The Concept of Nobility in Nietzsche

Kutan, Ali Haydar
This thesis explores the concept of nobility in Nietzsche. As beings of consciousness human beings possess the potential to create and shape their own lives. How individuals exercise this potentiality reveals their character, their attitude towards themselves and life. They do so by setting purposes, attributing meanings, and thus constructing paradigms of values and ideals for their lives. These paradigms of values serve as the molds or patterns for self-creation. Furthermore, the nature of these molds and patterns—namely, purposes and ideals—reflects individuals' character, and way of life. Human beings may exhibit either a reactive, and degenerative attitude towards life, resulting in purposes and ideals detrimental to existence, or they may adopt an affirmative and healthy stance, leading to aims and ideals conducive to the flourishing of life. The positing of life-negating ideals stems from misconceptions of reason. Overcoming these misconceptions is crucial for the growth of life and self-overcoming. When individuals erroneously view purposes, meanings, and ideals as eternal realities, they become slaves to their illusions. In a world of perpetual becoming, rejecting change and growth impoverishes life itself. Conversely, a correct stance—befitting the creative character of human beings—requires the affirmation of life in all its aspects, including suffering. Only through perpetual self-overcoming can individuals achieve human greatness, which entails beautifying life by creating it as a work of art. Nobility represents the character and way of life directed towards the attainment of human greatness. Only as creators of aesthetic perfection can individuals justify their existence.
Citation Formats
A. H. Kutan, “The Concept of Nobility in Nietzsche,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2024.