Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The philosophical concept of genealogy, introduced as a term of art by Friedrich Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals (1887), has come to be associated with two related but distinct practices of philosophical reflection. The first—of which Nietzsche's text is the primary exemplar—is critically directed to undermining some aspects or elements of our current evaluative orientation or perspective. The second—which is taken to be exemplified by David Hume's account of the origin of justice in Book III of his A Treatise of Human Nature (1740)—is directed to the vindication of some aspect or elements of our current evaluative orientation or perspective. More recently, the critical and vindicatory modes of genealogy have been revived, most notably by Michel Foucault and by Bernard Williams, respectively. What links the two practices is that they each seek to provide naturalistic histories or quasi-historical stories concerning the emergence of an evaluative orientation (say, justice Phenomenology ...