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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores various conceptions of Nietzsche’s thoughts on autonomy. It distinguishes six main interpretive approaches, each with its own conception of autonomy: (1) autonomy as spontaneous self-determination, in the sense of traditional free will; (2) a “standard model” interpretation counting actions as autonomous when they are caused by rationalizing beliefs and desires; (3) a view that traces autonomy to a Kantian transcendental subject; (4) constitutivist theories that seek to explain the source of normativity by “deriving ethics from action”; (5) “hierarchical model” interpretations arguing that complex, higher-order attitudes “speak for the agent,” and thereby constitute her autonomy; and (6) conceptions of autonomy as an ethical ideal.

Keywords: Friedrich Nietzsche, self-determination, rationalization, Kant, transcendental subject, constitutivism, ethical ideal

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