom, Resistance, Agency.Manuel Dries - 2015 - In Peter Kail & Manuel Dries (eds.), Nietzsche on Mind and Nature. Oxford University Press. pp. 142–162.
The unity and disunity of agency.Jeanette Kennett & Steve Matthews - 2003 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 10 (4):308-312.
Nietzsche on Agency and Self-Ignorance.Paul Katsafanas - 2012 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 43 (1):5-17.
Deriving Ethics from Action: A Nietzschean Version of Constitutivism.Paul Katsafanas - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):620-660.
Unity of consciousness and the self.David M. Rosenthal - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):325-352.
Unity of agency and volition: Some personal reflections.Scott E. Weiner - 2003 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 10 (4):369-372.
Ethical thought in the nineteenth century.Paul Katsafanas - 2015 - In Michael Forster & Kristin Gjesdal (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Nineteenth-Century German Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
Nietzsche, Consciousness, and Human Agency.Tsarina Doyle - 2011 - Idealistic Studies 41 (1-2):11-30.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-10-27

Downloads
210 (#84,748)

6 months
9 (#140,801)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paul Katsafanas
Boston University

Citations of this work

Nietzsche on the health of the soul.Andrew Huddleston - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (1-2):135-164.
Freedom as a Philosophical Ideal: Nietzsche and His Antecedents.Donald Rutherford - 2011 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 54 (5):512 - 540.
Zarathustra’s metaethics.Neil Sinhababu - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):278-299.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references