Seeking Ourselves in the Strange: Self-Knowledge in the Nietzsche’s Genealogy

Lei Han


In the nuanced tapestry of Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morality, the exploration of self-knowledge emerges as a central, yet subtly presented, theme. This paper delves into the profound depths of this theme, uncovering the intricacies and challenges inherent in Nietzsche’s portrayal of the self’s quest. Nietzsche’s work not only critically deconstructs the fallacies entrenched in conventional self-awareness but also charts an unorthodox path toward a more authentic understanding of the self. Embarking on this intellectual journey, the paper scrutinizes the notable juxtaposition found between the first and second sections of the Genealogy’s preface, shedding light on the intricate relationship between moral constructs and self-realization. It then interprets the profound ramifications of Nietzsche’s assertion, particularly in the preface’s first section, that true self-knowledge is perennially shrouded in unfamiliarity. This study meticulously examines key terminologies such as ‘sought’, contextualized within Nietzsche’s broader philosophical oeuvre, to trace the implicit, yet profound, pathway to self-knowledge that Nietzsche advocates. Ultimately, this exploration asserts that Nietzsche’s Genealogy extends beyond merely exposing the inadequacies of conventional moral doctrines. It emphatically champions a perpetual pursuit of openness and an exploratory spirit in the odyssey towards self-discovery. This process involves embracing the unfamiliar and courageously engaging with the ebb and flow of one’s existential reality, as part of the continual quest to understand and define the self.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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