As the title of of his book Beyond Good and Evil suggests, Nietzsche seeks to find a place “beyond good and evil.” One of Nietzsche’s fundamental achievements is to expose the psychological underpinnings of morality. He shows that our values are not themselves fixed and objective but rather express a certain attitude toward life.

For example, he argues that Christian morality is fundamentally resentful and life denying, devaluing natural human instincts and promoting weakness and the idea of an afterlife, the importance of which supercedes that of our present life. Nietzsche’s aim is not so much to replace Christian morality with another morality. Rather, he aims to expose the very concept of morality as being a fig leaf placed on top of our fundamental psychological drives to make them seem more staid and respectable.

By exposing morality as a fiction, Nietzsche wants to encourage us to be more honest about our drives and our motives and more realistic in the attitude we take toward life. Such honesty and realism, he contends, would cause a fundamental “revaluation of all values.” Without morality, we would become an entirely different species of being, and a healthier species of being at that.

Popular pages: Selected Works of Friedrich Nietzsche