Nietzsche’s perspectivist epistemology : epistemological implications of will to power

Soysal, Soner
The aim of this study is to examine the relation between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and his doctrine of the will to power and to show that perspectivism is almost a direct and natural consequence of the doctrine of the will to power. Without exploring the doctrine, it is not possible to understand what Nietzsche’s perspectivism is and what he trying to do by proposing it as an alternative to traditional epistemology. To this aim, firstly, Nietzsche’s doctrine of the will to power is explained in detail. Next, in order to provide a deeper understanding of the doctrine, its relation with Darwinism and the claims which say that it is a metaphysical principle are analyzed. Afterwards, Nietzsche’s construction of the world as becoming out of will to power is investigated. Nietzsche’s conception of interpretation as power struggle and its role in perspectivism explained. Then, how Nietzsche’s construction of the world as becoming and his concept of interpretation as power struggle emerge as perspectivism is explained. After that, in order to present the differences between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and traditional understanding of epistemology, Nietzsche’s critiques of some of the fundamental assumptions of traditional epistemology, i.e., causality, logic, and subject-object and apparent-real world distinctions, are investigated. Finally, Nietzsche’s understanding of truth based on his perspectivism is inquired. Its relation with correspondence, pragmatic and coherence theories of truth is explored to show that Nietzsche’s understanding of truth could not be comprehended through these theories. Consequently, it is claimed that the tendency to attribute a truth theory to Nietzsche’s perspectivism, which is prevalent in the current Nietzsche studies, stems from commentator’s, consciously or unconsciously, ignoring of the relation between his perspectivism and his doctrine of the will to power.


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Citation Formats
S. Soysal, “ Nietzsche’s perspectivist epistemology : epistemological implications of will to power,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2007.