Nietzsche's Sensualism

European Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):219-257 (2013)
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Abstract
The late Nietzsche defended a position which he sometimes to refers as ‘sensualism’ and which consists of two main theses: senses ‘do not lie’ (T1) and sense organs are ‘causes’ (T2). Two influential interpretations of this position have been proposed by Clark and Hussain, who also address the question whether Nietzsche's late sensualism is (Hussain) or not (Clark) compatible with the epistemological view which he held in his previous work and which has been dubbed the ‘falsification thesis’ (FT). In my paper I will show that both readings raise substantial difficulties and propose an alternative account of Nietzsche's sensualism. In particular, I will argue: (a) that according to Nietzsche the representational content of sensory experience ‘does not lie’ since it is physically grounded in causal exchanges with the external world which are mediated by sense organs; (b) that Nietzsche believes that the claim that senses ‘do not lie’ is also true of the phenomenal, qualitative content of sensory experience; and (c) that FT, despite its prima facie tension with (a) and (b), fit well Nietzsche's sensualism
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