Philosophical Explorations

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Date(s) - Saturday, April 22, 2017
10:30 am - 12:45 pm

Lit and Phil









When: Saturday 22 April 2017, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm

Where: The Literary & Philosophical Society (Lit & Phil), Loftus Room, 23 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SE.

Please access the Loftus room via the main library.

Whilst in general our meetings will be held at the Lit & Phil (with a few exceptions), the room itself within the building will switch between the Loftus Room, the Lecture Room, and occasionally, the Reference (aka Silence) Room.


For a brief description of the aims of this group, please refer to: – this would be particularly useful for newcomers.

An introduction to the theme for the session is given at the start of the meeting; it may be difficult to participate in the discussion without that context. Please aim to arrive shortly before the start time, so that we can begin the session promptly.

‘Master and Slave Morality’

Nietzsche argued that morality may be broadly divided into two frames, slave morality and master morality. The former is characterized by ideas of justice, fairness, sensitivity for others and protection of the powerless. The latter concerns itself with principles of individual strength, courage, virtue and nobility. Nietzsche charts a history in which master morality is born from pragmatism but is subsumed by slave morality after a process of resentment born from envy. He suggests that we allow this process to continue at our peril. He believes that slave morality weakens the human ‘will to power ‘ and inhibits development,  that  it stifles our true potential as human beings and causes us to deny our true selves. He goes so far as to suggest that the ideals of slave morality have poisoned society and are a destructive rather than creative force, that slave morality is ‘the danger of dangers’. He wondered if master morality could re-assert itself. But can the reassertion of master morality be considered acceptable or even desirable in the contemporary world? Between these battling forces can we envisage a way to successfully go ‘beyond good and evil’? What is the future of morality?

Reading for the session

The following resources available on the internet may prove useful when preparing for the session:

An article from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Nietzsche’s Moral and Political Philosophy:

Some thoughts on ‘What would Nietzsche say about today’s society?’:

Excerpts from the writings of Nietzsche on ‘Slave and Master Morality’:


There is a £2 charge for waged attendees to cover room costs. There is no charge for unwaged or new attendees.

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