In this paper I argue that a certain understanding of “animality” – or that a certain problematization of the traditional human-animal hierarchy and divide – is central to Nietzsche’s account of the good life. Nietzsche’s philosophical project is primarily directed against those “metaphysical oppositions of values” that traditionally structure how we think, feel and live, and in this paper I submit that, for Nietzsche, the classical opposition between the human and the animal is the most basic and the most pernicious, for it undergirds the oppositional hierarchy between rationality and irrationality that has turned human life against itself. I draw primarily from Nietzsche’s second “Untimely Meditation” and from a passage from Daybreak in order to make the case that, for Nietzsche, we must reject any facile ontological opposition between human beings and non-human animals and that we must recognize and live in consonance with the “animal” conditions of our existence: human beings must recuperate and reintegrate rather than suppress their “animality” in order to thrive. For Nietzsche, we can say that virtue is a certain cultivated balance between our “humanity” and our “animality.”



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