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Internalization and Its Consequences

William M. Beals
Journal of Nietzsche Studies
Vol. 44, No. 3 (Autumn 2013), pp. 433-445
DOI: 10.5325/jnietstud.44.3.0433
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/jnietstud.44.3.0433
Page Count: 13
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Internalization and Its Consequences
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Abstract

Internalization is an important yet puzzling and undertheorized element in Nietzsche's moral psychology. The aim of this article is to resolve some textual puzzles by way of shedding light on Nietzsche's views on the general nature of internalization, and how it relates to other significant concepts deployed in his thought such as bad conscience, the pathos of distance, the will to power, and the ascetic ideal. I begin by providing a brief interpretation of internalization that is somewhat more perspicuous than exists in the literature. I then make a case for the claim that the consequences of internalization are dependent upon the nature of the attitudes that get redirected inward. This insight allows us to explain why Nietzsche does not give a uniform account of all instances of internalization, and provides resources to give a richer and more satisfying interpretation of his moral psychological and ethical thought.

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