Nietzsche’s view of the Self



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Nietzsche’s view of the Self




There are only actions, no actor
See page 45: “ ‘The doer’ is merely a fiction added to the deed—the deed is everything.”
Here we go back to Descartes.

Recall his view that the soul is a mental substance

And remember Hobbes’ critique of Descartes’ cogito argument.

David Hume's critique of Descartes


Hume offers an argument which can support Nietzsche’s analysis.

Descartes claimed to prove the existence of the self from introspection. (The cogito argument.)

Hume offers a critique of that account.
For Hume, all knowledge comes from experience.

Every idea is copied from some impression.
So what experience gives us knowledge of the self?
We have experience, he argues, or particular impressions—colors, tastes, sounds, and so on.
But we never experience the self as such.
We are only aware of these particular impressions.
If we never have an impression of the self, then it follows that we cannot have an idea of the self.
There are only experiences, without anyone having (possessing) those experiences.

Nietzsche here is taking a similar view.


The self is a socially accepted fiction

We all believe in it.

But does that mean that it exists?

Perhaps Not!


Does this argument work?

Even if persons are fictions still need some way to identify them.

What makes a series of actions mine



I am the agent performing them
And if there is no I?

nothing beyond the actor?

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