Korsgaard–Sources of Normativity

She cites Nietzsche:

  • Conscience is a force found now employed by state organizers.
  • Humans become the material on which this force acts.
  • This self-imposed suffering can lead to strange new forms of beauty and affirmation.

One should guard against thinking lightly of [the bad conscience] merely on account of its initial painfulness and ugliness. For fundamentally it is the same active force that is at work on a grander scale in those artists of violence and organizers who build states . . . only here the material upon which the form-giving and ravishing nature of this force vents itself is man himself, his whole ancient animal self . . . This secret self-ravishment, this artists’ cruelty, this delight in imposing a form upon oneself as a hard, recalcitrant, suffering material and of burning in a will… as the womb of all ideal and imaginative phenomena, also brought to light an abundance of strange new beauty and affirmation. – Nietzsche

Nietzsche according to Korsgaard 1996, 1

Some Quotes:

“It is the most striking fact about human life that we have values” (Korsgaard 1996, 1).

“Human life is defined by our values, urging us to imagine a better world and ourselves within it. Yet, where do these ideals come from? They surpass our experiences, compelling us to strive for improvement. It’s intriguing that we’re drawn to visions of a different reality, urging us to make it a reality” (see Korsgaard 1996, 1).

“In “Phaedo,” the author questions why we perceive two sticks as “not exactly equal.” Instead of merely observing them side by side, we attribute to them an intention to achieve a higher pattern of equality. This implies that the concept of equality exists within our minds as a pattern or form, echoing Plato’s theory of Forms” (Korsgaard 1996, 2):

“We see them as if they had in mind a pattern that they were trying to emulate, a pattern of equality that was calling out to them and saying ‘be like me!’ […] we must have known them in another world” (Korsgaard 1996, 2)

A Revolution as: ” Plato and Aristotle came to believe that value was more real than
experienced fact, indeed that the real world is, in a way, value itself” (Korsgaard 1996, 2)

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