To explain the title, I call it Nietzsche’s Physics, because like preliminary and continued studies of physics, ideas develop and expand continuously, growing from a twig to a tree – much like the philosophy found in “On the Genealogy of Morals.”
With that point in mind, it becomes the biggest benefit and handicap of the text. The development of Nietzsche’s arguments contradict what is previously said or implied; for instance, with his first explanation of the origin of slave morality, he uses Jews as an example for its roots, and infers that it was their poorness and weakness that led them to hate the rich and strong, thus creating an opposite disparity to master morality. On my first read, and I’m sure many of your first reads, it seems as if he is using this explanation as a negative light, however as the text progresses you can see that he finds their concepts far more “interesting” than that of master morality. I felt waves of misconception over misconceptions hurl me over whilst reading this text – it seems nothing stated initially is how it is eventually. But at the same time, the development of ideas (from twig to tree) allows the reader (or at least me) to follow Nietzsche’s train of thought in an almost chronological sense.
There are so many issues of contention I have with the text (all three essays) that it would be impossible to fit it into your average blog, like the disregard for a middle point between slave and master morality, the idea of society making us predictable beings (when instinct/state of nature/Rousseau stuff shows that without society, a pattern is ever so obvious), the fact that his explanation of (modern) bad conscience doesn’t take into account accidental circumstances…. the list goes on.
I find it contradictory that Nietzsche slams English psychologists for not having historical spirit when many of Nietzsche’s own concepts are simply his definitions and conclusions founded by pit stops on his train of thought (see what I did there). And in searching for answers to a few of his claims (like the lack of any ‘middle’ between slave and master morality) I am left stumped… If slave morality is essentially felt toward the masters, and the whole world has now converged to slave morality, who are these masters? Oh hang on, apparently there is somewhat of an answer (moreso of a rephrasing)… but I have to read Beyond Good and Evil to find out that there is (afterall) another level of complexity in our modern world…