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In On the Genealogy of Morals Friedrich Nietzsche provides three essays which collectively challenge the belief that morality is an eternal absolute truth which originated from some otherworldly source The first essay Good and Evil Good and Bad introduces the concepts of master morality and slave morality This distinction is the foundation for the Genealogys subsequent analysis In the second essay Guilt Bad Conscience and the Like Nietzsche explains how slave morality transformed and recreated the relationship between guilt and punishment This in turn leads to what he calls bad conscience The final essay What is the Meaning of Ascetic Ideals discusses mans reaction to the creation of bad conscience and his attempt to overcome it By demonstrating the evolving nature of conceptions of morality throughout history Nietzsche attempts a genealogical method to unmask the motivations and meanings behind humanitys reevaluation of what is morality This attempt to find the underlying motivations of change represents Nietzsches greatest contribution to philosophy Despite this his line of reasoning can fairly be seen as questionable and remains vulnerable to much criticism Foremost among On the Genealogy of Morals shortcomings is Nietzsches tendency to underestimate the values of moral issues such as good evil guilt and free will This results from the fact that much of Nietzsches conceptions of moral evolution draw more heavily on his own imagination than on the actual historical facts In Good and Evil Good and Bad Nietzsche suggests that ideas of good evil and bad depend entirely on perspective Contrary to earlier English philosophers he makes the case that the concepts of good and bad did not arise from mans characterization of selfless actions which were of benefit to others Instead he supposes that the privileged segments of society defined good as those things which described themselves and bad as those characteristics embodied in the poor He arrives at this conclusion using a philological analysis of the words good and bad He notices
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