Date of Award

5-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Tyman, Dr. Stephen

Abstract

Instead of choosing between reading Nietzsche's perspectivism as a metaphysical thesis or as one relating to his critique of traditional morality, this paper intends to show that these are but two sides of the same coin. As regards the metaphysical position, I argue that perspectivism is a version of idealism that critiques the cogency of the `thing-in-itself,' thereby moving beyond the appearance/reality distinction whilst retaining the fundamental tenant that the subjective contribution to reality is irreducible. As regards Nietzsche's transvaluation of all values, I argue that the notion of perspectivism is utilized to critique the idea of the `Good in-itself,' thereby shifting the focus of morality from that of universally applicable prohibitions and obligations to a sort of virtue ethics in which the subject's unique perspective is given expression in and through their creation of values. Given that, I argue for a certain continuity in Nietzsche's thought, such that perspectivism is best seen as an argument against realism, the basic tenant of which - i.e. the inconceivability of the `in-itself' - remains constant even whilst Nietzsche's interests shift during the evolution of his writings.

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