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Title:Language, Mind and Reality: Nietzsche's Overcoming of Metaphysics
Author(s):Hill, Randolph Kevin
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Schacht, Richard L.
Department / Program:Philosophy
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Germanic
Abstract:Nietzsche's critique of metaphysics has been interpreted as an enterprise with consequences, not just for metaphysics as it has been traditionally practiced, but also for the very possibility of cognitive language and thought.
However, for Nietzsche's other philosophical claims to possess binding force for his readers, he must implicitly deny much of what recent interpreters accept about the nature of theory and the nature of truth. The critique of metaphysics has a narrower scope than they believe. The anti-metaphysical claims can be rendered plausible without throwing his other enterprises into jeopardy.
In chapter two, the Schopenhauerian system and Nietzsche's modification of it is sketched, which shows that his hostility to metaphysics was driven by his refusal to accept non-naturalistic explanations of psychological and cultural phenomena, and not by a rejection of theory as such. Though the early writings about Lange contain a fair amount of deconstructive rhetoric, his enthusiasm about Lange can only be found in a brief portion of his early period. He did not regard his own assertions in his mature period as "conceptual poetry."
In chapters three and four, Nietzsche's positive claim about the nature of metaphysics and truth are interpreted. First, metaphysicians are motivated by psychological interests which are not conducive to truth-seeking. Second, metaphysical claims gain much of their plausibility from their seemingly a priori status, but this can be explained away by regarding them, as Carnap does, as pseudo-statements which do not represent reality, but merely display the formal structure of the linguistic framework the representor is using. Finally, there is no thing-in-itself or metaphysical reality which the metaphysician's claims might represent, and if only such claims are true, then the "truth" the metaphysician seeks is a mirage. Each of these three aspects of the critique of metaphysics can be made plausible without endangering the cognitivity of his other philosophical claims.
Issue Date:1992
Description:236 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305549
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1992

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