A Nietzschean Critique of Metaphysical Philosophy

Journal of Nietzsche Studies 48 (3):347-374 (2017)
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This article provides a new account of Nietzsche’s critique of metaphysical philosophy. After framing Nietzsche’s anti-metaphysical project (Section 1), I suggest that to understand the logic of his critique we should reconstruct a taxonomy which distinguishes between ‘rich metaphysics’ and ‘thin metaphysics’ (Section 2). I then consider Nietzsche’s methodological critique of ‘rich metaphysics’, arguing that his position, which alleges motivational bias against ‘rich metaphysics’, is not compelling, since even granting that previous ‘rich metaphysicians’ exemplified such bias there is no necessity to a new ‘rich metaphysician’ doing so (Section 3). Nonetheless, there is much of interest in the second aspect of Nietzsche’s critique, understood in terms of indifference to ‘thin metaphysics’, which I consider in Section 4. I argue that the existing readings are unsatisfactory, and as an alternative we should think of this idea in sceptical terms by drawing on an argument from ‘thin metaphysical’ disagreement.

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Jonathan Mitchell
Cardiff University


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