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Publication Details

How is Self-Fashioning Possible? Nietzsche on Agency and Freedom

(Original title: How is Self-Fashioning Possible? Nietzsche on Agency and Freedom)
Filozofia, 79 (2024), 5, 538 - 552.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: English
In this paper I shall explore how self-fashioning, as conceived by Friedrich Nietzsche, is possible. My goal is to show that self-fashioning is not jeopardized by Nietzsche’s determinism and his rejection of traditional ideas of selfhood, agency, and freedom. First, I shall clarify why the abandonment of this traditional conception of human beings is seen by some as deleterious to the project of self-fashioning. Afterwards, I shall argue that Nietzsche is a determinist: he maintains that one could not have acted otherwise. If thought of in this way, freedom is impossible. However, Nietzsche also has a more positive conception of freedom. Following John Richardson’s reading of Nietzsche, I shall examine the three main stages through which freedom evolves. I shall expand Richardson‘s account with a corresponding analysis of Nietzsche’s notion of responsibility. Finally, we shall see how a discussion of such issues allows us to understand how self-fashioning is possible.

Friedrich Nietzsche, self-fashioning, Self, Agency, Freedom, Responsibility

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