Hello, I promised the other day that I would have a look at this for you… I’ve just managed to find a few hours just now so I’ll stick down some quick ideas useful for the exam and try to find time to organise properly later….
Firstly I thought I would start with a strength… IB exam answers sometimes miss out the massive positives and evidence for a position and forget that these are key in making an informed and careful evaluation (which, of course, you get good marks for)…
As you know, MacIntyre’s argument in After Virtue* claims that all modern ‘moral discourse’ is broken as it tries to make sense of fragments of a lost language; and it is this, according to MacIntyre, that Nietzsche observed and took great issue with. Nietzsche correctly observed the problematic use and nature of moral language at play in the world around him. MacIntyre claims he ‘disposes of [recent attempts] to discover rational foundations for an objective morality’. And in only five paragraphs! (*113)
This said, however, MacIntyre is by no means a champion of Nietzsche. Nietzsche, he writes,
‘illegitimately generalised from the condition of moral judgement in his own day to the nature of morality as such…but it is worth noting that [he] began from a genuine insight.’ (*113 emphasis mine)
Following this claim, MacIntyre traces the development of virtue ethics. You could look at Vardy’s description for a brief summary. In his conclusion he seeks to adjudicate on the question he posed midway through the book: Nietzsche or Aristotle?
MacIntyre reads Nietzsche as the closing prophet of the doomed enlightenment project of moral philosophy. Though Nietzsche mistakenly saw himself to be outside this period, condemning it completely, his entire position stemmed from the mistake that was hidden deep beneath Kantianism, Utilitarianism and Emotivism. He saw that there was a problem, a failure, but he mistook Aristotle’s tradition for part of the problem rather than its solution.
Sorry I realise my ‘quick ideas’ have been less than quick. In summary for analysing and evaluating Nietzsche’s Genealogy:
STRENGTH: Even scholars who certainly would not see themselves as Nietzscheans see that Nietzsche was the first to see the brokenness of much of our moral discourse.
CRITICISM: Nietzsche ‘illegitimately generalised from the condition of moral judgement in his own day to the nature of morality as such…”
CRITICISM: If Aristotle is right, then Nietzsche is wrong.
CRITICISM: Nietzsche’s ideal, his Ubermensch is based upon the assumption that the human person is radically isolated. MacIntyre reads the vast majority of FN’s writings as proceeding from this premise, one which AM finds faulty.
EVALUATION: I think your evaluation of each of these will be intertwined. You might mention Wittgenstein really quickly (arguments against private language), as well as having an opinion on MacIntyre’s argument as well as his reading of Nietzsche.