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Nietzsche's most insightful contribution to the naturalistic project in philosophical psychology is not methodological but substantive: he discovered an important truth about the dynamics of psychological states, which I here dub the tenacity of the intentional. According to the tenacity thesis, when an intentional state loses its object, a new object replaces the original; the state does not disappear entirely. This interpretation is supported by and helps to tie together the three essays of the Genealogy. The article concludes by contextualizing the tenacity thesis within Nietzsche's doctrine of the will to power.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Journal Article

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