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The Axiology of Friedrich Nietzsche

Nicolae Râmbu

In his unmistakable style, Friedrich Nietzsche approached the issue of all classes of values, not only the moral ones. The author presents Nietzsche as a philosopher of values par excellence by analysing vital and economic values, religious and political values, moral and aesthetic values, and, in addition to all these, value in general, with all its implications for human life and humanity. Nietzsche had an instinct for value, a faculty for feeling the finest nuances of the phenomenon of value, and a passion for knowing the axiological universe. These were extraordinary and have rarely been seen in the history of culture.
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V. The Interpretation of Values

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1. Hermeneutic equity

The concept of Billigkeit (equity), frequently used in the philosophical discourse of the eighteenth century, is a translation of the Greek term epieikeia, from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, and it generally represents a tempering of the legal provisions in positive law. As well as philosophers, jurists from around the world have always noted the fact that the law rigidly applied turns into its opposite. The strict application of a general law to a particular case often means, not justice, but injustice. Die Billigkeit has precisely the role of preventing such a situation, which is so often encountered that Immanuel Kant evoked the following dictum of equity: “the most rigorous right is the greatest injustice”.195 Next, Kant said that “this evil cannot be remedied on the path of right, although it refers to a legal claim, as it belongs only to the court of conscience (Gewissensgericht)”.196

Legal or modern philosophical theories have taken from Aristotle the idea that equity is an addition to or correction of positive law, emphasizing that it belongs exclusively to the court of conscience, as Kant synthesized these theories of juridical interpretation. It is about the freedom of the interpreter to use it for right or wrong. The intervention of the judge who interprets and applies the law must not be arbitrary, said Aristotle, but must bring to the law the amendment that the legislator would bring if he were present.

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