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Nietzsche And Perspectivism Essay

1907 words - 8 pages


Nietzsche attacks other philosophers for being rationalising dogmatists. Does this criticism apply to him? Make a case for why or why not his "perspectivism" escapes this charge.

Nietzsche rejects the idea of true being or an objective reality, ideas imposed by famous thinkers (rationalising dogmatists) such as Plato, Descartes and Kant. Each of these philosophers correspondingly committed to the idea of the cerebral or rational capacity of humans as the faculty of mind that could release us from misunderstanding, misinterpretation and prejudices. Nietzsche, contrastingly, forebodes the idea of objectivity in philosophical concepts such as subject, self, being, substance, truth and others. What Nietzsche calls rationalising dogmatists commonly accepted and supported the philosophical concepts as agreed truths. Through Nietzsche's own philosophy argues against this view and contended that true philosophical concepts are fabrications and purely invented as a theoretical fallacy in order to interpret the world in a fixed perspective. This essay will argue that primarily through the use of perspectivism and Nietzsche's "attitudes towards life"; he escapes the label of hypocrite by attacking other philosophers as rationalising dogmatists.

"For let us guard ourselves better from now on, gentlemen philosophers, against the dangerous old conceptual fabrication that posited a "pure, will-less, painless, timeless subject of knowledge"; let us guard ourselves against the tentacles of such contradictory concepts as "pure reason," "absolute spirituality," "knowledge in itself." (Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic. trans. Maudemarie Clarke and Alan J. Swenswen. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, 1998.)

Nietzsche tackles the concept of truth in many ways, a major component of his argument is the discussion of two basic principles; linguistic and value. Linguistic involving; language's involvement and/or fault for causing absolute truths and value which is what we should replace truth with. However Nietzsche's most important point is to ascribe to the belief in the denial of the traditional concept of truth. "I shall reiterate a hundred times that `immediate certainty', like `absolute knowledge' and `thing in itself,' contains a contradictio in adjecto [contradiction in terms]: we really ought to get free from the seduction of words!" (Beyond Good and Evil, which will be referred to as BGE I.16). While wielding perspectivism; the sole notion of an absolute truth is meaningless and unintelligible; there can be no absolute truth to be known.

Truth has many appearances, equally dependent on many perspectives, many different societies and individuals bear their own truths, which seem mercurial even if claimed absolute. The World in Nietzsche's eyes is an endless flow: absolute truths do not belong and cannot...

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