Was Nietzsche a cognitivist?

Journal of the History of Philosophy 22 (3):343-363 (1984)
Does Nietzsche claim to know anything? Does he need to make such claims in order to fulfill his broader philosophical aims, in particular, to criticize religion and morality genealogically? Do his own epistemological views entitle him to make such claims? I defend affirmative answers to the first two of these questions and formulate several crucial issues involved in answering the third. These issues stem both from unresolved difficulties in available interpretations of Nietzsche and unexplored aspects of Nietzsche’s views. They include: the extent to which and the ways in which Nietzsche thinks that language inherently ‘falsifies’ the world, the importance of distinguishing several senses of ‘thing-in-itself’ and of ‘creation’ of truth in Nietzsche’s writings, the inadequacies of utilitarian or (vulgarly) pragmatic interpretations of Nietzsche’s views, and the apparent self-referential inconsistency of Nietzsche’s ‘perspectivism’. I hope that posing these issues will help focus controversies among divergent groups of Nietzsche’s interpreters.
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