Nietzsche, Perspectivism, Anti-realism: An Inconsistent Triad

The European Legacy 15 (4):425-438 (2010)
Abstract
“Philosophical perspectivism” is surely one of Nietzsche's most important insights regarding the limits of human knowledge. However, the perspectivist thesis combined with a minimal realist metaphysical position produces what Brian Leiter calls the 'Received View': an epistemologically incoherent misinterpretation of Nietzsche which pervades the secondary literature. In order to salvage the thesis of perspectivism, Leiter argues that we must commit Nietzsche to an anti-realist metaphysical position. I argue that Leiter's proposed solution is (1) epistemically weak, and (2) inconsistent with much of Nietzsche's views on truth, knowledge and the psychological make-up of human beings. I argue that we need to abandon the scheme/content distinction on which both the Received View and Leiter's anti-realist construal of perspectivism are predicated and instead construe perspectives as environments of power
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