Are The Fair Folk Being Fair?

Nietzsche made his name with a philological analysis of morality, suggesting that words for good and bad were derived from racial terminology; our language reflects the self-admiration of a blond conqueror people lording it over a subject dark-haired folk. His examples were German, but the multiple meanings of the English ‘fair’ – blond, beautiful and just – are certainly also food for thought. In these days when evolutionary psychology is endeavouring to overthrow the tyranny of social constructionism, we might profitably take another look at Nietzsche’s approach, without restriction to the specifically European phenomenon of blonds. If bodily and facial symmetry, whose subjective aspect is called “beauty”, is indeed a reliable indicator of genetic health and sound embryological development – crucially including freedom from parasites – and if morality is indeed to do with the survival of the human group in both its internal and foreign relations, then the equation of beauty with goodness is precisely what we would expect.

Posted on June 25, 2009 at 18:36 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, The Myth Of "Inner Beauty"

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