Nietzsche on epistemology and metaphysics
This thesis examines Nietzsche's philosophy as a response to Kant. I show that Kant, as interpreted by Nietzsche, dissociates epistemology and metaphysics. According to Nietzsche, the consequence of this dissociation is the collapse of Kant's transcendental epistemology into a sceptical idealism, which disables the making of positive metaphysical claims about the nature of reality. I argue that Nietzsche overcomes the dissociation of epistemology and metaphysics by rejecting Kant's distinction between constitutive, empirical knowledge and regulative, metaphysical belief. Furthermore, I show that Nietzsche rejects, what he considers to be, Kant's formalistic constitutive epistemology in favour of a regulative and interest-directed account of knowledge. I argue that Nietzsche adopts an internal realist epistemology that stipulates that our epistemic claims must be justified from within our perspectival practices of justification but that such claims must be subject to a realist constraint. Moreover, I propose that Nietzsche is justified, from within these epistemic parameters, in putting forward metaphysical claims about the nature of reality. The thesis is structured in four chapters. Chapter one examines Nietzsche's appropriation of Kant. Chapter two takes up the issue of Nietzsche's perspectivism in the context of his concerns with the issues of justification and truth. The penultimate chapter examines the emergence of Nietzsche's internal realism in his early writings. Finally, chapter four examines Nietzsche's will to power thesis where I contend that the metaphysics of the will to power is both facilitated by and compatible with his perspectivism.