Nietzsche’s aesthetic conception of philosophy a (post-kantian) interpretation of the gay science §373

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Abstract

The article considers Nietzsche’s conception of philosophy by giving a careful interpretation of aphorism 373 of book V of The Gay Science. In this important aphorism, Nietzsche puts forward the idea that all genuine philosophical judgments are akin to a judgment about “the value of a piece of music,” and hence akin to judgments that express “what good taste demands” (GS 373). The article takes this to mean that, for Nietzsche, philosophical judgments are value-judgments, and value-judgments are aesthetic judgments (or judgments of taste). On this basis, the article then tries to take two further steps: first, to show that Nietzsche understands aesthetic judgments by the lights of Kant’s conception of taste as a “reflective taste” (CJ 8), thereby conceiving of aesthetic value-judgments as reflective judgments; second, the article argues that Nietzsche’s view of philosophical judgments as reflective value-judgments is the basis of his rejection of a positivist (or, in modern vocabulary, naturalist) conception of philosophy. Finally, the article links Nietzsche’s conception of philosophy to his conception of life as akin to music, and thus as having a polysemic, perspectival, and interrogative nature (or the “character of a question-mark”, GS 375).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNietzsche’s Metaphilosophy
Subtitle of host publicationThe Nature, Method, and Aims of Philosophy
EditorsPaul S. Loeb, Matthew Meyer
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages187-206
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781108381338
ISBN (Print)9781108422253
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Aesthetic judgments
  • Kant
  • Naturalism
  • Nietzsche
  • Nihilism
  • Perspectivism
  • Positivism
  • Reflective judgments
  • Taste
  • Value judgments

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