The Tablet of Our Overcomings

Nietzsche on the Good of the Guise

There is a famous thesis in moral philosophy that has come to be known as the ‘guise of the good’. According to this ancient doctrine — which remains popular to this day — we only ever desire things that we perceive as being good, in at least some respect. As Socrates puts it in Plato’s Meno: “nobody wants to be wretched”. The problem is that what we take to be good may only be so apparently. We accordingly often pursue terrible things, mistaking them for good. On a stronger version of the doctrine, we not only desire the…

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