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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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VII. Nietzsche’s Tyranny of Values


1. The new passion

The thesis I defend and argue for below can be briefly formulated as follows: the phenomenon known in axiology as the tyranny of values is powerfully manifested by Friedrich Nietzsche; however, it is not about a certain theorization of it, but the fact that a certain value becomes in its spirit somewhat “absolute”.

We use here the concept of tyranny of values, as defined by Nicolai Hartmann in his famous work Ethics: “Every value – when once it has garnered power over a person – has the tendency to set itself up as sole tyrant of the whole human ethos, and indeed at the expense of other values, even of such as are not inherently opposed to it … It is the tendency to crowd out other values from the range of emotional appraisement. Such tyranny shows itself plainly in the one-sided types of current morality, in the well-known intolerance of man … towards the customs of foreigners, but still more in the individual person’s obsession by one single value. Thus there exists a fanaticism of justice (fiat justitia pereat mundus)”.275

In metaphorical language and in his unmistakable style, Friedrich Nietzsche addressed to some extent all the major themes of axiology, a discipline that would later become the science of values and to whose appearance his work made an exceptional contribution. He spoke from his own experience about the tyranny of values, as a man of resentment. The dominant value of...

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