Amia Srinivasan on Genealogy

Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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A genealogist faces many challenges in the pursuit of family ancestry. Not least, is validating or vindicating something, such as a family story, a country of origin or a wealthy relative who is said to have existed somewhere in the lineage. Sometimes this is a simple challenge to overcome; an official record can validate the existence of a particular relative. But, more often than not, it is very difficult to determine the truth of a particular story, relationship or connection in the family lineage.

Genealogy, in the simplest of definitions, is ‘where something came from’. Typically, associated with family ancestry. But, genealogy has a special philosophical meaning. This is credited to Friedrich Nietzsche – a nineteenth century German philosopher – who published On the Genealogy of Morals in 1887. His work raises some fundamental, and important, questions about the nature and origins of morality. In particular, Nietzsche uses genealogy to discredit Christian morality.

The podcast (see link below) provides an insightful discussion about genealogy.

Think about what genealogy means to you, how you use it and what narrative is being communicated through any genealogical work you are pursuing or following (including the Anglo-Indian Project). For deeper philosophical thought, consider what kind of philosophical merit might be had in genealogical reasoning? Amia Srinivasan raises this and many other interesting points in the podcast.

All comments welcome below.

Friedrich Nietzsche famously diagnosed Christian morality as a descendant of form of slave morality. But did he simply commit the Genetic Fallacy? Amia Srinivasan discusses this style of reasoning, known as genealogy, with Nigel Warburton in this episode of the Philosophy Bites podcast.

Source: Philosophy Bites

Listen to the podcast here: 

Cover picture credit: Open Culture

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Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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