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The Equivocal Use of Power in Nietzsche’s Failed Anti-Egalitarianism

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This paper argues that Nietzsche’s anti-egalitarianism depends on equivocation between conceptions of power as quantitative superiority and qualitative feeling (das Machtgefühl) and between associated conceptions of equality as similarity (die Ähnlichkeit) and opposition or resistance (der Widerstand). Nietzsche’s key arguments against equality fail when applied to the qualitative form of power, since the feeling of power does not directly correlate with quantitative ability and requires relatively equal or proportional resistance. Consequently, Nietzsche’s commitment to the promotion of humanity’s highest individuals does not entail the rejection of moral egalitarianism in every form and even supports a pluralistic egalitarianism that promotes equality understood not as similarity but as multiple, proportional resistances (die Veilheit, die Widerstände).

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor of Philosophy, Wright State University 386 Millett Hall, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton oh 45435, USA,


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