Friedrich Nietzsche: Master and Slavery Morality

March 2, 2009

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems by James E. White (7th Edition)

Library Reference: N/A

Amazon Reference:


Quote: “The noble type of man regards himself as a determiner of values; he does not require to be approved of; he passes judgment”


This chapter discussed about morality that is ‘defined’ by a German philosopher named Friedrich Nietzsche in two ways. This chapter was one of Nietzsche’s main themes of some parts of the book, On The Genealogy of Morality. In this chapter, Friedrich Nietzsche argued that there are two types of morality, which is master morality and slavery morality.

In master morality, the ‘power of the will’ takes place. It requires more actions than those from slavery morality, thus weighing itself from what is bad is what is harmful. Master morality comes from ‘strong-willed’ men – they create noble acts. They categorize weak and cowardice as something ‘bad’, and consider nobility and powerful as something ‘good’. They believe that morality is something that is created in such a way that it protects people who have ‘strong-willed’ values. What makes master morality different from slavery morality is that master morality stands for itself – they take full credit and recognitions to their works or actions – which make himself think that he value himself so much. According to the discussion, a man’s values determine on what he’s experiencing being a ‘noble man’ – without questions asked. Bottom-line, they are perceived as the ‘creator of values’.

On the other hand, slavery morality is far different from master morality. They are the ones being oppressed. They are considered as weak in a sense that they heed the ‘morality of principles’ rather than ‘morality of persons’, which master morality acquires. Weak-willed, what they think are weak are good, which in the case, they think that what are strong are bad. They maybe called self deceptive people, but these people chose this kind of path where equality cannot clearly be observed. What makes them different probably is how obsessed they are looking for equality and freedom.

What I’ve learned:

  • Master morality is almost the same as egoism.
  • Will power makes the world more meaningful.
  • Learn to fear from masters, allowing yourself to follow on the rules


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