• Peter Lucas
Part of the Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy book series (LOET, volume 26)


The post-Hegelian ethic of self-interpretation developed in Chapters 8, 9, and 10 might still be regarded as normatively weak, insofar as, in giving up essentialism, we seem to give up any appeal to the notion of a distorted self-conception. However, Nietzsche’s thought supplies what we need to give useful sense to the notion of a distorted self-conception, while remaining sceptical of essentialism. Nietzsche’s emphasis on self-overcoming is grounded in a fundamental appeal to honesty in self-interpretation. Similarly, the sceptical essentialist can re-interpret references to distorted self-conceptions as references to self-conceptions that would, if adopted, be adopted dishonestly. Moreover, since I am not self-sufficient in my self-interpretations, such honesty would have to have a collective basis. Collective honesty would be a suitable foundation for a sceptical essentialist ethic of self-interpretation. The chapter closes with some reflections on the implications of this view for professional ethics.


Moral Ideal Political Liberal Moral Patient Mere Means Adequate Reason 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education and Social Sciences, University of Central LancashirePreston, LancashireUK

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