Nietzsche's Denial of Opposites

Nietzsche sees westem philosophy and culture as dorninated by the metaphysical belief in opposites. The first and second sections of this paper spell out the basic assumptions underlying this belief and discuss the distinction between the “true” and the “apparent” world as the primary opposite by reference to which all opposites are determined. Section three employs Nietzsche’s idea of the will to power to analyze the belief in opposites as an expression of a weak and sickly type of Iife seeking to revenge itself upon the natural world. Section four tums to Nietzsche’s denial of the belief in opposites and examines how he dissolves the distinction between the “true” and “apparent” world. The final section ofthe paper presents Nietzsche’s counter-analysis of metaphysical opposites within epistemology, religion, aesthetics, and morality. He regards “opposites” as contraries which exist along a continuum of natural phenomena, and he introduces the notion of sublimation to explain how one contrary can eventually give rise to its extreme
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DOI 10.5840/jpr_1996_4
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