A book on ethics and philosophy of values

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d) The birth of creative subjectivism: Nietzsche

Although classical subjectivism is subsequently found in several authors, their revival of this doctrine does not seem to add anything significant to the description we have given of it in Hobbes and Spinoza. I therefore prefer to focus on the emergence of the second form of subjectivism, which renews the first to the point of reaching opposite conclusions: creative subjectivism.

It is in Nietzsche that this doctrine seems to assert itself triumphantly, in all the beauty and complexity that characterises it, particularly in this paragraph of the Gay Science:
It is we, the thinking-sensing ones, who really and continually make something that is not yet here: the whole perpetually growing world of valuations, colours, weights, perspectives, scales, affirmations and negations. This poem that we have invented is constantly internalized, drilled, translated into flesh and reality, indeed, into the commonplace, by the so-called practical human beings (our actors).
Whatever has value in the present world has it not in itself, according to its nature –nature is always value-less, but has rather been given, granted value, and we were the givers and granters!

This leads Nietzsche to break away from the paradigm of contemplation and adopt the paradigm of action, or better still, that of creation: man believes himself to be a contemplative, but he is in fact the creator of what he pretends to contemplate passively:
The world becomes ever fuller for someone who grows into the height of humanity; ever more baited hooks to attract his interest are cast his way; the things that stimulate him grow steadily in number, as do the kinds of things that please and displease him […] But a delusion remains his constant companion: he thinks himself placed as spectator and listener before the great visual and acoustic play that is life; he calls his nature contemplative and thereby overlooks the fact that he is also the actual poet and ongoing author of life 2.

Conversely, if the man who creates is driven by a sad passion such as resentment, then the world itself, insofar as it is his creation, will degrade axiologically: The Christian decision to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad 3.

Resentment degrades the value of the world because, as a negative passion, it is in fact opposed to all creation, which, as creation, is pure affirmation. In contrast to resentment, Nietzsche defends the idea of an affirmative ethic, an "ethic of Yes". This leads Nietzsche to his famous doctrine of 'amor fati', which is pure affirmation, a resentment-free acceptance of all the events that Fate offers us: I want to learn more and more how to see what is necessary in things, as what is beautiful in them – thus I will be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love from now on! I do not want to wage war against ugliness. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse the accusers. Let looking away be my only negation! 4.

In fact, this "Ethics of Yes" is also based on a refusal, on a negation, not of the world, but certain doctrines that thinkers have developed about it. What these doctrines have in common is that they deny or condemn the very principle on which the world is founded, the will to power: It is my good fortune that after whole millennia of error and confusion I have rediscovered the way that leads to a Yes and a No. I teach the No to all that makes weak--that exhausts. I teach the Yes to all that strengthens, that stores up strength, that justifies the feeling of strength 5.
Nietzsche is opposed to the theories of negation; this negation of negation is also, indirectly, an affirmation.

As we can see, creative subjectivism leads to conclusions that are the opposite of those of classical subjectivism, even though it starts from the same premises.

1. The Gay Science, §301
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid., §130
4. Ibid., IV, §276
5. The European Nihilism, §54