Philosophers before Friedrich Nietzsche are more interested in reality than in appearance; they tend to believe that we can access the ultimate truth through hard work, which will set us free. However, in his book, The Gay Science, Nietzsche criticizes this aim of science, or metaphysics. While it has been argued that Nietzsche denies the distinction between perceivable appearances and a concealed, underlying reality, in this paper, I will argue that such a distinction is consistent with Nietzsche’s project and contributes (...) to his perspectivism. (shrink)
Nietzsche offers a positive epistemology, and those who interpret him as a skeptic or a mere pragmatist are mistaken. Instead he supports what he calls per- spectivism. This is a familiar take on Nietzsche, as perspectivism has been analyzed by many previous interpreters. The present paper presents a sketch of the textually best supported and logically most consistent treatment of perspectivism as a first- order epistemic theory. What’s original in the present paper is an argument that Nietzsche also offers a (...) second-order methodological perspectivism aimed at enhancing understanding, an epistemic state distinct from knowledge. Just as Descartes considers and rejects radical skepticism while at the same time adopting methodological skepticism, one could consistently reject perspectivism as a theory of knowledge while accepting it as contributing to our understanding. It is argued that Nietzsche’s perspectivism is in fact two-tiered: knowledge is perspectival because truth itself is, and in addition there is a methodological perspectivism in which distinct ways of knowing are utilized to produce understanding. A review of the manner in which understanding is conceptualized in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science serves to illuminate how Nietzsche was tackling these ideas. (shrink)
In this paper, I delve on Nietzsche’s concept of perspectivism and how it becomes relevant amid contemporary society’s openness to relative standpoints. The foremost era that reflects this description points to postmodernism as a politics of difference. Nietzsche’s perspectivism is generally a critique of the conditions that absolutize truth. While this may seem a valiant opening for a welcoming era on an epistemological standpoint, it does not however do away with its own paradoxes. I contend whether this fits well with (...) postmodernism and its ironic relationship to truth and asserts further that the conditions for Nietzsche’s perspectivism can only achieve its future if it hermeneutically stands as political consensus. Later, I will present the features of this perspectivism as political consensus and how it can be viable in postmodernity. (shrink)
In this paper, I examine two exemplary replies to the challenge of history that played a crucial role in the controversies on the nature and purpose of philosophy during the so-called long 19th century. Nietzsche and Dilthey developed concepts of philosophy in contrast with one another, and in particular regarding their approach to the history of philosophy. While Nietzsche advocates a radical break with the history of philosophy, Dilthey emphasizes the continuity with the philosophical tradition. I shall argue that these (...) conceptual reorientations are linked to specific social images of the philosopher. Nietzsche, on the one hand, presents us a new version of the philosophical recluse. Dilthey, on the other hand, embraces the idea of a philosophical community, thus emphasizing the collective character of philosophical research. My examination of these connections attempts to show that the history of philosophy should also be studied as a social tradition. (shrink)
Nearly every common theory of truth has been attributed to Nietzsche, while some commentators have argued that he simply has no theory of truth. This essay argues that Nietzsche's remarks on truth are best situated within either the coherence or pragmatist theories of truth rather than the correspondence theory. Nietzsche's thoughts on truth conflict with the correspondence framework because he believes that the truth conditions of propositions are constitutively dependent on our actions.
Contrary to what a superficial reading of Nietzsche might suggest, Nietzsche’s perspectivism is only apparently limited to the theoretical sphere. In fact, Nietzsche also relates perspectivism with his analysis of values and, more in general, with his critique of morality. The aim of the present paper is to present an overview of what might be called Nietzsche’s “moral perspectivism”. In order to answer the question about what kind of practical philosophy derives from Nietzsche’s perspectivism, we shall focus the attention on (...) two views which are erroneously believed to follow from it: radical individualism and strong relativism. (shrink)
The aim of this study is to examine the relation between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and his doctrine of the will to power and to show that perspectivism is almost a direct and natural consequence of the doctrine of the will to power. Without exploring the doctrine, it is not possible to understand what Nietzsche’s perspectivism is and what he trying to do by proposing it as an alternative to traditional epistemology. To this aim, firstly, Nietzsche’s doctrine of the will to power (...) is explained in detail. Next, in order to provide a deeper understanding of the doctrine, its relation with Darwinism and the claims which say that it is a metaphysical principle are analyzed. Afterwards, Nietzsche’s construction of the world as becoming out of will to power is investigated. Nietzsche’s conception of interpretation as power struggle and its role in perspectivism explained. Then, how Nietzsche’s construction of the world as becoming and his concept of interpretation as power struggle emerge as perspectivism is explained. After that, in order to present the differences between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and traditional understanding of epistemology, Nietzsche’s critiques of some of the fundamental assumptions of traditional epistemology, i.e., causality, logic, and subject-object and apparent-real world distinctions, are investigated. Finally, Nietzsche’s understanding of truth based on his perspectivism is inquired. Its relation with correspondence, pragmatic and coherence theories of truth is explored to show that Nietzsche’s understanding of truth could not be comprehended through these theories. Consequently, it isclaimed that the tendency to attribute a truth theory to Nietzsche’s perspectivism, which is prevalent in the current Nietzsche studies, stems from commentator’s, consciously or unconsciously, ignoring of the relation between his perspectivism and his doctrine of the will to power. (shrink)
Using Alasdair MacIntyre as a foil, I defend what I take to be a viable Nietzschean genealogical account, showing that a proper perspectivism is neither perniciously subjectivist nor absolutist. I begin by arguing against MacIntyre’s assertion that genealogists are committed to the view that rationality requires neutrality and that as there is no neutrality, there is no rationality. I then continue by offering something of a reconstruction of Nietzsche’s view, designed partly to clarify the error pinpointed in MacIntyre’s arguments, but (...) primarily to amplify the Nietzschean solution. This reconstruction involves claiming that Nietzsche is committed to three different senses of “truth:” the “Truth” (with a capital “T”) of correspondence theories, “truth” which is really pragmatic knowledge that helps us survive, and, finally, “truth” that is nothing more that “metaphors and metonyms” which are falsely taken to be useful to survival. (shrink)