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Nietzsche’s Perspectivism And Philosophical Skepticism: A Comparison

4430 words - 18 pages

Since the idea of truth came to being by the previous thought of ancient times, many philosophers have developed their ideas on this notion. They ask themselves questions such as: “What is truth? Does a universal truth exist? Are their countless truths? Is it possible to know?” This is a major debate amongst philosophers and it really separates them within their belief systems. Many names have been given to the different thoughts: Relativism, Skepticism, Dogmatism, and Perspectivism. These thoughts are just a few major classifications from some of the great thinkers on truth. The ones in focus are relative to Friedrich Nietzsche and his modern developments on the idea of truth.
After exploration through the thought and philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche it can be mesmerizing to grasp a firm hold onto viewpoints in contrast with many philosophers. Much of the content throughout his works can be perceived various ways and he even suggests that one does not have to accept it. The idea of perspectivism is developed by him throughout his works. This philosophical viewpoint makes the statement that all ideas are from different perspectives and that there is no definite truth, but not all perspectives are equal or true. He championed argument and felt that created agon, contest, which motivates and challenges people in the Genealogy of Morality (174-81). The idea of perspectivism can be contrasted again by looking at relativism which states that all views are equal and there is no absolute truth. Skepticism on the other hand could be closer in relation. Skepticism in philosophical thought is grounded on the idea that there is no certainty. This does not make the statement that there is no truth, but rather when it comes to human knowledge certain truth is not probable. Using Nietzsche’s works and various scholarly researches, I found the similarities and differences between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and philosophical skepticism. The main focus is on the central idea of perspectivism within his works and other aspects of his writings that could fall under skepticism as compared to major proponents of skeptic beliefs. My proposed conclusion is that Nietzsche has many beliefs that would fall under skepticism, but that the amount of diversity in his thought does not fit under the whole belief system.
Nietzsche speaks about truth throughout his works. He states in the Gay Science, “We simply lack any organ for knowledge, for truth”, with the notion that they should be explored but accepting that is may be impossible for philosophers to find a truth (Welson 2009). Nietzsche is critical of every presumption of knowledge made by the Western philosophy tradition before him. The epistemology of those philosophers and how they derived at the understanding of knowledge and truth cause him to be very skeptical of even the origin of our idea of knowledge. These are present where he is very critical of the Judeo-Christian tradition for the presumption of truth in the...

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