Nietzsche's philosophy of overcoming and the practice of truth

Abstract

My thesis explored the conceptual and evaluative reasons behind Nietzsche's critique of truth. I narrated the changing relation between our will to truth and the problem of nihilism. I argued that Nietzsche understands truth in terms of a practice which affects its practitioners. To explicate the practice of truth which Nietzsche advocates I explored its continuities, and crucial points of opposition, with a Platonic practice of truth. I claimed that cultivating new habits in how we pursue truth allows the nihilistic form of the will to truth that Nietzsche criticises to be overcome. I offered a reading of the will to power as an interpretation that is both employed in and justified by Nietzsche's practice of truth. In the context of Nietzsche's interpretation that the world is will to power a new practice of truth is potentially transformative. Given Nietzsche's interpretation that the human is made up of various wills to power, which include drives, practices, and habits, a cultivation of new practices and habits can bring about the overcoming of modern man demanded by Nietzsche's critical philosophy. I argued that this process of overcoming through the practice of truth is instantiated in the potential free spirit's gradual emancipation from the Ascetic Ideal. Those with sufficient strength to follow their intellectual conscience will experience a deepening of nihilism that is potentially liberating. These emancipated spirits have the space to experiment in order to find their own values and overcome the nihilism of the Ascetic Ideal. The possibility of such transformation can be seen to connect the distant goal of the Übermensch with human possibility and allow it to serve as the "sense of the earth"

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