In Erik Heijerman & Winnie Wouters (eds.), Crisis van de rede. Perspectieven op cultuur. Assen, the Netherlands: van Gorcum. pp. 239-249 (1992)

Pouwel Slurink
University of Nijmegen (PhD)
Lecture on Nietzsche's relativism and perspectivism given at a conference on the 'crisis of reason' in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, October 26, 1991. Nietzsche claims that truth does not exist and knowledge is not possible, because knowledge serves life and is bound to an organic position. In fact, this is a paradox that refutes itself. Knowledge has evolved precisely because organisms must have limited, perspectivistic knowledge of their environment from a subjective point of view. In science, subjectivity can even be transcended to some extent by making models that take into account the effects of our subjective experience of the world. The fact that theories are ‘just models’, ‘just interpretations’ does not mean that knowledge is impossible, because models and interpretations can be improved, corrected and be more or less adequate. In fact, Nietzsche relativism is incompatible with his metaphysical, psychological and ethical claims which implicitly claim a kind of philosophical or scientific progress.
Keywords Friedrich Nietzsche  Evolutionary epistemology  Knowledge  Perspectivism  Immanuel Kant  Philosophy of science  Truth  Selfrefutation  Paradox  Evolution of knowledge
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Umwertung Aller Werte.Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche - 1969 - (Mun̈chen)Deutscher Taschenbuch Verl..

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